03 June 2010

Things You Need

Most of us have favorite tools we use in the garden. We reach for the old familiar friends when heading out to weed, dig and prune. But there are new tools in the marketplace and some items you might not have thought of as garden tools.

A new set of tools came out from Radius this year . The digging fork, shovel, spade, long handle weeder, bulb auger, transplanter, etc. all have a top handle that is round and cushioned, providing 4-times the gripping space.

Radius also makes a Pond Shark for cleaning out the koi pond and a Gator Grabber that is wonderfully easy to use for picking up leaves and other garden debris without stooping over.


To make the watering easier this summer, consider adding a new hose and an Excel Wobbler. Space the Wobblers every 24-feet, attached to a stand, and turn on the water. A hose bib extender could reduce the hose dragging hassle and make life a little easier, too.

And, when shopping for a new garden hose, you will find rubber, vinyl and combination materials. For longer life and greater strength, look for a reinforced hose with crush proof couplings.

The inside of a garden hose grows mold and bacteria. If your pets and children like to drink from the hose while playing outside, look for Ames Microban antimicrobial hoses or products made from 100 percent new, non-recycled, non-carcinogenic materials.

Traditional cultivation tools include flat-bladed hoes and hand held weeders. Long handled barbeque tongs, screw drivers, kitchen paring knives, grubbing knives and other unlikely tools also find their way into gardeners' hands at weeding time.

The taproot weeder has a forked end and a bulky handle. Several companies make a long-handled, ergonomic version that reduces bending and kneeling while pulling deeply rooted weeds.

A Warren hoe has a pointed end for pulling out weeds between rows. For a large garden a Scuffle, Stirrup or Dutch Hoe is the tool of choice. The tool end has an oscillating stirrup with two sharp sides, that move back and forth on a hinge. They come in 3, 5 and 7-inch widths.

The DeWit Spork from Holland is a combination of a spade and a garden fork. It has a long T-handle and a sharp-edged, carbon steel, head that is shaped like a shovel with broad forks at the end.

Fiskars makes dozens of new-design tools for just about every use. Their PowerGear and rear pivot pruners are easier on the hands. The PowerGear and Power Lever loppers have shock absorbing bumpers that work to reduce muscle exhaustion from reaching and pruning.

The company that makes Liquid Wrench makes several items that are helpful for gardeners.

Their Silicon Spray applied to a shovel makes cleanup easier. It will also waterproof plastic, metal and wood tool parts. Use Penetrating Oil to get rid of rust and lubricate squeaky gate hinges. White Lithium Grease is useful on all-weather items such as hinges – it resists both melting and freezing. Chain Lube applied to a garage door will prevent weather related corrosion, and Lubricating Oil applied to hedge clippers will prevent hinge rust.

A useful tool for relaxing after the gardening is done for the day is ThermaCELL, a mosquito repelling patio lantern that works up to 225-square feet.

The lantern is a portable light with a butane cartridge that powers the mosquito repellent. Two batteries power the LED lights. The repelling mats are good for 4-hours. ThermaCELL also makes a portable, butane-powered mosquito repellent to tuck into a pocket or onto a belt www.thermacell.com.

Father's Day is around the corner. Give the men on your list something they can use.

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