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9 Best Garden Tractors Reviewed | 2022 Buying Guide

In our ultimate buyer’s guide, we reviewed the best garden tractors on the market in 2022 and choose the top contender, as well as looking at the benefits of these versatile machines, features to look for when making your purchase, lawn tractor uses and safety, and much more!

If you want to make yard work easy and enjoyable, you need the best garden tractor for the job! 

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Best Garden Tractors Buying Guide

Best Garden Tractor Reviews 2022

Greenworks 42 in. Battery Electric CrossoverT Riding Lawn Mower

Source: greenworkscommercial.com

Greenworks garden tractors are fully electric ride on lawn mowers that can be used for commercial and domestic use. They’re not zero-turn, so are for properly laid out lawns, but they are incredibly efficient and can cut up to 2 acres on a single charge, with speeds of up to 8 MPH (which outperforms most petrol lawn mowers), and a really neat cut too.


To put it simply, this garden tractor has everything that the best gas-powered models have, and more, with the massive added bonus of being fully future proof thanks to its simple rechargeable batteries (included in the sale).

Pros

  • Adjustable cutting height

  • Wide cutting deck (42”)

  • Powerful electric engine (24hp)

  • Easy to drive

  • Low maintenance (just charging)

  • Key start


Cons

  • Not zero-turn

Troy-Bilt Pony 42 Riding Mower

Source: tractorsupply.com

For gardeners with large lawns, you can’t expect to manage them with a push lawnmower, or even a robot mower. You do need a ride on a garden tractor.


But for many gardeners, garden tractors are just too expensive, so this budget model by Troy-Bilt is a great option. It’s got a less powerful engine than most mowers but could save you a few thousand dollars compared to similarly-sized mowers.


If you have a bumpy or uneven lawn, the Troy-Bilt Pony ride on mower isn’t going to work for you, but for a standard flat lawn that just needs regular maintenance there’s nothing wrong with this simple budget garden tractor.

Pros

  • Adjustable cutting height

  • Great value

  • Wide cutting deck (42”)

  • Easy to drive

  • Key start


Cons

  • Low powered engine (15hp)

  • Petrol engine

  • Annual maintenance as a minimum

  • Not zero-turn


Toro Titan Max Zero Turn Lawn Mower

Source: tractorsupply.com

Anyone who’s ever used a zero-turn mower out in the open knows how powerful they can be, and how efficient they are for large lawn management, but when it comes to domestic lawn maintenance, do you need a zero-turn mower?


Well, it really depends on your budget, and how concerned you are about corners. Zero-turn mowers are designed primarily to get right into the corners of large lawns and cut under the base of hedges and over grass borders.


Because of their large size, more durable cutting decks, and more powerful engines, they tend to be around 3x the price of a standard garden tractor, so while they make incredibly neat lawns possible for any gardener, it’s a practical cost decision you need to make: How much are neat corner worth to you?

Pros

  • Fully adjustable cutting height

  • Huge cutting deck (60”)

  • Key start

  • Zero-turn

  • 10 Gauge Steel Deck

  • Rear-wheel drive for traction


Cons

  • Expensive for a domestic lawn tractor

  • Petrol engine

  • Takes practice to drive zero turn mowers


Husqvarna YTH18542 18.5 HP Hydrostatic Riding Mower

Source: joojet.com

The Husqvarna garden tractor is aimed at domestic gardeners, building on their reputation for reliable, functional power tools and lawn management.


Like most ride-on lawn mowers, this simple model by Husqvarna has a central cutting deck, located under the driver making it compact and easy to store in the garage.


The steering and cutting deck adjustments are really intuitive for gardeners looking for a simple lawn tractor they can just get on and use without figuring out all the nuts and bolts first.

Pros

  • Easy to adjust cutting height

  • Wide cutting deck (42”)

  • Easy to drive

  • Low maintenance

  • Good value


Cons

  • Not zero-turn

  • Petrol engine


Cub Cadet Enduro Series XT1 LT50 FAB

Source: tractorsupply.com

Cub Cadet Garden Tractors are incredibly reliable, with a range to suit every level of gardener and every size of garden. The new Enduro series even has a budget option for domestic gardeners which is something Cub Cadet hasn’t factored into commercial series before.


The Cub Cadet Enduro XT1 LT42 has a powerful engine that makes it sound attractive straight off the bat, but the real winner is the company behind Cub Cadet, and the servicing you can get alongside your mower.


Even the most basic garden mowers are hard to maintain, so the maintenance package that comes with these garden tractors from

Tractor supply co is pretty outstanding, and sets Cub Cadets apart.


