I review these products during tasks I personally carry out within my garden on a regular basis. Using the right product or tool for the job makes the difference of doing it the easy way or the hard way, so I really value a product which can make my life easier.

I am hoping that garden related companies will send me ‘products’ to test and evaluate. However I must stress that I will not be anything but fair and make no promises to these companies other than to tell the truth. Many of the products here are what I have already purchased for my own gardening use and are happy with.
You may ask, what are your qualifications? Well Judy and I opened our garden through the ‘Australia's Open Gardens’ for
10 years. We now open to support a specific charity.
We had our 18th Open Garden in 2019.
We won Gardening Australia’s 2009 ‘Golden Trowel’, have appeared on the ‘Garden Guru’s and ‘Gardening Australia’ twice and on various other television shows. We have given over 200 presentations to garden clubs on Sub tropical gardening and open our garden for bus tours. What is more important is that we have learnt from our gardening mistakes.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Best Garden Tools

At my age, and as an experienced gardener and a man who loves his tools, I think I am reasonably well qualified to give advice on what are the best garden tools to purchase.
I certainly have made mistakes in the past but have learnt from those, some have been expensive failures and some have been terrific purchases.
I do review garden products through this site and sometimes on my garden blog http://ianjudy.blogspot.com.au/ and tell anyone that sends me a product that I will be fair and honest. 
If you go onto my website you can see I have posted a couple of really bad reviews.
The bad reviews are of course for products I have had problems with, but it’s not only the product, sometimes it’s the company that will not exchange or even answer you when you make a complaint.
A good example was a review I did on a Stanley Wheelbarrow. Stanley have been known for making great tools for a long time and I really thought this would be no different, how wrong I was. The wheelbarrow turned out to be a very poorly made Chinese product and when I complained to Stanley Australia they said that they accepted NO responsibility as they had licensed their name to the company that made the wheelbarrow. So I did a review and over 2000 people have now read that review, I wonder how many sales they lost?
I love Fiskars products, most of my garden tools are made by Fiskars. The product I like the best is the Telescopic Tree Pruner, the ergonomic fork and loppers are good along with axes and rakes. A big bonus is that they are made in Finland and are a quality product.
The below photos are of my Fiskars tools.

Garden saws, I will only use Japanese made saws. The Japanese have centuries of history making quality swords, saws ect.  I think Silky are the best brand but other Japanese brands are not far behind.
Secateurs, this is a no brainer, I only use Felco number 2, great for all type of pruning, made in Switzerland and spare blades ect are readily available.

Mowers, I use a Honda HR216 self propelled, always starts first time and being a Honda always reliable.They are more expensive than some other mowers but it's worth paying the extra for the reliability.
My ride on mower is a Husqvarna 26 hp with a rear grass catcher, again very reliable. I find the rear grass catcher to be the best as it does not clog up unlike the side chute models. Overall it's a great, powerful machine that does all the work that I require including towing trailer loads of dirt. I am very happy with my purchase.

Brush Cutter, do not buy a cheap one, basically when looking for one just make sure it is made in Japan then you can be assured of quality, mine is a Shingu brand.
Blower, mine is a Hitachi with a 'purefire' engine, a great machine that’s starts first go every time again a Japanese made machine.

With garden sprayers I believe that Hozelock are the best brand, they are made in the UK and are available from most hardware shops and most importantly spare parts are readily available.

Stay away from Chinese cheap imports. I bought a back pack motor sprayer; I thought it would be great for spraying/misting my fruit trees. I found that as soon as the nozzle was brought upwards the machine stopped spraying liquid. After a big fight I received a refund.
 Another cheap Chinese product I bought is a long shaft petrol hedge trimmer, I still have this machine and do use it but, I think it will fall apart very soon as it sounds a bit loose inside the motor, another cheap Chinese copy of a Honda motor.
So overall you only get what you pay for, so my advice is to pay the extra for a quality product that will last you and give you years of good service.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Best Garden Sprayer

They say there’s nothing new under the sun, well Hozelock have proved otherwise.
They have successfully reinvented the humble garden sprayer.
Wow, and have they done it well.
I have the 5 litre Killaspray Plus and am very happy with its ease of use and its innovations.

They do make an 8 litre one also.
It has an extra wide foot to stop it from falling over.
Has a last use indicator cap.
A dosing cup that is part of the unit which allows you to correctly measure out your chemicals.

Easy storage of the lance and a good strong shoulder strap.
Probably best of all is that it takes the liquid from the bottom not like all the others that have a tube going down the centre, so you are able to use the sprayer until it is 100% completely empty.

As usual with Hozelock spare parts are readily available and the quality is of course very good.
You just cannot buy a better garden sprayer.
If you want one, just go to Bunnings, they have the full range. 
They also make a great hose wand, made out of stainless steel and plastic, feels so good to use. 
When you have it in your hand you know its a good product.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Best Gutter Guard

You want a gutter guard that will last, more than a few months, of course you do.
There’s no sense in wasting good money on a bad product.
Well I can honestly say to you in all sincerity DO NOT purchase the Hills product, its absolute rubbish.
I bought about 40 (six packs) metres in January 2012 and by July that year had to take them all out as they had cracked and gone brittle.
They claim the product is UV treated, I think that’s a joke.
I took them back to where I had bought them (STRATCO at Capalaba) they were just not interested, so I left them there with instructions that I wanted something done.
I went back a couple of months later and nothing had been done and there was still the same level of disinterest.
I then informed Hills about their product and what I had done.
Three emails later of complaint and still nothing done and not even a reply to my emails.
So I suppose this review is my revenge for wasting my money on a rubbish product, very bad service by both Hills and STRATCO.
I hope they never sell any more.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fly Catcher

The dammed fly's are such a pest at the moment.
I have tried spraying from an aerosol can but that does little good, they keep coming back.
I just want to sit on my back patio and relax and have lunch without sharing it with dirty flies.
I went to our local hardware store today (Bunnings) and bought two twin packs of 'The Buzz' insect control fly catcher.

They cost $12 a pack so nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I opened the pack and sachets containing the bait and hung them up in the outside patio area.
On the pack it say's the activation of the bait will take 24 hours.

Well, within an hour we had already trapped over 30 fly's and after one full day there were scores of dead flys.

The baits last for about two weeks so you obviously have to go out and repurchase, but the thing works and I am happy.
It is obviously a great product which I am more than happy to recommend.