Ten Purple Plants For Your Flower Garden

Purple is regarded by many as the color of money, love, penance, prosperity and relaxation. It is also known as the color of royalty. In olden times, no one aside from those with royal blood was allowed to wear such a hue. Due to the rarity of this color then, fabrics of such a shade were only used by the nobility.

Purple also symbolizes magic and spirituality, charm and mystery. Anyone who wears purple clothes exudes intellect, courage, dignity and elegance. Just imagine how regal your garden will look if you grow purple plants there…

Allow us to give you some simple tips about 10 purple plants for your flower garden that are not just long-lasting but also remarkably simple to grow.

Ten Purple Plants For Your Flower Garden

1) Allium Bulbs


Source: The Garden GloveThe Garden Glove

This beautiful purple flower bulb has many different varieties to choose from. The tall purple globes or giant alliums are the most popular types. Some have a combination of white and pink along with the purple while the majority are all plain purple.

This purple genus is a perennial plant which means they live for more than 2 years. They belong to the group of garlic, onion, leeks and shallots. The name allium itself means garlic. These plants are extremely easy to grow.

2) Balloon Flower

balloon flower

Source: Pinterest

Scientifically known as Platycodon grandiflorus, balloon flowers are star-shaped, perennial purple flowers which come from balloon-like buds. Like alliums, balloon flowers also have many different species for you to choose between. There are also varieties in white, blue and pink, but mostly they are a rich purple. The most popular among them is the Hakone double blue. These plants also grow easily.

3) Catmint

Source: Gardening Know How

At first glance, you might mistake of catmint for lavender, especially from a distance. Catmint (Nepeta faassenii) is a perennial herb that is very resistant to dry weather as well as deer and rabbit attacks. Unfortunately, their sweet fragrance is very attractive for cats!

These plants, which produce purple-blue flowers and gray leaves, bloom from April until late May. Catmint flowers and leaves can also be made into a tea which can relieve colds or flu, pain, anxiety and stress.

4) Dwarf Iris


Iris reticulata or dwarf iris blooms in May and grows up to about 1 foot tall. They are also very straightforward to grow. There are lots of dwarf iris varieties too and they range from indigo to deep blue colors. Their flowers are bigger than the stems.

Like catmint, these beautiful flowers are fragrant and also deer and drought-resistant. They are not fit for human consumption.

5) Echium Fastuosm


Source: Annie’s Annuals and Perennials

Among the echium varieties, echium fastuosm (Pride of Madeira) can be considered the best species due to its becoming appearance accentuated by vibrant purple coloring. These plants grow up to 6 feet tall and are ideal for landscaping.

They will make your garden look like a mini palace. They should be planted in dry soil and watered only when the soil is thoroughly parched. This genus is very tolerant of foggy, coastal conditions but might not survive temperatures below 15 degrees. They bloom from spring to summer and give off lovely purple spikes of flowers.

6) Lavender


Lavender is arguably the most famous purple plant. You hear and see its name everywhere.

This plant has a number of medicinal uses. Its aromatic fragrance and oil are converted into perfumes and scented essential oils for massages. It also provides therapeutic relief from respiratory ailments, stress, depression. It even acts as an insect repellant too. Lavender was also used for embalming mummies in ancient Egypt.

Lavender has long indigo to deep purple flower spikes. It can be grown almost anywhere and they grow easily and abundantly. Lavender loves the sun. Plant them a foot away from each other and water after they are totally dry.

7) Pasque Flower

Pasque Flower

Scientifically known as pulsatilla vulgaris, this wild flower blooms only during Easter. This is why it was named after the Paschal feast. It is also called the Easter flower.

These are perennial plants which rabbits absolutely hate. Pasque flower has a few varieties as well with some cultivars having either red or white shades.

These plants are one of the early spring bloomers. They are usually grown along edges and driveways. They often adorn rock gardens. Pasque flower should be planted under lots of sunlight and be watered regularly.

This flower, however, isn’t fit to be ingested as it is poisonous.

8) Purple Cacti

purple cacti

Source: Tanque Verde Construction and Outdoor Design

A cactus can live in arid areas without much water. They are capable of storing water inside their stems.

The purple cacti is a member of the opuntia class of cactus family and they have the same characteristics.

Apart from their lovely blooms and color, purple cacti are also succulent and safe to eat. Cactus plants have been gracing backyard gardens since time immemorial. Wouldn’t it be appealing to grow some attractive, colorful purple cacti in your own place? Give it a try!

9) Purple Orchid

purple orchid

The purple orchid is just one of the many varieties in the orchid family.

Orchids grow most effectively and healthily in tropical countries without much caring needed. In countries with harsher winter seasons, they will require special treatment with plenty of ventilation.

Purple orchids should be grown under a shade or behind a curtained window because direct heat will kill them. These plants can be placed inside near a window during winter to acquire enough air and indirect sunlight.

10) Verbena


Source: J Parker’s

These beautiful purple perennial plants need constant watering. They simply cannot withstand a dry environment.

They grow anywhere from 3 to 6 feet tall. They are very resistant to heat and drought but also need constant watering.

Verbenas require 8 to 10 hours of complete sunlight but they also appreciate cool afternoon shade.

Wrap Up

The color purple is always a very welcoming treat to the eyes. How about if this was the dominant shade that will greet you every day when you head out into your garden? All at once, you will feel relaxed and perfectly prepared to face the tensions of daily life.

We are hoping that this exploration of 10 purple plants for your flower garden article has given you some great ideas. If you have any suggestions or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Happy planting!

Bonsai Tree Care

The art of bonsai continues to be a popular form of gardening all around the world.

Check out our bonsai tree series for a snapshot at several different types of bonsai.

Today, we’ll take a look at bonsai tree care so you can cut through the confusion and confidently take on what can be a very rewarding project.



You’ve got to keep your bonsai properly watered. Dehydration can kill your tree so get this part right.

In general, make sure the soil never gets dry.

Check the soil daily to monitor things.

For a variety of reasons, watering early in the morning works best.

Bear an old Japanese saying in mind when it comes to watering your tree…

“With the bonsai, it rains twice.”

This means you should water until it runs from the holes in the pot. Hold fire for 15 minutes then repeat.

You can mist your leaves to help keep them breathing and free of dust.

Never water your bonsai with a hose that’s been laid in the sun. Let the water run through for a few minutes so it cools down.

If your bonsai has flowers, do not water them.

In summary, you should strike a delicate balance and give your bonsai just enough moisture for its needs without going over the top.


Feeding your bonsai on a regular basis is essential for healthy growth.

Bonsai fertilizer contains the following:

  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium

These elements will have numbers to indicate the proportion of each in the fertilizer. There will also be some inert filler.

With bonsai, you’ll want a balanced fertilizer.  Whereas for some plants and trees a 15-0-15 fertilizer works wonders, bonsai call for a 20-20-20 mix. This has even amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium with 40% filler.

Always water your bonsai thoroughly before applying your fertilizer. Never feed it when it’s dry.

Do not fertilize your bonsai if it’s in poor health. Rather than overcompensating with feed, wait it out until your tree improves before fertilizing.

Don’t keep using the same brand of fertilizer. They all contain slightly different nutrients so it’s worth mixing it up.

Always exercise a light touch. Over-reliance on fertilizer can be damaging for your tree.

Soil Mix



Bonsai trees have different needs. It pays to be familiar with the type of soil preferred by your bonsai.

Some people swear by pre-mixed soil but this is an expensive approach. Mixing your soil at home is a far more economical solution.

It’s crucial that the soil has good aeration. The roots of your bonsai need to breathe easily and produce food.

The soil must also be able to drain effectively. Too much water not draining can lead to suffocated roots.

You also need to be sure that the soil can retain enough moisture so it’s a fine line to tread.

There are 2 principal types of bonsai soil:

  • Conifer mix
  • Tropical/Sub-tropical mix

As long as your soil has the attributes above, you can then tweak and fine-tune it to your requirements.



You owe it to yourself to choose the best environment for your bonsai to grow in.

They need to receive plenty of sunlight and air with a well-maintained temperature. It should be between 50 and 70 degrees at all times. Monitor this with a small thermometer.

If you are growing your bonsai indoors, place it in the brightest window as long as it’s not next to the fireplace.

Grow lights are a great solution if you can’t provide your bonsai with the natural light it demands.

As well as lighting, you’ll also need to think about proper air circulation. Poor quality air can lead to the photosynthesis process in the bonsai being messed with. Sufficient movement of the air can also help keep pests away. Good air circulation also helps transport essential moisture to the leaves and promotes the evaporation of surplus water.

Take action to crack the windows and door allowing some breeze through. Consider purchasing a fan if necessary.

Pots and Containers

bonsai tree care

When you are re-potting your bonsai, opt for a pot that’s slightly wider than your tree. Smaller pots force you to prune more frequently and you will need to re-pot more often. With larger pots, the soil might not dry out properly and in turn the roots can rot. Take your time and get the size right.

There are 2 main styles of bonsai pot:

  • Training pots
  • Display pots

Training Pots For Bonsai

While your tree is in the training phase, keep it in a special training pot made from mica, wood or plastic. You need adequate room for the roots to take and the trunk to settle. Large drainage holes ensure there’s no saturation of the roots leading to rotting.

Display Pots For Bonsai

Once you are up and running, you can re-pot to a ceramic display pot.

These pots are much easier on the eye and come with a variety of finishes. They are available in a wide range of colors and often feature striking designs.

