Best Garden Tractor for Your Gardening Needs in 2018 – Reviews of Top 5

Tending to my garden is one of the most important things in life and, especially when I grow my own vegetables and herbs while growing beautiful flowers, my five-acre backyard has been made much easier to tend with my personal garden tractor.

The best garden tractor saved my hands because it does make gardening much easier and saves so much time; of course, I needed to take the time to understand it before buying one and this is what you are doing now as I would assume.

Best Garden Tractor on the Market Today

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Husqvarna, one of the leading manufacturers of garden tractors and riding lawn mowers offers this LGT2654 which is one of their good brands in garden tractors.

From the looks of it, it is quite compact compared to other tractors I have tried on—because of this quality, it was so much easier for me to maneuver over different terrains.

It has a hydrostatic transmission which offers smooth speed whether I am going forward or in reverse. In addition to all these, it requires less space for storage.

When working with it, I found it to have great power with decent traction and every aspect under the hood runs top notch. This is built for light to medium use up to 5 acres of land which helped me cut up to 10 inches of grass.

I would not say this is ideal for professional mowing because it is not exactly as consistent as it claims to be, and it does ride higher than other tractors I have ridden on so I was not able to get under trees when moving around the terrain.

I also am not sure if it is me or if the tractor is simply difficult to operate because the on-fender hand lever transmission needs to be held when I need to slow the mower so it would not give me a quicker turn.

The on-hand lever transmission is also located in a place where it can be bumped by branches, but what bothers me the most is that the slot that the lever travels in has a notch midway up the forward acceleration so it becomes more difficult to accelerate.

This could just be a safety feature, but it does increase the difficulty in operating it. Other than this, the power it has provides that the three blades mow through most grass and mulch well.

Though because of its power, it was louder than I imagined so I had to wear earplugs. Because of its construction, it can be a great use for suburban mowing; but I would not say it would keep up for the long run.

Specs:​
  • Cutting Deck: 54 inches
  • Horsepower: 26 HP
  • Engine: Kohler V-Twin
  • Transmission: Hydrostatic

PROS

  • It has plenty of power and decent traction.
  • It is built for up to 5 acres of land for light to medium use.
  • It can cut grass up to 10 inches.
  • The larger rear tires seem to give superior grip.
  • It has a very wide cut swath.

CONS

  • It is not good for professional mowing or landscaping.
  • It rides higher so you cannot get under trees.
  • The tractor has a power louder than you think, you need to wear earplugs.
  • It does not have an intuitive on-hand lever transmission.
  • The plastic guard sticks out too much that you cannot cut anything on that area.

Last update on 2018-11-20 - Details - Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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Poulan Pro is also manufactured by Husqvarna which gives it a much better quality in built and performance than lesser known brands. Trying this out for myself made it seem like I am using just another Husqvarna garden tractor—unlike older versions of their garden tractors.

However, this has a Kohler V-Twin engine with a pedal control fast auto drive transmission which makes it both powerful and faster. It is easier to assemble and operate with tight turns and smooth riding.

When I received this, the thing that surprised me is that the engine already had oil and all I needed to do was to add gas and charge the battery and it fired up nicely. Though, I noticed that there is no fuel gauge or visible window on the tank so there was no way for me to know if there is still gas in the tank.

Other parts of the tractor had a good quality and it also came with armrests which were a nice surprise since it was not mentioned before buying it.

The deck is already leveled—this is a solid stamped deck with 4 gauge wheels and an anti-scalp center front wheels, though because its width was wider than the tire track width, it usually got hung up on dips, ditch, or on rolling terrain.

Though it is leveled, the deck does not have enough lift for traveling without guide wheels touching the ground constantly on one side or the other. It does not matter when running, though, since the forward is very fast for this tractor which made cutting grass more fun than I had intended it to be.

As opposed to the fast speed of the forward, the reverse is slow at 1MPH. But what bothers me when in reverse is that the deck shuts off from time to time which can be troublesome if I am on uneven terrain; there is a key switch position, however, to bypass this safety feature.

Other than this, the garden tractor does its job fairly well apart from some maneuvering issues which are not deal breakers. This is likely the type to have a good long run when working the yard; I can even leave it running when I set the parking brake so this is a great feature.

