Garden Gear - Garden Tools

How to pick the right garden tools

Judith Adam, Carol-Ann Granatstein and Stephen Westcott-Gratton
Photography by
Roger Yip (inset photos)

Gardening experts reveal what they look for when it comes to the right gear

the-right-tools-pruning-saw-v2.jpg"The tool that rescues me most often is my folding, compact pruning saw from Lee Valley," says our expert Judith Adam, a horticulturist and author. "It's fine for thick rose canes, but it also tackles a five-centimetre-thick tree limb, then slips into my pocket."

"I have a Winged Weeder and it's proved to be a pretty handy tool," says Hugh Skinner, author and owner of Skinner's Nursery in Roblin, Man. "Shaped like an arrow, it works whether you push or pull, although it's much more effective on the backstroke. I have lots of tools, but I've been looking for something like this for a while."

the-right-tools-garden-bandit.jpg"[I use] a little hand-held thing called a Garden Bandit, says Brad Jalbert, author and owner of Select Roses in Langley, B.C. "It's cheap and the best tool out there. Everybody should have at least one. It's outstanding as a weeder, but it also fluffs up the beds and is good for blending in fertilizer and cutting slugs in half."

the-right-tools-swoe.jpg"My pruning shears are a part of me, but I really love my Swoe, which I've had for 20 years," says Marjorie Mason, owner of Mason Hogue Gardens in Uxbridge, Ont. "It's an excellent tool for gravel mulches in pathways where weed seeds will germinate; you just run it under the surface, and it cuts off weeds. It only minimally disturbs the soil surface, and you don't have to rake off the gravel and then rake it on again."

the-right-tools-ho-mi.jpg"The Ho-Mi Digger, a Korean curved implement, is fabulous for weeding in beds and between plants, says Bob Osborn, owner of Corn Hill Nursery in Corn Hill, N.B."

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