The only thing separating this from other Cub Cadets in our reviews is size and price. This compact, and mows quickly and efficiently so is great for a mid-sized garden with a lot of lawn to mow.

Pros

  • Easy to adjust cutting height

  • Wide cutting deck (42”)

  • Easy to drive

  • Low maintenance

  • Optional maintenance plan

  • Good value

  • 3-year warranty


Cons

  • Not zero-turn

  • Petrol engine


If you like the Cub Cadet offering but want a zero-turn garden tractor, this is a good option to consider. Priced affordably and with a high-quality build that’s made in the USA, this machine is pure performance and built to last.

The Consistent Cut technology makes cutting long, wet grass into a uniform, neat lawn, and the Smart-Choke technology makes it easy to start.

The 24HP/725cc Kohler 7000 Series V-Twin OHV 4-cycle engine features v-twin cylinders that reduce vibration for a smooth ride, and the seat and hand grips are designed for ergonomic comfort.

This garden tractor can perform on any lawn, in any conditions, including dealing quickly and easily with wet, long grass, allowing you to adjust between 15 cutting deck positions between 1-4.5 inches.

If you’re worried about the weight of your garden tractor or damage to your lawn, the 5 in. smooth tread front wheels pivot 180 without turf damage and the tractor is designed for stable balance.

It’s ideal for mowing lawns with slight rolling hills and obstacles in yards of up to 4 acres, and offers mulching capabilities.

Pros

  • Good performance on long, wet grass
  • Hydrostatic transmission
  • Easy to start
  • Made in the USA
  • Built to last
  • 3.5 gallon tank
  • automotive-grade corrosion resistance
  • Plenty of accessories (lawn striping kit, hauler cart, etc.)
  • 3-year / unlimited-hour warranty

Cons

  • Requires some assembly on arrival
  • No rollover protection


Bad Boy ZT60 Avenger Garden Tractor

Bad Boy garden tractors have become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to their high build-quality and performance.

Each mower gets a 112-point check before being shipped to customers, ensuring that every aspect of the mower has been professionally checked before it arrives at your door.

The 4-cycle 725 cc Kohler engine offers plenty of power at 25 horsepower, with a maximum forward speed of 7MPH.

It’s a zero-turn garden tractor, so it’s easy to navigate around trickier areas of the yard, and the foot-assisted manual lift allows you to easily change between 13 cutting deck positions between 1.5-4.5 inches.

The 60-inch cutting deck is manufactured from high-quality fabricated steel and the adjustable Ogura PTO Clutch Brake Offers 100ft.lbs of torque for smooth blade engagement.

The 6.5 gallon fuel tank is also one of the largest on the market, making this garden tractor ideal for large yards of 3 acres or more.

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • Excellent build quality
  • Hydrostatic transmission
  • Zero-turn
  • Large 6.5 gallon fuel tank

Cons

  • No mulching capabilities
  • Lowest mow height is 1.5 inches

If you like the sound of the Toro Titan but are looking for something smaller and speedier, this is a great garden tractor to consider.

With the same, market-leading MyRide suspension for comfort while you work and the same high quality build, this is a more compact garden tractor that doesn’t compromise on performance.

The 10-gauge, 54-inch IronForged® steel cutting deck ensures years of reliable performance while the 2-cycle rear-wheel drive Kawasaki engine offers 726cc, 23 horsepower and a top speed of 7MPH to get the job done up to 50% faster than competing models.

The foot-assisted height adjustment allows you to effortlessly switch between 6 deck positions, cutting grass between 1.5-4.5 inches. The 3 gallon fuel tank is good for a compact garden tractor, making it ideal for smaller yards of 1 acre or more.

Pros

  • MyRide suspended operator platform
  • 10-gauge IronForged® steel cutting deck
  • Made in the USA
  • 3-year unlimited hour residential warranty

Cons

  • 2-cycle engine – must mix fuel
  • Only 6 deck positions
  • Lowest mow height limited to 1.5 inches
Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX4 Garden Tractor

Built to the exceptionally high standards we expect from Cub Cadet and designed for high-performance, this is a great-quality garden tractor for large lawns of 2-9 acres. 

Made in the USA, this garden tractor can handle slight rolling hills and obstacles with ease, and you’ll mow in comfort thanks to the adjustable 20-inch high seat with padded armrests and a conveniently-located control center. 

Designed with an open-frame and removable floor pan, maintenance is fairly quick and simple, and the wide tires offer good traction and stability on slopes.