Specs:​
  • Cutting Deck: 54 inches
  • Horsepower: 24 HP
  • Engine: Kohler V-Twin

PROS

  • Easy to drive, it turns tightly and rides smoothly.
  • It comes with armrests which are a nice surprise.
  • The deck is already leveled and is constructed with quality materials.
  • The forward speed is extremely fast.
  • You can leave the tractor seat while it runs when on the parking brake.

CONS

  • There is no fuel gauge or visible window on the tank.
  • The deck shuts off in reverse.
  • The reverse is slow at 1MPH.
  • There is not enough lift on the deck.

Last update on 2018-11-20 - Details - Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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Cub Cadet is one of the brands that almost get to the level of quality builds Husqvarna has and this model specifically is one of the best they have on the market.

Because of the power and size of this garden tractor, it was great for mowing up to 7 acres of land with different terrains from hills to shrubbery to around trees. It was even able to cut waist-high grass and cut through tree saplings 18 to 24 inches in height.

Unlike the other brand, this garden tractor has an electric PTO that definitely helped me haul a 48-inch plug aeration attachment across hilly fields while mowing and it did not have any problems whatsoever.

Because of this, I was also able to remove snow in the large driveway and attaching other materials for gardening and around the pasture. Because of the things it could do, I found its turning radius especially useful when mowing.

I was able to use this a lot which made great sense to purchase this in the first place, but there was a time that I had not used it over the winter and because of this, it accumulated a puddle of fluid coming out of the right rear axle seal.

It would also be good to note that my 3/4 inch shank hitch ball did not fit with the tractor so I had to purchase a 5/8 inch shank trailer hitch ball. Other than this, it was a great find a good use—I would not be so sure about its use in the long run, however.

Specs:
  • Cutting Deck: 50 inches
  • Horsepower: 25 HP
  • Engine: Kohler V-Twin

PROS

  • It is great for use up to 7 acres of land.
  • It can haul different attachments for both snow removal and hauling of large garden and pasture trailers.
  • It can cut waist-high grass and tall tree saplings.
  • It is easy to maintain.

CONS

  • It requires a 5/8 inch shank trailer hitch ball.
  • It will accumulate a puddle of fluid coming from the right rear axle seal if not used for a long time.

Last update on 2018-11-20 - Details - Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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Another one of the series by Husqvarna is the LS series and this is their star. This garden tractor is a completely featured product that can assist with heavy duty work in the pasture.

My 5-acre terrain is highly pleased especially since I have used this for some of the heaviest and longest work in the backyard. I was able to haul heavy trailers uphill with ease and even while mowing, it works perfectly fine.

I was able to mow different terrains from hills to rocky grass to shrubbery and it would even mow uphill at top speed while still doing a great job at making precise cuts.

The beauty of doing this was that the locking rear wheels gave a superior grip which made me feel extremely safe while doing all the activities I needed to do. What was a bit difficult was mounting and dismounting the tractor because the space around the seat was so tight that I had to slip under the steering wheel.

It would also be difficult to see the fuel level because the fuel gauge system does not have a clear reading, it could have been better to have a window on the tank.

But what struck me the most was that it kept going even after using for heavy-duty activities for up to 45 hours. It gave more meaning to heavy duty, and I do believe it will be lasting for a longer time because of its superb build and construction.

Specs:​
  • Cutting Deck: 52 inches
  • Horsepower: 24 HP
  • Engine: Kohler V-Twin

PROS

  • Heavy duty transmission is great for handling hilly terrains.
  • It would be working perfectly even while hauling heavy attachments.
  • It mows uphill at top speed.
  • The locking rear wheels have a superior grip.
  • It keeps going even after 45 hours of use.

CONS

  • The fuel gauge system makes it hard to see the fuel level.
  • The space around the seat is tight, you have to slip under the steering wheel to mount or dismount.

Last update on 2018-11-20 - Details - Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Via Amazon.com

This is one of the classic versions of Husqvarna that is still being used up to now. With the size and power of this garden tractor, I found it moderately good with my 5-acre land.

Unlike other brands in this review, this one has the classic Briggs & Stratton V-Twin Intek engine which gives a moderate power when mowing the large terrain.

The beauty that this tractor has is that it has customizable options for seating, deck height, and it comes with a wide range of accessories. Its powerful engine allowed for me to haul heavy loads in trailers, with just the right amount of power to climb uphill which also does fairly well when mowing uphill.

I would not say it is great for cutting tall grass, however, since the chute does have the tendency to get clogged in the process of mowing.

