A garden cart is a multipurpose wheeled cart for use in residential landscaping. While several manufacturers produce garden carts that you can pull behind your riding lawnmower, you can also build your own garden cart using basic supplies and construction skills. The type of cart you build and the complexity of the project depends on your specific landscaping needs.
There are several styles to choose from when you begin drawing up plans to build your own tow-behind garden cart. Some are primarily decorative, featuring ornate construction and decorative elements that allow them to be parked in various places around your yard. When holding potted plants, these carts make it easy to move the plants to areas of shade or sunlight as needed. Most garden carts are primarily utilitarian, making use of heavy-duty components to carry heavy loads from place to place.
Materials and Construction
A basic garden cart can use scrap lumber and plywood construction. Salvaged wheels, including tractor wheels and bicycle wheels, are all options for a pull-behind garden cart. Some basic designs use PVC pipes for a frame and plywood for the cart's sides. The hitch and tongue, which attach to your lawnmower and support the full weight of the cart, need to be strong enough to haul the load you intend to carry. While a wooden tongue is fine for lighter loads, you'll need a steel tongue if you plan to carry heavy loads of stone or dirt in a large cart.
A garden cart that attaches to your riding mower can serve a number of purposes in your yard. Hauling landscaping materials is one use, which will save time and energy compared to using a wheelbarrow or transporting material such as dirt and gravel by the bucket-fulls. Garden carts also serve to carry tools from a garage or shed to the site of the work. Decorative garden carts are useful for moving and displaying plants.
A simple garden cart for your riding mower is only appropriate for use in your own yard. If you also want to use your garden cart with a car or truck to transport plants and landscaping material on public roads, you'll need to follow more strict regulations. These rules vary by state, but in general your cart will need reflectors, turn signal lights, wheels and fenders, it must comply with automotive standards, and it must display a license plate and/or registration sticker.
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