Along the Garden Path: Gardening tools for Christmas


By Charlene Thornhill - Along the Garden Path



When it comes to doing a project, the right tools make all the difference in the world and gardening is no exception. There is a range of garden tools that make ideal gifts for any gardener on your list.

One gardening tool we cannot do without is the soil knife. It’s made of high-quality stainless steel with a 6-inch blade that features an extended dual-cut serrated edge and a built-in twine cutting notch. It has a one-piece molded composite handle and features a more rounded grip and a molded thumb rest. We use it to plant bulbs, flowers, and herbs. Its razor sharp edge slices through plant roots, weeds, twine and plant ties.

It works really well for dividing plants, digging up small rocks, and cleaning out cracks in your sidewalk or pavement. The blade withstands over 300 pounds of pressure so it stands up to nearly any task. It comes with a lifetime warranty. You can get a leather sheath, which is optimal and truly a tool you cannot do without.

It is available at A. M. Leonard Inc., 241 Fox Drive in Piqua. They carry other gardening products as well. They have hundreds of items for lawn maintenance along with the gardening.

Every gardener needs a shovel and a No.2 round shovel works well. It has a blade that is 10-12 inches long and 8 to 10 inches wide mounted at an angle to provide lift, it is slightly concaved to keep soil on it when lifting and comes to a point allowing it to cut into the soil with ease.

A rake is a key tool for keeping up appearances in the landscape. It’s ideal for clearing your yard of debris and leaves, breaking up large clumps of soil and distributing mulch. There are different styles of rakes. Leaf rakes generally have thin tines that are close together forming a fan-like shape and are designed for light jobs. A garden rake has fewer tines, generally constructed of steel, making it perfect for those tougher jobs in the landscape. A little hint for moving mulch is to use a pitch fork, much easier than using a shovel.

Trees are one of the great joys of any backyard or garden. The problem is they do not know when to stop growing. Choosing the best saw to keep trees under control and healthy will save you time and effort. You might be cutting down trees or clearing fallen branches or maybe cutting logs for fuel. There are saws designs for light pruning. Great for the garden is the foldable pruning saw like you would take camping. They are inexpensive and fold up to slip in any kind of tool bag or tote. Then there is the double-edged pruning saw if you’re working on limbs 2 to 3 inch diameter. This saw allows for a neater cut and less bruising of the tree or limbs.

Where would we be without a trowel? It’s perfect for transplanting small plants and for detailed gardening such as in containers. You can find many different high-quality trowels of different shapes and sizes but pick it up and hold it to see which grip is best for you.

Many plants need pruning so find a pair of pruning shears that fits your hands, made from top-quality material that allows blades to stay sharp for years to come.

There is nothing more frustrating than having a hose that kinks up as you want to use it. Investing in a premium hose and nozzle is critical to avoid this frustration. Be sure to purchase a hose that is adequate in length to reach all areas.

Make gardening easier by having a wheelbarrow. It saves your back and comes in all shapes and sizes; everything from a one wheel to four wheels to trailer-like.

Shop local – picking out a tool is like trying on a dress or a pair of shoes. Get a sense for the feel of the grip – is it comfortable in your hand? When it fits, you buy it.

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By Charlene Thornhill

Along the Garden Path

Charlene Thornhill is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her community column Along the Garden Path. She can be reached at char.donn.thornhill@gmail.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

Charlene Thornhill is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her community column Along the Garden Path. She can be reached at char.donn.thornhill@gmail.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.