The Utterly Inessential Gardener’s Shopping List: A cordless jet wash blaster, effort-free lawnmowers and staying one step ahead of the leaves

As Autumn arrives, all manner of unpleasant jobs begin to crop up. Jobs which can be made much easier with fancy, shiny new tools like these.

For cleaning the patio…

A summer’s-worth of stains on your patio — from mud and grass to Pimm’s and tomato ketchup — means that the whole thing definitely needs a good clean. It’s a bit of a nasty job, but a patio jet washer is infinitely easier than a bucket and a brush.

What’s even easier than a normal patio jet washer, however, is a cordless one, such as Kärcher’s KHB5 Multi Jet. It comes with a couple of different attachments depending on what it is you need to clean, and a battery which will let you blast away for 20 minutes or so.

Truth be told, we found it to be a fair bit less powerful than ones which run off the mains electricity. But it does work, avoids the scariness of mixing water with the mains power, and has the benefit of being able to use any water source you like as long as you can run a length of hose from jetwasher to source into it. That makes it easy to blast dirt off in all sorts of places — the manufacturers suggest that you can pop it in the back of the car when you go biking and so on. Handy.
Karcher KHB5 battery-powered jet washer — £249.99 from

If that cost seems a bit high to keep the patio clean, and you’ve no need for the extra things that a jet washer can do in terms of hosing things down, Jeyes make a fluid called ‘Patio Power‘.

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On the plus side, there’s no need to do any scrubbing — dilute it, brush it on to the patio and leave it to work over the course of a few days. On the down side it’s obviously less environmentally-friendly than blasting dirt with H20.
Jeyes Patio Power — around £10 from various resellers

For keeping the lawn in control…

The hot, dry weather of summer is great for keeping lawns in check. The dehydrated grass grows blissfully slowly, and what little there is gets kept down by kids and dogs. Come this time of year, you begin to remember what a dull, long-winded job it can be. No wonder robot mowers are becoming increasingly popular.

The Viking iMow works via a piece of wire buried in your garden by the installers, and can find its way round to cut your grass — even putting itself back in the shed once it’s finished (or even, brilliantly, if the rain gets too heavy for its electic innards to cope with). You don’t even have to get rid of the clippings — it’s a ‘mulching’ mower, which chops the grass into fine pieces which are distributed across the lawn as it moves around.
Viking iMow — from £999 at

If you’re worried that a robot mower will chew up the odd guinea pig, then there’s only one answer. Well, only one fun answer anyway, and that answer is a ride-on lawnmower.

Honda HF2417HM

You can spend tens of thousands quite happily, but unless you’re using one to keep an entire golf course in trim then masterpieces such as the £21,500 Husqvarna P525D will probably be wasted on you you.

Instead, stick with the more modest machinery such as the Honda HF2417HM — which is still perfectly capable of mowing an entire cricket pitch — and spend the rest on champagne.
Honda HF2417HM ride-on lawnmower — £3,999 from

For making sure you don’t get buried in a mountain of leaves…

The average mature oak tree can have as many as 500,000 leaves, apparently. That sounds a bit of a low estimate, based on the one at the end of my garden, which seems to have deposited at least that many on the lawn within minutes of it having been raked. There aren’t many things more depressing than the sight and sound of a leaf blower, but the prospect of raking leaves for an hour is one of those things. The leaf blower wins.
Stihl BGA45 cordless leaf blower — £99 from