Bonsai pot selection is all part of the fun so embrace it and make sure you get the best pot for the job.


It’s crucial to re-pot your bonsai. The roots grow and need increasingly more space. The soil also hardens so it’s a smart move to replace it.

Failure to re-pot your bonsai at the right time can cause it to wither and subsequently die.

When you’re re-potting, it’s a good chance to prune the roots and conduct some general reshaping.

If the roots of your tree are outgrowing the pot, it’s time to give it a new home. Another sign is water remaining on the surface of the soil. This shows that the soil has hardened and the water is not permeating properly.

Young evergreen conifers should be re-potted every 2 or 3 years. This can slide back to once every 5 years for adult trees. With young deciduous trees, re-pot annually. When they are adult, you can move them every 2 to 3 years.

Re-pot either in spring before the buds start growing or in early fall when they have matured. Carrying out your re-potting at these times will help with rapid root growth.

In the lead-up to re-potting, allow the soil to dry out somewhat. This helps lessen the chance of root damage.

  • Remove and replace some of the old soil. With conifers, replace half the soil for young trees and one-third if they are fully grown. Young deciduous trees need two-thirds of the old soil removed while you can take away half with older trees
  • Clean the old soil from the roots
  • Prune the roots next to stimulate growth. Prune the thinner roots first then the taproot
  • Cover the drainage hole and add wire
  • Put down a layer of coarse soil then some planting soil
  • Place your bonsai tree on top of the planting soil and fix in position with wire
  • Add planting soil until level
  • Flush your soil with water
  • For 2 or 3 weeks, keep your bonsai in a light but shaded area. Keep it clear of wind or direct sunlight
  • Do not let it dry out
  • Do not fertilize until the roots have taken

Tools and Bonsai Supplies

You don’t need much by the way of tools to enjoy the art of bonsai.

Bonsai Wire

Bonsai wire is available in an assortment of shapes and sizes.

Copper is extremely strong but can be unwieldy to use.

1-2mm wire is a sensible starting point. As you practice, wiring becomes easier.

Bonsai Wire Cutters

These cutters are expressly designed for cutting bonsai wire. Don’t be tempted to use regular wire cutters instead. With proper bonsai cutters, you can prevent any damage to the trunk or branches while still enjoying enough jaw pressure to cut evenly.

Consider a good pair of bonsai wire cutters as a sound investment.

Bonsai Shears

These large-handled shears are a fundamental tool for bonsai growing.

You can trim roots, branches, buds or leaves. These shears are very versatile. The blades are sharp and tailor-made for dealing with bonsai.

Japanese Saws

These saws are the size of a large knife with handles for precise movement.

They cut effectively but using relatively little force. Use these saws on branches but not on the roots of your tree.

Root Rake

This is superb for disentangling roots. You can use a root rake safely without worrying about damaging the rest of the true while rescuing the roots.

Pests and Diseases

Bonsai trees are liable to be attacked by a fairly wide number of pests and diseases.

  • Powdery Mildew: This often happens if you water your tree in the evening. If you notice any tiny white granules, remove them. Switch to watering in the morning
  • Thrips: These tiny pests feed on woody plants including the bonsai. Use traps or insecticide depending on what plants you have nearby
  • Spruce Spider Mite: These mites bite into bonsai trees and eat the sap. Although the mites are usually too small to be seen with the naked eye, check for any signs of yellowing on the needles. Spray with insecticidal soap to get rid of the infestation
  • Red Spider: This common pest also eats the foliage of your tree. Since they are resistant to insecticides, introduce predatory mites to kill them off
  • Root Aphids: These aphids attack bald cypress bonsai. Check the outer branches for any signs they are dying off. If these attacks are left untreated, the entire branch can die
  • Caterpillars: Several types of caterpillar feed on various bonsai trees. Remove by hand where possible
  • Snails: Snails can plague tropical bonsai. Use predators rather than chemical treatment. Try to remove them by hand if you catch them early enough


We hope you’ve enjoyed this glance at bonsai tree care.

If you have put off taking on a bonsai for fear of it being too complicated, hopefully now you’re ready to give it a try and armed with plenty of valuable information.

Please contact us any time with your queries or feedback. We love to hear from our readers.

Go and try a bonsai for size. They make a perfect conversation piece either indoors or in the garden. Keep coming back as we will continue our bonsai tree series over the coming months.

Now happy planting!

Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Reviews

Rolling green lawns set off any garden perfectly.

Keeping up with the maintenance can seem like hard work, though.

Once the seed is sown, you need to make sure you give your grass plenty of water. Whether you use a hose or a sprinkler, adequate moisture is absolutely essential.

Fertilizing is also key. You can choose to do this by hand or with a spreader. Whichever method you use, take steps to feed your grass regularly.

How about mowing? Does it have to be such hard work?

Today, we’ll look at some self-propelled lawn mower reviews.

These nifty appliances don’t cost as much as a full-blooded riding mower but they will save you a huge amount of effort.


Before we walk you through 5 of the best self-propelled lawn mowers, we’ll take a look at what they are and what to look out for when buying one…

What Is A Self-Propelled Lawn Mower?

A regular gas mower simply generates the power to cut your grass. It does one job and it does it well.

With self-propelled mowers, as the name suggests, the mower will also power itself around your yard. Where a standard mower only powers the blades, these models divide the power between the blades and the wheels.

Rather than a vertical shaft over the blades, with self-propelled mowers there is a drive train and gearbox so each wheel is powered while the remainder affects the blades.

If you struggle with mobility or lifting heavy weights, this is a superb way to take the sting out of garden maintenance. Self-propelled mowers also work well on any uneven lawns or in gardens set on a slope.

Why Choose a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower?

These mowers are not for everyone.

It pays to take a look at the good and bad points before launching in. You can then decide whether or not you would benefit from one of these nifty labor-saving appliances or if an alternative would better suit you.

Self-Propelled Lawn Mower: Pros

  • Weight: When buying a normal mower, the weight is important. Will you be able to manage it? Although heavier than a regulation gas-powered mower, self-propulsion renders the weight irrelevant
  • No pushing required: All you need to do is guide your mower. No real effort is involved
  • Great for beginners: Mowing the lawn can be tough when you are just starting out. Self-propelled mowers are so user-friendly, even a kid could use them with proper supervision
  • Perfect for hills and slopes: If your yard is hilly, mowing can be a real grind. A gas-fueled mower is too heavy and a zero-turn mower can be volatile, even dangerous. Opt for a self-propelled model and it’s a win-win!

Self-Propelled Lawn Mower: Cons

  • Extra maintenance required: More moving parts leads to additional maintenance. Expect this before buying a self-propelled unit. With the clutch and gearbox, brake and drive train, there’s more to keep on top of
  • Cleaning the deck can be awkward: Where these mowers are very weighty, lifting them can cause problems. Make sure that you’ll be able to cope with cleaning the deck when you need to
  • Handling issues: Depending on the model, self-propelled mowers can be less than smooth. This is why it pays to take your time researching. Don’t end up buying a mower that will be more hassle than help
  • More care is needed in operation: While there are safety measures in place – the drivetrain needs to be engaged via a handle – you must exercise extreme caution when using a self-propelled mower. Don’t let it run away and cause mayhem


You should now have a decent idea whether or not this type of mower would make a good fit for your needs.

What about the different types of self-propelled mower?

Gas or Electric?

While self-propelled mowers differ in many ways, there are 2 main choices:

  • Gas Self-Propelled Mower
  • Electric Self-Propelled Mower

Gas Self-Propelled Mower

Gas-powered self-propelled mowers are heavy and feature-rich.

Most of these mowers come with 4-stroke engines. These deliver enough power for both the blades and wheels. You do come across some 2-cycle engines. These are noisier and less efficient. You will also need to add oil to the fuel.

All gas models come with a clutch and brake.

On the plus side, you’ll get ample power, a mower that’s built to last and with the ability to cut large gardens fuss-free. They also maintain a consistent blade speed.

The principal drawback of gas-powered mowers is the noise coupled with the fumes it gives off. You also be limited by the amount of gasoline you have to hand. You’ll also need much more maintenance. Winterizing it for the first year is sufficient. From that point on, service the drivetrain, gearbox and blades regularly to avoid problems.

The benefits outweigh the disadvantages with gas self-propelled mowers. For this reason, our self-propelled mower reviews focus entirely on this type.

Electric Self-Propelled Mower

Electric self-propelled mowers are powered either through a cord or by battery. They are quiet and come with either single-speed or variable-speed transmission.

Operating in silence and requiring no fuel, you can cut your grass without disturbing the neighbors. There is almost no upkeep required. You can stash your mower away in a limited space with ease.

Whether it’s the length of the power cord or the run-time of the battery, you will be rather restricted with an electric mower. They are also more expensive than gas alternatives.


Now you have a good overview of these awesome assisted machines, it’s time for our self-propelled mower reviews so you can choose the best mower for your circumstances…

5 Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Reviews

First up in our look at the best self-propelled mowers is a rugged and affordable 4-stroke from the industry titan Husqvarna.

The 22-inch steel deck boasts 3-in-1 functionality. You can choose to mulch or bag your grass clippings. You can also opt for side discharge. For most reasonable cutting, a single pass is all that’s required.

The capable 4-cycle motor displaces 160cc. There’s no messing around with oil and it fires up immediately thanks to the automatic choke.

