A couple of weeks ago I listed several garden tools to which I am particularly partial when performing garden chores. I invited readers to tell me which tools they found especially useful.
Jim Wallace responded “I am encouraged on two counts. First, I have all the tools you listed except the soaker hose, so I feel like I am a somewhat qualified gardener. Second, I no longer feel like something is wrong with me because I periodically misplace tools in the garden. “
Within the last year I left a pair of gloves in the garden for over a month, but found them. Later I lost a trowel with a red handle. It was three months before my path returned to where I left it.
Currently I am missing what I call a scratcher. It is a three-pronged hand tool that I use for mixing amendments into a planting hole or a small bed, such as for pansies. I have no idea where I left it because I not only garden on my property, but I also help out four neighbors who aren’t all that keen on gardening. I do hope it turns up, because it is one of my favorite tools and I have had it a very long time.
Out in Douglasville, N.P. Adams finds the same tool “is great for sitting on the ground and digging up roots of bermudagrass and nutgrass, of which I have more than plenty. I also would be lost without my 4 prong garden rake, which is good for working loose garden soil. “
TILLERS Ann Heskamp and Frank Tomlin couldn’t believe I omitted a Mantis tiller from my list. Frank says “It is my favorite digging tool. I use it for the usual tilling and cultivating, but have discovered that the Mantis is great for digging holes in which to plant shrubs, tomatoes, annuals, etc. Trenching for planting borders, like liriope, is also very easy. The pulverized soil, with amendments mixed in as the trench is dug, encourages growth where I want it – as a solid border – even though the transplants are 6 to 8 inches apart. “
Bill Waxman concurred about the utility of a small tiller but he prefers a different brand. “I have a Ryobi two-cycle tiller, which is reliable, easy to start and easy to carry with one hand. The motor is quite sufficient to turn over the soil around plants. It only goes about four inches deep but that is adequate to quickly remove weeds or mix in fertilizer. “
PRUNERS My friend Frances Tidd, who, with her husband Charlie, oversees a massive outdoor garden railroad, says that “For those of with a little less hand strength I would not be without my Florian Ratchet Cut Pruners or my Florian Loppers. You can see them at www.floriantools.com.
CARTS Carol Rudy and Evelyn Bailey were intrigued by the description of my wife’s light-weight Tipke Fold-It Utility Cart. This aluminum cart was originally designed for boat owners who needed a weather-proof cart to haul their provisions. There are three models: the 1300, the 1500G and the 1500M, each a bit heavier than the previous one. I found a good price for the 1300 model at www.amazon.com.
DIGGING TOOLS Tom Gulledge wrote “One tool that you left out is a good HOE. I like one that has a sharp cutting edge on one side and a point on the other side. I use the flat side for weeding and the pointed side for making seed furrows for planting.
“Don’t forget a mattock for digging in tough Georgia clay! “ says Chuck Wilkinson, seconded by Bill Waxman.
“What I really need, “ says Bill, “is an automatic leaf removal system which clears up the millions of leaves I have, shreds them, and spreads them out for mulch! Now that would really be my favorite garden device of all! “
Finally, Terry Rohrbaugh might have given me exactly what I wanted: a garden tool I don’t have that could prove a favorite. He sent me an article on the Bionic(tm) garden glove. It seems superior to what I have now and other gardeners love it. It will occupy first place on my wish list for Christmas!