Category Archives for Gardening Tips

best-weed-eater-head

Best Weed Eater Head 2017 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

I've spent a lot of my time fighting the endless war against weeds. I've tried various tools for the job and I've even done it by hand when I've had to. In practice, though, nothing beats a weed eater/trimmer.

A well-built trimmer with an effective head in the hands of a professional can tear through weeds like a scythe cuts through wheat. Knowing what head to use can be a bit tricky, though, as it depends on your particular needs and also what kind of trimmer you're using.

After some extensive research, I've narrowed the list down to five (the magic number). Whatever your unique situation, the best weed eater head for you may well be one of these five.

**Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can also click links above to check current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

My Top Five Weed Eater Heads


Husqvarna 531300183 T35 Non-Universal Tap Advance Trimmer Head

Via Amazon.com

Swapping trimmer heads around can sometimes be a difficult task. Husqvarna's solution is to supply you with a simple tool that makes removing the old one a lot easier. It works a treat!

If you find yourself replacing trimmer heads often, consider Husqvarna's Advance Trimmer Head as your next weed-eater. It's designed for dozens of hours of trimming and, if you take care of it, you can expect to get hundreds of hours of use out of it.

The advanced trimmer head allows you to re-spool quickly, too, so you can spend more time trimming and less time being frustrated!

The product doesn't come with a lot of string – only around 6' in total, so you'll need to purchase more if you've already run out.

Apart from that, the Advance Trimmer Head is probably perfect for the average gardener.


Advantages

  • Can last for hundreds of hours of weeding
  • Extremely easy to re-spool using the advanced trimmer head
  • Includes a simple tool that helps greatly in removing the old head, as well as installing the new one.

Disadvantages

  • Only 6' of string included so you may well need extra if you're run out.

Echo 78890-21001E High Capacity Speed Feed 450 Trimmer Head

Via Amzon.com

Echo has been making top notch trimmer heads for some time, now. The '450 is one of their best offerings and there are some great features that set it apart from many others.

It comes with adapters that will fit most premium trimmer brands. This saves a lot of head ache in checking for an exact match to your previous head.

There's a lot less down time with this head too, as you can load your lines back into it, in less than thirty seconds.

The split spool and heavy duty eyelets give this head excellent longevity too, and you're really getting some bang for your buck because you won't need to buy a replacement so often.


Advantages

  • Includes adapters that will fit most premium trimmer brands
  • Features a fast, easy and rapid load system (reloads in 30 seconds or less)
  • The Split spool will reduce line welding
  • Sturdy, heavy duty Eyelets mean less wear and tear and will last you a long time

Disadvantages

  • It's best suited for larger trimmers (25-cc engines and above)

Echo 99944200908 Speed-Feed 400 Trimmer Head

Via Amazon.com

If you have a limited budget, check out Echo's 400 model. It's older than the 450, but it still manages to do a fair job competing with the newer trimming heads.

It's very easy to install which will save you a lot of frustration. You'll be a lot less inclined to send it back, too, which saves you even more money.

Weeding is made easy due to its great design and the fact that it's very lightweight. You won't feel like you've spent too long in the gym, and you won't need to keep stopping to unclog the lines.


Advantages

  • Weed cutting is made easy and fast
  • This Echo speed-trimmer can also make a great choice for cutting thick brushes
  • It's lightweight, which is actually very useful seeing as it's best paired with a larger, heavier trimmer.
  • It's very easy to install the trimmer head.

Disadvantages

  • Best suited for larger trimmers (25-cc engines and above)

Weed Warrior (Dsi) 70286 Pivo-trim Head

Via Amazo.com

If you have a fair amount of experience with a trimmer and replacing the heads, consider Weed Warrior's Pivo-trim head.

I have to tell you that the instructions that come with the Pivo-trim are not very helpful. If you don't have any idea what you're doing, you'll find it frustrating.

With a little help from YouTube, you'll actually find it's very easy to install the Pivo-trim. It really deserves a close second place because apart from the unhelpful instructions, there are some awesome features here.

The way the head cuts weeds removes a lot of the toll that can damage your string, which means your string and head will last longer. When you do need to replace the spool, it's as simple as the actual installation.

The Pivo-trim is also useful at absorbing the shock you might get from bumping into hard areas in your garden, which further increases its lifespan.