Although it’s a hulking beast at 100 pounds, the self-propelled system means you can work for hours without straining yourself. Since it’s rear-wheel drive, it works brilliantly on slopes and inclines. The large wheels cope with uneven terrain admirably.

You can flick the handle through 3 different positions to find one that works best for you.

Height adjustment is where the Husqvarna really scores. There is a single lever rather than the pair featured on many models. This makes life easier. With 9 cutting heights varying from 1 to 4 inches, you’re spoiled for choice.

If you want a durable and affordable self-propelled mower that offers outstanding cutting power with minimum effort, the Husqvarna 961450023 is a smart choice.


  • 160cc 4-stroke motor is extremely powerful and easy to start
  • Self-propelled mowing so you can cut large areas without undue effort
  • Adjustable ergonomic handle to take the sting out of mowing
  • Jumbo wheels handle all terrain with ease
  • 22-inch deck offers wide cutting path
  • Totally flexible: side discharge, bag or mulch your grass as you see fit


  • Extremely bulky at 100 pounds

Next up in our look at the best self-propelled mowers is a consistent best-seller from Lawn Boy, the 17732.

Although the 144cc engine is not the most powerful on the market, it copes well with most normal gardening duties. Since it’s rear-wheel drive, you’ll have no snags working on a slope or even a steep hill.

You won’t get the same degree of height adjustment as you find on the Husqvarna. Nevertheless, you can tweak the cutting height from 3 ¾ inches right down to a close 1 ¼ inches depending on your needs.

A superb touch with the Lawn Boy is the innovative Tru-Start guarantee. If you can’t get your mower fired up first or second time, you can get it fixed courtesy of the manufacturer without spending a dime.

Whether you roll with side discharge, bagging or mulching, you’ll enjoy a commendable cut quality even if the grass is wet.

For a cost-effective and environmentally sound cutting solution, think long and hard about the Lawn Boy. It’s a rising start in the world of self-propelled mowers. Snap one up before the prices increase!


  • Lightweight for a gas self-propelled mower at just 66 pounds
  • 21-inch cutting deck is long-lasting and gives you a wide cutting path to lessen your workload
  • Rear-wheel drive system works well on steep hills
  • Fantastic 3-year Tru-Start guarantee: if you fail to start your Lawn Boy by the second pull, get it fixed free of charge
  • 144cc engine has plenty of torque and enough power to churn through even large lawns
  • Adjust cutting height from 3 ¾ inches down to as close as 1 ¼ inches for complete flexibility
  • CARB-compliant and eco-friendly


  • Some users complain that there’s not quite enough power so make sure this size engine is a good fit before buying
  • Maintenance can be tiresome: be prepared

Honda has a reputation for first-class products in many different industries. From cars to motorbikes and through to lawn mowers, this Japanese multinational rarely disappoints.

While this mower is not cheap, you get a winning combination of performance, longevity and ease of use from a brand you can rely on.

With a solid 22-inch cutting deck, you can mulch, bag or discharge as with most self-propelled mowers. You’ll be able to work on larger areas of grass without needing to make constant return passes. The dual blades deliver an incredibly close cut. Choose from 6 cutting heights to get the job done right every time.

With a patented Start Safety System, you can lessen the chance of any accidental fire-up.

Although gas-powered mowers have a heavier environmental footprint than electric models, the Honda complies with both CARB and EPA so it’s a notch above most of its competitors.

At 84 pounds, this is not the lightest mower on the market but the self-propulsion makes it seem light as a feather.

For a dependable and precise self-propelled lawn mower that punches above its weight, pop the Honda on your shortlist. It might not be cheap but the best things in life seldom are.


  • Extremely user-friendly unlike some self-propelled models
  • Potent 160cc motor equipped with variable speed for your convenience
  • CARB and EPA-compliant so do your part for the environment as well as your lawn
  • 6 cutting heights from 4 inches down to 1 1/8 inch allows for maximum versatility
  • Start Safety System kills the engine as soon as you release the flywheel so very little chance of an accident
  • Adjust cutting height from 3 ¾ inches down to as close as 1 ¼ inches for complete flexibility
  • Mulch kit and rear bag thrown in free of charge


  • More expensive than much of the competition

As we near the end of our look at the best self-propelled lawn mowers, up steps a superb 21-incher from the highly reputable Snapper.

Powered by a potent 163cc engine, you can work quickly without any drop in cutting quality. You can choose between 6 different heights so you can get precisely the finish you want.

With 8-inch wheels out front and 11-inch wheels behind, you can maneuver over even rough and hilly terrain in complete comfort and safety. At just over 85 pounds, it’s reasonably lightweight for a self-propelled model.

When it comes to washing the deck, a port is included to make this super-simple.

The superb 3-year limited warranty means you can buy without the headache of wondering what happens if things go wrong.

For a powerful and reliable mower that will keep your lawn looking immaculate, test-drive the Snapper today. It might be just what you were hunting for!


  • 6 cutting heights so a highly adaptable mower
  • 163cc Briggs and Stratton engine extremely powerful with no need for choke or priming
  • Perfect for small or large gardens: copes with up to 1 acre with ease even if it’s hilly and uneven
  • 3-in-1 cutting deck is 21 inches to give you a nice wide cutting path
  • Handy port to enable you to easily wash the deck
  • 3-year limited warranty for peace of mind


  • No electric start
  • Can be slightly jerky as with most self-propelled units

Finishing up our self-propelled lawn mower reviews is the TB330 from the heavyweight Troy-Bilt.

Powered by an outstanding 163cc Briggs and Stratton engine, you can take advantage of the single lever to mix up the speed. Some users have reported build quality issues with the plastic lever so use a light touch.

As with almost all self-propelled mowers, you have a 3-way choice… You can discharge the clippings out the side, mulch or bag them instead.

Comfort is uppermost with the Troy-Bilt. The wheels are designed to handle questionable terrain. The handle is exceptionally comfortable. Troy-Bilt even has you covered when it comes to washing your deck. There’s an integrated cleaning system so you can keep things looking tip-top.

Weighing in at 80 pounds, although the Troy-Bilt is reasonably lightweight for a self-propelled mower. Guiding the mower around on its high-performance wheels is a breeze.

For a solid and efficient self-propelled mower that’s built to stand the test of time, you could do far worse than the Troy-Bilt TB330. The 2-year limited warranty is the finishing touch.


  • 163cc Briggs and Stratton engine packs a real punch
  • Variable-speed control thanks to 1 simple lever so versatile and user-friendly
  • 21-inch deck with deck wash built in
  • 3-in-1 discharge with a large bag included if you prefer to bag your clippings
  • Superb wheels and an adjustable handle so you can work in comfort for prolonged periods


  • Plastic rear-wheel drive levers are flimsy
  • Does not work well if the grass is wet


We trust you found some useful snippets in these self-propelled mower reviews.

Rather than looking at garden maintenance as a chore, try to focus on the relaxing benefits instead. If you invest in the best self-propelled mower, you can take the strain out of cutting the grass without necessarily spending a fortune.

Feel free to share any of our articles on your social media.

Contact us any time with any queries or feedback. We are always delighted to hear from our readers.

Happy mowing!

Best Fire Pit Reviews

It’s here at last…

After the long colder months, it’s finally time for the onset of summer. From lounging by the pool or the koi pond through to eating with friends in the garden, it’s wonderful to relax.

Just as you might seek shade under your patio umbrella during the day, extra heat during the cooler evenings can be welcome.

Today, we’ll look at 5 fire pit reviews so you can bring some much-needed warmth and atmosphere to your garden gatherings.

Using Fire Pit

We’ll also give you a rundown on what to look for when you are buying the best fire pit.

So first thing’s first…

What are these ingenious contraptions?

What Is A Fire Pit?

Portable heaters are highly effective. Unfortunately, they can also be rather expensive.

That’s where a fire pit fills the gap.

These mobile fireplaces are highly portable, easy to clean and you can set them up without any tiresome installation.

If you want to multi-task, shoot for a grilling fire pit. You can BBQ then eat by the glowing fire.

Why Use A Fire Pit?

There are 3 principal reasons why investing in a fire pit is a smart move.

  • Safety
  • Full Range of Use
  • Variety and Versatility


If you set your fire pit up properly, it’s an incredibly safe source of heat.

The majority of permanent fire pits have walls that will stop any potential sparks from going astray. Wire mesh can be added over the flame for an extra touch of security.

With gas fire pits, all you need to do is tweak a knob and you can control them safely and easily.

Full Range of Use

Fire pits provide both light and a burst of warmth. As if that’s not enough, you can cook with them as well.

Check out some recipes here and slap some meat on the BBQ.

Fire pits look good and cater for all your needs in one inexpensive package.

Variety and Versatility

Whether you want a permanent or portable fire pit, you’re spoiled for choice.

With a wide selection of striking designs, you can ensure that your fire pit is the focal point of your patio area.

When it comes to portable pits, decide whether you prefer to use gas or wood for fuel and choose one that best suits your needs. For campers and outdoor lovers alike, a portable fire pit can add a new dimension to your experience.

What To Look For When Buying A Fire Pit


Fire pits come in a host of different materials. Some are better in terms of durability while others place a premium on design.

