31 Yard Tool Hacks That’ll Make Your Life Easier
Save your back! These simple and smart updates to everyday yard tools will make your outdoor chores a heck of a lot easier this season.
Better Wheelbarrow Grips
Make lifting heavy loads with your wheelbarrow a little more pleasant by adding these cushioned hand grips. Reuse an old rubber bike tube by cutting pieces to fit over the wheelbarrow handles. If needed, use a hair dryer to warm up the rubber and make it easier to stretch. The bike tube provides the perfect amount of padding and traction.
Simple Lawn Edging
To edge your lawn, garden, or flowerbed, lay down a 2×6. While holding the board with your foot, drive a flat spade along the board’s edge. Move the board as needed to create a clean, straight line.
Oil Change Trough
Lawn Mower Grass Chute Saver
To avoid a lot of string trimmer work, I like to mow as close as possible to trees and buildings. But the grass chute on my riding mower prevents it. So I drilled a hole in the chute and tied a rope from the chute to a handle on the side of the tractor. Now I can lift up the chute without missing a beat, and cut way down on string trimmer work. — Travis Larson. Plus, if you don’t have a lawn sweeper at home, you’re missing out. Find out what it is and whether you need one here.
Accessorize Your Mower
After you’ve had remodeling or roofing work done on your home, it’s not unusual to get a flat tire from old nails or other hardware left behind. As soon as the roofing contractors’ taillights were out of my driveway, I rigged up this drag using rope and a 24-in. magnetic bar tool holder (No. YA161; $40 at store.snap-on.com). I drag it everywhere I’ll be driving. It picks up much more metal debris than the wheeled type, which doesn’t actually touch the ground. It sure beats the cost and hassle of a flat tire. — Steve Rodgers
I-Spy Rain Gutter
Fertilizing bushes or other dense plants requires getting the fertilizer to the base of the plant, so I use a length of 2″ PVC. Slide one end down to the plant base and pour the fertilizer into the pipe. Cut the top of the pipe at 45 degrees to give yourself a larger opening to pour in the fertilizer. – Gordon R. Watson
Check out these 10 Lawn Care Myths You Really Need To Stop Believing.
Handy Rake Handle
Save your back when raking mulch or shoveling heaps of dirt by adding another handle to your long-handle tools. A section of PVC pipe with a tee fitting and cap work perfectly. Add a screw through the tee fitting and into the handle for won’t-budge stability. Check out these other genius handy hints.
Grass Seed Broadcaster
Easy Mulch Spreading
Getting mulch up close to flowers and bushes is easier if the mulch is in a small container. So I place buckets and pails in my wheelbarrow and fill them up with mulch. It doesn’t matter much if the mulch misses the bucket and lands in the wheelbarrow. Once you’re done dumping the buckets, dump what’s left in the wheelbarrow in an open area and spread it out. — Eric Swartz
Now go check out these Low-Maintenance Landscaping Ideas to make your yard look amazing for less hassle!
Slick Shovel Hack
Working with heavy, clay-packed soil? Keep your shovel clean and make your job easier by spraying it with silicone. The light coating will prevent dirt from sticking, so you can work fast. Be sure to use a lubricant that contains silicone or Teflon and recoat the shovel occasionally. Check out our pro hole-digging tips.
New Use for Old Backyard Game Pieces
We spend a ton of time planting, fertilizing and watering our flowers. Once, while dragging the hose across the yard, I inadvertently raked it across the garden and destroyed a bunch of flowers. My solution was to make a path for the hose using the wickets from my croquet set. As I’m watering, I feed the hose through the wickets, keeping my flowers safe. — Ryne Rover
Mix Concrete with a Rake
Turn an Empty Milk Jug Into a Watering Can
I only own one watering can, so I need to refill it four or five times to water all of the plants on my patio. Instead of buying more overpriced watering cans, I use old milk jugs. I drill a few holes in the caps, fill up the jugs with water and I’m good to go. — Harrison Berg
Long-Handled Tool Rack
Use a Pallet to Store Lawn and Garden Equipment
If you have a yard or a garden, you know that there are a lot of long-handled tools involved. You probably also know how obnoxious it is when you need the shovel or the rake and have to walk all over to find it. All you need for this pallet organization hack is a pallet, a couple of screws and a drill. And if you don’t have any pallets lying around, they are easy to get for free. Many businesses will give them to you, but you should call first! Another great place to check is local Craiglist ads. This is a quick one-hour project and after you’re done, your tools will be organized and easy to reach.
You could easily attach this pallet to a fence, shed or to the exposed wall studs in your garage. No matter what you choose, you’ll want to make sure that your screws are long enough to go through both your pallet and the wall you are attaching it to. We drilled two screws into the pallet, one into each exposed wall stud. You won’t need a ton of screws or nails because the pallet isn’t all that heavy. Now you have a quick and (possibly) free way to store your lawn tools!
Looking for more ways to work smarter in your workshop? Here are 19 tips from a seasoned woodworker and do-it-yourselfer.
Get a Grip
Makeshift Trench Tool
Easy Apple Spear
Need a hole in hard soil? Use a Drill!
Laundry Jug Watering Can
- Lift the front edge of the stone with a pry bar and slip two pipes underneath. Place one near the front and one about midway so the stone rests on the pipes.
- Position the third pipe a foot or two in front of the stone.
- Roll the stone forward onto the third pipe until the rear pipe comes free. Then move the rear pipe to the front and repeat.
This technique works best on relatively flat ground. On mild slopes, you’ll need a helper to shift pipes while you stabilize the load. Don’t use this method on steeper slopes.
Tin Can Water Bottle Holder
Vacuum Attachment Holder
No-Ladder Gutter Cleaner
Sprinkle Grass Seed Like Grated Cheese
Reuse your grated cheese container to shake grass seed on bare spots in your lawn. The holes in the container are the perfect size for dispensing just the right amount without overdoing it. Plus: More handy hints for frugal homeowners.
Tarp Cement Mixer
Sharpen Your Shovels
A rubber chair leg cap instantly converts a hammer into a rubber mallet. And if you want to drive a nail without denting the surrounding wood, cut a hole in the rubber cap. Pound until the rubber strikes wood, then finish driving the nail with a nail set. A 1-1/8-in. rubber cap fits tightly over most hammers and costs about $1 at home centers and hardware stores.
Build a Space-Saving Yard Tool Holder
This versatile tool holder design fits a variety of long-handled garden and yard tools, including those with “D-shaped” handles. Before getting started, measure your tool handles—especially the ones with D-shaped handles— to make sure they’ll fit the dimensions shown in the plan at far right. If not, you can easily adjust the grid measurements to fit your own tools.