The 10-gauge AeroForce Max fabricated 48-inch steel cutting deck is adjustable to 17 positions between 1-4.75 inches, and the 5.5 gallon fuel tank means you can work for long periods without refueling. Thanks to the LED headlights, you can work in low light conditions with ease.

The hydrostatic transmission is commercial-grade for performance, and the 4-cycle 725cc Kohler engine offers 23 horsepower for a maximum speed of 8 MPH.

Pros

  • Zero-turn
  • Hydrostatic transmission
  • LED headlights for low light conditions
  • 10-gauge AeroForce Max fabricated steel cutting deck
  • 17 deck height adjustments
  • Ergonomic, adjustable 20-inch high back seat 
  • Rollover protective system (ROPS) standard
  • 4-year (500-hour) limited product warranty
  • Ideal for 4 - 9 acres

Cons

  • Mulching kit sold separately
  • Not California CARB compliant
  • Not ideal for small yards

Top Picks of Garden Tractors 2022

Our Top Pick Garden Tractor

Top Rated Best Garden Tractor
Greenworks 42 in. Battery Electric CrossoverT Riding Lawn Mower

Source: greenworkscommercial.com

We’re all about planet-friendly gardening here, so electric vehicles are always going to rate higher than gas-powered models, but the Greenworks garden tractor isn’t just more eco, it’s more powerful, better built, and better prices than most of its rivals.

Anything that could out-compete it is twice the price, so without a shadow of a doubt, the Greenworks 42 in. Electric CrossoverT Riding Lawn Mower is the best garden tractor in 2022.

Best Value Garden Tractor

Best Value Garden Tractor
Troy-Bilt Pony 42 Riding Mower

Source: tractorsupply.com

Troy-Bilt are a reasonably small player in the lawn care market, but they’ve captured a great niche here with garden tractors that are capable of doing a decent job, on a budget.

Because, let’s be completely honest, 99% of gardeners just want to keep their lawn neat, and cut, without measuring it to the millimetre. Troy-Bilt Pony 42 Riding Mower makes it possible to take care of a standard domestic lawn without spending your life savings.

Premium Choice Garden Tractor

Premium Choice Garden Tractor
Toro Titan Max Zero Turn Lawn Mower

Source: tractorsupply.com

Toro makes seriously powerful garden tractors. It kind of comes with the name (bull), but it’s their choice to release this domestic range of zero-turns that’s really turning heads.

Most gardeners with the privilege of riding zero-turn mowers, and the precise corners they can create, are limited to grounds keeping, and golf courses, but this more compact zero-turn mower is priced for the domestic market.

Toro Titan Max Zero Turn Lawn Mower more expensive than standard garden tractors, but it’s bigger, more powerful, and more precise, so it is well priced.

Just make sure you know your lawn, and understand the reasons for buying zero turn mowers because they are a big investment.

What is a Garden Tractor?

A garden tractor is a tough piece of equipment used for garden and lawn maintenance. They have powerful engines, high ground clearance, and big wheels for traction and stability.

They’re tougher than your usual riding mowers and lawn tractors, and can be used for a wide range of jobs. As a result, they are usually more expensive.

What is the Difference Between a Riding Mower, Lawn Tractor and a Garden Tractor?

Best Garden Tractors Reviewed

Although these three terms are used interchangeably, there is a big difference between a riding mower, a lawn tractor and a garden tractor.

Riding mower 

This is a basic piece of equipment that serves a single purpose – to let you stay seated while mowing the lawn. They are the least powerful of the three options and are usually cheaper as a result.

They are best suited for smaller lawns as they have a narrower cutting swath of about 30 inches and fit easily into smaller storage sheds and garages. According to The Reviews Insider, In terms of function, with smaller wheels, lawn mower can maneuver easily around tight spots.

Lawn tractor 

A lawn tractor is a more powerful version of the riding mower, with a wider cutting swath of about 48 inches. As a result, they’re a good option for bigger lawns and buyers who want more comfort features, more power and a faster cutting speed.

Some models can also tow carts or vacuum attachments, and have winter accessory options, so they are more versatile than a riding mower.

Garden tractor

Garden tractors are the most powerful, most heavy-duty option, and often have the most features. They have the largest mowing decks with cutting swaths of up to 72 inches, so they’re best-suited to the biggest lawns or small fields.

They offer the most features too, and can utilize a wide range of garden tractor attachments including tillers, seeders, snow throwers, backhoes and front loaders. As a result, they are often the most expensive option.