We’ll look at 5 common materials used to make the best fire pits…

  • Stainless Steel: Durable and immune to rust, stainless steel fire pits are built to last. There are not many models finished this way so you will be limited for choice
  • Steel: Steel pits are highly versatile but prone to rust over time. Look for a powder-coated finish to combat this
  • Copper: Rust-free copper fire pits are among the most desirable models. They look great and last for years but that does come at a cost
  • Brick: These fire pits often come with a steel frame and a mesh containing brick or stone. These fire pits are extremely heavy. They work well but only as a permanent fixture
  • Cast Iron: Cheap, lightweight and durable, cast iron fire pits are perhaps the most popular. You’ll lose out a little on strength but they are highly portable and very convenient


Size matters.

Think about exactly what you want from your fire pit. Perhaps you want a permanent feature set up on your patio. You might want something lightweight and ultra-portable for your camping trips. Being honest about your needs will help you to get the very best fire pit.

There are 3 broad sizes:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large


If you want to move your pit around frequently, a small one is by far your best bet. Whether it’s using it while you’re camping or popping it in the car for a BBQ at a friend’s house, portable pits deliver.

Look for a portable pit that will fold up to make your life easier. Some come with a handy carrying case.

Small fire pits are usually anywhere from 20 to 25 inches in diameter. This means they are compact enough for fuss-free transportation but powerful enough for your needs.


Next up is a mid-size fire pit. These are from 30 to 35 inches wide.

In many ways, these are the best compromise. You get a perfect combination of performance and maneuverability.

There’s a wide range of styles in this medium-sized bracket. They can all hold a nice stack of wood.


If you insist on a roaring fire and don’t mind a bit of maintenance, look for a large fire pit 40 to 45 inches across. These larger models are roughly the same size as a table.

Obviously, once you have installed a fire pit of these dimensions, it’s not straightforward to move it around.

For a permanent and highly effective source of heat and light in the garden, these bumper fire pits are hard to beat.


Fire pits run on 1 of 3 fuel sources:

  • Natural Gas
  • Propane
  • Wood

Natural Gas

The most expensive fire pits run on natural gas delivered by a professionally installed line.

These pits are not cheap to buy but in the long run they work out great value and they are very clean.

Using them is super-simple with a basic ignition and control system.

If you are looking for a long-term investment, roll with a natural gas fire pit.


For a convenient and user-friendly fire pit, go propane.

Push a button and you’ll have a fire going in seconds flat. You won’t be faced with any messy clean-up and you can control the flame precisely and easily.

On the flipside, liquid propane is expensive. You’ll also need to think about the cost of a potential replacement LP tank. If you don’t like the idea of an exposed tank, some models disguise it in a concealed unit.

Make sure you think carefully about a propane fire pit. Make sure it will work for you before launching in and buying something unsuitable.


The cheapest option, a wood-burning fire pit creates wonderful roaring flames. You’ll get heat and light in abundance.

You will need to put in more overall effort, though. You have to think about buying and storing wood and then getting rid of the ashes when your fire is dead.

For a simple but effective fire pit, a wood-burner is a decent starting point.


Once again, think carefully about how you plan to use your fire pit. This will help you to get the most fitting style.

Grilling pits are the obvious choice if you intend to do plenty of cooking. There’s nothing quite like the taste of a BBQ so look for one of these if you want more than just heat and light from your fire pit.

Some fire pits are designed to serve as a table. Sit around a unique and striking heated table or just pop some drinks on there as you relax under your patio umbrella.

If you simply want a nice source of glowing heat, a basic fire pit is perfectly adequate.

Think about your needs and buy accordingly. There is no right or wrong answer but you have a huge array of fire pits at your disposal Get the best one for you!


Now you have a decent understanding of what it takes to get the best fire pit for your needs, we’ll check out some reviews.

If you take your time and check out what each of these products has to offer, finding the best one for your personal situation should be stress-free.

5 Best Fire Pit Reviews

Product Name


Diameter (inches)



Our Rating

Landmann 26364 Savannah Garden Light Fire Pit

Landmann 26364 Savannah Garden Light Fire Pit

23 ½



Editor Choice

Best Choice Products BCP Outdoor Fireplace

Best Choice Products BCP Outdoor Fireplace





Sun Joe SJFP35-STN Cast Stone Fire Pit

Sun Joe SJFP35-STN Cast Stone Fire Pit


Cast stone



Zeny Fire Pit 32" Outdoor Square Metal Firepit

Zeny Fire Pit 32" Outdoor Square Metal Firepit


Steel and faux-stone



AZ Patio Heaters Fire Pit with Round Table

AZ Patio Heaters Fire Pit with Round Table


Stainless Steel



First up in our look at the best fire pits is the Landmann 26364, an understated black 23 ½-inch in steel that will last the distance.

This is a fire-burning pit. You’ll get a poker thrown in and there’s a handy spark screen to prevent any rogue embers going astray.

If you need to move this lightweight and portable pit around, a couple of handles make your life easier.

The cutaway design of this fire pit means that as well as heat you can get plenty of subdued lighting as well.

For a decorative yet durable fire pit that doesn’t cost the earth, the Landmann 26364 tops our fire pit reviews. It’s the perfect mix of aesthetics, performance and durability at a keen price.

Next in our fire pit reviews is a no-nonsense hexagonal bowl from Best Choice products.

The pedestal base and intricate lattice bowl both have 6 sides. The design is striking enough to complement any garden furniture.

Wood-burning and compatible with a range of woods, you can relax without worrying about the expense of propane.

At 25 inches across, this pit is small enough to be considered portable but substantial enough to look at home on the patio as a permanent focal point.

For a durable and compact fire pit that looks great and will last for years, check this out today and see if the design is to your taste.

Sun Joe’s cast stone fire pit is much more substantial measuring in at 35 inches.

The heat resistant bowl is 29 inches across and there’s a 24-inch screen for your safety.

With an incredibly attractive cast stone base, this beautiful fire pit would look at home in any surroundings.

Pull up some chairs, throw on some wood and kick back to relax while you watch the flames dance before your eyes.

While this is not the cheapest option, you get an ornamental centerpiece rather than merely a functional source of heat.

As we near the end of our fire pit reviews, here’s a mid-size 32-inch from Zeny that delivers in fine style.

This is a bulky unit at just under 30 pounds so it’s best to set it up in your garden and be done with. This is not a portable pit.

Finished in steel with a faux-stone design, this square pit has enough space around the edges to pop your glass on while you rack up some food on the charcoal rack provided. You’ll also get a poker bundled in so you can get some skewers of meat going in no time.

With a mesh cover over the grill and a cloth cover to protect it when not in use, you can throw on some wood to get a fierce fire the safe way.

If you’re looking for a great multipurpose fire pit that won’t break the bank, check out this Zeny today.

Finishing up our look at the best fire pits is a round 30-incher from AZ Patio Heaters. You can also opt for a square or scroll design.

Slate tiles sit around the edge of a large dome with a mesh screen. Aesthetics play an important role in fire pits. You want something that looks good and does the intended job. This round pit excels on all fronts.

Although it’s a fairly sizeable piece of equipment, this pit is surprisingly portable.

The deep bowl is great for roaring fires. You can rustle yourself up some food as you warm your hands by the flickering flames.

You’ll get a 1-year limited warranty so you can buy with complete confidence.


We hope you have found some inspiration in these fire pit reviews as a way to stay warm in the garden without needing an expensive heating solution.

Spending out on garden tools, whether it’s a new chain for your chainsaw or a submersible pump for your pond seems second nature. We expect to pay for gardening equipment. Try treating yourself to something that might not be strictly necessary but will allow you to enjoy relaxing in your garden after you have put in so much hard work.

Feel free to reach out with any questions or feedback you might have. We love to hear from our readers and try to help in any way we can.

Now get that fire pit going!

Japanese Maple Bonsai

Gardening takes on many different forms.

From raising strawberries or potatoes in your vegetable patch through to pretty flowers in the garden, you are spoiled for choice.

Bonsai trees are an interesting way to inject a bit of variety into your foliage.

We have recently examined the rosemary bonsai, juniper bonsai and Jack pine bonsai. Today, we’ll continue our look at these miniature trees with a glance at the Japanese maple bonsai.

First thing’s first, a few simple facts about this striking tree.

Some Japanese Maple Bonsai Basics


Japanese Maple Bonsai

Acer palmatum, the Japanese maple, is a deciduous tree native to Asia.

The leaves on this beautiful tree turn magnificent shades of red, orange and gold during the fall. If you want a wonderful injection of color into your garden, think seriously about one of these maples.

These bonsai require very little by the way of care and maintenance. They make a great starting point for anyone interested in the art of bonsai but concerned about the difficulty level.

You can keep your Japanese maple indoors if you have an apartment in need of livening up.

With over 300 types of Japanese maple tree, you really are spoiled for choice.

How To Choose a Japanese Maple Bonsai

There are a few simple things to take into account when looking for a Japanese maple bonsai…

  • Climate: When you are choosing a bonsai, you should opt for one that can tolerate 2 zones colder than the one you live in. It pays to be cautious. The Japanese maple works best in USDA zones 5 and 6
  • Position: Think about where you will be planting your tree. Will there be plenty of direct sunlight? How about shade? The ideal set-up for these bonsai is a burst of sun in the morning followed by a shaded afternoon. They do not respond well to full days in the sun
  • Size: These Japanese maple come in a wide array of shapes and sizes. If you are committed to pruning perhaps twice a year, keeping these bonsai down to size is not a hassle. If you prefer a less hands-on maintenance routine, go for one that will grow to the space provided
  • Coloring: One of the key attractions of the Japanese maple is the way in which the leaves are colored. If you live in a hotter climate with lots of direct sun, the green leaved Japanese maple would be the best fit. Those with red or variegated leaves will  be far less tolerant of prolonged heat and uninterrupted sunlight

Caring For Your Japanese Maple Bonsai


Caring For Your Japanese Maple Bonsai

Where To Put Your Japanese Maple Bonsai

Japanese maple prefers to be positioned in plenty of sun and air.

