Seeing that today is a sunny day and the temperatures are breaking above the freezing point, I finally feel like spring is finally around the corner. The snow is finally melting here outside my office in Central Ontario and with that I am frantically trying to find all my gardening “stuff”, so I thought this was a great time to blog about some of my favorite tools.
Any visit to your local garden center or big box store will introduce you to a host of gardening stuff… There are tons of great gardening products on the market! Many advertising to make your job in the garden easier, faster and more effective! For those that are curious, here are some of my favorites, in no particular order!
- Pruners – I am a self-declared pruner snob. I love my Felco Pruners. However, on any given day looking inside my car, garage or garden shed you will find a half dozen pairs of pruners of varying styles and makes. One type of pruners I would recommend to any gardener is a set of Ratcheting Pruners. Ratcheting Pruners work by “latching” each time you squeeze making the cut easier and requiring less hand strength. A rotating handle on your pruners will also reduce hand fatigue if you do a lot of pruning as well
- Pole Pruner – If you have a lot of tall shrubs that you prune regularly, a pole pruner can be very useful. This allows you to prune those branches that are overhead using a set of pruners on a pole that are activated using a pulley system.
- Knee Pad – When you are working in the garden a lot, planting, weeding and deadheading a knee pad can be a valuable tool. Not only will you have clean knees when you get out of the garden (a lifesaver when you need to make a quick run to the store!) but your knees will be saved from those pesky rocks and stress from kneeling for hours at a time.
- Garden Cart – Those of us who have been gardening for some time know that a trip to the garden center generally results in a car load of “stuff”, and that “stuff” is usually heavy. Not to mention there is always things to move within the garden – compost, mulch, soil, leaves, branches… A garden cart will make these tasks much easier. A garden cart generally has four wheels and a handle allowing you to “pull” your goodies rather than “push” them like you would in a wheelbarrow.
- Watering Wand – If you’ve had difficulties in the past watering hanging baskets or large containers in the part then a watering wand is for you! A watering wand makes watering overhead super easy, no lifting heavy watering cans overhead or lifting up and down baskets. A watering wand will water your plants with a gentle spray of water from a comfortable position. Most watering wands have a shut off valve on the handle so that you don’t get wet going from basket to basket!
- Marking Paint – I always keep a can on hand for marking out new garden beds or possible locations for planting trees. It is also great for marking where irrigation an lighting lines are if other trades are going to be working in the yard
- Hand Held Spade – Often I find myself kneeling in the garden digging in new plants, as I am digging a trowel isn’t doing the job but I don’t need a full sized spade, this is where my hand held spade comes in handy. I can dig the perfect sized hole for large perennials, grasses and small shrubs from a comfortable position in the garden or in a large container. It is also the perfect size to carry in the car!
- Garden Gloves – Nothing beats a good pair of gardening gloves. Again, a quick look in my car, pockets of my jackets, garden shed, even in my office will yield a few pairs of gardening gloves. My favorite ones are leather with reinforced finger tips. They look more like motorcycle gloves than gardening gloves. They are super comfortable and I wouldn’t let anyone else touch them!