f Morning Rose Prayer Gardens: Gifts for the Gardener: Tools 12/1/11 Column

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gifts for the Gardener: Tools 12/1/11 Column

     Gardeners, like most people who work with their hands, appreciate good, reliable tools. Some of my friends show me a tool their grandfather used, and others share with me something new that works like a charm.
     I am one who likes to try the new stuff that comes to the market. I look for products that will ease my gardening tasks. Here are a few that might interest you:
     Not too long ago the St. Francis Garden Society was given a gift of several collapsible 40-gallon containers, sometimes called Spring Buckets or Kangaroo Containers. We have used them almost daily and have had several people stop and ask where to buy them. The collapsible buckets have a circling spring enclosed in a sleeve sewn to the UV resistant tarpaulin. The hard plastic bottom that has drain holes holds the container in place as it is filled with debris. When collapsed it is 3 inches thick and can be hung by the large nylon handles sewn to the sides.
     Containers are popular. However, moving them for winter storage can be a challenge, especially when they are large and heavy. The glazed ceramic containers are difficult to move because it is hard to get a grip on their slippery surface. Lifting these pots is a two-person job and can be made safer by using a Potlifter Strap. This simple and ingenious device is an adjustable nylon strap that fits around the circumference of a container and is designed with handles for gripping.
     I’m not sure there is a more practical tool than the bulb planter that can be attached to a drill. I remember my first attempt at power-drilling holes for bulbs. I noticed the paint stirrer attached to my grandfather’s hand drill and thought it would work in the gardens for making holes. The concept was good even if the paint stirrer didn’t function well as an auger.
     Several years later the proper tool came to market. Bulb augers can be long enough to stand while drilling, or shorter and more easily controlled. There is also a device called a Bulb Bopper that is a tube instead of a spiral auger. If you have physical challenges planting bulbs, or have a lot of bulbs to put in, this tool is essential to your gardening hardware.

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