The type of garden machinery that you could consider buying will largely depend on the size of the area that you garden, whether you have an allotment, a garden or both and also the design of your gardening area.
I’m not intending to cover all the types of machinery available merely to suggest what we have found to be useful.
Having both a garden and an allotment plot any machinery that we buy needs to be suitable in both locations. Any machinery that we need to use on the plot has to be easily transportable by car. Allotment sites tend not to be the most secure of places and so we would never consider leaving any equipment in our shed even if only for overnight.
Garden Mowers Maybe the first piece of machinery a gardener thinks of buying is a lawnmower. That is of course those gardeners who have a lawned area. There is a wide range of lawnmowers to choose from ranging from those that you push along to those that you can ride on. They can be powered by hand, electricity, petrol or batteries. There are even some that will cut the lawn by themselves whilst you leave them to it and go for a cup of tea.
Different mowers also have different ways of cutting the grass with a rotary blade that spins, a set of blades arranged like a revolving cylinder and hover mowers that cut like a rotary mower but loat on a cushion of air.
As we wanted to use our lawn mower on out allotment plot, an electric mower was out of the question so we first bought a petrol rotary mower. This did it’s work well and coped with the rough grass on the plot and our garden lawns. The problem was the weight - not only did we have to transport it in the boot of our car but as our garden lawn is up a set of steps it had to be carried about in the garden too.
At the time that we bought our petrol mower there wasn’t much of a n alternative that suited our needs but then along came a battery powered option which is lighter and much more easily lifted and transported (like the petrol mower, the handle unscrews and folds so that it will fit in the car). It also copes well with the grass paths on the allotment which aren’t exactly level. It also was supplied with a second battery which has proved very useful.
Strimmer When we first acquired our plot it was head high in weeds including a thicket of brambles (you can read about it here). A petrol operated strimmer was worth its weight in gold. We used it to clear the weeds etc down to ground level which meant at least we could then see what we were doing.
We still have areas of rough grass - mainly around some of our fruit trees and also in areas that are nor accessible by the lawn mower. Also sometimes due to us not being able to get to the plot the grass does get a little too long for the lawn mower to cope with and so our strimmer is still very useful.
We also have a light weight battery powered version which is lighter to use and is ideal for edging grass not only on the plot but also in the garden. The head tilts 90º to make edging easy.
One word of warning - don’t strim with bare legs as any sap plant sap that splashes on your skin can cause a nasty burn especially in sunny weather. Also it’s advisable to wear strong shoes just in case your hand slips.
Cultivators and Tillers Although we do dig using a spade we have quite a large allotment plot which it would be difficult to keep on top of if we relied only on man power so we also have a petrol cultivator which can help keep us on top of thinks. The cultivator is really useful at breaking up impacted soil but again is a rather heavy for lifting in and out of a car boot - the handle does loosen and fold over for ease of transport.
We also use a small light tiller for regular maintenance of our beds and it is also useful in the garden. The tiller will turn over the soil giving a fine tilth that is ideal for planting in. We also use the tiller to turn over beds where annual weeds have started to grow.
Shredders We haven’t got a shredder but I can see as it being a very useful additional piece of kit. It would be useful to shred fairly large prunings etc before composting to speed up the composting process. It’s not really an option for us as it would be of most use at the allotment where we could neither leave it safely nor could we choose an option powered by electricity. If you have a large garden that generates the type of material that would benefit from shredding it would be a useful additional tool