Advantages

  • Excellent string life
  • Very easy to replace the line
  • Absorbs Shock
  • Extremely Durable – lines last longer

Disadvantages

  • Instructions aren't the best – could be clearer
  • When it comes time to change the string, more will be wasted than usual due to the design of the pivo-trim. You're still saving more of your string overall, though due to its efficiency,

Husqvarna 966674401 T25 Tap Trimmer Advance Head

Via Amazon.com

Not everyone has acres of land to trim. It's something I'm aiming for but I'm far from that yet! If you have a small-medium garden, you won't mind that this Husqvarna model only holds 13' of string.

It's very easy to use and install and it fits both curved and straight shafts. If you're new to trimming then this Husqvarna may well be a good choice for you.Husqvarna

Husqvarna has made it difficult to get things wrong and there are even helpful arrows that show you which way to spool the string, potentially saving you a lot of time.


Advantages

  • Easy to use & install
  • Very user-friendly (helpful arrows show which way to spool the string)
  • Highly recommended for smaller gardens
  • Effortlessly reload spools

Disadvantages

  • Only holds 13' of string

Buyers Guide

Weed Eaters/Trimmers vs Lawnmowers

Weed Eater

If you manage your own garden, a trimmer makes the work a lot, lot easier. If you own a trimmer, you're going to need a good head for it too.

You can use a lawnmower for most of the garden and then your trimmer will perform the job of tidying everything up, like a nice, well-groomed haircut.

If you're a little stuck for cash, just owning a trimmer, but no lawnmower, will allow you to still get the same effect, with a little more work, but for less money.

A good head with a decent motor on your trimmer will even allow you to get rid of thick brush without breaking anything!

It's always a good idea to have a spare head lying around for your trimmer because I can't count the number of times I've had something run out or die on me and I'm left with half a garden to finish!

Bump, Fixed and Automatic Feeds

There are a few different types of heads that you can use for your trimmers.

Bump Feeds

Bump feeds tend to be the most popular heads because they're easy to use and dependable. It works with two equal lengths of the string being fed through the trimmer head.

This ensures you're getting a decent cut. Your trimmer line will gradually be worn down as you're using the trimmer so you'll need some way to get the head to release more of the line.

A bump feed operates by the user bumping the head on the ground to release more string rather than turning the trimmer off instead.

This video shows how to operate a bump feed head.

It's easier to cut exactly where you're aiming with a Bump Feed, but if you're not careful you can damage the spool and spring by slamming it.

Automatic Feeds

Automatic feeds are used by certain types of trimmers. As you might expect, the spool is automatically fed, as needed, by the trimmer, so you don't have to worry about it.

It can make trimming faster, as long as everything works properly. Wear and tear will mean that one day you'll have to replace the head, or maybe the whole trimmer, and that means you'll need to set aside more time for trimming your garden!

Take a look at this video to see how an automatic feed works as well as some general tips on operatin all trimmers.

A Fixed Head

A fixed head is the last type of trimmer head and it has its own unique set of pros and cons. Rather than the whole spool being loaded into the trimmer, individual lengths of string are loaded one at a time, as needed.

This works very well if you're using thicker, tougher string because if your string isn't durable, you'll find yourself stopping the trimmer to replace the string more often than you'd like.

Apart from those differences, they're all useful for doing what a trimmer does best – trimming your garden. Plenty of people use trimmers to mow their whole garden and there's no reason you can't too, but they work best when used in conjunction with lawnmowers.

How Does It Work?

Weed Eater Head

The spool of string that is fed into the head is spun at high speeds. This makes the string stretch out and taught, like a child hanging on to a merry-go-round.

This tension and the energy produced by whipping it around give the string the ability to cut through weeds, plants, and grass very easily.

Do I Need to Be an Expert?

landscaper cutting grass

The short answer is "no", you don't. Trimmers are easy to use in general. The main problem you can encounter is if it's being used improperly or if the trimmer is too heavy and unwieldy for you to use.

