TECH GUIDE GARDEN DELIGHTS
How tech can take the grunt out of gardening It’s that time of year again: Spring has sprung and the grass has started to rise. While robot lawnmowers haven’t quite reached bargain basement prices just yet - a robo-mower such as Husquvarna’s Automower 305G has an RRP of £1,399, and even the cheapest online shops charge around £850 - technology can still help: firms such as Bosch, Greenworks and Mountfield all offer battery-powered lawnmowers that offer the convenience of cable-free mowing without the noise, smell and hassle of petrol engines. Prices range from just over £200 to around £500. What’s even easier than a cordless mower? That’s right: grass that you don’t have to mow in the first place. Hi-tech turf (www.hitechturf.co.uk) looks like grass and feels like grass, but it’s entirely artificial - and if you have terrible memories of plasticky, jaggy artificial turf you’ll be relieved to discover that this is a very different proposition. For around £29 per square metre (for HT Luxury) you can lay a lawn that looks just like the real thing without any of the work. If your budget’s a bit more limited then there are more affordable options including a budget artificial turf at £7.99 per square metre. Lawns aren’t the only places where technology can
make life easier. Battery power has reached the point where it’s good enough for seriously demanding garden tasks. Black & Decker will happily sell you batterypowered chainsaws, pruning saws and loppers. The batteries deliver plenty of oomph - the chainsaw will power through up to 150 3.5cm branches before it runs out of puff - but boffins have yet to invent a device that ensures we remember to charge the power tools before we actually need them. More modest gardening can benefit from gadgetry too. Hozelock’s auto-watering system sticks a timer onto your tap, turning it on and off at the times you program, and options range from a simple sprinkler to an entire micro-irrigation system. Some timers even have rain sensors that mean they won’t turn on the tap if the weather forecast turned out to be overly optimistic. Not all gardening gadgets need electricity to function. The iconic Leatherman multi-tool isn’t exactly cheap, but its products - and their many imitators - offer a huge range of tools in one handy gadget. For example the Leatherman Charge AL includes two kinds of pliers, a knife, a saw and a serrated knife, a wood and metal file, wire cutters and wire strippers.
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Published on Mar 28, 2014
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