Advantages of a Garden Tractor

What is Garden Tractor

The best garden tractors offer plenty of advantages over a regular lawn mower that make it well-suited to certain jobs. These include:

Versatile cutting deck for tough mowing jobs 

Garden tractors can take on tough mowing jobs that riding mowers and lawn mowers cannot handle. Because of their versatile cutting deck, they can easily cut long grass and brush as well as short grass, so you don’t need to get a weed eater or hire a landscaping business to handle the tough jobs for you.

Durability and ease of use on big jobs 

Garden tractors are a great option if you have a bad back, as you are seated comfortably at all times. While smaller garden tractors can work in smaller yards as they are very maneuverable.

They are best-suited to large landscaping jobs like mowing 5 acres or more where heavy-duty work on tougher terrain is needed.

Stability and power on tough terrain 

Garden tractors are designed to operate in the toughest conditions, from large lawns to hills and uneven ground, to wet or slick icy ground.

They have very powerful engines (30 horsepower), transmissions and axles compared to riding mowers and lawn tractors, and have large tires to ensure they stay stable and don’t tip or slide. This is what makes them one of the best riding mowers for hills.

Wide range of attachments and accessories 

Because they can handle so many different jobs, they come with the widest range of garden tractor attachments and accessories – far more than a lawn tractor or riding mower.

In addition to cutting lawn and brush, you can get tillers, seeders, snow throwers, drum rollers, tow-behind rakes, backhoes and front loaders to handle a wide range of jobs through the season.

There are almost no yard jobs you can’t do when you have the best garden tractor!

How to Choose the Best Garden Tractor

How to Choose the Best Garden Tractor

Finding the right garden tractor for your yard is all about finding one with the right features to suit the work you want to do and your budget. Here’s what to look for:

  • Attachment capabilities – Garden tractors can carry a wide range of attachments, and are often used for pulling carts, tillers, sprayers and more around a property.

    First, decide what tasks you would like your garden tractor to accomplish – then you can narrow down your choices to the models that offer the right attachment capabilities.

Here’s a video showing some garden tractor attachments.

  • Heavy-duty design – Garden tractors are designed to be much tougher than lawn tractors and riding mowers because they need to be able to tackle tougher jobs.

    In reviews, look for models that are known for their durability, well-crafted axels and transmissions.
  • Engine – Your garden tractor should have a powerful engine of around 30 horsepower. This will allow it to work harder and faster, cut through thick brush and weeds with ease, and power attachments like snow blowers without a problem.

    When looking at different models, don’t just choose the one with the most horsepower. If you’re primarily going to use the machine for mowing vast tracts of grass, a 20 horsepower tractor should do.

    However, you should definitely look for tractors with a higher horsepower going as high as 30 if you do heavy-duty operations such as constant digging, tilling, and hauling heavy things.
  • Storage – When looking at different garden tractors, make sure that you have the space to store this equipment and the attachments you require.

    While they are not as big as farm tractors, they are still fairly large pieces of equipment, and storing it in a dry, clean space will prevent damage and wear and tear over the years.

    In addition, you should check the width of your gates and pathways your garden tractor will have to move through to ensure you get a good fit.
  • Durability – The best garden tractor is very durable and is built to last. In reviews, look for models that have good quality parts (especially the axles, rods and connectors) and offer good warranties.

    Moreover, check the bearings and other friction-prone sections for grease fittings. You do not want a tractor without these lubrication points to keep operations smooth.

    Furthermore, it is wise to check if the wires are accessible to tinker with in case problems arise.
  • Workload - The size of your property also affects what kind of garden tractor you should buy. If your area is less than two acres in size, a tractor with a 45-inch mower deck should do.

    Otherwise, a garden tractor with a 72-inch mower deck – the biggest possible size for such a machine – should do the trick. Of course, you can still use a 72-inch mower deck for smaller properties.

    By doing so, the mowing process is quickened since this wide deck will cover more sections in less time than a 45-inch variant – however, it may make mowing narrow spaces difficult.

Read also: What size of garden tractor do I need?

Take Note of Possible Attachments

We’ve already mentioned that garden tractors are capable of doing more than just mowing grass with the help of attachments. However, not all garden tractors can use any available attachment.

Some machines have a power take-off (PTO) hitch allowing a variety of powerful attachments while some tractors do not.