Be careful, though. These trees are intolerant to direct sunlight during the hotter summer months.

The occasional touch of frost won’t be a disaster but protect your tree when the temperatures start to dip below -10 degrees.


Solid organic fertilizer works best with the Japanese maple. This is slow-release and contains all the valuable nutrients your bonsai needs. If you want to encourage more vigorous growth, introduce a liquid fertilizer alongside.

You should feed your tree every couple of weeks through spring and summer. When fall comes around, switch to a liquid fertilizer. Cut the feed entirely in winter. Your bonsai will be dormant.

You should steer clear of fertilizer that’s too rich in nitrogen. This causes the leaves to grow excessively.


The Japanese maple cries out for soil which is nice and moist.

Over the course of the growing season, you’ll want to water pretty much daily. It’s not a disaster if you skip a day but you should stick to a regular schedule as much as possible.

During the hottest months, you might need to water your tree several times a day. This is particularly true if your soil drains well and your bonsai is in peak health.

When the tree goes dormant over winter, water just often enough to keep the soil sufficiently damp.

Potting Medium and Repotting

Japanese akadama clay is the best bet when it comes to growing medium. You can mix in some lava rock or pumice if you like. You want a mixture that will drain effectively.

With younger trees, you should re-pot them each year. Drop this to once every 3 years once your tree hits the age of 10.

Re-pot in spring just before the buds start opening.


pruning bonsai

Source: Garden Walk Garden Talk

Root growth is strong with the Japanese maple so you should keep on top of pruning roots. Consider this ongoing maintenance.

You can also trim the twigs and shoots around the year.

Pruning leaves during the period of active growth will help to reduce their size. Pruning like this will also enhance the colors when fall comes around.

The main branches should be pruned in winter. Attack strong branches in the fall.

It’s a smart idea to use cut-paste after pruning. This tree can be prone to fungal diseases entering through any cuts.


The best time to wire your tree, if necessary, is during the summer when all the leaves are in place.

Restrict any wiring to a maximum of 6 months.

Raffia is a neat way to safeguard the bark.

Pests and Diseases

Although the Japanese maple is quite a resilient tree, aphids can become a menace. Use a regular insecticide to kill them off.

Verticillium wilt can be catastrophic for these bonsai. If you see black spots on fresh cuts, your tree is probably infected by this nasty fungal disease. Destroy your tree and sterilize all your bonsai tools. The wilt can easily spread through contaminated tools.


We hope you have found this glimpse at the Japanese maple bonsai to be interesting and informative.

Get in touch any time if you have any feedback or any questions at all. We’re more than happy to help you and love hearing from our readers.

We’ll continue our journey into the world of bonsai with a look at how to care for your bonsai.

Come back next week for some handy hints!

Juniper Bonsai Tree

The art of bonsai continues to grow in popularity.

Check out our previous article on the rosemary bonsai for some background information on the history of the intriguing art of growing miniature trees.

Some Juniper Bonsai Basics

Scientifically known as Juniperus chinensis, the juniper bonsai is a member of the Cypress family.

These coniferous trees vary greatly in terms of growth. They range from pretty low-slung shrubs through to 15-foot trees.

The hardness of the deep red wood makes it ideal for cabinet making.

Juniper berries are used for spices and also for gin.

The Benefits of The Juniper Bonsai Treejuniper bonsai

Source: Pinterest

Bonsai in general can be pretty tricky to grow. Fortunately, juniper bonsai are one of the easiest types to bring on successfully.

They are highly durable in the sunlight and extremely versatile. Unlike most other bonsai trees, the juniper bonsai can grow equally well indoors or outside. They favor outdoor conditions.

If you take them out in the garden, it’s best to just plant them in regular garden soil. If you use containers, you are likely to restrict growth.

One of the key advantages of the juniper bonsai is that it can cope with neglect. It’s not going to die off if you forget to water it. Indeed, over-watering can be fatal so go sparingly.

Your juniper bonsai will be dormant over water. You can go easy on the watering during these months but don’t forget to give it some sunlight. If you live somewhere with a particularly cold climate, you’d be advised to bring  your tree indoors over the winter months.

Caring For Your Juniper Bonsai

juniper bonsai tree

Source: Bonsai Empire

Where To Put Your Juniper Bonsai

Place your juniper bonsai anywhere it will get at least 4 hours of sunlight.

Opt for soil that is slightly dry if possible. Your tree will appreciate it.


You should use a half-strength liquid fertilizer on a monthly basis in fall and spring. Look for a fertilizer that is particularly rich in nitrogen in spring. Use feed with lower nitrogen levels in the fall.

There is no need for any kind of feeding regime in the summer.

Your tree will be dormant over winter. All it needs is water and a little light.

If you re-pot your juniper bonsai, leave it a while before introducing fertilizer.


Many bonsai trees are thirsty. The juniper bonsai can tolerate being fairly dry in between watering. They actually prefer drier soil but don’t overdo it and keep them too dry.

It’s good practice to monitor the soil daily so you can add moisture when it’s called for.

Make absolutely certain that the water is able to drain. If not, the roots are prone to rotting.

Keep a spray bottle handy to mist the leaves. Spraying the leaves helps them to breathe. This is doubly important for any re-potted juniper bonsai. The roots will need to settle in. Misting keeps dehydration at bay without menacing the roots as they adjust.

How Do You Tell If Your Juniper Bonsai Needs Watering?

Simply stick a chopstick a couple of inches into the soil. Leave it for 10 minutes then remove it. If the chopstick is damp, you’re all good. A dry chopstick means it’s time for watering.

Potting Medium and Repotting

Growing juniper bonsai directly in the soil is by far your best bet. They will perform in containers but they are likely to be stunted and retarded.

If you choose to use pots, make sure you re-pot every other year. Follow the guidance above regarding watering and fertilizing as your tree gets used to its new home.

Once your tree hits 10 years old, you can dial back the re-potting. For these older trees, changing pots every 3 to 4 years is about right. It’s a smart idea to prune the roots each time you re-pot.


All bonsai thrive on humidity. It forms an important part of their growth cycle. Indeed, if the environment becomes too moist, they will wither up and potentially die.

Take steps to ensure that humidity levels are sufficient for your tree’s needs. If you don’t, you could end up disappointed.


Although you can keep juniper bonsai indoors, they would rather be outside enjoying natural sunlight.

They can deal with direct sunlight but it’s advisable to position them somewhere tht benefits from afternoon shade.

If you do choose to keep your tree indoors, opt for somewhere light with plenty of air.


If you need to do any pruning, take care of it during the spring or summer. Pinch any new shoots back as soon as they get an inch long.

Tail off with the pruning in September.



Source: Pinterest

You’ll have no problem at all wiring your juniper bonsai.

You should always use wire cutters and work with care to avoid damaging the tree.

What To Do With a Sick Juniper Bonsai

bonsai watering

Source: Dengarden

One problem with juniper bonsai is that can appear outwardly healthy when they are, in fact, struggling. Often, by the time you notice that something is amiss, it’s too late.

If your tree is looking a little brown and withered, there are a few things you can do to step in…

  • Scratch your fingernail on the trunk. If it’s green, there’s still some life left in your tree
  • Check the roots. They should be firm and white. Any sign of mushy or darkened roots suggests rotting
  • Trim away any potentially rotted sections of root
  • Make sure the soil is sandy enough and that it’s draining properly
  • Monitor the way you care for your bonsai. Avoid overwatering and use an appropriate fertilizer. Those fertilizers meant for evergreen trees are ideal
  • Prune any areas of dead foliage


We hope you have enjoyed this look at the striking juniper bonsai.

Please feel free to contact us any time if you have any questions. We are more than happy to help.

If you fancy getting started in the world of bonsai, the juniper bonsai makes a very wise starting point.

Give it a go!

Best Electric Chainsaw Reviews

Garden maintenance takes on many forms and demands a wide assortment of tools.

Cutting and trimming takes on many forms. It all depends on your personal circumstances and the type of work you want to do.

Perhaps you want to chop your firewood by hand with an axe. If there are large piles, a log splitter is probably your best option.

Today, we’ll look at an old classic: the chainsaw.

As well as checking out 5 electric chainsaw reviews, we’ll show you what to look out for when you are trying to find the best model for your needs.

Once you’ve got the best electric chainsaw, bar and sharpener, you’re all set to make light work of all your cutting and trimming.

First thing’s first…

Why Use a Chainsaw?

Although the first thing that springs to mind with chainsaws is a heavy-duty piece of kit for loggers or forestry workers, they are surprisingly useful for the average home gardener.

If you have a large garden with trees, trimming and maintenance is essential. From lopping off unwieldy branches to general pruning, chainsaws do the job efficiently and effectively.

What style of chainsaw should you get, though?

Gas or Electric?

For really serious wood cutting, especially out in the forest, gas-powered chainsaws are the smart choice. If you have a large tree or big projects, these powerhouses are noisy but get the job done in no time.

