What is it Wednesday – favorite & curious gardening tool finds
Yesterday, this blog highlighted some time-saving tools for holistic, chemical-free gardening.
If you’re like me, you enjoy gardening for the workout and spiritual experience it offers.
Consider ditching modern “conveniences” such as gas powered engines and synthetic concoctions for a healthier and happier growing and eating experience. The tools highlighted this week make it easy to do in relatively small spaces. I was working about 2-aces in New York by hand. My current plot in Roanoke is much smaller.
Today’s spotlight tools include three you may have never pondered as possible helpers for your edible garden success.
The Double Play Bow Rake is a new find for me. I was initially looking for a tool to help me clear away decades of metal fence climbing growth and adjacent debris at ground level. A standard rake would have bent and twisted quickly. A Home Depot employee introduced me to this one. Since then, I’ve found it to be a fantastic tool in the garden.
I destroy normal rakes quickly. They don’t hold up well to the punishment of non-mechanized vegetable and herb garden bed preparation. After some research on this rake, I discovered this was created for stone leveling. Now it’s being promoted as a tool for hard soil, which it handles easily.
This rake has two sides – one with short tines and the other with relatively normal raking length teeth. It’s made of much stronger metal than your standard bow rake and secured more smartly to the handle. The back is ideal for leveling areas that are crusty, rocky or root laden. The longer tines are sturdier than other rakes so the tines don’t bend or the head fall off with rigorous use for deeper work.
Bulb planters are obviously named, but a better tool for setting up your vegetable plant seed starts (or buys) for success. They can be hard to find. This is a great aid for loosening soil below transplant roots.
You can easily give vegetable and herb starts (or flowers – the intended use, but not the way I incorporate the product for productive plant growth) six to ten inches of soft dirt to quickly extend roots with a quick couple of twists with this tool. It’s easy to dig into even crusty, compacted soil with this cleverly designed device. You need to turn it upside down to get the soil out, but the plug(s) you create allows you to dump back the healthiest soil under and around your plant to encourage good growth.
Garden Pruners have tons of uses in your vegetable and herb gardens far beyond the intended use. I keep them on the ready as I dig beds with a potato fork to clip roots, tackle bush overgrowth and clear high adjacent weeds. I also have a much larger lopper as well as a handy little saw which folds into the handle for tougher jobs, but these little ones work well for most produce area challenges.
It makes sense to pay a little more (the difference in cost between the lowest price and high quality isn’t that much) for tools. You’ll get frustrated quickly as the cheap stuff bends, breaks and falls apart or isn’t able to do the job you bought it for. The exception – and an interesting development I’ve seen of late – is wood-handled tools. Apparently they’ve fallen out of vogue with fiberglass rising as the material of choice. You can get comparable tools for sometimes less than half the cost with wood. They hold up just fine, provided you don’t store them outside in the rain or leave them buried in dirt.
I wasn’t able to find a double play bow rake with a wooden handle, but the link above features the one I’m using that’s held up to punishment others won’t. It’s now much less than I paid for it at Home Depot (and cheaper than the link provided) if you can find one at a store near you. I couldn’t locate “my” bulb planter online, but the link featured offers a similar product for about what I paid. The pruners are an exact match and available through the link provided for less than what’s available locally. These are affiliate links, so I may make a few cents if you click through and buy, but I ensured all are shipped free by Amazon for Prime members or those meeting their $49 purchase threshold, so you’ll save some research time and money there.
Note: Some of the click-throughs provided in this post to illustrate the product and prices are affiliate links. If you wind up buying, I’d sure appreciate the support, but that’s not the primary intent in providing such.