Every Blooming Thing: My favorite tools for various garden tasks
When I head out to work in the garden, I wear my nitrile-coated gloves for their good grip and their protection against thorns, and I carry my most frequently used tools, my bypass clippers and a weeding tool.
The weeding tool is a steel rod about a foot long, with a hand grip on one end and a sharpened V-notch tip on the flattened other end. It's great for digging up a weed. I just poke the notched end a few inches down next to the unwanted plant and tip the handle sideways to loosen and lever the root out.
Of course, if the weed is too big to lever out with the weeding tool, I prefer a trowel for getting it out, and if I need to dig out a large plant, such as a shrub, then I go get a digging fork and a shovel that I can push into the ground with my foot. I use the fork to loosen the dirt around the plant without severing the roots, then the shovel to dig farther down and lift the plant out.
And when I want to dig up a new area, I love my mattock. With its sharp pick at one end and the hoe-like adze at the other, it's great at getting through hard dirt and chopping off difficult roots. Then, to break up the big clumps and smooth the surface, I use a hoe and a metal-tined rake.
A rake is also my tool of choice for gathering up leaves and other debris. If the leaves are wet or tangled in grass, I use the stiff metal rake, but for dry leaves I prefer a lighter flexible-tine rake.
My bypass (scissor-like) clippers are very handy for trimming back new growth, for deadheading (removing wilted blossoms), or for shaping a shrub or other plant.
Of course, when I want to remove the old dead canes from a rose bush, or cut a branch that's too large for the clippers, then I need to go get the loppers a larger, longer-handled version of the clippers that open wider and give better leverage.
And if the branch is higher up a tree than I can reach, I'll need a ladder so I can climb up closer. If I still can't reach it I'll get the pole-saw — a six-foot pole with a curved saw and some lopper-like blades on the upper end. If a branch is too big for any of those cutters, I'll go get the bow saw and use its thin large-toothed blade to make a quick cut.
Of course, if I have to cut a bigger tree, then I'll need to get the chain saw.
So I use quite an array of tools, and each one of them is "my favorite garden tool" for the task at hand. Each saves me some effort at doing a particular job, and I appreciate every one for its unique and helpful design. Red Bluff Garden Club January meeting will be held on the 29th, social begins at 12:30 p.m. and program and meeting at 1 p.m. This month's program presenter is Chris Moats who will speak on seeds and veggies. The public is welcome to attend.