AUTUMN is just around the corner – so now’s the time to get your garden in shape for the chilly seasons ahead and handle any looming DIY tasks.
Long live the lawn – Ryobi cordless scarifier £219.99, Amazon
Now is a great time to give your lawn some love and care.
Clearing moss and dead grass with a rake is hard work but this scarifier gets it done quicker.
Its blades thin out the grass and aerate the soil so your lawn will thrive all year.
Rechargeable battery is sold separately and can be shared with other Ryobi tools you may have.
Drill sergeant – Bosch Truvo £36, B&Q
Take the danger out of drilling, thanks to this handy gadget.
The Bosch Truvo locates pipes and wires inside walls so you always know exactly where to drill – and more importantly where not to.
It uses an LED traffic-light system and warning tones to keep you on track.
Just run it along the wall and drill when you get the green light.
Branch out – Karcher CNS 18-30 cordless chainsaw was £199.99 now £169.99, kaercher.com
Get trees into shape with this easy-to-use chainsaw. Your arms will thank you.
Handheld saws may be cheaper but take ages to cut through bigger branches.
This chainsaw is a bargain and will have you back to lounging in the sun in next to no time.
The battery and charger are sold separately but can be shared with other Karcher tools.
Dreamy drive – Karcher K3 compact home pressure washer, 120 bar, £129.98, Toolstation.com
Get your driveway looking like new again with this powerful machine that blasts through all the muck and moss between bricks and tiles.
Also great for fences, patios and getting rid of stubborn bird muck from your car.
Light it up – Philips Hue outdoor lightstrip, 2m, £99.99, Philips-Hue.com
Brighten up your garden with lights that can be set on a timer, or even controlled with you voice using Alexa or Google Home.
The lightstrip can be bent or curved to illuminate pathways and you can change the colour to suit your mood.
A five-metre version costs £169.99.
Keep warm and party on – Gtech HeatWave, £149.99, gtech.co.uk
Make more of being outside – even as the nights draw in – with this compact patio heater.
It is mains-powered so setting up is simple.
Just mount it on your chosen spot, plug it in and turn on for up to six metres of infrared heat.
Lose the leaves – Bosch Universal Garden Tidy 2300, £109.99, Robert Dyas
This combination leaf blower, vacuum and shredder will turn a drive full of leaves into a small pile of mulch in a breeze.
Easily switch between modes as you go.
It is also quieter than traditional leaf blowers, although we would still recommend you wear ear plugs.
Gutter clean – Wolf-Garten 2-in-1 gutter cleaner, £44.99, local garden centres
Worried about leaves clogging the gutter with autumn nearly here?
This quirky gadget and a four metre-long handle means you don’t need a ladder.
It has a leaf scoop and gutter brush.
Wolf-Garten’s 60-plus tools work with 11 different handles to save on storage space and money.
Security and light – Arlo security camera and light, £259.99, Currys
Keep an eye on deliveries, check when the kids get back – or be alerted to intruders.
Plus, see what you are doing when you get home.
This will be handy as the nights draw in.
Top-end security camera and light in one.
Seat and tidy – Keter Hollywood storage, £30, B&Q
Store away your leaf blower or cushions.
Plus, sit on it and take a rest after some gardening or DIY.
It is wood-effect plastic so looks good – and there is no need to paint.
Garden gear price hike
GARDEN furniture prices have soared during the pandemic by as much as 155 per cent.
Consumer group Which? found major retailers are now charging consumers thousands of pounds more for some popular outdoor items.
It compared prices across 2,000 different sheds, tables and chairs from six major DIY and garden chains between July 2019 and June this year.
For five of the retailers, the biggest rise came between the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021.
Sheds have seen the biggest price increases.
The Shire 12x24ft Mammoth Loglap Timber Shed in blue began the period at £2,799.99 from Screwfix before ending up at £5,395.99 two years later.
That is a £2,596 increase – nearly double.
A shed sold by Homebase also nearly doubled in price – the Mercia shed/greenhouse combi was £695 in 2019, but £1,210 two years later.
In terms of tables and chairs, the Denia Wooden 6-Seater Dining Set, available from B&Q, was priced at £247 in July 2019, but by July 2021 it cost £369 – a 49 per cent increase.
In July 2020, The Forest Garden Lyon Arbour from Screwfix and Toolstation was £179.99 at Toolstation, but by the end of the period it cost £261.98. At Screwfix, it started at £219.99 and ended up at £341.99.
Every retailer Which? looked at raised garden furniture prices between the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021.
Wickes saw the largest average increase, with outdoor goods costing 13 per cent more this year than they did in 2020.
Ele Clark, Which? retail editor, said: “Many people have looked to spruce up their gardens with new outdoor furniture during the pandemic, but our analysis shows consumers have been hit with eye-watering price hikes for the most popular items.
“Anyone looking to buy garden furniture should consider shopping around for the best prices, exploring the second-hand market or repairing what they already have if that’s an option.
“It’s also wise to plan ahead with any furniture purchasing at the moment.
“Large or special custom items could take several weeks longer than usual to arrive, so think carefully about what you might need later in the year and order it now, if that is possible.”