Best garden gadgets 2024: We list the tech that can help you out in your outdoor space

Kitting your garden out with gadgets can be a great time-saverKitting your garden out with gadgets can be a great time-saver
Kitting your garden out with gadgets can be a great time-saver | Dunelm

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

Consumer technology writer Gareth Butterfield loves spending time in his garden, but he hates gardening - this is how he lets tech take over the chores

Summer is finally upon us, the weather will hopefully play ball, and we all owe ourselves a bit of rest and relaxation in the garden. The trouble is, there are always some chores to do. Weeds get out of control, patios need scrubbing, lawns need cutting and the plants need watering.

Thankfully, technology is providing an answer to some of the most mundane garden chores, and there's a variety of gadgets out there which set out to take the hard work out of keeping your garden looking lovely.

From robot lawnmowers to automatic watering systems, harnessing technology to offer a helping hand in your outdoor space makes a lot of sense, and it needn't cost a huge amount to buy your ideal garden gadget.

Consumer technology writer Gareth Butterfield has been reviewing garden gadgets for years, and he's chosen some of his favourite labour-saving devices, all tried and tested.

He's also picked out some personal indulgence gadgets, to help you enjoy your time outdoors, once you (or your gadgets) have finally earned it.

Best price: £109.95, from Amazon

The Ryobi Cordless Patio CleanerThe Ryobi Cordless Patio Cleaner
The Ryobi Cordless Patio Cleaner | Ryobi

Clearing weeds from the patio is one of my least favourite jobs. But this patio cleaner from Ryobi claims to make it much easier. It features a wire brush on one side, which digs down into the cracks beneath your paving and it roots out all the moss, weeds, and dirt that build up over time.

It could be argued that this job could be done with a cheaper hand tool but, trust me, that's back-breaking work. The genius of this gadget is that you can do it from a standing position, you don't have to apply any meaningful pressure, and it just whirrs away, blasting out the grot. After you've finished, just sweep the detritus away.

The price might seem tempting, but bear in mind that's just for the unit, it doesn't include the 18V battery. A bundle deal with the battery included takes the price to £126.90. Although, if you're lucky enough to already have cordless Ryobi tools, you'll probably already have a compatible battery, because they're interchangeable.

Best price: £499, from

The Hayter Hawk 36 Cordless LawnmowerThe Hayter Hawk 36 Cordless Lawnmower
The Hayter Hawk 36 Cordless Lawnmower | Hayter

About a year ago, I set out to find the best lawnmower I could find. And I tested plenty, but soon settled on an absolute favourite. It's the Hayter Hawk series. I've got the smallest version, the 36, and it's just been amazing. It's a cordless electric mower, the first one sold by the iconic British brand Hayter, and it's every bit as well built as the petrol versions that carry a prestigious royal crest.

The chunky battery slots in beneath a flap on top of the mower, and it comes with a grass box and a mulching plug. With 60V of power, it's more than capable of chewing through long grass and, although it has a boost button, I've never had to use it. This means I've been able to mow my relatively small lawn three or four times between charges.

It is, I accept, rather expensive. If you buy the mower with the battery included, it'll set you back around £500. There are bigger versions, and even self-propelled versions, and these cost much more. If you already have a cordless tool from the Torro series, you could potentially save a lot of money, because you'll have the battery already. But if not, this is quite a big investment.

But it genuinely feels built to last, and I honestly haven't used a better mower. It's such a great bit of kit.

Best price: £399.99, from Worx

The Worx Landroid robot lawnmowerThe Worx Landroid robot lawnmower
The Worx Landroid robot lawnmower | Gareth Butterfield

Of course, there's not a lot of point mowing the lawn yourself these days because, for less than the price of the Hayter lawnmower I reviewed above, you could get a robot to take the strain for you. The best one I've tested for most lawns is the Worx Landroid series. They start at around £400 and that includes everything you need to get setup and start your little robot friend on his journey.

Setting up isn't an easy job, however. Firstly you need to lay a boundary wire, which is a complicated job that can easily swallow up an afternoon. Once it's done, we found most lawnmowers, including the Landroid, will run over their wire occasionally (which is largely our fault for not laying it well enough) so you'll need to use the repair kit that comes with it.

After a while though, a few months or so, the boundary wire basically disappears beneath the top surface of the lawn, and you won't know it's there. My mother's had a Worx Landroid creeping silently around her lawn for two years now, and it's fair to say it's absolutely faultless. It doesn't get stuck, it never gets lost, it just sets out on its daily task and keeps the lawn really short.

If you're flirting with the idea of a robot lawnmower, just do it. They're such a marvellous thing to have. And I can personally recommend the Worx Landroid. It's terrific.

The Hozelok automatic drip watering kitThe Hozelok automatic drip watering kit
The Hozelok automatic drip watering kit | Amazon

Best price: £58.35, from Amazon

It might feel like it's been raining for months, non-stop, but when a dry spell comes along we need to be out there watering our plants. And it can be a very time-consuming job. However, technology has come to the rescue once again, and it's much cheaper than you might think to set up an automatic watering system.

A basic kit can be had for less than £50 - I know this because I set one up in my own garden last year. What I'd actually recommend, though, is to spend a little more and get something like the Hozelock Drip Watering Kit, and there are a few reasons why I'd pick it. Firstly, it's analogue and simple. There's loads of Bluetooth or electronic systems on the market and they do a good job, but they're complicated to setup and prone to logging off or disconnecting. It's not often I say this, but keeping it simple is a good idea.

The Hozelock kit is designed predominantly for drip-feeding plant pots, and setting up the hoses neatly can be a big job. But once it's done it's done. These systems won't suit every garden, and the bigger your outdoor space, the more you'll need to spend, but what a great labour-saving device for not very much money.

