5 tools that can make caring for your garden much easier

5 tools that can make caring for your garden much easier

Your garden may offer you solace and space in the sunshine, which can be vital as the summer rolls on through, but it’s an area that can require a lot of care. There are a lot of gardening tasks that you should never skip, and tackling of all of them can be a real chore. However, there are tools out there that can make caring for your garden much more effectively, saving you time and energy.

Robotic lawnmowers

Robotic lawnmowers are a revolutionary tool in garden maintenance. These autonomous devices are designed to mow your lawn without any manual intervention. Equipped with sensors and programmed routes, they navigate through the garden, cutting grass consistently and efficiently. The major advantage of robotic lawnmowers is the time they save. Instead of spending hours pushing a traditional mower, you can set the robotic mower to operate on a schedule, even when you’re not home. This continuous mowing keeps the lawn well-maintained and healthy, as frequent mowing encourages denser growth and reduces weed proliferation.

Automated irrigation systems

Automated irrigation systems are another game-changer for garden maintenance. These systems can be programmed to water your plants at optimal times, ensuring they receive the right amount of moisture without the need for manual watering. This is especially beneficial in large gardens or during hot summer months when plants require frequent watering. Automated systems often include features such as soil moisture sensors and weather forecasts, adjusting watering schedules based on real-time data. This precision not only saves water but also promotes healthier plant growth by preventing both over- and under-watering.

Leaf blowers

Leaf blowers significantly reduce the labour involved in clearing leaves, debris and grass clippings from your garden. Compared to raking, a cordless blower is much faster and requires less physical effort, making garden clean-up a breeze. They are especially useful in the autumn, when leaves can quickly cover your lawn and garden beds. By keeping the garden clear of debris, leaf blowers help maintain a neat appearance and prevent the build-up of material that can harbour pests and diseases.

Weed torches

Weed torches offer an efficient and eco-friendly solution to weed control. These tools use propane to produce a high-temperature flame that quickly kills weeds by disrupting their cell structure. Unlike chemical herbicides, weed torches do not leave harmful residues in the soil and can be used in organic gardening. They are particularly effective for targeting weeds in hard-to-reach areas, such as between paving stones or along garden edges.

Garden sensors

Garden sensors are sophisticated devices that monitor various environmental factors such as soil moisture, temperature, light levels and humidity. These sensors provide real-time data to a connected app or system, enabling gardeners to make informed decisions about watering, fertilising and other maintenance tasks. By using garden sensors, you can ensure that plants receive the right conditions for optimal growth without the guesswork. This technology reduces the risk of plant stress caused by over- or under-watering and helps optimise resource use.

Your time in the garden can be better spent actually enjoying it. Hopefully, the suggestions above help you do that.

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Price Points: Moisture meters

Moisture meters | H is for Home

Have you turned the heating on yet? We’ve had the radiators on a couple of times in the past week or so. We mainly have the wood-burning stove chuffing away in whatever room we’re spending most of our time, rather than heating the entire house.

We also have our new Esse stove that needs feeding with logs a few of times per day. Its instruction manual stresses how important it is to only use dry material. Wood that is too wet can ruin the stove and coat the flue and create build-up. It’s recommended that you use logs with no more than 20% moisture content.

The only way to be absolutely certain that your fuel is dry enough is to test it with a moisture meter. It’s the same tool that surveyors use to test walls for rising and penetrating damp. Simply stick the prongs into the centre of the log and the LED display will tell you if the wood is ready to be used.

Moisture meters are relatively inexpensive – £15 to £30 in general. We actually bought ; it’s affordable and comes with spare pins and battery. A small price to pay to ensure that our stove and wood-burning stoves are being treated with care and heating the house effectively and efficiently.

  1. Dr. Meter digital wood moisture meter with 2 spare sensor pins and one 9V battery: £16.99 Amazon
  2. Faithfull damp & moisture meter LCD display Faidetdamp: £18.00, Travis Perkins
  3. Brennenstuhl moisture detector MD: £20.39, Machine Mart

shop moisture meters

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Prices & links correct at time of publication.

