The Stay at Home and Garden movement is sweeping the country. Millions of Americans are discovering (or rediscovering) the benefits of growing fresh vegetables in a backyard garden.
And, they may discover that their yard and garden tools might have seen better days. Having well-designed and well-made tools makes any job easier—and sometimes it can even make the job more fun.
Here’s a roundup of some of the best new tools and classic labor-saving devices that will make your time spent in the yard and garden much more enjoyable.
A simple and efficient cultivator
Sometimes the old-fashioned tools are still the most fun to use. This classically-designed Single Wheel Hoe harkens back to the pioneer gardens and self-sufficient farmers from centuries gone by.
The Single Wheel Hoe from Hoss Tools is perfect for hoeing and cultivating in vegetable gardens both large and small. It’s a great choice for existing gardens where the soil is already relatively easy to work. The sturdy metal wheel easily rolls the three tilling tines forward, digging out weeds and breaking up the soil. The long hardwood handles make this tool efficient to use, and it just plain “feels good” in your hands. You’ll never run out of gasoline in the middle of the job..
The Single Wheel Hoe sells for $219.99. For larger gardens, the Single Wheel Hoe can be converted to a Double Wheel Hoe for more stability. (The conversion kit sells for $69.99.) Additional Wheel Hoe attachments are also available. Visit hosstools.com to purchase or learn more.
Dig big holes—fast
Digging holes can be back-breaking work and making a hole with a shovel just doesn’t cut it when you’ve got lots of holes to dig.
New from Power Planter is a heavy-duty planting auger that’s big enough to drill a hole for a one-gallon plant or a 4x4 fence post. Measuring 7 inches in diameter and 28 inches long, the Gallon Pot & Post Hole Auger fits into a heavy-duty drill such as the variable speed 60-Volt DeWalt drill. This combination of planting auger and heavy-duty drill is perfect for acreage or ranch work.
Simply put the planting auger into the drill, tighten it up and drill to the maximum depth of the auger. Lift the auger out of the hole and about one inch of loose dirt remains in the bottom of the hole. That’s perfect for getting plants acclimated to the new soil. Drop the one-gallon plant in and refill the hole with the loose soil the auger has removed. Repeat this process for every plant and you are done!
The Gallon Pot & Post Hole Auger sells for $132.50 and the heavy-duty DeWalt 60V drill sells for $600.00 from PowerPlanter.com. Power Planter is a small, family-run business located on a farm in Central Illinois, and every Power Planter tool is backed by an unconditional guarantee on workmanship and quality.
Watering your raised beds and containers
Sometimes it’s difficult to keep raised beds, planter boxes and growing containers sufficiently watered. That’s where a supplemental watering system can help keep plants hydrated and happy.
The Hydro Cup watering system provides water directly to plant roots. Pour water into the 2.5-liter Hydro Cup, and the water will gently seep through the terracotta stake stuck into the soil. This slow and steady release of water will keep the soil from drying out for approximately 10-15 days (depending on weather conditions). The Hydro Cup is perfect for growing tomatoes, peppers and other vegetable plants in raised beds or containers. A set of four Hydro Cups with terracotta stakes sells for $69.99 from biogreen-products.com.
A pruner that’s a joy to use
A great pair of pruners is an absolute necessity for anyone who gardens or does basic landscape maintenance. Pruners do some of the most important work from snipping off dead branches to cutting ripe fruit from vegetable plants. A great pair of pruners must have high-quality blades and handles that are comfortable to grip.
There are lots of different pruners to choose from, but the cheapest ones never hold up. The Corona FlexDial Bypass Pruner is a tool blades that are sharp and tough, but the handles are comfortably padded. A dial even enables the user to adjust the handles to accommodate different hand sizes.
The specially-coated non-stick blades will provide years of smooth cutting performance. The Corona FlexDial Bypass Pruner sells for about $35 at coronatoolsusa.com.
Grow vegetables on a deck or porch
Having lots of acreage is wonderful, but sometimes you want to grow a few herbs or a couple of tomato plants right outside the kitchen door. The City Jungle from BioGreen was developed in Germany to provide the best growing environment for plants of all kinds. Even the tiniest sunny spot can now become a healthy garden.
The two square feet of growing area in the City Jungle planter is large enough for two mature tomato plants or other large plants. Peppers, eggplant, squash, salad greens, herbs and even flowers also thrive in the self-watering City Jungle container. The water reservoir at the bottom of the planter holds 4.5 gallons, so plants can go for days without watering in most climates. A sturdy trellis (for tomatoes, cucumbers and other vining plants) can be added. A sturdy trellis (for tomatoes, cucumbers and other vining plants) can be added.
The City Jungle planter sells for $69.99. The trellis sells for $39.99. Or, buy the City Jungle with Trellis for $99.99. City Jungle products are available from biogreen-products.com and at fine retailers.
About the author
Randall D. Schultz is the content editor for HomeGardenandHomestead.com, an online guide to gardening, homes and acreage property. For daily home and garden tips and ideas, “Like” the Home, Garden and Homestead pages on Facebook and Pinterest. Schultz is a Master Gardener who lives and gardens in Colorado Springs, Colorado.