For questions about the maintenance, usage, techniques, evaluating, and storage of gardening tools.

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23
votes
20answers
10k views

What are the (essential) Tools that every gardener should own?

Credit where credit is due, this idea is pinched from over here: Tools that every Do-it-Yourselfer must own What tools should every gardener own, have at their disposal (preferably essential tools)? ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Should I paint old garden tools?

I've got some old tools (shovels and pitchforks) that were my grandparents. The metal parts look like they were painted (a lot has worn off), I want to sharpen them and fix them up following the ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the best lawn dethatching tools?

My lawn is full of so much thatch that I can bend down and pull up handfuls. I used a steel rake to pull up some today but it is still full of thatch. I feel like I could continue raking for days and ...
10
votes
1answer
627 views

What is the proper technique for using a flame weeder?

How do I use a propane flame weeder in my garden? I want to use it to keep weeds under control but I do not want to harm my vegetables.
9
votes
3answers
780 views

What can I use to quickly and inexpensively create metal plant labels?

Has anyone had experience with creating their own permanent metal plant labels/tags? My grandfather has an old Graphotype machine that he uses to label his metal plant tags, but they're rather ...
9
votes
3answers
151 views

How often should I loosen soil?

I was about this ask this question in a comment from a different question of mine, but I thought it deserved its own question since it may help a fellow novice gardener. How often should I loosen the ...
9
votes
1answer
178 views

What qualities should I look for in gardening tools so that they're long lasting?

I've been purchasing most of my lawn equipment from a home improvement store and most of the equipment (rakes, shovels, etc) I have bought from them over the last 2 years has broken during what I ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I choose a good tiller (cultivator) for a 1000 sq. ft. garden?

I'm getting ready to till about 1,000 square feet, but the problem is I have no experience buying tillers. However, I don't know much about buying them. What should one look for in a garden tiller ...
8
votes
2answers
55 views

Direct sunlight measuring device?

Is there a device on the market (preferably battery or solar operated) which can be left in a garden from dawn to dusk, and afterwards, report on how many hours of direct sunlight it received? I ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

I need to mow a lawn filled with Rocks galore

I need a lawn mower that can handle rocks and tall thistle bushes. I go through a lawn mower a year it seems. 90% of our ground is granite with a shallow ground covering. Any suggestions?
8
votes
1answer
122 views

What to look for in a robotic lawnmower?

The idea of a robotic lawn mower is appealing, but it seems that most of the robotic lawn mowers currently on sale are overpromising their delivery somewhat. Amazon reviews are in many cases a mixed ...
7
votes
2answers
13k views

Replacing a strimmer's nylon fibre line?

I bought a Bosch strimmer a couple of years ago - it is a Bosch 3600H78G71 "EasyTrim". There is now no nylon fibre line (which is the bit used for cutting grass) protruding from the spinning part at ...
7
votes
1answer
709 views

What sort of hose nozzle should I look for such that it won't spring a leak after just one frosty night?

I bought a hose nozzle that looked robust (though made mainly of plastic) last year and let it sit out over the winter (temperatures get down to -30 ºC). This spring, naturally, the nozzle was ...
7
votes
1answer
338 views

Are cordless electric string trimmers “good enough” for a medium sized yard?

I recognize that gas trimmers will be less expensive and won't have the battery life issues cordless electric trimmers have (and corded is impractical - too many obstacles in the yard.) BUT! I would ...
7
votes
1answer
587 views

What is the right type of rake for oak leaves, twigs, acorns on a Zoysia lawn?

I haven't had a lawn to speak of in my current home, but am having it sodded with Empire Zoysia in the next couple of weeks. I'll need to clean up oak leaves, twigs and acorns in the front yard on an ...
6
votes
4answers
20k views

How can I weed trim without damaging a fence?

I keep damaging the bottom of my fence with my gas weed trimmer. What is the best way to prevent damage to my fence while using a gas trimmer?
6
votes
2answers
380 views

Should I trim my conifer hedge with shears or an electric trimmer?

Are there reasons to select hedge shears vs electric trimmers when trimming a conifer hedge? I have about 30 meters to trim, and haven't purchased either of these yet. Which option would you choose ...
6
votes
3answers
691 views

Is shovel made of spring steel really worth it?