Today, we’ll focus on the best electric chainsaws. These are much quieter and better suited to lighter pruning and trimming in the yard or even indoors. Although they are less powerful, they are also lighter and more maneuverable.

If you’re looking for a hulking beast, check out our look at the best professional chainsaws. If you want something smaller for home use, read on…

Types of Electric Chainsaw

If you’re set on an electric chainsaw, you’ve got 2 main choices straight off the bat:

  • Corded
  • Cordless


While you will be restricted by the need for a power outlet, you don’t need to worry about downtime for charging a corded chainsaw.

If you opt for a corded model, an extension cord or generator can give you added freedom of movement. Make sure that any cord you use is rated for outdoor use.


The best electric chainsaws overall are cordless and battery-powered. The higher the power in volts, the more powerful the chainsaw. Most batteries are lithium-ion and built to last.

These are not quite so powerful and you will need to monitor the battery to ensure that it has enough charge for your needs.

For versatility and a proven home cutting solution, cordless electric chainsaws are lightweight, easy to use and perfect for lighter gardening duties.

What To Look For When Buying The Best Electric Chainsaw

Guide Bar: Length

One of the most critical measurements when it comes to chainsaws is the length of the guide bar. This is taken from where the chain enters the housing to the tip.

Bar length is the active cutting area. It translates to the biggest piece of wood you can cut with a single pass. With smaller chainsaws, you can still cut longer lengths but you’ll need a second or third pass.

If you think about the lengths of wood you are likely to cut and add 2 inches, that should be a perfect match.

Most electric chainsaws have a guide bar from 14 inches to 20 inches.

The downside of longer bar lengths is a less balanced feel to the chainsaw and more chance of kickback. This is when the end of the guide bar comes into contact with another object. If the wood pinches the chain, it can kick back in a swift, violent reverse action.


It goes without saying that using a chainsaw can be potentially very dangerous.

It’s critical to wear safety goggles, protective clothing like chainsaw chaps and to exercise extreme caution when cutting. It’s possible to buy combined head protection systems. These have a hard hat with integrated hearing protection and visor.

There are plenty of anti-kickback chains available and these are well worth considering.

Every year, there are over 100,000 chainsaw-related injuries in the US alone. Don’t become one of these statistics. Take your time, dress appropriately and respect the power of your chainsaw.

Strength and Fitness

Using a chainsaw is a pretty physical endeavor.

When it comes to buying the best electric chainsaw, it’s essential to be honest about your levels of strength and fitness. Think about how long you will be operating your chainsaw for and take into account how you fare carrying comparable weights for that length of time.

Once you have factored in fatigue and the weight of the chainsaw, you should be able to find one perfectly tailored to your requirements.

Now that you have a solid overview of what to look for, it’s time for our electric chainsaw reviews. We’ll look at 5 of the leading products to simplify your buying decision and ensure you get the right tool for the job.

5 Best Electric Chainsaw Reviews

Top 5
Electric Chainsaws


Guide Bar Length (Inches))



Our Rating

WORX WG303.1 Electric Chainsaw

WORX 16-Inch 14.5 Amp Electric Chainsaw with Auto-Tension, Chain Brake, and Automatic Oiling – WG303.1


14.5 amps


Editor Choice

BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 40V MAX Lithium Ion Chainsaw

BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 40V MAX Lithium Ion Chainsaw


40 volts



GreenWorks 20312 G-MAX 40V 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw

GreenWorks 20312 G-MAX 40V 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw


40 volts



Makita XCU02PT 18V Chainsaw Kit

Makita XCU02PT 18V Chainsaw Kit


18 volts



BLACK+DECKER CS1518 15-Amp Corded Chainsaw

BLACK+DECKER CS1518 15-Amp Corded Chainsaw


15 amps



First up in our look at the best electric chainsaws is a consistent best-seller from the highly reputable WORX.

This 16-inch electric model offers similar power to a gas-fueled chainsaw without the noise or fumes.

The 14.5 amp motor kicks out 3.5 HP and will help you to cut through even thicker pieces of wood without straining yourself.

With automatic lubrication, you won’t need to keep oiling the chain. This is also kept at the correct tension for hundreds of uses and limits the chance of over-tightening.

There’s a low kickback bar and a built-in brake so that there’s very little chance of you coming to grief. Safety should always be uppermost with the best electric chainsaw.

With the added bonus of a decent 3-year warranty, you can buy without a headache and take care of all the cutting in your garden with this powerful but lightweight chainsaw.


  • Capable 14.5 amp motor develops 3.5 HP and is more than enough for most home cutting needs
  • 16-inch bar length so cut even longer lengths with a single pass
  • Chain brake for your safety to minimize any chance of kickback
  • Lightweight and cordless but no sacrifice on cutting power
  • ​Automatic chain tension and lubrication for your complete convenience
  • Buy with confidence thanks to 3-year limited warranty


  • No replacement parts available so effectively a disposable chainsaw

Next up in our look at the best electric chainsaws is a cordless 12-inch from the industry heavyweight BLACK + DECKER.

The LCS1240 has a 40V lithium-ion battery that can hold a charge for up to 18 months. This will give you fade-free performance. There’s nothing worse than a battery that starts to lose power long before the cycle is complete.

Although this cordless chainsaw packs quite a punch, it’s also very compact and lightweight at 10 pounds. With no cord to encumber you, this really is a maneuverable and capable piece of kit.

Chain tensioning and oiling are taken care of automatically so there’s very little by the way of tiresome maintenance.

Although there are cheaper chainsaws out there, if you are looking for a no-nonsense addition to your power tool arsenal, pop the BLACK + DECKER LCS1240 on your shortlist. You will not be disappointed.


  • Fade-free performance from 40V lithium-ion battery so enjoy full power throughout the charge cycle
  • Lightweight with ergonomic handle so work for long periods without straining yourself
  • Brand heritage and build quality you can rely on
  • No tools needed for chain tensioning
  • Oregon bar and chain measures 12 inches and lessens the likelihood of kickback
  • Auto-oiling for total ease of operation


  • Not the cheapest option but excellent value for money

GreenWorks have built a reputation for top-notch gardening tools and power tools at a reasonable price point. While they are not the cheapest available, they represent exceptional value for money.

This 40-volt cordless electric chainsaw is available with battery and charger or as a bare tool for a lower price. Make sure you get the correct package.

You’ll get plenty of safety features with very little chance of kickback but no compromise on cutting power. For such a powerful unit, the 20312 is also highly portable at less than 7 pounds.

There’s automatic oiling to save you messing around and you’ll get very little vibration.

With an instant electric start to save you all the hassle of a gas-powered alternative, you can enjoy a torquey and able chainsaw that’s built to last the distance.

As an added bonus, this is compatible with 14 different GreenWorks lawn tools for a fully integrated solution.


  • Brushless motor design delivers superb cutting power
  • Experience up to 70% less vibration so work in comfort
  • Chain brake and low kickback chain as standard for your safety
  • Up to 150 cuts on a single charge so no need to constantly stop and start
  • Ultra-lightweight at under 7 pounds
  • Lengthy 16-inch bar so cut longer pieces in one pass


  • Reasonably expensive

As we near the end of our look at the best electric chainsaws, here’s a great kit from the legendary Makita, the XCU02PT.

The kit we looked at includes a pair of 18V lithium-ion batteries in addition to the chainsaw. You can also buy this as a bare tool or opt for an even pricier kit which also includes a grinder. These batteries charge remarkably quickly so you won’t be inconvenienced with a lengthy wait.

With a 12-inch guide bar, you’ll need to make more than one pass with longer lengths but you can enjoy precise cutting and this chainsaw will cope with most regular garden duties.

Even though it packs a punch, the Makita is a very quiet tool so you can beaver away without disturbing the neighbors.

Plenty of safety features allow you to work confidently even if you are not the most experience chainsaw operator. Both the tool and battery are covered by a 3-year warranty. This is a very strong contender for the best electric chainsaw. It only sits at fourth on our list due to its reasonably high price.


  • Rapid cutting with chain speed of 1650 FPM
  • 2 batteries included, 18V lithium-ion
  • 12 inch guide bar for combination of capacity and control
  • Adjust the chain tool-free for ease of use
  • Extremely quiet at just over 60 decibels
  • Front hand guard and chain brake for your safety and security


  • Watch out for chain loosening

We will round out our electric chainsaw reviews with a corded model from the tool giant BLACK + DECKER. Although, as we mentioned, cordless generally win out, there are some situations in which a corded chainsaw works best.

With a highly capable 15-amp motor and a generous 18-inch guide bar, you’ll make very light work of even ambitious cutting tasks.

As with most of the best electric chainsaws, you’ll enjoy tool-free tensioning and you can rest secure in the knowledge that the chain brake will step in if there’s any kickback.

While corded models can give you less room for maneuver, the raw power you get in return goes some way to make up for this. If you do not need to roam around and you are prepared to deal with the inconvenience of a power cord, the CS1518 might just be the best fit for your needs.

You’ll be covered by the usual BLACK + DECKER 2-year warranty so you can buy stress-free.


  • 18-inch Oregon chain reduces kickback and allows you to cut long pieces in one shot
  • Chain brake for your safety
  • Automatic oiling system takes the sting out of maintaining the chain
  • Extremely good value for money considering the brand heritage
  • Tension the chain without needing to reach for your toolkit
  • Powerful 15 amp motor suitable for even heavier-duty cutting projects


  • Saw can be prone to unplugging from the extension cord


We hope you enjoyed these chainsaw reviews. If you take your time and check out any of the options above, you’ll take the sting out of chopping firewood without breaking the bank.

