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Simplify Gardening - Close to perfect tools?

Dear Forum Visitors,

Hello and good day to you. My name is AK and I'm working on a University project where we are required to design and manufacture a gardening tool (either manual or battery powered). Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about gardening and the information out there is quite overwhelming - so my question to you wonderful green thumbed gardeners is this:

If there was a process or an action in gardening that you could simplify with the aid of a tool, what would that be? Now this can be anything at all - digging equally spaced holes for seeds, a lawnmower that adjusts its blade height depending on the angle of the ground you're cutting, etc. These are just very random ideas I had, ahaha.

Any information would be great - the more I have for reference material, the better. After all, I'd be lovely to get some information from the target demographic, ahaha.

Thank you for your time.

Kindest Regards,




  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,264

    Not sure if I am the target demographic. Never been called that before. At least not to my face. ahaha.

    1. There is nothing new under the sun.

    2. I don't want my gardening simplified. I like to wrestle with the knotty problems that it presents. It keeps me busy.

    3. Hope the target demographic comes up with something better. ahaha.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,189

    I'd like a comfortable harness for my petrol strimmer so my shoulders can take the weight, even light one's can put a strain on your back if used for long enough and very few petrol strimmers come with a harness. 

  • You could start by looking at some of the innovations of recent years;  some are useful, others not. It seems to me that the successful ones are those designed to help in ways that would not have been necessary in bygone days. This could be:

    - aids for old and infirm gardeners, or for the disabled (kneeling pads, stools)

    -child sized tools for kids to use

    - things to do with pots and planters, whic are used much more these days. (e.g. wheels/castors to move heavy ones around).

    - devices to help cultivate plants that are not native and need special measures (cloches, fleece).

    - gadgets to feed birds and keep other creatues off the food..

    -cat repellent devices

    and so on. I know these already exist but tbey might point you in a useful direction.

    Then you could  look at some of the daft things you see in catalogues, like spiked over-shoes so you can stomp around aerating your lawn; or whole ranges of tools made in pink, so that women can use them (yuk! - and I speak as a woman),  and ponder on their daftness.

    The only thing can think of that I lack at the moment is a gadget for turning the compost on the heap. An old fork or rake will do it, but maybe you can come up with a better idea?

    My favourite gadget of all time is the wheelbarrow, but someone has already invented that. 

    Hope this helps you develop some ideas.




  • maureen60maureen60 Posts: 193

    I bought a tool at a second hand sale, which was a small hand fork attached to a pole. This enables me to reach areas at the back of boarder, without standing on the soil.
  • Hi guys, thanks for getting back to me.

    Ahaha, pansyface you are absolutely right - anything worth doing has already been done and there are always people who enjoy the intimacy (not sure if that word best describes it, ehehe) they have with the garden.

    @ Zoomer44: Thanks for the information and while I can't really create the harness alone, I do have something to consider in regards to user comfort.

    @ Green Magpie: Very interesting points - I had considered the elderly and children but the company that gave us the project brief *cough* Bosch *cough* kinda want something mass market DIY, etc. which of course does limit the ideas since, as you said, a fair few of the ideas have already been done. Thank you nonetheless, a great deal of food for thought.

    @ maureen60: I quite like that - something that lets you do your work with 'disturbing' the environment. Thanks for information.

    Great input so far - please keep adding anything you find interesting. image

  • If you could develop a bulb planter that actually worked that would be helpful. It would need to take out a core of soil up to 12" deep (to allow for a layer of sand/grit under the bulb and for deep planting) without compacting the soil underneath the hole or disturbing the surrounding soil. And if you invent something that effectively keeps cats of the garden without being an eyesore you would make a fortune.

  • DyersEndDyersEnd Posts: 730

    I'd like a rechargeable electric saw that could cope with wood up to 6 inches in diameter.

  • There used to be a gizmo for your car keys so that if you clapped your hands they would beep or something. I would like a development of that idea so that when I absentmindedly put down my trowel or my secateurs or my knife it can tell me where it is, so I can find it again. Even coloured handles don't help, everything ends up coated in mud. Or perhaps you could make self-cleaning toolsimage

  • EsspeeEsspee Posts: 272

    Buttercupdays, you can buy the gizmo you refer to and attach it to anything.  I was given a pack of them a couple of years ago but they ended up in a drawer somewhere as it was a joke present intended to be used with my phone but was far too bulky.  I'll get back to you if I can find them.  Someone might as well get the use of them.

  • TootlesTootles Posts: 1,469

    Some thing to plant bulbs in the lawn. I always struggle with that.

    is there such a thing as an electric edging tool? I use a strimmer but it can take ages. Im thinking along the lines of a round turning blade on a pole with a sort of mud guard for protection. 


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