Welcome back folks. Today I’ve got another home and garden installment for you: nothing to do with kitchens this time but everything to do with the garden. I recently moved house, back near the coast onto a lovely plot that happens to have a lot of land, some 4 acres or so. As we’re just coming out of the rainy season here the whole place has become overgrown. I can’t begin to describe just how fast everything grows here, in particularly a whole heap of unsightly stuff you don’t really want growing: weeds, thorns and vines. So naturally, my project for the next few weeks is a whole load of clearing and cutting.
I spent a lot of time last month online looking at the benefits of owning several different gardening tools. It became clear then just what I needed. So a few days ago, I went online and got hold of a used strimmer, so I could at least begin to start clearing and cutting. After all, it’s only going to grow back again in a few weeks. If I can get this done soon and allow it to grow back a couple times it’ll see me in good stead for the summer months.
I also know that once it’s done it’ll look beautiful, and even though it isn’t grass – just natural jungle growth – when it’s cleared it will look hilly and grassy, which is exactly what I want.
What exactly is a strimmer?
Officially called a garden trimmer (also affectionately known as a whipper-snipper or weed-whacker), a strimmer basically cuts those tricky areas of your garden that a regular lawnmower can’t reach. They also make great ‘edgers’ that finish off your garden edges in neat and tidy lines. Living up in the jungle here in a country where it’s impossible to get a lawnmower, a strimmer is pretty much the only option, and as it’s covering a lot of ground with a lot of strong weeds and vines (not grass), I needed to choose a heavy duty strimmer that would cut through the tough stuff and get the job done.
Strimmers come in three main types:
These are highly popular as they connect to the mains. While there’s always the risk of the power lead getting in the way, or worse, cutting through it, they are generally favoured as they are light and perfect for smaller gardens.
Cordless Battery Powered
These types are also highly popular as they’re still light, without having the added inconvenience or worry of a power cord being present. They basically use a rechargeable battery, but generally only lasts between twenty to forty minutes.
If you’re looking at getting stuck into heavy-duty jobs, petrol strimmers are nothing short of a small miracle. They’re incredibly strong and hardwearing though they are much heavier and cumbersome. They’re also a lot noisier.
They generally use a 50cc 2-stroke engine, which means having to dilute gasoline and oil together in a specific ratio first, before adding to the gas tank on the engine. Once it’s set up however, it’s generally plain sailing as the power is consistent and the oil/gas combo goes a long way.
So obviously, opting for the petrol strimmer was the right choice for me.
What’s interesting about strimmers is just how they work exactly. Naturally you would think (at least I did) that for a cutting tool that is going to clear growth, from grass and weeds to vines and more hardier plants like shrubs, they would be fitted with a sharp, sturdy steel blade, which of course would make absolute sense. But that’s not the case, not the case at all. The strimmer is fitted with a very thin (comparatively) fishing line if you can believe that. The idea is that two pieces of line are fitted to the centre of the core ‘spinner’ which causes them to be incredibly potent once the spin is engaged as the centrifugal force pushes from the centre outwards, creating a very powerful cutting force. The line is generally loaded into the strimmer as a long length and should a piece of line get caught or cut in the process, another length of line as administered through the centre of the strimmer to avoid any kind of inconvenience.
I’m very much looking forward to taking delivery of this and getting the garden looking the way it should be looking. It’ll be a lot of work mind. Anyway, thanks for stopping by folks, until next time..