If you don’t want to break out the log splitter, having the best electric chainsaw is the next best thing. You can cut down even large volumes of logs down to size without straining yourself.

Feel free to get in touch if there are any aspects of gardening you would like us to cover. We are always interested in feedback from our readers.

Happy chopping!

Best Pond Aerator Reviews

Water features bring a garden to life.

Whether you want a pond for your precious koi carp or a decorative area surrounded by plants, you’ll need to invest in some equipment for best results.

A filter will keep things nice and clean. Perhaps you’ll need a pond vacuum as well and, if you want a little atmosphere at night, the best pond lights

You’ll also certainly need to think about aeration.

Luckily, we’re here to make that job easier. Today, we’ll examine some pond aerator reviews and show you 5 of the very best products for your money.

If you’re on the hunt for the best pond aerator, read on!

Why Aerate Your Pond?

If you want your pond to remain in peak health, proper aeration is key. It’s doubly important if you plan to keep fish.

You’ll find that a degree of oxygen will diffuse into the water on the surface. Unless you have an enormous pond or a bare handful of fish, most ponds will need a helping hand when it comes to oxygenation.

So, while not every pond requires aeration, every pond would find it beneficial.

Aerate Your Pond Naturally

A wise selection of plants can do wonders for the quantity of dissolved oxygen in your pond.

Although most plants will grow pretty easily with very little maintenance, be careful when you are choosing. Some can be rather too much for smaller ponds. Canadian pond weed is an example of something too vigorous unless you have a huge pond and don’t mind getting your hands dirty. Other types of pond weed, Elodea crispa and Egeria densa work well and oxygenate efficiently.

Not only will these plants enhance aeration, they can also assist with the overall health of your pond. By absorbing excessive nutrients, algal blooms are kept at bay.

Moving Water to Help Aeration

Any features like a fountain or waterfall can be very helpful alongside the best pond aerator.

You win 3 ways with this type of cascading splash:

  • Help oxygen diffuse on the surface
  • Underwater currents help to push aerated water around the pond
  • Brings the pond alive

The majority of pond pumps have an attachment that allows you to hook up a fountain fuss-free.

Cascades and waterfalls require a little more effort but the effects can be stunning. And they not only look great, they integrate with a good aeration system to ensure your pond is in tip-top shape.

Get The Right Aerator For Your Pond

This might seem obvious but it’s crucial that you buy the best pond aerator for the dimensions of your water feature. Aeration kits are usually rated according to the capacity and depth of pond they will service.

Pay close attention to the depth. If you go deeper than recommended, you risk ruining the diaphragm and reducing the operational life of your pump.

It’s not a question of getting the best pond aerator but rather of focusing on the best pond aerator for you.

Benefits of The Best Pond Aerators

The primary advantage of aerating is protecting your precious fish.

By adding air, you also help to support beneficial bacteria. This means if you have any issues with water quality or algae, there’s a chance you can improve the situation by aerating.

The air output of pond aerators is given as CFM. This can be a useful measurement but if you buy the right size kit for the capacity of your pond, most will aerate perfectly adequately. More output does not necessarily translate to superior results.

What Else To Consider When Buying The Best Pond Aerator

As long as you have the size sorted out, budget clearly plays an important part. Think about how much you can afford to spend and stick to it. This alone will narrow your options and make life easier.

Warranties are obviously worth looking into. Most aeration kits come covered from 2-3 years so you’re in safe hands.

Overall, buying the best pond aerator is really not so difficult. If you make sure that the specs of the kit you want exceeds the demands of your pond, you’ll be good to go.


Now it’s time for our pond aerator reviews. We will present 5 options that are all very capable kits that will give your water all the air it needs without breaking the bank.

5 Best Pond Aerator Reviews

Product Name


Pond Capacity (gallons)

Pond Depth(feet)


Our Rating

Laguna Aeration Kit For Ponds

Laguna Aeration Kit For Ponds

All sizes



Editor Choice

Aquascape 75000 Double Outlet Aeration Kit

Aquascape 75000 Double Outlet Aeration Kit





Airmax PondAir 4 Aeration Kit

Airmax PondAir 4 Aeration Kit





TetraPond 19706 Air Pump Kit

TetraPond 19706 Air Pump Kit





AirPro Pond Aerator Kit

AirPro Pond Aerator Kit

1 acre




First up is an extremely inexpensive aeration kit from Laguna suitable for all sizes of ponds.

You’ll get a highly capable air pump kicking out a constant 4 PSI.

Also thrown in is 30 feet of weatherproof tubing, an air stone and a float.

The manufacturer claims this kit is suitable for all pond sizes. No specific further information is available regarding capacity or depth.

If you want to keep your fish in peak condition and boost the quality of the water in your pond over winter, this aeration kit is well worth checking out.

Next up in our look at the best pond aerators is the 75000 double outlet from Aquascape.

This stealthy piece of kit offers power and durability without the noise that plagues some aeration systems.

The air line is good for all weather and you’ll get 2 weighted air stones.

The Aquascape 75000 is ideal for ponds up to 2000 gallons and 8.5 feet deep.

This aerator needs remarkably little maintenance so you can set it up and relax confident that your fish will get all the air they need.

AirMax’s PondAir 4 kit is good for ponds up to 2000 gallons and 2 feet deep.

With 0.30 CFM of airflow, the pump runs with little fanfare. It’s not only quiet and efficient, it’s also very easy on power consumption. It’ll cost you less than a dollar a month to run.

You’ll get 2 round air stones, 4 rolls of 30 foot line, a compressor and 4 check valves.

Although this is not the cheapest kit available, it’s still superb value for money. If you want to treat your koi well, this pump will repay your investment.

TetraPond’s 19706 air pump kit is an incredible bargain.

This air pump will deal with ponds up to 5000 gallons. The pump will generate a flow of 100 gallons per hour.

TetraPond present this kit as a winter survival solution and that’s exactly what it is. Why leave things to chance and risk harming your valuable fish? Getting the best pond aerator translates to a better quality of life for your fish.

You’ll get an air pump, 300 feet of tubing, 2 air stones, valves, connectors and a 15 foot power cord. Everything you need is included.

For a no-nonsense, energy-efficient kit, the 19706 is well worth popping on your shortlist.

We’ll round out our look at the best pond aerators with the AirPro, an extremely expensive kit for aeration on a massive scale.

This water aerator caters for ponds up to an acre in size and 50 feet deep.

The motor draws down 1.7 amps and gives out 2.3 CFM.

You’ll get a compressor thrown in along with 100 foot of weighted tubing and a diffuser.

If you are looking to aerate enormous ponds and you want a first-class piece of kit that will go the distance, think seriously about the AirPro.


We hope you’ve taken some useful information from our pond aerator reviews.

Keeping a garden and pond seems to involve constant maintenance but the best things in life generally require a little effort.

Drop us a line any time if you need help with any aspect of gardening. We love to hear from our readers.

Now make sure that pond has plenty of air!

How Far Apart To Plant Tomatoes and Other Handy Hints

Tomatoes are one of the most nutritious edible plants by far.

There’s a great deal of controversy over how tomatoes should be categorized. Are they fruits or vegetables?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that tomatoes are vegetables rather than fruits. This was based on the ordinary meaning rather than the botanical meaning. But, if you ask scientists, particularly botanists, they will say that tomatoes are fruits. This is because it is the product of a tree that bears seeds and can readily be eaten raw as food. Similar examples are bell peppers, cucumbers, eggplants and pea pods to name a few.

how far apart to plant tomatoes

Have you ever wondered how far apart to plant tomatoes? We will clear that up for you in this article.

First thing’s first, though. We’ll look at some basic facts about tomatoes before looking at planting…

A Few Facts about Tomatoes

Tomatoes originated from South America but were first cultivated in Mexico. The name was derived from the Aztec word tomati which means swelling fruit.

Tomatoes can even be categorized as a berry by some scientists because they are formed from a single ovary. The very first tomatoes were believed to be roughly the size of cherry tomatoes but yellow in color.

Tomatoes also yield more produce than any other plants. You can harvest at least 5kgs from a single plant. They are also very rich in vitamins A, C and E as well as Beta carotene. Due to these reasons, many gardeners grow their own tomatoes.

Just like other edible plants, tomatoes also need proper care and the correct guidelines should be followed when planting them. Correct spacing should be implemented when planting them.

Whether you think of them as fruit or vegetable, tomatoes have many health benefits. They are very rich in phytonutrients and lycopene. These are said to combat cancer, particularly breast, prostate, lung and pancreatic cancers. They can also help fight against cardiovascular disease. These antioxidants are also very beneficial for bone health and can help lower bad cholesterols.

How Far Apart To Plant Tomatoes and Other Handy Hints

how far apart to plant tomatoes

Growing tomatoes in your own garden is not just exciting but also beneficial for your health and extremely rewarding. You won’t just grow a plant but something that will help your health in myriad ways. Growing tomatoes is like having your own medicine blooming around you.