A local shop offers a shovel made of spring steel (specifically - steel used for leaf springs) which is like twice as expensive as a regular one. The implication is that using special steel makes a ...
6
votes
1answer
900 views

Taming the jungle, power heads vs old fashioned “weed eater”

I have a back yard I need to tame. Lots of Kudzu and small brush (< 1/2" diameter). Growing up we always used the old fashioned string trimmers. However going to shop now I see very, very few "...
6
votes
3answers
186 views

Best tool for underground lawn sprinkler system head removal?

My lawn has an underground sprinkler system. Many of the heads are old, leaking, and hard to adjust. So I've been swapping them with Rainbird 5000 series heads. They look like this: Here's the ...
6
votes
1answer
137 views

Identify a doughnut-shaped free-spinning mower part

I serviced my mower this morning and gave it a clean with a hose with a moderate level of water pressure. It appears that I have blown a part off the lawn mower though I am not sure how. I can't ...
6
votes
1answer
178 views

Which style of weeding tool for small, densely planted flower beds and raised gardens?

I bought a house with beautiful landscaping: small flowerbeds and decorative shrubs and trees, tucked away in various corners of a hilly, rocky lot. The flower beds are very densely planted. There ...
5
votes
7answers
4k views

What is the best method/saw to cut through tough palm tree fronds with? (30-foot Queen Palms)

I have a pole saw with a typical pruning saw blade and it works great on fresh green palm fronds (which I really shouldn't be cutting, but I don't want them touching my roof line) but the ones that I ...
5
votes
3answers
131 views

Is it possible to turn a tumbler compost too frequently?

Related: How often do you need to turn the compost heap? I have a tumbler composter. When I put my food scraps in it - roughly once a day - I also put in a handful of leaves that I have saved from ...
5
votes
3answers
351 views

Is this compost bin rodent-proof?

Is this compost bin rodent-proof? If not, how to find a similar but rodent-proof or at least relatively safe one in that regard? I want put put a compost bin in my backyard and put my food waste (...
5
votes
2answers
146 views

What is the risk of using 4% 2T mixture in a chainsaw that needs 2% 2T?

I accidentally ran a Stihl MS 261 chainsaw on a 4% mixture for 3 tanks instead of the 2% oil to gas mixture it should have had. Would this have done any damage to the machine should I do anything ...
5
votes
2answers
550 views

When would I prefer a shovel with a rounded blade over one with a pointed blade?

I've got used to shovels that have a pointed blade like this: which is more or less the right shape for digging ground. Now the very same shovel (same handle, same everything) comes in this design ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

What to look for in a good electric chainsaw?

I will need it for clearing large tree limbs and small trees, mostly for storm cleanup in a medium sized yard surrounded by mature, healthy trees. I am looking for recommendations for safety and ...
5
votes
1answer
66 views

How do electric tillers compare with gas powered ones?

I have 6 raised beds filled with topsoil and compost, and am looking for a tiller. They total about 200 sq.ft. I see a lot of electric tillers on the market and wonder how they perform compared to gas ...
5
votes
1answer
31 views

What's a better solution than manual/gasoline corn and bean seeder?

I already asked on Electrical Engineering how to adapt an electric motor to a manual seeder. I followed the advice of a commenter to ask on this site, so that people here may have a better solution ...
4
votes
2answers
520 views

How to replace my gas hedge trimmer rope starter

The rope starter for my Craftsman Gas Hedge Trimmer disconnected from the engine while pulling to start. Please explain how to reattach this rope starter. I am a DIY individual. Thanks for your help.
4
votes
3answers
104 views

What is the name for a weed-eater head with metal or plastic blades?

I am looking for a weed-eater head that does not have any plastic thread spool or ongoing feeder. It should have metal or sturdy plastic blades that don't wear away quickly? I am (a) sick of having ...
4
votes
2answers
53 views

How can I reduce the pressure and flow to only part of an irrigation system?

I'm designing a more permanent tree irrigation system for my property to replace the makeshift only I currently have that uses garden hoses. To water the trees, I've settled on non-pressurized lines ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

What could be wrong with this leaf blower?

