Gardening: These gadgets can make your gardening life easier
You don't need a lot of green to have a green thumb.
When you think of gardening, you think of reaching for the usual tools like pruning shears, rake or shovel and head for the yard. While these basics will always be the staples in the gardening shed there are a number of useful and unusual gadgets out there to make gardening chores easier and more fun to do.
Here are some last minute gift ideas for the gardener in your life.
Oscillating hoe — This hoe has many nicknames: Stirrup Hoe, Appalachia Hoe, Hula Hoe, etc. This classic design garden tool is great for small to medium weeds. The stirrup-shaped blade is sharpened on both sides so it cuts roots just under the top soil on the push and pull stroke. The blade angle and 54" handle allow you to stand practically straight making it easier on your back to weed.
The Great Adjustable Rake — This will become one of your favorite tools. The rake’s width is adjustable from 7" to 23" with just a pull of the handle. At its smallest size use it under and between plants, around rocks or between garden rows. Adjust the size up for raking the yard or other large areas.
Garden tool sharpener — A beveled grinding-wheel that attaches to your electric drill. A nylon backplate holds the mower or tool blade against the rotating wheel at the proper angle. Sharpens hoes, spades, weeders, edge and mower blades and more.
Cut and hold flower gatherer — This tool is 31" long, but weighs only 14 ounces. The stainless steel blades reach up, down or over to gather blooms or remove old flower heads without stepping on your flower bed. Use it for light pruning of your climbers, hanging plants, etc.
Firm grip weed puller — Designed to grip and pull the most obstinate weeds with one hand operation. Overall length is 34" and it is lightweight yet robust.
Long-handled grass shear — Use these shears to trim the grass your mower misses around trees, walkways or walls. Or prune plants in the middle of your flower or herb garden. Height is 35".
Soil moist granules — Stores over 100 times its weight in water, releasing a steady supply of moisture as your plants need it. When mixed with soil, the crystals soften and swell as water is absorbed. When the soil begins to dry, the water is released to the plants so you don’t need to water as often. Soil moist is an environmentally safe super-absorbent copolymer which lasts several seasons; encourages root penetration; helps reduce soil compaction and minimizes transplant shock. These granules are great in your annual flower beds.
Spray Pal Big Wheel Pro — A convenient 5 gallon sprayer on wheels. It’s great as an outdoor sprayer or an indoor watering cart. The nozzle adjusts from a stream to a fine spray. The large 8" rubber tires let you roll it up and down stairs or across rough terrain, even with a full tank. The wagon-like handle acts as a lever making it easy to tilt the sprayer onto its wheels.
Thorn sleeves — Made of strong waterproof vinyl, these sleeves protect your skin and clothes when pruning roses, bougainvillea or other thorny shrubs. They are18" long and gathered at each end. When worn with a pair of tough gloves you’re protected from thorns, briars and even poison ivy.
Bug Baffler shirt — This shirt is mosquito netting that you wear. A jacket made of mesh fine enough to keep out even no-see-ums. It’s lightweight and comfortable with good ventilation. There is a convenient zipper in the front neck seam which opens so you can flip the hood back to eat or drink. The fabric is soft but semi-rigid so the hood is self-supporting.
Pocket chain saw — This handy pocket saw is ideal for the homeowner, hiker, or camper. It trims branches and limbs, clears heavy brush, removes tree roots and much more. Cut a 3" diameter limb in under 10 seconds. The saw is 28" long with 124 bi-directional cutting teeth. It can be used by one or two persons. Comes with wooden handles and weighs just 5 ounces.
Hope some of these ideas help those last minute shoppers out there. Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to all! And Happy Shopping!
Eileen and Peter Ward have owned a landscape and lawn maintenance company for 35 years. Eileen can be reached at Gswdmarco@comcast.net or 239-394-1413.