Who is the Yard and Garden guru?
Hi, I’m Tim Graham and I am the main writer at Yard and Garden Guru. I’ve been gardening for over 30 years. I also have a keen interest in yard care and general handyman stuff like woodwork.
It is always essential to have the right tools for the job. Without the right tool, you can waste significant amounts of time, and do a poor job at the same time.
Making sure you are equipped with the correct gardening supplies for the task at hand helps you get things done more quickly, more easily, and more effectively.Choose something that is not for purpose will inevitably slow you down and could even cause an injury.
It is always recommended to buy high quality gardening tools over cheap ones. If you take good care of your tools then many of them should last for a lifetime.
In general, you should try to buy garden tools that are made of stainless steel or carbon fiber steel. These materials are going to be far more durable than other cheaper materials, and are less likely to break under stress.
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. The good news is however, that if you make smart buying choices then you can get away with never having to replace most of your gardening items. You will save money in the long run by paying that little bit extra to get quality equipment.
If you want to maximize the life span of your tools, then be sure to always clean them and store safely after doing yard work. This is an important step because soil can cause some tools to rust.
If keeping your tools in a garage or shed, then making sure that these places are kept dry because dampness could rust and corrode your tools
What you need for your yard and garden?
Apart from the basic important tools for your home and garden, there are many others, but this is a good starting point and hopefully provides some solid background information when considering those bigger purchases like lawn mowers and pressure washers.
A good spade is one of the most important tools in a gardener’s arsenal. There are different types of specialized spades to suit certain jobs and/or soil types. A good spade should have a :-
- solid blade
- comfortable handle
- flat edge for digging in with your foot
If you are looking for a spade that will do a variety of jobs, then you should buy a long handled round point shovel. This should do just about everything the average gardener needs.
There are five main types of rake that gardeners use. They are used to rake up leaves, level soil, remove thatch, and more. The five types are :-
- leaf rake
- shrub rake
- bow rake
- hand rake
- thatch rake
They vary in width, from hand rakes to long handled ones 30” wide. Wider rakes can clean up lots of leaves quickly, but the narrower ones are flexible enough to rake around plants without causing damage. Metal tines can also damage grass, so plastic or bamboo ones might be a better choice.
3. Lawn mower
The three main types of lawn mower to consider are rotary, cylinder, and hover. There are plenty of brand names to choose from that make great models. It is important to buy one that is suited to your own lawn and garden, and to make sure you get a high quality piece of equipment.
- Rotary – This is ideal for the average sized lawn and adequate for cutting longer grass. They are typically powered by the mains, but petrol or rechargeable ones are available. These tend to be more expensive than the standard electric ones though.
- Cylinder – This type of mower is best suited for short lawn maintenance. Hand driven models come in at around $50 and electric ones are available starting around $160.
- Hover – This is a unique category of mowers that makes lawn mowing over uneven ground much easier. If you get a mower without a grass collector then it will be very light. If you are looking for a perfect lawn, then you should probably consider one of the alternatives and also look into getting a fertilizer spreader as well.
There are two types of lopper blades. Bypass blades are good for making clean cuts on living wood, and anvil blades are better for bashing away dead wood. Most gardeners own both.
You should try loppers out before you buy them. Usability depends greatly on your arm length, so a pair that work well for someone else, might not be best for you.
An important thing to look for is a good blade. They should be made of a strong material like stainless steel or carbon steel. Remember to wear garden gloves when using loppers, pruners, and garden shears to help avoid cuts and blisters.
5. Quality hose
There are several factors to consider when looking for a hose. Quality varies dramatically based on the number of layers, the material, and thickness.
You might get away with a low ply hose for occasional plant watering, but this is not recommended as cheap hoses tangle easily. They can leak or break after only minor use or exposure to sunlight.
Look for a 5-ply or 6-ply hose made of rubber with a high water pressure rating.
The wheelbarrow you buy depends on exactly what you need it for, but a heavy duty plastic wheelbarrow with about 6 cubic feet of volume is a good starting point.
A thick plastic model won’t rust and is weather proof. Single-wheelers are easy to maneuver, but the twin-wheeled ones are better balanced.
Don’t get a wheelbarrow so big that you can’t move it when full. Look for one with pegged rests to help stabilize the load and avoid spilling your cargo.
The best chainsaw is perfect for most garden jobs. They don’t need much maintenance, but will last for a long time if you treat them well. Gas-powered ones are more powerful, but are only required for cutting substantial trees.
Make sure your saw is comfortable for you as the handles vary between models. Try holding several different saws before you buy and stick with major brands for reliability. Look for one with safety features like a chain brake and always wear protective equipment.
8. Paint Sprayer
Paint sprayers cover large areas faster than other methods and provide a smoother coat. They can be used to paint fences, garage doors, or exterior walls. Some are suitable for indoors as well.
Using a sprayer requires a lot of preparation and cleaning, so they are best for larger jobs. Don’t be tempted by the cheaper models as they often don’t work very well. You can get a decent cup gun for under $100, which is good to starting point and you don’t need a separate air compressor and is electrically operated.
Two types of generators to consider are standby by generators and portable generators. Standby generators are used to power appliances in your home during blackouts or a crisis.
There are different sizes available depending on whether you want to power just a few essential items like your fridge and sump pump, or your entire house.
Portable generators may be useful for powering electrical tools in the garden if you are out of reach of the house mains supply. With both types, you should choose a generator that uses fuel that is locally available to reduce running costs.
10. Pressure Washer
Using a pressure washer is a great way to wash your car, paving, or conservatory. Basic models consist of a single long tube and nozzle. Various features are available depending on your specific needs, but if you want a general washer then stick to variable pressure ones. This will avoid damage to decking or your car’s finish.
Other things to think about when buying a pressure washer include ease of storage, maneuverability, and how comfortable the handle and trigger are to use.
Using the right tools for the job not only saves you time and money, but it makes garden work much more enjoyable. Using poor quality tools or the wrong tools for the job doesn’t make for a very pleasant gardening experience.
Gardening is supposed to be something we do for the intrinsic satisfaction it brings, so always get the best tools for the job you can and avoid causing yourself unnecessary frustration.
This list of top ten items for your home and garden is by no means exhaustive. However, it includes the most essential items and includes the big purchases that require more research than most others.
Some of these items are quite generic, but others like generators for example are very specific to your personal needs. In any case, you should probably do more research beyond this article. You should also investigate the safety issues involved and use safety equipment as recommended by experts.
As a general rule of thumb, it is always better to try things out if you can before buying. If you can’t actually use an item then at least check the handles and grips for comfort.
Hopefully this guide serves as a good starting point when buying home and garden maintenance equipment. Planning your gardening budget carefully will help make sure you spend money on things that give you lots of use and enjoyment for years to come.