21 June 2012

New stuff to make gardening easier


Gardeners enjoy buying new implements and improvements for their favorite hobby. We shop constantly for new tools, soil improvements, planters, and paraphernalia that would make our gardens better, easier to maintain, prettier and more fun.

Fortunately, inventors, stores and catalogs provide lots of new stuff for us to consider. Here are a few you may need -

Havahart SprayAway
Homeowners battling unwanted animals on their property can add a new weapon to their armament. Havahart (www.havahart.com) has a new Spray Away repellent that works to keep critters out of up to 1,900 square feet of garden or lawn. 

A hose is connected to the bottom of the unit and the water is turned on. When the infrared sensor detects motion up to 35-feet away, a moving, sudden burst of water and sprinkler noise chase away the intruders. The sensor can be tilted up to chase birds or down to chase cats.

It is battery operated so no electricity is needed and an LED indicator light blinks when the batteries need to be replaced.

Two or 3 cups of water is used for each action. Spray Away comes with an 8-inch plastic step-in stake that is pushed into the soil. The kit costs around $70.

Cobra Head Weeder
  CobraHead Weeder and Cultivator (www.cobraheadllc.com) is a lightweight hand tool that can be used to remove a single weed, edge an entire bed, or to clean out a planting area. The comfortable-to-hold recycled composite handle makes up more than half of the 13-inch long tool. The blade is made of tempered steel.

The CobraHead is curved and tipped with a flattened, slightly pointed end. To weed an area or make a seed-planting trench, the tool is scraped along the surface of the soil. The curved end makes it easy to pull weeds out by the root. Cost is around $20.

Soil Reef Biochar (www.soilbiochar.com) is a soil amendment that is available already combined with compost and worm castings so it can be applied directly into the garden.

Soil Reef Biochar
Biochar is a hot, new, gardening product based on ancient technology that adds charcoal to the soil to improve water retention, increase microbial life and grow healthier plants. It is thought that similar biochar products were used in Pre-Columbian gardens. 

Rice University’s research paper on the effectiveness of biochar is online at http://bit.ly/H1ajMw. Boichar Compost blend sells for $40 a gallon, including shipping.

Organics Rx
A new fertilizer introduced by Organics Rx (http://organicsrx.com/) is a new way to give your house and patio plants a plant-based diet made of minerals, soy and sea kelp – 100% organic, GMO-free, vegetarian and vegan food for plants. No fish, chemical, or manure smells in the house. 

The Organics Rx product line includes pet, people and environment safe fertilizers for lawns, roses, indoor plants, vegetable, tomato, and orchids, as well as an all-purpose one. $10

In order to prune shrubs you need loppers, hand pruners and a folding saw.

For stems up to one-half inch thick use a hand pruner, for stems up to 2-inches thick use loppers and for larger branches use a pruning saw. Felco (Felcostore.com) is the pruner most often recommended. $40.

Fiskars 17 inch Power Gear
Fiskars (www.fiskars.com) Power Gear tools use a unique technology to reduce the strain on hands and wrists while pruning. Their 17-inch long bypass pruner is made of a lightweight fiberglass composition material. The corrosion-resistant, non-stick blades are fully hardened to help the blades stay sharp. Lifetime warranty. $30. 

Pocket Boy folding tree saw
  To cut 2-inch-thick branches, we bought a PocketBoy (silkysaws.com) folding saw at a tree conference. It has a large-tooth 6.75 inch saw with a lightweight handle (total weight 8 oz.) and comes with a hard plastic carrying case. $36

2 comments:

birdhouses said...

The havahart spray repellant looks quite useful. Maybe it will keep the rabbits out of my garden!

Martha said...

Hi birdhouses -
I use the Havahart deer and rabbit repellant spray for the flower garden bunnies but I bet the SprayAway would keep them away forever.
I'll have to try it. Great idea.
Thanks for stopping by the blog.