Best price: £159.99, from Birdfy

The Birdfy smart bird feederThe Birdfy smart bird feeder
The Birdfy smart bird feeder | Netvue

Feeding the birds in your back garden is an absolute joy. It's rewarding to think we're helping out our feathered friends, and endlessly fascinating to see which species stop by. This smart bird feeder from Birdfy takes your kind ornithological gesture to the next level though, by filming and identifying the birds that call in. Simply fill it with seed, connect it to an app, and sit back and wait for visitors. The Birdfy AI software will use its vast database to work out what sort of bird has landed, and then send you a short video, with the species attached.

There are a few optional extras to consider, including a solar panel - which I've found very useful to keep the camera charged up - and you have to pay extra for the identification software to be included. But even as a basic package, it's just such a fun thing to use, and a great educational tool for the whole family. Before long, you'll be a birdwatching expert.

Best price: £599, from Jackery

The Jackery Explorer 1000The Jackery Explorer 1000
The Jackery Explorer 1000 | Jackery

You might be lucky enough to have plug sockets in your garden. But even if you do, portable power stations are a very useful tool for when you're outside, because you can move the sockets anywhere you fancy. I've tested loads of these devices, and I always take them camping with me, but they're so useful in the garden. They can do everything from charging phones to running power tools. I use one for a cordless drill, sometimes a strimmer, and even a small corded lawnmower.

But they can power cool boxes, speaker systems, or charge e-bikes and run lighting. Hooking them up to solar panels on a sunny day means your power supply probably won't run out, either, and it's very rewarding to be able to run electrical appliances on completely free energy.

Good portable power stations like the range from Jackery aren't cheap, but they have so many uses and they last for years, so I think they're a great investment.

Best price: £299.95, from B&Q

The Blagdon Affinity freestanding pondThe Blagdon Affinity freestanding pond
The Blagdon Affinity freestanding pond | B&Q

A garden pond is a lovely thing to have, but who has the time or inclination to dig a pond? Thankfully, you don't really have to. If you've got a spare corner of garden on a flat surface, you could opt for one of these wonderful Blagdon Affinity freestanding pools.

I've owned one of these for years after reviewing one when it first came out, and they've altered very little. It's a complete, all-in-one solution, aimed largely at keeping a small number of fish, along with a few aquatic plants. There are cute little windows to watch your fish from, and baskets for the plants. Each kit comes with a filter and pump, which runs a waterfall and a fountain.

Prices start at £299 for a small octagon-shaped pool, and the bigger pool you choose, the more expensive it is. But what a lovely feature for your garden, and a great introduction to keeping fish.

Best Price: £429.99, from The Range

The Lay-Z-Spa New Hampshire Black Label hot tubThe Lay-Z-Spa New Hampshire Black Label hot tub
The Lay-Z-Spa New Hampshire Black Label hot tub | The Range

If you don't fancy giving fish an aquatic home in your garden, why not treat yourself to a bit of watery luxury? I've reviewed a few of Lay-Z-Spa's hot tubs over the years, and my current favourite is the New Hampshire. It's one of the cheaper hot tubs in the range, but one of the more robust, with solid sides, and a new style of pump that has 140 jets.

Having a hot tub in the garden is an absolute joy, they're such a nice way to relax, unwind, and enjoy your outdoor space. I think they're worth every penny. However, do bear in mind that the fully inflatable versions can be a bit of a liability. They're not exactly easy to puncture, but it should always be something to be cautious about. Packing them away at the end of the season (if you choose to do that) is a big challenge, and the running costs can be fairly eye-watering.

Then there's the small issue of keeping the water clean. Be prepared to take on a few chemistry lessons, as you monitor and adjust various levels to keep the water clear and healthy. Ongoing costs such as chemicals, filters and cleaning tools are definitely something you need to budget for.

But if you think your pockets are deep enough for a hot tub, Lay-Z-Spas are absolutely marvellous things, and a lovely way to spend time in the great outdoors.

Best price: £39.99, from Amazon

The Schallen Halogen Garden Parasol HeaterThe Schallen Halogen Garden Parasol Heater
The Schallen Halogen Garden Parasol Heater | Amazon

I bought one of these last year and haven't regretted it at all. It's such a simple device, you just clamp it to your parasol, plug it in, switch it on, and you and your barbecue guests are kept warm long into the evening.

It's a fairly heavy and cumbersome unit to rig up at first, but once it's attached, it's very securely fixed, and the parasol acts as a secondary convector, so the heat just pours down on you.

Before I bought one of these, we had to curtain plenty of outdoor parties because it was getting too cold, but now our guests can enjoy sitting around our six-seater table for so much longer on cool evenings. It's been a really good investment.

Best Price: £119.99, from Soundcore

The Soundcore Boom 2 outdoor speakerThe Soundcore Boom 2 outdoor speaker
The Soundcore Boom 2 outdoor speaker | Soundcore

Outdoor music is fairly easy to achieve these days. It can be as simple as just loading up some tunes on your smartphone, or you could buy a simple Bluetooth speaker for less than a tenner and you've got hours of Cliff Richard crooning away.

So why then, would you want to spend over £100 on a speaker like this Soundcore Boom 2? I'd say there are lots of reasons. Firstly, it's very loud. It can push out up to 80 watts, which is remarkable for something so portable. Soundcore has focused on delivering a lot of bass, which will suit plenty of music styles, and give the sound real depth. Levels can be tweaked to get the sound just right, and every beat is responded to with colourful lights on the side, perfect for parties.

It's also completely waterproof - to the extent that you could actually float it in water. And it acts as a power bank so, not only can it power itself for up to 24 hours between charges, but you could plug your phone into it too, to top that up. It's just such a great device to have with you at barbecues, parties or even picnics. I love it.