35 Useful Things To Help You Solve Some Of Your Backyard Problems
Welcome to your new vacation spot.
We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
1. Some interlocking Teak tiles you don't need tools to install but will LOOK like you paid someone to install. Talk about an upgrade!
Promising review: "Living in Hawaii you have to select wise items that are weather-, salt-, and red dirt–proof, etc... In total I ordered 11 boxes to complete my yoga deck. I have a few left over to make steps on the back. Very pleased and happy. May order more for an outdoor shower project!" —Adazzle
Get 10 sq. ft from Amazon for $77.99.
2. A power washer to give you an oh-so-satisfying "after" when it comes to stained and worse-for-wear concrete surfaces. (And the same goes for fences!)
4. Some smol picket fencing (1 foot tall!) you can place around your prized garden beds to deter kids and pets from getting into them.
Promising review: "I have been looking for fencing to keep skunks out of my 'patio pond'....this fit the size, is good quality and is 'flexible' enough to bend around corners. Problems with the way they attach to each other but that seems to be common to these types of fencing. The manufacturer should look into some sort of clips to keep the pieces connected......decent price for as many as I got!" —Roseann from Dayton, OH
Get 18 composite pieces from Wayfair for $38.99.
5. A nice-looking shed for easily stashing recycling bins, bikes, a lawnmower, and other hefty tools you have no other place to store.
Promising review: "Good quality. Easy to assemble. Parts are individually bagged and labeled. Holds two 32-gallon round barrels — which is what I wanted it for. Very compact, which was a factor for where i had to put it." —Joe in Brooklyn
6. A lighted umbrella that'll tilt (literally) to your whims and give you the right amount of shade and light when/where you want it. Your backyard time just extended by a LOT.
Note that this includes just the umbrella, not the table!
Promising review: "I normally don’t like buying products like this sight unseen, but I’m very pleased with the look and especially with the solar lighting. We enjoyed a pleasant evening on the deck with just the right amount of ambient light tonight, and we are hopeful that it will prove to be durable." —Dee Williams
Get it from Amazon for $71.99 (available in five color combos).
7. And a net for your patio umbrella as an ~extra layer~ so you can sit and survey your kingdom, even if mosquitoes have infested it.
This fits umbrellas as large as 9 feet.
Promising review: "We like sitting outside and having dinner, but flies and bugs made it impossible to enjoy a meal in peace. Given that a large canopy with netting or an enclosed sun room isn't in the budget, I went looking for other solutions and gave this a shot. There's a learning curve getting it set up and it's a little tricky for one person to get it on the umbrella, raise the umbrella and clip it into place, but once it's all sorted out, it's FANTASTIC!!
I'm glad I took the advice to order the clothes clips other reviewers recommended. I ended up clipping one on each side of every umbrella spine, and one or two in the middle of each span of cloth between the spines and it's holding well. We take the umbrella down and bring it inside at night, leaving the screen attached and bunched around the base of the umbrella. I'm also glad I followed the other reviewers and didn't add sand or water to the base. It's not really necessary and it would be a MESS to clean up. Someone suggested a length of chain, which may be a possibility, but so far we haven't needed any additional weight.
I do think we need to be careful not to snag the screen material on the backs of our chairs, which have a defined edge rather than rounded corners. Other than that, I am SUPER HAPPY with this purchase and have recommended it to others." —Kindle Customer
Get it from Amazon for $35.13+ (available in two colors and three sizes).
8. A roll of faux ivy can easily attach to ugly wire fencing, railing, or a trellis to obscure a view you don't love. This is *far* easier than replacing that hideous fence you inherited with the house.
Promising review: "This is the second privacy screen I've purchased from Amazon. I have an area in my garden visible from the street. The screen hides all my gardening stuff (i.e. wheelbarrow, buckets, etc.). It truly looks like the real deal!!!" —soooz
Get a 94-inch X 39-inch roll from Amazon for $49.99+ (available in three sizes).
9. And a vinyl privacy screen that won't be an eyesore like that AC (or another essential) it's hiding.
10. A double hammock you totally have permission to use just by yourself but would be great for two if you're feeling generous.
11. Or a hammock with a mosquito net so you can kick back, relax, and take in some nature BUT not *too* much nature, amiright? It's made for camping but I think would look great in your yard. Meet your new reading spot!
The net isn't removable but if you choose not to use it, you can flip it to the underside while in use.
Promising review: "We recently took two of these camping and they worked well. Hammock sleeping takes some getting used to. They are initially comfy but, depending on how you set it up, your legs can end up high which caused me to wake up a few times to adjust my sleeping position. The mosquito netting is a great add. Be careful getting into the hammock as one of the lines we used to hold up the netting was caught in our hand and snapped when the full weight of your body was applied. It's not really a product flaw, you just have to make sure you are only putting your weight on the sleeping surface and not the netting when getting in. Common sense really, just something to watch for." —Tony
Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in 10 color combos).
