Gardening tool tips
Spring has sprung, and it's time to enjoy the great outdoors again. Say goodbye to your winter blues because the colder months are behind us. You probably haven't spent much time gardening during winter, so now's the time to spruce up your garden and get it ready for all the outdoor entertaining that's ahead through summer. Here's a handy guide to giving your outdoor areas a tidy up.
Things to do
- Mow your lawn. If you have lots of lawn edges that need tidying up, need to trim along your fences or cut down any patches that have gone wild, you'll need to use your line trimmer (or whipper snipper) first. If you have a very small yard, the line trimmer may be all you need, but for larger areas use your lawnmower for the rest. If you need to buy a lawnmower to tame your garden, check out our reports on the options for petrol, electric and battery, or if you have a huge yard, ride-on mowers.
- Trim your hedges. If your garden has hedges you'll know how much of a chore it can be to keep them neat and tidy. And if you've let your hedges overgrow during winter you might need the help of a hedge trimmer to make the task ahead an easy one. If you have thick branches to cut through, you'll need a powerful hedge trimmer with large tooth gaps. However, if it's only leaves you need to trim, you can sacrifice on power.
- Water your garden. With the warmer weather fast approaching, it's time to give your garden a nice watering. If you've got a long hose curling through your yard, or clumped up in a pile, you might want to tidy it up by investing in a retractable hose reel. Take a look at our buying guide to find out what to look for when buying one.
- Clean your driveway. If you haven't cleaned your driveway in a while, you may be surprised by how much dirt and grime has built up on the surface. A pressure cleaner can work magic not only on your driveway, but on decking and other outdoor surfaces. Even your car tyres could benefit from a pressure clean every once in a while. Check our pressure cleaner reviews if you want to add one of these to your tool shed.
- Get into pruning. A good pair of secateurs will work wonders to keep your shrubs, trees and bushes tidy. Keeping your plants pruned also helps to promote flowering and fruiting.
- Blow away the mess. If you have a tree that likes to shed its leaves all over your lawn, you may be tired of taking out the rake to clean it all up. A blower vac is a convenient (but noisier and less environmentally friendly) way to clean up your lawn. It can even come with a built-in mulcher to turn the leaves and other bits into mulch for your garden or compost. Alternatively, if you have lots of sticks and cuttings to deal with, a garden shredder might be an option for you. It'll turn it all into woodchips for mulching garden beds or adding to compost.
Is this the year to start your own veggie patch? Growing your own veggies can be extremely satisfying but you need to be able to give them the tender loving care they require. Our guide to growing your own veggies has some helpful tips to get you started.
Make a splash
Having a pool in your own backyard is great, especially when it's sweltering and you want to take a dip to cool down. But if you have a pool, you'll also know that cleaning and maintenance are vital to make sure you can get the most use out of it. A pool cleaner can help to keep a handle on grime and leaf build up. Take a look at our pool maintenance guide for tips on how to keep it clean.
Don't forget to:
- Inspect your pool fence. Check for loose bars or panels and make sure the latching mechanisms for the gate operate smoothly. It's law for pools to be fenced, inspected and registered for compliance. Our buying guide details what to look for. You can also check our pool fence reviews for the brands we recommend.
Crank up the barbie
With summer fast approaching, there's no better time to prepare your barbecue for the entertaining ahead. Maintaining your barbie is important, not just so that it can cook a great steak, but for your safety too. Take a look at our guide to setting up and maintaining your barbecue.
If it's time to trade in your barbecue for a new shiny model our buying guide will help you with what to look for, while our BBQ reviews will show you which models come out on top in our tests.