There are a couple of things you should keep in mind when using a weed eater/trimmer:

  • Check the ground for anything that might damage your trimmer. Rocks and bricks are the main culprits here. Your trimmer is powerful but it's just string at the end of the day and it's not going to cut through anything as dense as rocks and you might even send that kind of object flying into your windows.
  • Wear Eye Goggles. This should really be a bare minimum for your safety gear. Your eyes can be damaged by debris that is flung upwards by your trimmer. If you want to be extra-safe, some sort of face protection will protect you from potential cuts and bruises.
  • Make sure nobody else is nearby whilst trimming. Nobody else is likely to be wearing the same protective clothing as you are when you're trimming. Debris will shoot upwards at an angle and if somebody is in the sweet spot, it will be hitting them in the face.
  • Protect your windows. If you have a vehicle nearby, or you're trimming nearby your house, a net will catch any debris before it reaches your precious glass, and save you from a possible argument with your partner!
  • Keep your eye on where you're trimming. It's all too easy to be distracted for a moment. All of a sudden, that finely carved hedge becomes decapitated, or you've cut into your neighbor's bushes.

What Can I Use A Weed Eater/Trimmer For?

cutting-grass

You can use your weed eater/trimmer for sculpting hedges. Hedge cutters are preferred by some and you might be able to get a finer cut by using them, but a trimmer can be almost as good in the hands of a proficient user.

Trimming the edge of your lawn is probably the most effective and best use of trimmers, in my opinion. It's a lot easier to control than a lawn mower and it's comparable to a hand vacuum versus a standard vacuum.

You can also use it to cut the whole garden but the larger your garden is, the more you'll wish you used a lawnmower!

Things to Look for When Buying Weater Eater Heads

String Trimmer Head

You Should Match Your Head to Your Trimmer.

To get the most out of the powerful heads, you need a powerful trimmer motor. Not all trimmer heads will fit all trimmers. Certain trimmers require an automatic feeder head. Most will use a Bump feed head though.

If You Have a Large Area to Cut, You Want a Trimmer Head that Will Last You a Long Time.

Otherwise, you'll be replacing it more often than you'd like to. You also want your trimmer head to hold a good amount of string so you don't have to change the spool as often.

An alternative to that would be getting a trimmer head that's easy to replace the spools, and have plenty of spare spools on hand when you're trimming.

Buying a Trimmer Head that's Easy to Install is Probably the Best Choice for Most, in My Opinion.

It can be frustrating when you're struggling to install a new head and it can make you regret your purchase.

If you're happy to look online for help via videos and articles, this isn't a big problem, though, as there's plenty of help.

Conclusion

For me, Husqvarna's T35 is the best weed eater head to use. Most of the frustrations you can encounter during trimming are nullified by its fantastic features.

It will last longer than any of the other heads. It comes with a very useful tool for removing and installing weed eater heads. The head also makes re-spooling easy.

Several of the other heads I've reviewed share some of these features, but overall, especially when you consider the price, Husqvarna's T35 beats the rest.

It doesn't come with as much string as some of the other heads, being only 6' in length. This can be a plus for many reasons though, as you can buy different types of string to fit your needs, whether you just have some simple weeding to do, or there's some thicker growth to tackle.

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The Difference Between Vascular and Nonvascular Plants: Here Are Important Facts!

Plants what can you say about them? After all, there is probably not a day that goes by in your life where you are not near one at some point in that day. Despite being around plants so much, people often do not know much about them.

If you ask a person to describe a plant, they would most likely say they are living organisms in nature that have leaves, roots, stems and flowers. Though that would be partially correct it would only describe one of the two main plant categories.

Most plant species fall into one of the two categories that are known as vascular or nonvascular plants. Let’s talk a little more about the difference between vascular and nonvascular plants.

What Are Vascular Plants?

This is the plant category that most closely fits what people think all plants actually are. They have roots, stems, leaves and tubular sets of tissues that are found throughout their bodies. It is a plant category that includes several different types of plants that most people will easily recognize.

Examples of vascular plants include roses, wheat and maple trees.

Here is a video that goes into a little more detail about this category of plants:

Taking a Closer Look at Mysterious Nonvascular Plants

Many people do not even realize that this category of plant life exists. It is a category of plants that has had to become very adaptive to the types of somewhat harsh and sunlight deprived environments that they grow in.

Plant experts are fairly impressed with the way these plants have evolved over time to survive and live in growing environments that are hard for vascular plants to survive.

Examples of nonvascular plants include mosses, hornworts and liverworts (these are sometimes called ‘bryophytes’).

Here is a clip from a biology education video that will give you a nice introduction to nonvascular plants:

Major Differences between Vascular and Nonvascular Plants

Here are the differences between these two categories of plants in list form:

1. Nutrient Distribution

Vascular Plants

This is the main difference between these two major plant categories and it’s the very thing that determines which category a plant variety belongs too. Vascular and nonvascular plants feed their plant bodies in two very different ways.