Maneuvering the garden tractor is easy, though some turns would require a lot of force - it would most probably because the weight of the tractor is not on par with the power the engine has. 

Cornering is not the best with this because the turning radius it has is only up to 16 inches. I believe this would be best for smaller volumes of loads so perhaps this would be good for a medium-sized backyard.

Specs:​
  • Cutting Deck: 54 inches
  • Horsepower: 24 HP
  • Engine: Briggs & Stratton V-Twin Intek

PROS

  • Customizable options for seating and deck height.
  • It has a powerful engine that does fairly with hills and slopes.
  • It would work well for up to 5 acres of land.

CONS

  • The chute gets clogged when cutting tall grass.
  • Turns need a lot of force because the weight is not on par with the power of the tractor.
  • Cornering can be difficult.
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Husqvarna YTH24V54 24 HP Yard Tractor, 54-Inch
5 Reviews

Last update on 2018-11-20 - Details - Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Difference of Garden Tractors

You may have well heard of different innovations of lawn mowers, like riding lawn mowers or lawn tractors, ZTR lawn tractors, or garden tractors. Well, they all do one main thing which is to cut grass but they all do have a difference. From my experience in upgrading from lawn mowers, I explored these different kinds

  • Lawn Tractor

Lawn tractor or a riding lawn mower is a larger-sized lawn mower which can mow a larger area of terrain in the garden; it can also carry or haul small garden trailers around; and, because of its size, it needs to be ridden on.

  • ZTR Lawn Tractor

A ZTR lawn tractor or a zero-turn-radius lawn tractor is like the riding lawn mower but it is more purpose-built since it is designed only to cut grass. Unlike the riding lawn mower, this one does not haul materials because of its basic construction: it has a rear-engine design and the front has a pair of lever kind of steering controls.

Because it is a zero-turn-radius lawn tractor, it is designed to cut close to trees, walls, curbs, and more.

  • Garden Tractor
best garden tractor

A garden tractor, on the other hand, works best with a large terrain and with tasks that need a lot of power.

Using this was the best one for me because it has a lot of horsepowers, more than any other kind, and it has larger transmissions and engines that can potentially boost up to 26 horsepower and this helped me make use of it up to five acres.

It allowed me to mow over large and rugged areas, even ones with taller grass and different terrains. It is also great in assisting with heavy-duty work such as hauling large carts or trailers, tilling, plowing, or grading.

What You Should Look at When Choosing the Best Garden Tractor

There are several things you need to consider before buying the best garden tractor for you

1. Size

best garden tractor

This is one of the things you need to consider since it would determine how large of an area it can cover. If you have one or two acres of land, you would find a tractor with a 46-inch deck would be useful.

2. Engine

Just as when you are buying a car or anything with an engine, you need to see how powerful it can be—so you will need to look if the tractor would need gasoline or diesel.

A garden tractor with a diesel engine will be good for more torque it produces since it will be able to haul heavier materials but the more torque it produces, the noisier it can be.

3. Transmission

A garden tractor’s transmission would be similar to a car since it would be using gears and a clutch. Some of the best garden tractors will come with a locking rear differential that keeps both rear wheels turning to improve traction.

4. Power Take off

This is mostly available on more expensive garden tractors, a power take-off or a PTO usually has a shaft that spins with the engine which can be connected to attachments such as snow blowers and tillers. This is what I use especially making digging my garden much easier.

The Verdict

Finding the best garden tractor was an experience that was worth trying out especially when I knew I needed something that would not require for me to use my hands to dig everything in my garden.

The beauty of having a garden tractor is that it does not only make gardening easier but also tending to my pasture was much easier because having one allowed me to haul heavy loads across the terrain.

The best recommendation I can give is the Husqvarna 960450057 GTH52XLS 24V Hydro Pedal Tractor Mower, 52"/Twin and this is because of every perk it gave me which allowed me to do much of the heavy duty activities that I needed to do with the fewest cons that are manageable and tolerable for me.

Whatever specs you need in finding the best garden tractor for you, let this serve as a guide from an avid gardener. If you have anything to add or share, please feel free to sound them off in the comment section below. Happy gardening!

Dan Harris
 

Hi. I'm Dan Harris. My wife and I started gardening 5 years ago. Neither one of us had any gardening background but we loved the idea of growing our own organic food. Over the years, our garden has almost doubled in size and I’ve learned a lot from my season’s successes and failures. I’ve been excited to share my own beginning knowledge and special skills with all garden lovers.

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