Non-PTO Attachments

A typical garden tractor will not have a PTO hitch. Therefore, it only has a limited number of compatible attachments:

  • Carts and trailers for carrying loads
  • Containers and sprayers for water, herbicides, fertilizers, and other liquid substances
  • Mulching, bagging, and vacuuming attachments and accessories

PTO Attachments

If you pick a garden tractor with a PTO hitch, you should prepare to pay a bit more since you’re getting a high-end model. Still, it will be worth it since you’re getting the following heavy-duty attachments:

  • Soil excavation attachments such as augers and scraping blades
  • Snow blower attachments
  • Soil cultivators such as harrows and tillers

In conclusion, a garden tractor is built for managing properties that a regular lawn mower can’t handle efficiently. While they do have common characteristics, garden tractors do differ in horsepower, mower deck size, and the number of compatible attachments.

Furthermore, your property size and the functions needed to be performed will help you pick the best garden tractor.

Garden Tractor Attachments and Accessories

One of the most sought-after benefits of a garden tractor is the wide range of attachments and accessories available that allow you to take on almost any project. These include:

  • Snow blower - The best garden tractors can clear snow with snow blowers, clearing paths, driveways and more with ease.
  • Sweeper brush – The sweeper brush is a great attachment for anyone who likes a neat, pristine lawn. It effectively sweeps up any debris in its path, including sticks and leaves, and can be used on the driveway and paved surfaces as well as the lawn.
  • Shredder and chipper – Shredders and chippers are widely used to break up branches, sticks and organic garden waste to be used in compost or as bark chippings in flower beds.

    This attachment can be easily transported to where you’re trimming trees and branches or to your compost heap for easy use.
  • Tiller and cultivator Tillers and cultivators make breaking up compacted soil easy and efficient, even on bigger jobs or if the soil is full of weeds or rocky.

    These attachments fix easily onto garden tractors to make preparing soil for a flower bed, field or lawn quick and simple.
  • Drum roller – Lawn drum roller attachments are used when leveling a lawn or breaking up dense clumps of soil after ploughing.
  • Tow-behind rakes – These accessories make fall yard maintenance easy, raking up leaves and debris quickly for composting or removal.
  • Front loaders – Front loader attachments are great for moving soil, digging out a space for a flowerbed or to plant a tree, or even for use in projects where you’re building hard landscaping like patios, ponds and walkways.
  • Seeders – This attachment makes seeding or overseeding your lawn quick and easy, ensuring an even spread of seed even over large areas and fields.

Tips for Safe Operation

A man riding a garden tractor

As with any garden equipment, you should follow safety guidelines to avoid injury when using a garden tractor.

  • Read the manual – This will have specific instructions for your model and type of garden tractor. Safety instructions and operating instructions can differ between makes and models, and the manual will also inform you of appropriate use and terrain for your model.
  • Switches and controls – Before starting your garden tractor, familiarize yourself with the different switches and controls so that you know exactly what functions each performs.

    If you are using an attachment, make sure it is suited to your garden tractor model, that it is correctly attached, and you are familiar with its controls. Always start the tractor in neutral
  • Check fluids – Check the fuel, oil and other fluid levels before you start your tractor engine. If refueling is required in the middle of a job, wait for the engine to cool before refueling.

  • Dress appropriately – Wear close-fitting clothes, closed non-slip footwear and safety glasses if needed.
Garden tractors are designed to be much tougher than lawn tractors and riding mowers because they need to be able to tackle tougher jobs

While riding/operating the tractor:

  • Do not ride on the hood or draw bar
  • Only one person should ride on the tractor at a time
  • Avoid very sharp inclinations and deep holes that may destabilize the tractor and cause it to tip
  • Do not remove any safety attachments, machine guards or safety labels
  • Only use attachments specific to your garden tractor model and the job you are performing
  • Do not drive across gravel, bumpy terrain or rocks while the blades are moving
  • Do not remove clogs while the blades are moving
  • Always turn the garden tractor off and take the keys with you if the tractor is not in use

Get Ready to Buy the Best Garden Tractor!

After reading our ultimate guide, you have everything you need to know in order to buy a garden tractor, from what sets a garden tractor apart from riding mowers and lawn tractors, to the different attachments you can get, what to look for to find the best garden tractor for your yard, and how to operate your new equipment safely!

About the Author Pat Moreno

Pat is our gardening tool expert here at Sumo Gardener. Working for many years as a private and commercial landscaper, Pat has used almost every type of gardening tool there is. Along with a vast knowledge for types of plants and putting together an amazing looking and maintainable garden, Pat developed a passion for gardening tools as he found that using the right tools vastly improved the ease and outcome of any landscaping job he undertook. When spending hours, days or years using a particular tool, you want to make sure you’ve got the best one for the job, and Pat is the right guy to guide us to the best gardening tools.

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