Brennenstuhl moisture detector MD
Brennenstuhl moisture detector MD
£20.39
Faithfull damp & moisture meter LCD display Faidetdamp
Faithfull damp & moisture meter LCD display Faidetdamp
£18.00
Dr. Meter digital wood moisture meter with 2 spare sensor pins and one 9V battery
Dr. Meter digital wood moisture meter with 2 spare sensor pins and one 9V battery
£16.99
Brennenstuhl moisture detector MD
Brennenstuhl moisture detector MD
£20.39
Faithfull damp & moisture meter LCD display Faidetdamp
Faithfull damp & moisture meter LCD display Faidetdamp
£18.00
Dr. Meter digital wood moisture meter with 2 spare sensor pins and one 9V battery
Dr. Meter digital wood moisture meter with 2 spare sensor pins and one 9V battery
£16.99
Brennenstuhl moisture detector MD
Brennenstuhl moisture detector MD
£20.39
Faithfull damp & moisture meter LCD display Faidetdamp
Faithfull damp & moisture meter LCD display Faidetdamp
£18.00
Dr. Meter digital wood moisture meter with 2 spare sensor pins and one 9V battery
Dr. Meter digital wood moisture meter with 2 spare sensor pins and one 9V battery
£16.99
Brennenstuhl moisture detector MD
Brennenstuhl moisture detector MD
£20.39
Faithfull damp & moisture meter LCD display Faidetdamp
Faithfull damp & moisture meter LCD display Faidetdamp
£18.00
Dr. Meter digital wood moisture meter with 2 spare sensor pins and one 9V battery
Dr. Meter digital wood moisture meter with 2 spare sensor pins and one 9V battery
£16.99
Brennenstuhl moisture detector MD
Brennenstuhl moisture detector MD
£20.39
Faithfull damp & moisture meter LCD display Faidetdamp
Faithfull damp & moisture meter LCD display Faidetdamp
£18.00
Dr. Meter digital wood moisture meter with 2 spare sensor pins and one 9V battery
Dr. Meter digital wood moisture meter with 2 spare sensor pins and one 9V battery
£16.99

Mystery Object

'Mystery Object' blog post banner

Mystery object with antique metal candle holder on pine topped table

So, what’s this mystery object? And we don’t mean the candle holder! Try and guess what it is before the last few photos.

Mystery object on pine topped table

We bought it at the weekend from Picture House Antiques. This is obviously quite an old example, but new ones are still being produced. Having said that, the design hasn’t changed much as it does the job perfectly.

Mystery object on pine topped table

It might make one particular little job a lot easier towards the end of July or early August – a foraging type job…

detail of mystery object on pine topped table

…OK, no more clues…

curved dry stone wall with bilberry bushes growing above

…it’s a bilberry comb!

Bilberries (also called whimberries, whinberries, wimberries, winberries, windberries, blaeberries, whortleberries, hurts, myrtle blueberries and fraughans) grow wild round these parts – in fact, local conditions seem perfect as they’re widespread on lanes & hillsides. They’re the most delicious little berries. They’re a bit fiddly to pick individually, but that’s what we’ve always done previously.

bowl of freshly picked bilberries

We’ll look into the pros & cons of this tool – judging by the age of this one, they’re not a recent phenomenon – and are still widely available to buy at country stores. Most people sing their praises, but initial internet searches have thrown up a few dissenting voices.

Their concerns seem to centre around the fact that they’re a bit indiscriminate with regards to picking both ripe & unripe berries – and also their efficiency doesn’t leave much behind for wildlife.

We can’t see the point in harvesting till the majority of berries are ready. With regards to wildlife, some parts of the bush are hard to get to – and some bushes themselves are very inaccessible to people – so there should be plenty left for the birds and small animals. We’ve noticed bush craft & foraging guru, Ray Mears has them for sale on his website.

plate with a slice of bilberry tart and cup of tea

We know one thing… they make superb desserts – warm, home-made bilberry pie with cold, thick cream just can’t be beaten!