(MONEY Magazine) – Ah, spring. A time of rebirth. And yard work. And backaches. It doesn't have to be this way: With the right tools, you can get more done with less effort. Horticulturist Mike Page of West Palm Beach, Fla. recommends some products that can turn your gardening duties into a walk in the park.
1 John Deere 125 Riding Mower Got at least a half-acre of grass to mow? A riding mower will save your back years of grief. One of the latest models from Deere, the 125 (priced at $1,800), has an automatic transmission, and its 20-horsepower engine makes it one of the most powerful (and reliable, says Page) mowers in its class. Luxuries aren't forgotten either: You can kick back on the padded seat and enjoy a cold one while hard at work--a cup holder comes standard.
2 Felco 2 Pruner Mike Page singled out these Swiss-made shears for their versatility and ruggedness. Solid but lightweight aluminum-alloy handles make the Felco 2 (around $35 online) easy to grip, and the blade will go through anything "from barbed wire to roses," says Page. It's little wonder that this design, beloved by gardening pros and amateurs alike, hasn't changed in more than six decades.
3 Hozelock Auto Reel The thing about using a hose is that when you're done with it, you've got to reel it back in--which is a giant pain. The Hozelock (priced at $130) saves you from that chore by recoiling on its own with an internal spring mechanism.
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