12. A pet wading pool to cool off in so every member of the fam can make good use of the great outdoors on your lil' patch of land! And in case you're wondering, yes, it's great for ducks.
Plus it isn't inflatable like other little pools, so you don't have to worry about your dog puncturing it. And while we're on the subject, check out hot weather pet tips from the ASPCA.
Promising review: "The perfect size for our golden retriever (80 lbs). Easy to open, unfold, fill up, and put away! Very happy I selected this model and size when searching for a pool for him." —Katy Ryan
Get it from Amazon for $28.99+ (available in two sizes).
13. And a pressure-activated cooling pad you can keep in a spot right inside your door so your dog has a place to go for a quick cool down when they ask to come inside. It's 5–10 degrees cooler than room temp and reviewers say it also provides some relief for pets with joint pain.
Promising review: "I have a pug and a toy fox terrier/Chihuahua mix and they absolutely love this thing. I just leave it sitting on the living room floor and they gravitate towards it whenever they need to cool down (they sometimes even fight over it). Both fit simultaneously if they are in the mood for sharing the space. The mat is tough, too! I don't think their nails can penetrate it." —E Marsh
Get it from Amazon for $28.99+ (available in nine colors).
17. A set of s'mores sticks to *safely* reach closer to the fire for you so you can achieve the perfect level of toasted on that marshmallow. It's extremely important!
Promising review: "These roasting sticks will get the job done. They retract easily and will be perfect for light use (roasting marshmallows) with our fire pit. Not extremely sturdy but not flimsy either. The metal points are not sharp which is a good thing if kids are handling them. I like the storage pouch it comes with too." —Sheri J. O
Get a set of five from Amazon for $8.48+ (available in four quantities).
18. And a cute s'mores station you can park nearby so no one has to hunt down the marshmallows when it's time for the best dessert on the planet.
19. And some chocolate-stuffed marshmallows that'll take an extra step out of making s'mores. Plus they'll perfect your chocolate-marshmallow ratio!
Promising review: "A friend had come across these once when they had gone camping for making smores. I thought that they would be great for our 'camping' that we have done during our lockdowns. They make the smores making experience so much easier. I love how the chocolate gets all warm too.
I have been brave and even tried some of their recipes for other uses for the marshmallows like making hot chocolate for the chocolate/chocolate ones. Super yummy, just make sure to cut them in half and that your milk is very warm before adding them." —MG.
Get two bags (one original, one chocolate-on-chocolate) from Amazon for $14.99.
20. A set of jumbo lawn dice you can keep handy for those lazy afternoons when you wanna do something besides just sit around in your wonderful outdoor rooms.
But what do you do with them? Well, you can use them to play huge versions of your favorite dice games or invent your own! Plus, they come with dry-erase game boards to keep all participants honest ;).
Get them from Amazon for $31.93.
21. A sunshade triangle rather than a canopy you can rig up over the patio or the kids' sandbox to block up to 95% of UV rays and keep things a bit cooler.
Promising review: "My pool is awesome when it gets into the hundreds of degrees here in California. We decided to grab a 20x20x20 triangle and holy cow does it do a number on the backyard! Not only does it keep my pool better-shaded, but it also keeps the sun off of my back patio during the hottest part of the day." —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $20.94+ (available in 6 sizes and 14 colors).
22. Waterproof globe string lights that'll make a big style impact when hung along your roofline, draped on outdoor structures like a pergola, or just strung up solo so you can enjoy the lights *and* the stars.
Reviewers note that you should remove the bulbs before stringing up the strands and then install the bulbs.
Promising review: "These lights were perfect for my patio, I've recieved plenty of compliments so far. The Edison light bulbs and beautiful and offer the perfect amount of lighting for any occasion...the clips were ideal for my eaves, the overhang of the roof, which made for simple installation...now just need to find a dimmer capable of handling the required wattage and the package will be complete." —Brody Vins
Get a strand from Amazon for $16.98+ (available in three lengths and three colors).
23. And solar lights you can stake along a walkway or pond right where you need 'em. Lighting is key for getting more use out of your outdoor space in the fall. Oh, and they look nice in the daylight too!
Promising review: "Impressed with the size of the cell which provides a larger surface area for charging. The lights are the brightest I've seen for a solar light and the illumination covers a nice range. Placed them along my pond giving the place a classy look." —Percussionist
Get six from Amazon for $49.99.
25. An outdoor drink stakes set that'll hold your beer while you tend to the fire pit or check out how those burgers are faring on the grill.
Promising review: "As always, my order was shipped quickly and in perfect condition. I love the bright colors and they are talk and sturdy. They are perfect for bottles, cabs, and cups... Not so good with stemmed wine glasses! No problem: I just ordered silicone stemless wine glasses!" —LaDonna Clark
26. Rapid-fill water balloons so you can cut down on prep time and get to the backyard fun so much faster. Ahem, water balloon fights are a WONDERFUL social-distancing activity, as the reviewer below found!
