Product Recall: Black & Decker GH1000 Grasshog XP String Trimmer / Edgers

Black & Decker GH1000 weed wacker recalled

About 202,000 Black and Decker hedge trimmers are being recalled due to being a projectile and laceration hazard as well as a burn hazard. There have been 707 reported incidents as well as 58 injuries. Sounds like this “made in China” but branded in the USA product is a real winner.

Here is the latest information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission news release:

Hazard: The trimmer/edger’s spool, spool cap and pieces of trimmer string can come loose during use and become airborne projectiles, posing a laceration hazard to the user as well as bystanders. The trimmer/edgers can also overheat posing a burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Black & Decker has received 707 reports of incidents, including 58 reports of injuries. Serious injuries included cuts to two consumers’ legs that required medical attention. Minor injuries included bruises, lacerations, and facial injuries such as a welt and broken skin over a consumer’s eye. There were also reports of property damage, including two broken windows.

Description: The Black & Decker GH1000 Grasshog XP String Trimmers/Edgers are electric-powered. Trimmer/edgers with date codes 200546 through 200645 (representing manufacture dates of November 14, 2005 through November 6, 2006) are included in this recall. The date code is located on the underside of the trimmer/edger’s handle. Only trimmers with black spools caps are included in the recall. Those with orange spool caps are not included in the recall.

Consumers are advised to stop using the string trimmers / edgers described above immediately and contact Black & Decker for a free repair toolkit.

You can phone Black & Decker at 1 (888) 742-9158 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.

More information is available at the Black & Decker Customer Center online or you can download the Safety Recall Notice PDF directly.

Recalled Black & Decker Grasshog GH1000 Trimmers / Edgers

Backyard Survivor – open flames and tiki torches lend atmosphere

The trend towards extending the living space to the great outdoors continues. Themes for your backyard decor are increasingly popular – for everyday, not just parties or special occasions. One couple has gone as far as turning their back yard into a tropical paradise, complete with tiki huts, waterfalls, and fake volcanoes. But what really makes or breaks the effect? Open flame.

“You’ve got to have open flames,” Brady says. “It adds to the whole tropical feel of the place. It just wouldn’t be the same without some open flames, and the tiki torches provide that.”

Read Fanning the fire of backyard decor for the latest on torch and lantern decor, complete with safety and maintenance tips. Just don’t get voted off the porch ;) .

The latest hardware gadgets & garden products

… from the National Hardware Show in Orlando, Florida.

  • Slime – smart solutions for flat tire prevention and repair,
  • the Scratch Patch – the memo pad you can stick anywhere,
  • the Allas NT – a designer, resizable toolbox,
  • Trimergy – an ergonomic accessory that helps take the work out of using many large garden power tools, and
  • Soil Most – a soil additive that reduces the amount of moisture needed for your plants to thrive.

Read more at The Daily Herald.

You can have a “weedless” organic garden

Very interesting “alternative” gardening article at Mother Earth News.

… Well, my gardens may not be 100 percent weed-free, but they are 100 percent free of weed problems.

I’ve achieved this happy state in four ways: 1) never tilling or otherwise disturbing the soil, so dormant weed seeds stay asleep, away from light and air; 2) designating permanent areas for walking and for planting to avoid compaction and the need for tillage; 3) maintaining a thin mulch of weed-free organic material to snuff out any weed seeds that blow in or are dropped into the garden by birds; 4) using drip irrigation whenever watering is called for to avoid promoting weed growth in paths and between widely spaced plants. Those are the basics of keeping my garden free of weed problems.

Hot New Gadgets & Products for a better garden

Check these out:

  • the Cordless Chainsaw from Black & Decker – lightweight and convenient
  • Garden Safe Slug & Snail Bait by Spectrum – safer and more environmentally friendly
  • ReelSmart Hose Reels by Hydro-Industries – no cranking required, powered by water
  • Ooze Tube by Engineered Water Solutions – keeps new plantings “watered”, even through severe conditions
  • Termite Killer Granules by Bayer Advanced – single treatment,easier to use, and safer around children and pets after drying
  • the Adjustable Auto Wrench from Black & Decker – battery powered wrench that puts “190 foot-pounds of torque grip onto stubborn nuts and bolts”

For the full story, read A gaggle of gadgets for the garden.

Want tips for a beautiful lawn?

Check out the latest Consumer Reports blog post 8 tips for a show-off lawn. A full feature is coming in the May 2007 issue of the magazine.

The artificial grass is always greener …

Every now and then, I like to pop over to to ogle new products that I’m not going to buy because I’ve taken on a new venture (this one) … usually it’s fabulous decor or cool stuff for your home … but artificial grass? Now that’s something out of the ordinary.

Certainly, according to the blog post there is a market for it in the UK where people are actually using it in their back yards. Heck, even Prince Charles has bought some, albeit to put under his biodiesel powered Range Rover in his garage to keep it warm(er) at night. Less yard maintenance. Hmmm… But is that really going to fly in these parts? Is there a market for it? It got me thinking.

Thinking … “would the neighbors think I’m cheating?”, to be truthful. But beside that …

There actually are environmental benefits to artificial grass. It does save on water and obviously doesn’t need any fertilizers or chemicals – good for the environment. But to me, “going green” is a bit about getting closer to nature, not further from it. Artificial grass is pretty far away from nature … so it’s probably not the kind of green I’m looking for.

What about for people with allergies? Or a good cause? I found this article about autistic kids with allergies & environmental sensitivities and how artificial grass solved the problem for them. No more allergy attacks and a safer environment as well.

I can see using artificial grass as a substitute where grass won’t grow, around swimming pools and roof gardens where it’s difficult to get natural turf to thrive. I don’t have either of those, but I do have a huge tree that literally overshadows the back yard. It sucks the life out of any grass in it’s shadow, once the leaves come out. And dumps bags of leaves on the neighbors in the fall (I offer to rake).

I used to think it was because the previous owners had dogs that grass wouldn’t grow well. But after sprinkling on fertilizer and grass seed, it’s the mass of roots close to the surface that’s the problem. My neighbor has offered to chop it down but I love the old tree, and she isn’t going anywhere soon. Artificial grass could be a better solution …

Weighing the pros and cons, I’ve decided to try good old fashioned elbow grease first. Get some branches trimmed … and head to the garden center for more dirt (“the works”). One more try … if it doesn’t work out, maybe, just maybe it’ll be artificial grass time after all.

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