Fruit Growing Gear in Tiers

This is a post to discuss the benefits of different avenues for purchasing gear for fruit growing. It is NOT A PLACE TO BASH THE MENTIONED STORES. If ‘you’ want to complain about the place of manufacture of goods, please make a separate thread (we all know who ‘you’ are). And a note about that- China is the world manufacturing powerhouse the US once was. Until quality is desired over low prices, they will continue to make better quality items for lower prices until some other country takes their place. That’s the beauty and the dark side of a global economy, all at once. If I see nation bashing I’ll flag it, that is a topic for another platform.

I have a strong opinion on buying quality tools once, but certain items are wear items or ‘you really can’t mess this up’ kind of items, or ‘the birds will eat your organza bags regardless of what price you paid’ types of scenarios.

Some of us don’t have funds for the name brand buy it once lifetime warranty tools, and we don’t use that tool enough to make it worth the investment. Also, some of us are just cheap. Others have the skills and tools to make stuff cheap. Now I have a $70 welder from Temu to use my skills and I can make stuff cheaper too… Sometimes the dollar store screwdriver donated by a long gone coworker holds up to 8+ years of abuse and just keeps going on heavy equipment grease and repair duty. You never know…

It’s all a sliding scale and I pass no judgment. All of the above are OK, and so with that said…

Chemicals (herbicides, fertilizer, tree sprays etc) can be discussed here, but I feel a thread specifically reviewed those specialized items is more appropriate. One already exists in the reference section, if I remember correctly.

AM Leonard seems to be ‘the’ high quality fruit gear slinger. Their prices reflect the quality of their gear.

Examples include
-V cut Top Grafter, currently $560
-Felco 2 hand pruner, currently $56

Amazon sometimes has good prices on specific items. Sometimes they also sell fakes. It’s hit or miss, and increasingly so in recent years. A lot of the time they don’t have ‘specialty’ things like what AM Leonard offers, another reason to support AM.

Examples include
-Zenport ZJ68 V-Cut Top Tool, currently $53 (with 10% discount)
-Felco 2 hand pruner, currently $59 (if authentic)

Aliexpress /Alibaba is the ‘Chinese version’ of Amazon. They have all the knockoff stuff that sometimes ends up on Amazon. If I am buying something I’m not sure of on Amazon, sometimes I’ll elect for the knockoff pricing on Aliexpress and save the heartache of dealing with Amazon customer service. But, sometimes you have to go to ebay for the authentic ARS pruners when the cheap version just doesn’t cut it (or at least hold it’s edge).

Examples include
-Zenport ‘style’ V-Cut Top Tool, currently $25
-Felco 2 hand pruner, currently $41 (if authentic)

Then along comes Temu… Oh Temu. If you have become familiar with the prices of items on US stores, make sure you have a healthy discretionary fund in place before downloading Temu. I thought Aliexpress was affordable until I saw the price point economics and literal games they play on Temu.

If you are prepared to spend a few hundred dollars on stuff you definitely don’t need but probably would use, I’m happy to share my invite link via private message for Temu. I think it gets us both free stuff.

Examples include
-Zenport ZJ68 V-Cut Top Tool, currently $29
-‘Professional Pruning Shears’ , currently $10

The kicker is when I initially downloaded Temu they sent a flurry of coupons based on purchase price. So a $50 order with 40% off ends up being wayyyy cheaper than the already lowest price on most stuff. Use the big % off coupons for the smaller order amounts, shipping is free. Add lots of stuff to your cart and pick the best combination for the coupons.

I think I’m 17 orders in for around $300, much less than the price of a good Hobart stick welder. There are so many things. Assorted fruit growing/farming type of items include:

Planter hanging hooks (8ct, actually nice)
50’ dog leashes (trellis, fencing etc)
Magnets, helmet, gloves, rods, and a stick welder
‘Ground drill’ (earth auger) for drill; may weld to retrofit to gas drill chuck setup
Ball bungees
pH test strips
Solar charge controller (off grid water/heat)
Round felt grow bag
10 way drip irrigation
Expanding garden hose
Hose mesh in line filter
IBC tote nylon inlet filters
Plastic fruit Picker head
Thumb ‘clipper’ (harvesting fruit/veggies)
Organza bags
Berry Picker ‘box’ (like a small blueberry rake)
Cheese cloth bags (juice making etc)
Reusable silicone food bags (freeze fruit)
Fence stapler (+ 600 staples)
Stainless screws and clamps for fencing
Spare V cut tool
Spare Tapener tool
Mouse trap for 5 gallon bucket
Branch benders/spreaders
Root ball makers
‘Greenhouse’ (low tunnel) hoops
Multiple mesh row covers

My advice on fishland and farmland- not worth the effort unless you are really bored.

An update on the temu gear-

Stainless coated 12’ wires should work pretty well for a Florida Weave trellis for my Nova Raspberries.

I have some of the 50’ dog leashes I may use to espalier the apples along our fence.