Whether you're clearing away fallen branches, or removing dead and damaged tree limbs, a chainsaw can come in handy. The problem with a chainsaw, of course, is that it offers a lack of control and can skip when starting cuts, especially for inexperienced users. The Black + Decker Alligator Cordless Lopper solves that by adding powerful jaws that clamp the branch in place, allowing you to cut storm wood into manageable pieces. Available on Amazon; $99.
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Balled-and-burlapped trees can be planted throughout the growing season, and the job is typically completed within a couple hours. Once the tree is in the ground, though, the work has only just begun. Young saplings need a steady supply of water to help their roots become firmly established. To fend off the ravages of summer heat and drought, you could stand out in the yard with a hose a few times a week, or you could make it easy with an Automatic Ooze Tube Watering System. This watering gizmo is designed to release a stream of water to the roots of the tree, keeping it moist but not too wet. All you need to do is remember to refill the tube, about every 2 weeks.. Available at Plow & Hearth; $14.95.
Trimming grass and weeds that grow along walkways, driveways, and garden beds can be tough work. Not only does the job require knowledge of mixing the right cocktail of gas and oil to fuel the power trimmer, but it leaves a mess of grass blades that's a pain to clean up. Give yourself a break with a multifunctional product like the TB525 EC Curve Shaft String Trimmer from Troy-Bilt. The 4-cycle engine eliminates the need to mix gas and oil, and produces less noise than competing models. Perhaps the most attractive feature of this sleek machine is its ability to combine with Troy-Bilt’s long list of impressive attachments—like an Add-On Broom that can clear grass, snow, and other debris with ease—to make this tool’s grass-improving possibilities virtually endless. Available on Amazon; $200.
Wheelbarrows are designed for one function: To carry heavy objects like soil, mulch, and garden tools around the yard, saving you the pain and strain of carting heavy objects by hand. The Muletto Multi-Function Garden Cart proves that they can do much more than that. In addition to doing all that an ordinary wheelbarrow can, this multifunctional yard tool serves as a hand cart that can port heavy planters or trashcans, and it includes a harness for carrying heavy and cumbersome stones, garden fountains, young trees, and more. Available on Amazon; $191.36.
Related: 9 Mowing Mistakes Everyone Makes
Skydrop Smart Sprinkler System
Do you know when your lawn is ready for another soak? Or how the weekly forecast will affect your watering schedule? Watering the yard and garden requires some guesswork—why not get a little help? Skydrop's Smart Sprinkler Controller remembers your yard's soil type, zone, and sun exposure, and connects to your Wi-Fi network to access the local weather forecast, creating a custom watering schedule for your lawn. Available from Amazon; $213.00.
Black and Decker 20V Cordless Sweeper
Even after a long afternoon spent mowing the lawn, your work is far from over. Most likely, mowing has left behind grass clippings, which can cause stubborn stains on concrete and stone once they begin to decay. To clear them quickly, pick up a Black and Decker 20V Cordless Sweeper and speed through cleanup on stone paths, patios, and driveways. Powered by a 20V lithion-ion battery, you won't be held back by a cord—or short battery life. Available at Amazon; $77.94.
If you live on a lot with plenty of trees, then each spring sees you up on the ladder, using a handsaw to prune unhealthy or unsightly branches. To make quicker, easier work of the job, add an electric pole saw to your arsenal. With an adjustable, telescoping pole, the Remington Branch Wizard extends your natural reach by up to 10 feet, and its motor provides all the power you need to cut through tree limbs with ease. You can remain standing on your own two feet, and when you want to use the saw separately, simply detach it from the pole. Available at Amazon; $114.99.
Crenova 3/4-Inch High Pressure Garden Hose Nozzle Sprayer
Rinsing the car off, watering the vegetable garden, power-washing your walkway—fortunately, your growing to-do list of outdoor to-dos can be tamed with a single tool. This high-pressure metal nozzle by Crenova attaches to any old garden hose and doubles the output of water pressure. Best yet, it transitions between tasks (from a strong jet stream to a fine mist) with an effortless twist of the head. Available on Amazon; $33.
Auto-Wind Hose Reel
While watering the lawn and garden isn't too difficult in itself, rolling away the hose for storage can be heavy—and frustrating—work. Bulky lengths of hose need to be put away neatly, without bends or kinks that put pressure on the tub, making it susceptible to cracks and leaks. It's just as important to store the hose in a shady spot where it's protected from the harsh summer sun. This Auto-Wind Hose Reel winds the hose for you, keeping the length free from bends, protecting it from harmful rays, and giving your back a rest. Available on Plow & Hearth; $99.99.
Though the 6-inch head on this billhook may seem unassuming, its easy handling and multipurpose design make it a must-have in the yard. The sharp, rust-resistant steel blade rips through backyard jobs in hardly any time, tackling chores from edging the lawn to separating garden grasses and from clearing vines to pruning shoots and stems. Available on Fiskars.com; $35.
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!