Promising review: "These are the best water ballons. Multiple balloons filled at same time, self tie and release with a gentle shake. You can't have too many of these balloons. After all the time spent at home under Shelter in Place guidelines, it was great to maintain 6 ft. apart and have so much fun. The kids were able to play outdoors, maintain social distancing and have a lot of fun with water balloons. Easy and quick to fill. Worth the money. I don't think we can ever return to regular balloons for water battles." —Brenda S.
Get 350 balloons from Amazon for $26.31+ (available in three versions).
27. Or a set of reusable water balloons in case you wanna keep the fun going with FAR less waste. *And* they won't sting when you get nailed, unlike regular water balloons.
Mama Love Boutique is a Sellersville, Pennsylvania-based shop that specializes in these balloons and knit hats.
These water balloons are handmade with a chenille-like yarn, which means they're soft, absorbent, and a great alternative to wasteful plastic single-use water balloons.
Promising review: "Got them, opened them, used them in the same day. I have two boys with LOTS of energy and they had so much fun pummeling me with these water 'balloons' 🤣 and I had fun throwing them right back. Not just for kids. Very well made. So happy with this purchase!" —Carley Campbell
28. A lemon-eucalyptus spray I bought and wore while hiking in Greece two summers ago with NO bites! It really smells like lemon but that's a thing I can live with if it means I'm bite-free. Keep it by your back door so you'll remember to keep those skeeters away while you enjoy your personal version of the great outdoors.
It's made with lemon eucalyptus oil (not DEET!) and is supposed to last for up to six hours.
Promising review: "After an endless amount of North Carolina spring/summers searching for a 'safe for the family' repellent, I stumbled upon this. I had ordered a bottle of Skedattle repellent and a three-pack of this because the reviews for both were high and seemed like a sure thing. The three-pack of this was the same price as one bottle of the other. Well, the Skedattle didn't do anything for those freaking mosquitoes, they still swarmed us like we weren't even wearing anything. But this product, OMG! It actually worked, and not only did it just work, it worked GREAT! I tried a few different trips with this stuff on, and the kids use it every time they go out, and we hadn't had a single bite with it on. I will say though, it has a VERY strong smell, and you definitely want to make sure you reapply this as needed, but other than that, it's a great product. I won't use any other spray from now on." —Will M.
Get it from Amazon for $4.97+ (available in two sizes)
29. And a mosquito repellent gadget to replace your citronella candles that never quite seem to do what you'd like. This creates a 15-foot zone free of those blood-sucking fiends.
Promising review: "Excellent product that does precisely what it says it does. We have a large patio area and use one of these on each side of the patio. We live in South Florida and even in the height of mosquito season, we can spend an evening on the patio with these and not get a single bite. These are excellent!" —Luke W.
Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in 10 colors).
30. A watermelon cuber to SERIOUSLY cut down on the prep time it takes to dish up this summery fruit. Less time cutting, more time luxuriating in the sun!
You'll also get a melon baller and slicer.
Promising review: "This thing is awesome! I was skeptical that this would actually work, but after reading the reviews I decided to give it a try. It makes cutting up a watermelon so easy and actually kinda fun. Totally recommend." —Stacy
Get it from Amazon for $13.37.
31. A brick pizza oven building kit (with a foam form for easier building) in case you've given up hope on having one after trying to price them out...this Etsy shop has tons of plans to help you DIY and save!
Brickwood Ovens is a Lynden, Washington-based shop that sells downloadable pizza oven plans for less than a buck, along with this form! With this form you can build the base and oven in just three weekends (or less). And it looks great with any color of fire brick.
32. A waterproof Bluetooth speaker so you can pump up the jams while you garden or just relax under an umbrella. Plus it has 360-degree sound with a 24-hour charge, and a splash-proof design to help it survive cannonballs and garden hose ambushes. Your phone in a red Solo cup could NEVER deliver like this.
Promising review: "Super easy to set up, charge, pair, and listen. There’s a built-in loop, so I can attach it to my bike for outdoor cycling, a hook in the bathroom for steamy tunes, or my bag for picnics and hikes. Clear sound for listening to both music and spoken word (of course I tested both). Lovely color and sleek overall look with a range of over 30 feet. I can’t wait to bring this to the beach during the NYC summer months. True to product description." —Aminah
Get it from Amazon for $31.99+ (available in seven colors).
33. A sneaky cooler that'll also lend a hand as a side table. The more perfectly chilled bevs you have on hand, the longer you'll want to stay outside. You can't argue with math!
Promising review: "I really liked these tables! They were perfect for our backyard party. We bought four of them and used two in the 'Smoking Section.' Many of the guests appreciated the beverages under the tables and it kept beverages cold for a long time. they clean up easily and are lightweight and compact for easy storage. Love them!" —Josh Schultz
Get it from Amazon for $78.09+ (available in two colors).