Spacing plays an important role in the optimum growth and health of the plants. It provides great air circulation and proper sun exposure. Here are some ways to properly grow and create spaces for planting tomatoes…

  • First of all, tomatoes love the sunlight. They need a complete 8 hours so it is best to position them where the sun’s rays shine the most. Water your plants before the soil gets dry. Tomatoes embrace plenty of watering. Much of it should be done during the summer
  • In winter, tomatoes are in dire need of more sunlight due to the shorter daylight hours. That won’t be much of a problem if you are using a greenhouse since growing lights can compensate for the much-needed sunlight
  • Seeds to be planted in pots should be given their own containers once they start to sprout their tiny stems. The size of the pots should be roughly 4 to 5 inches wide. This allows more room for growth. Depth should be about 7 to 10 inches
  • In the case of tomatoes planted on the ground, they should be accurately grouped according to their types. Determinates are tomatoes that stop growing at a certain height and ripen all at the same time. This makes for a bountiful harvest. These are the kind that much prefer to be planted in a container. The indeterminates are tomatoes that continue to grow and take time to produce flowers but with bigger, juicier fruits. Keep them apart
  • If you are planting tomatoes in a row, place the determinate stems at least 2 feet apart from each other. Keep them side by side and 3 feet away by rows. Indeterminate tomatoes should be planted 2 feet apart at the sides and with 5 feet for row spaces. These indeterminates they tend to grow up to 10 feet high to allow more room for sunlight
  • Staked tomato plants (indeterminate tomatoes with stems tied to stakes to support their growth) can be planted at least 3 feet apart from each other
  • Caged tomatoes, on the other hand (indeterminates planted in a rectangular cage made of wires), need about 4 feet of space in each row. They should be 2 feet away from each other. The cage must be at least 3 feet wide and 8 feet tall. It has openings of about 6 inches for the gardener to reach each plant
  • Sprawling tomatoes (determinate tomatoes that are allowed to sprawl freely on the ground) should be given 4 feet of space in between each growth and 5 feet for the rows

Important Note: Proper spacing when planting tomatoes isn’t critical in the sense they can grow rapidly however they are positioned. Good spacing ensures optimum growth, though. It also helps to prevent diseases from crippling the plants. Correct spacing can simplify harvesting. Tiny growths must be tied to each other to make their stems grow stronger and accommodate the weight of the forthcoming blossoms.

Wrap Up

Here’s hoping we have supplied you with ample information on how far apart to plant tomatoes and other handy hints so you can properly space your plants for best results.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us. We are always delighted to help.

Now enjoy those tomatoes and space them just right!

Best Splitting Maul Reviews

Gardening tools extend far beyond the garden these days.

There are many outdoor pursuits and survival reasons for buying the best gardening equipment.

One constant of outdoor life is chopping wood.

Today, we’ll look at some splitting maul reviews. When it comes to making light work of large piles of lumber, there’s simply no substitute for the best splitting maul.

First thing’s first, though…

Why bother cutting wood by hand in the first place?

Why Split Wood Manually?

It’s in these survival situations or if you live and work somewhere pretty remote that the best splitting maul is invaluable.

A chainsaw is great when the going is good. How about when the chain snaps? Have you got a spare chain?

What about the power? Chainsaws need fuelling up.

With the best splitting maul, you can get some exercise while enjoying guaranteed firewood without needing to rely on a chainsaw.

While a chainsaw is efficient, it can also be dangerous. There’s far less chance of coming to grief with an axe than a powerful tool like a chainsaw.

What Is The Best Splitting Maul?

A splitting maul tops the tree when it comes to manually cutting wood.

Sure, you could opt for a log splitter or a professional chainsaw but that’s not always practical.

Mauls designed to split wood usually have heavy heads. They weigh in at around 8 pounds so you’ve got plenty of power behind your swing. You’ll have all the impetus you need to drive down into big logs.

All the best splitting mauls have long handles. You need two hands to use them effectively. This is not a light spot of pruning with your scissors. Working with a splitting maul is hard physical work.

Often, splitting mauls have flat butts. This allows you to smash down on it with a sledgehammer for any added force necessary.

If you plan to work mainly with hardwoods, a maul is better than any other form of axe.

What Is A Splitting Axe?

A splitting axe is a less hardcore version of a maul.

Where you can fell wood with a maul, an axe performs best on pre-chopped wood. You can cut your firewood down for size without needing to break out the chainsaw chaps.

Most splitting axes are long-handled like the maul. There are one-handed axes available.

If you want to whittle smaller logs into kindling, an axe is ideal. If you have more ambitious cutting needs, it won’t be man enough.

Why Use a Splitting Maul?

You use an axe or maul for 3 main reasons:

  • Cutting
  • Splitting
  • Shaping

There are so many different types of axe from the more conventional through to heavy-duty alternatives like the splitting maul. There are felling axes, tomahawks and hatchets. The world is your oyster if you want the best splitting maul.


The type of axe you choose dictates the sort of work you can undertake. Get the right one for the jobs you have in mind. Think about where you will be using the axe.

Cutting or Splitting?

The profile of the axe is the leading factor here.

Thinner profiles are much better for cutting. All the power goes where the edge meets the wood. With a thin point of contact, that power is forced into a smaller area so is more effective.

Splitting profiles are thicker. This more resembles a wedge shape and will force the wood apart in two directions as required.

You usually cut across the grain and split through the grain.

Length of Handle

Axes and mauls vary in size enormously.

From a small pocket axe for something suitable for felling trees, there’s a size for every cutting requirement.

Longer handles offer more power. You’ll get more precision from a smaller axe.

Most standard splitting mauls have 36-inch handles.


Now you have a decent overview of splitting axes and mauls, it’s time for our splitting maul reviews.

We have chosen 5 diverse options so there is something for every need and budget.

5 Best Splitting Maul Reviews

Product Name


Weight (pounds)



Our Rating

Fiskars Iso Core 8 pound Maul

Fiskars Iso Core 8 pound Maul




Editor Choice

Truper 30958 8-Pound Splitting Maul,

Truper 30958 8-Pound Splitting Maul,





Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul

Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul





Mintcraft PRO 34004 Wood Splitting Maul

Mintcraft PRO 34004 Wood Splitting Maul





Estwing E3-FF4 4-Pound Wood Splitting Axe/Maul

Estwing E3-FF4 4-Pound Wood Splitting Axe/Maul





First up in our splitting maul reviews is a powerful 36-inch classic from Fiskars.

Fiskars have a reputation for producing top quality garden tools without breaking the bank.

8 pounds is the benchmark for a splitting maul and whether you’re splitting wood or driving wedges, you’ll have all the power you need.

This maul is good for chopping down even larger logs into more manageable sizes. The IsoCore system dampens down the vibration so you can whack away without straining yourself.

There’s an extended grip and a flare that minimizes the chance of any kick so you can use this maul for long periods without straining yourself.

You’re covered by a no quibbles, lifetime guarantee so you can buy in complete confidence.

Next up in our look at the best splitting mauls is another 36-incher, this time from industry heavyweight Truper.

If you want to split large volumes of wood, this double-injected fiberglass handle gives ultimate performance without any menacing vibration. The rubber grip is easy to hold and will stop your hands from slipping.

Whether you want to chop some firewood down to size or split some heavy logs, the 36-inch handle gives you plenty of leverage and performance when you need it most. If this is too large for your requirements, the Truper is available in a range of other sizes.

The striking face is round bevel-edged and drop-forged for maximum efficiency.

With a limited lifetime warranty for complete peace of mind, you can invest in this awesome Truper splitting maul without worrying about it letting you down.

Next in our look at the best splitting mauls is a much more expensive axe from the highly reputable Gransfors Bruks.

With a 31 ½-inch handle for plenty of power and a heavy 6-pound head, this is a definite contender for the best splitting maul on the market. While it is not quite so large as many mauls, this is great for smaller users.

The poll is specially designed so you can hammer away with a splitting wedge when needed.

There’s a top-notch leather sheath thrown in for good measure.

You’ll get a 20-year limited warranty which makes it clear how much Gransfors Bruks stand behind this superb splitter.

If you need to chop down large stacks of wood in a hurry and you are nowhere near a chainsaw or log splitter, this Gransfors Bruks splitting maul is the next best thing.

As we near the end of our splitting maul reviews, another great and extremely affordable axe from Mintcraft.

This falls somewhere between a standard axe and a more substantial maul. With a 31-inch handle made from hickory and a 6-pound head, you’ll be able to slice your way through even thicker chunks of wood.

The blade is ground down so that it’s concave and thin. There’s a steel collar for great grip.

With a leather sheath provided and a 20-year limited warranty, you can buy this mail without worrying about the head falling off six months later.

When it comes to splitting mauls, not everyone wants the very biggest possible option. If you want a perfect combination of power and precision at a very affordable price point, think long and hard about the Mintcraft PRO 34004.

Finishing up our look at the best splitting mauls on the market is a much more compact axe/maul from Estwing.

If you want a one-handed chopping solution that still packs plenty of power, this 14-incher gives you adequate leverage and force to chop even hard, stubborn logs fuss-free.

Forged in a single piece, the steel head is complemented by a non-slip rubber grip. This handle also lessens any shock and vibration to make chopping a breeze.

Estwing’s concept when making the Fireside Friend was to emulate the capability of larger mauls in a much dinkier package. They succeeded in fine style. If you want a turbo-charged splitting maul without needing a huge, heavy tool, check out the E3-FF4. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.


We hope you have enjoyed these splitting maul reviews.

Getting the best splitting maul is a matter of determining exactly what you want from your axe and buying accordingly.

Feel free to get in touch at any time. We respond to any questions or feedback as promptly as possible.

Happy splitting!

1 2 3 14