Make light work of autumn with these 5 essential garden tools
So, autumn is here, the leaves are falling, bulbs are ready for planting and the hedge needs trimming.
You can save hours of back-breaking work by investing in a few essential tools which will not only get your garden in shape for the cooler months but save a lot of aches and pains in the process.
Here are five of the best tools to make light work of autumn gardening jobs.
1. Fiskars Ergo Standing Bulb Planter (Amazon, £34.99)
Each year, so many of us enthusiastically buy large packs of bulbs, not realising how hard and time-consuming it can be planting them all out, especially in heavy soil which you’ll need to add grit to anyway for a better chance of success.
Even with kneelers and good quality metal bulb planters at the ready, it can seem a thankless task and, with this in mind, Fiskars has come up with this standing bulb planter, negating the need to bend or kneel.
You can make the bulb holes using a two-sided stepping board which eases the planter into the ground and pulls the soil up, then plant your bulbs, while a trigger on the handle releases the soil back into the hole. It makes light work of the job if you’ve gone a bit overboard with bulbs this year.
2. EGO LB5800E Leaf Blower (Egopowerplus.co.uk, £189, not including battery)
This is one serious leaf blower, which is ideal for people who have a large garden and presumably lots of deciduous trees. The airflow is adjustable through a variable thumb selector so it won’t run away with you, and it comes with two nozzles – round and flat – to give you better direction.
All in all, it will make light work of getting leaves off grass, beds and borders to pile up so you could make leaf mould or add to the compost heap. A 2.5Ah battery will cost an extra £99.99 and the accompanying charger is £49.99, but the upside of that is that the battery is compatible with other EGO cordless products.
3. Scarifying rake (Burgon & Ball, £39.99)
The sunny days of autumn may prove a good time to get your lawn in shape by giving it a good scarify to remove moss and thatch before winter sets in. You may have to do it again in spring but it will certainly make the job easier come next year.
This RHS-endorsed product has six tough stainless steel tines which will slice through turf to remove dead plant matter and will help air and water reach the roots to stimulate new growth. You can also adjust the blades to suit your height. As you push the rake, the tines will cut into the grass, while the debris will be removed when you pull it back.
4. Stiga SHT 700 AE battery hedge trimmer (for stockists visit stiga.com, £219 not including battery kit)
Hedge trimming can be a laborious, thankless task, especially if you have a lot of hedge to cut in the cooler, windier autumn weather.
While many hedges are trimmed during the growing season in spring and summer (although gardeners are advised to avoid trimming during the nesting season from March to August), others will benefit from a trim in autumn, including yew, hawthorn and the conifer Thuja plicata.
This hedge trimmer should make life easier. It’s a robust piece of kit, producing up to 40 minutes of efficient and comfortable hedge trimming on a single charge and a recharge time of 50 minutes if you use the fast charger (not included).
Gardeners should find it comfortable to use as it has a rotating soft-grip rubber handle with five working angles to allow you to negotiate awkward lines, while if you hit something hard like a stone there’s a trip blade protector which will help you avoid accidental damage to the blade. It should slice branches up to 2.5cm diameter with ease.
5. Felco 201-A 60 Loppers (Harrod Horticultural, £139.95)
Anyone who has ever owned a pair of Felco secateurs will know that they are among the best on the market for sharpness and reliability – instantly recognisable by their trademark red handles.
But if you’ve tougher pruning to do this autumn, then you’ll want the big daddy of loppers, the Felco 210-60, which is great for cutting back overgrown shrubs and trees, but being aluminium is lightweight enough to handle easily.
It has one curved cutting head which makes cutting easier, along with a fine blade adjustment so you can get the cut just right. Its handles are also that recognisable red, ergonomic and finished in a soft, non-slip coating. The makers have also included a shock absorption system providing some protection to your hands and wrists.
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