Friday, December 4, 2009

My Favorite Tools

The right tool can be a gardener's best friend, saving them work and making many tedious garden tasks easier and quicker to complete. This fall I actually mowed with my lawnmower my entire perennial border. Everything is in ready to compost- sized bits, the border has a neatness it lacked all fall, and it will be easy to see the first weeds that emerge in the spring. A great new use for an old favorite.

Another favorite is my fiberglass-reinforced 30-year warrantied shovel. This is a top of the line, professional grade shovel I bought from Sears about 5 years ago. It replaced another similar shovel from Sear of which the business end had split.
Although it too had a 30-year warranty, I'll be the first to tell you I got my money's worth, nor did I really expect it to be possibly the last shovel I would ever buy.

Also I'll tell you a secret. I'm EXTREMELY hard on shovels. My shovel is the work horse of my garden. It's even RED, so I can find it!

I used it as a pry, a come-along, heck I even used it to jack up my car on the IL interstate one winter night so I could change my tire. To give you an idea how hard I can be on a shovel, I broke FOUR in one month right before I bought my first Sears fiberglass-reinforced Craftsman shovel. If I am reaching for my shovel, "Vegetation, look out! I'm here and it won't be pretty ."

My father has said my shovel and I could have made short work of the tall grass prairie.

Maybe when I was twenty years younger!

I've recently come across the perfect garden gloves. I went through a lot of the Fox glove rubber-dipped ones, but was growing to realize my large hand size and the thickness of the rubber was putting a lot of wear on many of the joints in my hands, particularly my right thumb. Not wanting to give up use of my right hand, I started talking to older gardener friends as to better gloves and gloves for arthritic gardeners and gardeners with carpal tunnel syndrome. Sure there are pretty high-end gloves out there for geriatic gardener; but like shovels, because my hands are at the outer limits size-wise, even for men's gloves; I burn through gloves like ghouls through Halloween candy. The perfect glove for me -- price and function-- is a washable mesh type with washable leather reinforcements. Washable is something Fox Gloves are not. I generally can get them at Fleet Farm for about $11 a pair.

Now, if I could find a hand clipper that stayed sharp for an entire season, I'd be one happy gardener!

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