A little over a year ago, after complaining about the amount of cord I had to use with our electric leaf blower I was gifted an inexpensive gas blower. A Ryobi 150 mph 400 CFM Gas Blower Vac from home ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

What is the typical “mileage” for a gasoline chainsaw?

I want to roughly compare a gasoline-powered chainsaw to a battery-powered one. I can't find any quotes on how many cuts (and of what specific material) a gasoline chainsaw can do on some specific ...
4
votes
1answer
40 views

How do I free a stuck ball bearing on a garden hose quick connecter?

I never had this happen but one of the 3 ball bearings on the female end of a Nelson quick connect is stuck. I have tried soaking it in vinegar, and lubricating it with oil. Any tricks or tips to ...
4
votes
1answer
743 views

Do I always use the thickest possible line in grass trimmer?

Just as an example, Stihl FS130 grass trimmer can be equipped with Autocut 25-2 cutting head that can hold either 2.4 mm or 2.7 mm cutting line - so within the same trimmer and the same head I can ...
3
votes
4answers
13k views

What is the difference between a spade and a shovel?

I was just reading this article, When would I prefer a shovel with a rounded blade over one with a pointed blade?. The answers said something like, "That's a spade not a shovel". So what is the ...
3
votes
2answers
13k views

What could cause a weak or no spark from a string trimmer's spark plug?

I got a free string trimmer from a buddy who couldn't get it to start. I did a compression check by pulling the pull starter and the compression seemed good. Next I pulled the spark plug, put it ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

How do string trimmer accessories compare to dedicated tools

I'm considering purchasing a gas powered string trimmer, after my previous electric one died. I've noticed that some offer accessories. I have also been thinking of getting a cultivator, and that's ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Mower with oily fouled spark plug

My mower would not start. On inspection of the spark plug there was wet oil present on both the spark plug and on the thread on the mower. What maintenance and parts should i inspect/replace in order ...
3
votes
2answers
229 views

How can I stop a walk-behind kubota lawn mower?

I "inherited" a lawn mower when I moved to a new house. It's a kubota walk-behind one. Unfortunately I have no idea how to stop the engine. There's no usual lever for stopping the fuel on the handle. ...
3
votes
2answers
185 views

What is the gardening purpose of an l-shaped groove knife hand tool?

What is the gardening purpose of an l-shaped groove knife? ( http://www.chillingtontoolsonline.com/groove-knife-p62 ) It appears to be a weeding or cultivation tool, a little-bit like a "wrong sided"...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Getting gardening stakes in stony ground

I need to get some stakes into the ground surrounding my garden, as my neighborhood has large populations of deer. However, the ground is pretty stony, so just physically forcing the stakes down into ...
3
votes
1answer
279 views

How does a bow-knife weed cutter compare with a string trimmer?

In hard-to-mow areas, I use a string trimmer to occasionally cut back the weeds. I recently found a tool for sale which could potentially be used in a similar fashion, but without any gas. It's called ...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

No spark on a Craftsman line trimmer

I have a Craftsman Trimmer and I'm was not getting a spark when starting it. I tested it with a spark tester and had no spark. I next removed the ground wire from the magneto to isolate it from the ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

How can I dissolve the gunked up fertilizer in a Scotts Turfbuilder drop spreader?

My spreader is gunked up with fertilizer so that the agitator does not spread out the fertilizer and seed anymore. How can I dissolve the fertilizer that is gunked in the agitator so that the spreader ...
2
votes
3answers
105 views

What's the best tool to remove weeds?

I have different types of weeds in my garden, some 50cm (~1½ ft) tall or more. What's the best (and cheapest) tool to remove those?
2
votes
2answers
287 views

What equipment do I need to transplant a 20' tall pin oak?

I knew a guy who moved 7 or 8 large (for moving) 20-35' pin oaks. He used a backhoe, digging out around the rootball, while leaving it intact. While this was successful, and the trees did very well, ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Does a Hover mower with roller or a cylinder mower with roller better fit with my requirements?

I have a new large back garden with about 1/5 acre of grass. At the moment, the neighbor comes in and cuts for us on her ride-on. I've had electricity points put in all up the garden and would like ...