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Gotta Have Garden Gear

These tools and accessories will make gardening easier and more productive

By Mary Lynn Bruny

article_gottaJust because you love gardening doesn’t mean you should work harder than you need to. The right tools not only get the job done better, they make gardening more enjoyable while keeping you safe and your plants healthy. Look for products like these at your local gardening stores or find them online at charleysgreenhouse.com.

 

TERRIFIC TOOLS
Long-Handled Trowel

This 2-foot-long digger comes in handy when you need more leverage and depth than a hand trowel gives, such as when planting medium-sized plants in a tight perennial bed or digging out larger weeds. It’s also good for dividing, potting and transplanting plants, as well as breaking up soil in smaller areas..

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Heavy-Duty Bulb Planter

Stop struggling with that small, metal cylindrical bulb planter and plant in far less time with this clever device. After setting the desired depth, step on the footrest and twist the handle to remove the soil, which remains in the plunger. After you pop your bulb in the hole, twist the plunger again to drop the dirt back on top. So easy!

COMFORT AND PROTECTION
Pro Knee Pads

When you’re buzzing around your yard working from bed to bed, you’re bound to forget that darn garden kneel-er somewhere. Save yourself time and effort and invest in a pair of good knee pads instead. They work on everything from dirt to concrete, and protect even the most sensitive knees. Don’t waste your money on cheap ones; they’ll keep falling off and drive you batty.

All-in-One Tool Sharpener

You’ve got gardening scissors, knives, shears, pruners and loppers, and they probably all need sharpening. Save yourself a trip to the hardware store. This single tool safely sharpens them all in a few strokes with no dis assembly. That’s about as handy as it gets.

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Lightweight Pruning Stick

Why drag around a rickety ladder to prune trees, or get scratched cutting thorny bushes? This 2-pound pruner trims branches with diameters up to 1¼ inches from 12 feet away. The cutting head rotates up to 240 degrees, so you can easily achieve clean and proper cutting angles just like a pro.

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Rocker Seat

If you’re weeding for long periods, this unique seat can save you from knee and lower-back strain. The cushion-covered, height-adjustable seat rocks as you bend and stretch, allowing a full range of motion for chores like deadheading and pruning. The storage pockets are handy for tools or your cellphone, and the seat is lightweight and easy to carry.

PLANT CARE
Hanging Basket Down-Up Pulley

Don’t stand precariously on patio chairs to water, fertilize or deadhead hanging baskets. Instead, bring them to you with this handy pulley system that lowers baskets as much as 31 inches. A spring-loaded mechanism locks the basket in place at your desired height. When you want the basket down, push up the container to release the lock and the plant will drop down. When you’re done, push it up until it locks back into place. These pulleys work for containers weighing.

article_gotta3Velcro Ties

Why struggle with twist-ties, wire, twine or yarn when these handy reusable Velcro ties are available? They’re great for attaching climbing roses to trellises, delicate perennials to supports, tomatoes to cages, and even young trees to poles. You can cut them to any length, they’re adjustable, and their green color blends in with foliage. They’re nice and tidy looking, too.

Plant Sitter

Heading off on a summer jaunt? If you don’t have your potted plants on a drip system, this individual drip-irrigation system can “plant sit” a 6-inch to 12-inch pot for three days to three weeks, depending on the plant’s needs. The plant sitter’s 1-quart tank hangs on the side of the pot, while its ceramic sensor supplies water as needed to the plants roots. Just fill the tank with water (add fertilizer if you like) and press the sensor into the potting soil. Use two or three plant sitters for larger pots or heavy drinkers.

Frost Protek Plant Covers

When late-spring and early-fall frosts come, don’t scramble around for old blankets or plastic bags that can crush your plants or blow away. Instead, protect plants from harsh weather—or deer, birds and other pests—with these durable, reusable lightweight polypropylene covers. They’re breathable, allowing air and UV light to reach plants, while protecting from frosts down to 26˚ F. The covers come in a variety of sizes and shapes, such as tubes, bags and sheets, to protect all your foliage—hanging plants, potted plants, upright plants like tomatoes, vegetable gardens and flower beds. The tubes and bags have handy drawstrings and cord locks for a snug, secure fit.

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