7 Different Ways to Use an Air Compressor in Your Garden

An air compressor isn’t necessarily a type of equipment that you’d associate with gardening, and yet it’s a surprisingly useful tool to have if you are serious about maintaining your land and making your life easier as well.

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If you’ve already got an air compressor, or you’re thinking about adding one to your inventory, here are some inventive options for using it in a garden context.

Buying a cheap air compressor

Before we get started, it’s worth noting that you can now buy an affordable air compressor online, with second-hand units offering an inexpensive entry point for newcomers.

So long as you check the equipment thoroughly and order from a trusted supplier, there’s no reason to overlook used models, especially as new examples can be costly.

Combating weeds

Weeding is a never-ending process for all gardeners, especially if you’ve got paved areas where there are lots of cracks for seeds to take root. 

Manual weeding is incredibly time-consuming, and using harsh chemicals to kill off the weeds is an ecological concern, as well as potentially exposing the plants you actually want to keep around to deadly compounds.

This is where an air compressor comes into play, letting you blast away at weeds and remove them in a fraction of a second, leaving you with a clear, clean-looking deck or patio.

The air on its own won’t always be enough to kill the weeds, so combining the compressor with an abrasive powder of some kind is sensible. A lot of gardeners turn to crushed walnut shells for this purpose, as this has the added benefit of being totally biodegradable.

Maintaining tools

Having a shed full of tools is normal for any gardener, and if you want these implements to stay in good condition for as long as possible, you’ll need to clean and maintain them over time.

From spades and rakes to barrows and brushes, tool maintenance is a necessary but tedious task. With an air compressor on your side, it can be completed quickly, with the power of the air alone being enough to remove dirt, grime, and moisture from the surface of the tools.

As well as making them look neater when they are stored, cleaning tools in this way will also prevent the build-up of rust, and protect tools during the months when they are not in use.

Painting fences & walls

There’s nothing worse than having to crack open a can of paint, dip in a brush and slop the stuff all over whatever surface you want to cover. It’s harder than it looks, dull as dishwater to do and often results in an unsatisfactory, uneven finish. 

Doing any painting outdoors is worse still because you’ll likely have a much larger area that needs coverage.

Switch from a brush to an air compressor-based solution, and you’ll be plowing through paint jobs on your garden fences, wall and any other structure or item that needs a fresh coat.

You’ll of course need the right hose and attachment combo to achieve this, but once in place, you’ll be prepped for all sorts of painting projects. You may even be able to apply protective layers to things like lawn furniture, which is an added bonus.

Reaching the correct tire pressure

Not all garden equipment has pneumatic tires, but for those units that do, it will be necessary to ensure that these are inflated to the correct pressure. If not, this could both hamper the performance potential and also result in increased operational costs due to higher levels of fuel usage.

Air compressors can inflate tires swiftly, so things like ride-on mowers can be brought up to spec if they have suffered from entirely normal air leakage during use or while in storage.

You could even inflate your car tires with an air compressor, which will be all the easier if your vehicle is stored in your garage in the garden.

Powering tools

Certain types of tools that you’ll use in the garden will need to be powered via compressed air. The most obvious example of this is a nail gun, which is an asset for all sorts of garden maintenance tasks, such as repairing fencing after storm damage.

Obviously, you’ll need to check that the specs of your air compressor are appropriate to ensure that it is compatible with any nail gun you buy, and vice versa.

Cleaning surfaces

Earlier we discussed blasting away weeds with an abrasive-loaded air compressor, and it’s also worth pointing out that this equipment is capable of removing other types of detritus from outdoor surfaces.

Pressure washing is a common technique, used to emit jets of water from various shaped heads to bring dull, lifeless-looking surfaces back to their original state. In the garden, that means clearing away the built-up soil deposits, animal leavings, and other grubby substances from flat areas as well as walls and upright structures.

Clearing leaves

Fall is a wonderful season if you are a fan of the changing color of the leaves, but when they fall to the ground, they can be somewhat unsightly.

Rather than raking up the leaves from across your plot of land, an air compressor can be used to whisk away this organic matter, either to create a large pile that is easier to deal with or simply to move it off the lawn and into the beds, where the leaf mulch will help to fuel next year’s growth.

Final thoughts

One last thing to say about using an air compressor in your garden is that you should research the process carefully and consider the safety implications of any job you decide to do using one.

If in doubt, consult a professional, and make sure that the compressor which you buy is appropriate for domestic use. Of course, if you are responsible for a garden area on a commercial property, then there are even more options available to you.

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