What tools are you using to make your life easier in the orchard? I know people use a wide variety of grafting knives, pruners, fruit pickers, pitters, juicers, slicers, grinders, sharpeners, grafting tools etc. so I thought maybe some of you will share pictures or information about your best tools. I use a riding mower with a trailer a lot to get from one side of the orchard to the other faster even in rainy muddy weather it doesn’t get stuck as long as caution is used. Once in awhile I get a flat or need to do some quick pruning while I’m harvesting and here are a couple of more tools to help me with those situations.
They have been life savers because part of my orchard is easily half a mile from my house. Yes that is a cellphone charger, air compressor, jump starter, etc. It cost me $35 at Walmart. The other device is a battery powered reciprocating saw to quickly prune branches that block paths through the orchard, get partially broken off in wind storms etc. Sometimes I just need to get rid of an elm sprout, multiflora rose or cedar that pops up in my orchard.
I agree with a battery operated sprayer. Mine (FloMaster) is a few steps down from Lois’. Instead of a 12V, mine uses 4 D’s and the spray it puts out is nice and fine and I only spray a gallon at a time which I shoulder with a strap.
But my real enablers are my ‘green fleet’.
These are very light-weight wannbe tools that I can manage and I charge the batteries with my solar panels. So empowering for those of us w/o man strength.
The Ryobi cordless tools are one of by best investments. I have about 10-15 different kinds but I don’t have the pole chainsaw (just put it on my wish list). These are great affordable light weight cordless tools that can be charged quickly. With four batteries I almost never run of of power.
I love the hedge trimmers for clearing overgrowth, undergrowth, any-undesired growth - I call it my light saber, LOL. And I love the blower for cleaning the porches, walkways and even the garage. It is so light and easy to use even my 6 yo grandson can use it.
I also have the drill and the 12V charger (solar is 12V). I’m curious if you find one of them most useful that I don’t have (haha to put on my wish list).
Most of my cordless tools were bought a couple of years ago when I decided to add a screen porch so I use my tools for a variety of reasons. The only two cordless tools I can think of that you might want for your orchard are the reciprocating saw and the chain saw. I have started back growing muscadines and I plan to use the hedge trimmer to cut the bulk and then touch up with hand pruners. I don’t use them in my orchard very often but they are nice when I do.
I have the weed whacker, reciprocating saw, chain saw, drill, impact driver (great for driving screws into porch and deck), radio, fan, sander, light, air compressor, and a grinder. Might be some others that I have forgotten.
My best orchard tool by far was the excel spreadsheet I used during the planning phase for my lot. Using square foot gardening techniques, EarthBoxes and DWN backyard orchard culture with successive ripening concepts, I now bring in fresh organic fruit and veg every day of the year. My lot has stayed manageable, with very few overruns, even though I’m busy with work and other activities.
Pruners and such are really just secondary tools for keeping the plan going.
Could not agree more regarding planning and executing. I started with an excel spreadsheet but couldn’t find a way to organize all my nerdy details onto it so I eventually went to a week-by-week calendar and a journal on each variety.
Small jobs like spot spraying for Japanese Beetles get a hand pump sprayer.
I have a Mantis rechargeable battery sprayer on wheels that hold something like 7 or 8 gallons but the battery crapped out years ago.
I also have a replacement backpack Hudson rechargeable battery sprayer that holds the usual 4 or 5 gallons that I haven’t used yet because I got used to a backpack Rainmaker rechargeable battery sprayer that works great.
I use my adz a lot for grubbing out large weeds or brush and leveling groundhog mounds. I like a screwdriver for smaller weeds. My wire cutters get a lot of use with all my critter booby-traps. A pitchfork, shovel, and wheelbarrow are for spreading arborist mulch. Last year I spread about 15 pick-up loads of it.