Vascular plants have roots that pick up nutrients from the ground and pass these nutrients to the stem of the plants. The nutrients are delivered by tubes like tissues/vessels called xylem and phloem.

Think of these two types of plant tissue as food elevators if you will. Xylems are the elevators that go up and carry water and nutrients that are found in the ground up into the main vascular plant body for distribution. Phloems are the elevators that go down and carry nutrients that are synthesized by leaves down into the main body of a vascular plant.

Nonvascular plants on the other hand have no such tube like tissues in them. In short, they do not have xylem and phloem and that makes them very different from vascular plants.

How then do nonvascular plants get the nutrients and water they need to survive? They actually absorb the moisture and nutrients they need right through the plant body itself.

2. Ground Support

Growing plant with underground root

The roots on vascular plants not only provide a means for a plant to get water and nutrients from the ground but they are also the anchors that attach a plant to the ground.

These root structures can be extremely vast and complex on some forms of vascular plants. Roots do a great job of holding plants firmly in place in all types of weather conditions.

Nonvascular plants do not have any roots. As a matter of fact, the closest things they have to roots are called rhizoids. These are more like short hairs that stick out of a nonvascular plant that actually sticks slightly into the ground. They provide very little actual support to the plant.

3. Reproduction

Flowers

Reproduction occurs differently between vascular and nonvascular plants too.

Most vascular plants reproduce by spreading seeds or by flowering. Some of the reproduction strategies in these types of plants can actually be very complex.

Nonvascular plants have much simpler reproductive strategies than vascular plants do. The vast majority of nonvascular plants reproduce in one of two different ways.

This is either by producing single cell spores or by a process an asexual reproduction process known as vegetative propagation. Vegetative propagation is one a part of a nonvascular plant breaks off and falls to the ground and forms an entirely new plant with the same cell structure.

4. Size

Big Tree

The lignified tissues that vascular plants have to offer them some big advantages over nonvascular plants. These tissues nourish the entire plant body well so they can grow bigger in size.

These tissues also make vascular plants more rigid and stable so they can handle increased growth. That is why vascular plants such as trees can go so big and strong.

Since nonvascular plants do not have lignified tissues it greatly restricts the size they can grow to. Nonvascular plants are also considered to be very soft and tender types of plants.

5. Natural Habitat

Forest river landscape

Vascular plants can be found just about anywhere. That is because they can survive anyplace they can get water from the ground below and have conditions favorable to food synthesis from above.

It is not uncommon to see vascular plants even growing in places that have little sunlight or very dry conditions.

On the other hand, nonvascular plants are severely restricted to the areas where they find the conditions right for growth.

Because they do not have roots that can travel far away from the plant to get water, it restricts the habitats of these plants to places where they can get an abundance of moisture very close by. Examples of this would be swamps and bogs.

6. Diversity Among Plants in that Category

mixed planting

There is very little diversity among nonvascular plants because there are not so many varieties of them. Quite the opposite is true with vascular plants.

That is because there are thousands of different plants that have unique characteristics. So there is a huge amount of diversity among vascular plant life.

7. Drought Resistance

Drought resistance

We mentioned that vascular plants often have extensive root systems on themselves. This means these plants roots will spread if they do not have water in the immediate area of the plant. That makes them very efficient at getting the necessary water they need to survive even in drought-like conditions.

Nonvascular plants have no such complex root systems. They rely heavily on moisture being in the immediate area that they are growing in. That is why these plants have very little chance of survival if a drought comes to the area they are growing in.

Here is a video that takes the time to go into much more detail about the major differences between vascular and nonvascular plants:

You Now Are Well On Your Way to Becoming A Vascular and Nonvascular Plant Expert

So now if you are walking through a swamp or a garden you will be able to amaze your friends and tell them which plants are vascular plants and which plants are nonvascular plants. All kidding aside, it’s important that people be able to tell the difference between these two categories of plants.

This is because they are separate and unique in the way they each translocate water and in how they are structured. That makes a big difference if you are a home gardener and raising plants in either of these two categories.

We hope this article helped you increase your knowledge of the two different plant categories and the unique features of each of them. As always we welcome your questions and comments about the article.

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