Best Investments for the Gardener
When money is tight, we often look carefully at each purchase to justify it as an investment. Choosing from the plethora of gardening tools available in the garden center is difficult for those of us who love collecting gadgets for our favorite past-time. Do I really need another tool to plant, prune, or pot? Here are my top 5 recommendations for the casual or serious gardener to make life easier in the yard this spring.
Felco pruners are the Cadillac of hand pruners and come in various sizes. There is even a pair for left-handed gardeners. Priced at about $50 a pair, these bypass pruners are heavy enough to cut a branch up to one half inch in diameter. They can be sharpened (and should be regularly) and last long past the lifespan of the two dozen cheap ones you have already broken or lost. The Felco price-point will motivate you to keep up with them.
Bypass lopping shears are those long-handled pruners that cut limbs up to 1 ½ inches in diameter. Of course, Felco makes excellent lopping shears priced at $80, but because I use hand pruners almost daily, and my lopping shears much less often, I have a lesser expensive brand. These are a must-have if you have large shrubs or trees on your property.
Gardening gloves provide important protection for the hands. My favorites for general tasks are the close-fitting gloves with latex grips. With these $6 gloves, you need not sacrifice mobility or comfort and they actually last more than one season. Although more bulky, I prefer leather gloves for added protection when working with plants with thorns.
Trowels come in every shape, size, color, and breakability. My favorite trowel is my ten year old Soil Scoop with a patented spoon shaped blade with serrated edges on each side and a pointed tip. Costing about $20, it is perfect for digging, weeding, scooping, and even cutting open bags of potting soil.
Watering wands are better than a regular water nozzle for gently soaking pots, hanging baskets, and bedding plants. Dramm makes a wand of unbreakable plastic (about $50) that will withstand the dropping that seems to plague all water hose attachments at my house, but I have not seen it locally. I always have to replace the cheap $15 versions every spring, but I have to have them!
There are certainly hundreds of items we need and desire to aid us in our pursuit of beautiful yards. I recommend spending more on those items you use regularly and maybe a bit less for those that tend to spend more time in the potting shed. Since spring is here, you'll find me outside in my jeans and with as many tools as I can carry in the pockets.
Of course, having space to garden means investing in a home with a yard. I have beautiful estate properties for sale with room enough for horses, playgrounds, and, yes, vegetable gardens and lush landscapes. Contact me for more details at www.mitcheudy.com. Happy gardening!