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When my wife and I bought this house a few years back, one of the first things I bought for the yard was a Toro Blower Vac from The Home Depot. The corded blower vac saw a ton of action - spring and summer finding it used as a blower-only, for post-mowing cleanup, while Fall saw it transform into vac mode to help with the leaves that one would expect from an Illinois autumn. For 2015, Toro has upped their game the the new UltraPlus Blower Vac - one of which arrived here for review in my own State-of-the-Art Testing facility: Rock Father HQ. With the leaves having begun to fall here at home, it was time to go hands-on to see how the latest model matches up against my trusty old Fall friend.

Published in Gardening

I am officially a lawn nerd. Perhaps "enthusiast" may be a better term, but when it comes to the landscape here at Rock Father HQ, I'm pretty obsessive about it. Prior to owning this home, I'd either owned or used a multitude of different lawn mowers over the years - mowers of all shapes, sizes, brands and power sources. Prior to the 2015 season, I'd spent a few years doing things the old fashioned way - with a reel mower. I went completely old-school, and while there's a lot that I really liked about doing things that way for a bit, I missed power and precision - that well-manicured cut something that seemed farther and farther off each time. I was planning to power-up this season, so when the folks at Toro got in touch about their 2015 offerings, I zeroed in on the Recycler 22" Personal Pace All-Wheel Drive lawn mower. They sent me one for HQ, and rather than flip some quick opinions, I've taken the past 2½ months to really "get to know" the mower so that I can provide all of you with the most comprehensive feedback.

Published in Gardening

It is 1° as I sit in my office typing this right now. For those of you that don't live in a cold weather climate, I'll explain that it's right about this time every year when we in Northern Illinois have just about had it with the cold and start looking forward to warmer weather. Here at Rock Father HQ, working in the yard is something we look forward to, and this year in particular I can't wait to have the snow melted and get out there. As I throw open the virtual doors of my Gardening section here on THE ROCK FATHER for 2015, my first entry for the season ahead is a little news from the folks at Toro, who sent over the details on two new models of mowers that will soon be rocking neighborhoods Nationwide - the Toro Recycler All-Wheel Drive, and customizable TimeCutter Zero-Turn. Let's take a peek...

Published in Gardening