What's your favorite tool?

lydzoejake(Z5 NY)November 10, 2001

I posted this in the New to Gardening board because it didn't dawn on me until recently that there might be a favorites board :)

I've recently been gifted with money towards my new hobby/obsession (gardening, of course) and I don't have any tools to speak of. So...I need some help fattening up my Christmas list.

So, what's your favorite gardening tool?

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weebus(Z8 Sunset 5 WA)

Garden fork, BY FAR
my second favorite tool is the GARDEN FORK
my third favorite... my Felco Pruners. They are expensive but well worth it. you will see them all over for 40-50$ but I bought mine from a place in FL for $29 that included shipping.


    Bookmark   November 11, 2001 at 3:37PM
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Number one on my list is a pair of garden gloves and pruning shears, then a poly pail,
sprayer, and hand trowel. You are now ready to garden and Have Fun!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2001 at 11:36AM
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I like to garden in my daughter's pool area beds in Austin, TX. Every plant that can take full sun has thrived there using the "pocket planting" method. To pocket plant I use a great tool called a mattock to hack out a hole in the rocky clay soil,then place the plant in the hole surrounded by good garden soil (and some Osmocote). Using the mattock as opposed to a little digging tool does a much better job of creating planting holes with less energy wasted.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2002 at 7:59AM
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LeJane(6b Southern KY)

My Mantis tiller is my favorate tool. It weighs only 20 lbs. unlike the usual 500 lb monster tiller (Ok, I exaggerate, but if something is too heavy to pick up, and drags you around the yard like a crazed mule, then it might as well weigh 500 lbs.) My mantis will break new ground, and can fit in the backseat of my car. Expensive? Somewhat, but WELL worth the extra $$. Le

    Bookmark   August 23, 2002 at 4:23PM
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My Fiskars PowerGear Loppers and Pruners. Couldn't do without them!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2002 at 4:43PM
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deadheader(z6 IN)

I only weigh around 118 lbs., have arthritis in both knees and it's spreading to the hands. Our soil is rock solid clay and I can't even jump up and down on a shovel to break ground unless it has rained recently. Therefore, my garden wagon ALWAYS has my handy dandy (old strong) pitchfork in it. With it, I don't have to ask DH or son to dig my holes for me. I love being able to do it myself. After the pitchfork, I couldn't live without my Fiskars Power-Lever Bypass Pruners and Fiskars softouch micro-tip scissors. They both have spring action and that really helps my hands. As my handle indicates, I'm obsessive-compulsive about deadheading and these two tools can do it all. I keep them sitting in a jar of oil when I'm not using them and they just keep going and going and going.........Terry

    Bookmark   August 24, 2002 at 9:49AM
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My snippers-anything that cuts through stems for deadheading-I have pruning fiskars,and cheapos from drugmart,or even my old sewing scissors. First thing I do when I walk out the door is grab some 'snippers' because there's always something to snip!(Nice to see that fiskars are popular here)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2002 at 1:16PM
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roofing hammer! Have carpal tunnel and this hammer is light with a wide head.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2002 at 12:13AM
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For awhile it was my Korean spade thing, one sharp pointy corner for digging and a curved side for moving dirt around. But it finally bent under the force of our GA clay.
Now my favorite tool is The Unbendable Hand Trowel, I don't remember the exact name, but it's one solid piece of metal with a red handle. The metal is bent into a curve (for the handle) and it's just bent into an angle for the trowel part. So far it really is unbendable, great for digging here. My 2nd favorite is a Martha Stewart hand trowel -- more traditional shape, but so far unbendable, plus good for scooping compost, etc.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2002 at 1:17PM
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Felco Tools, rectangular rubbermaid pail (for all gardening activities: water collection, holding soil, moving transplants; narrow, angled spade/shovel, perfect for getting around the roots to dig a plant up.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2003 at 2:45PM
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Wendy_the_Pooh(z5/6 NY)

Favorite Tools: Circle Hoe (e.g., from Rittenhouse), Scuffle Hoe
Favorite accessory: Fiskars Collapsible Garden Container

Here is a link that might be useful: Collapsible Containers

    Bookmark   May 14, 2003 at 3:37PM
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My favorite tool is my stainless steel boarder spade. That little baby cuts through sod like a hot knife through butter. ;) People have been warned not to touch my boarder spade on penalty of me mussing them up. ;) My second favorite is my weeding knife or my hand held scuffle hoe/rake. Very helpful in tight spots. ;)

Iowa Z5

    Bookmark   May 14, 2003 at 5:40PM
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MeMyselfAndI(5/6 central OH)

It's hard to pick just one thing, but I'm going to have to nominate my garden cart. It moves anything too heavy to carry, and loads of mulch/dirt/leaves/twigs/tools. It can move several pots or flats around at once. The frame is metal but the 'bowl' is plastic and wide so I also use it almost daily to mix up soil with compost, sand & peat for planting holes and to fill pots. It's also light enough that I can pick it up to fully empty it.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2003 at 8:48PM
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The Weed Hound. Our neighbor told me to try his, and I decided I liked it so much, I bought one. Then another neighbor used mine, and he went out and bought one.

You can buy it from Home Depot. It is a long green metal post with nails on the bottom. You step on the foot rest to push it into the ground, twist, and pull up on the handle. I weeded our 1/2 acre lawn with it and was very pleased with the results.

It is made by Hound Dog Products in Edina, MN (800 My Hound)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2003 at 7:53PM
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My little Fiskars scissors for small cuttings and opening bags of whatever! Next would be my handtruck for moving heavy things.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2003 at 9:36PM
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Violet_Girl(z9a TX)

Well, you can't buy it, and it's a long story but..

I was digging in our nearly empty compost bed, scrounging for some fertile ANYTHING to fill a pot with. I was just using my hands or whatever I could lay my hands on to loosen this dirt, when all of a sudden I dug up a chunk of sandstone-but not just any chunk of sandstone. This one was hand sized, had a little series of bumps- like a grip- that FIT MY HAND and was SHARP ENOUGH TO DIG WITH on the other edge- the most perfect digging tool I ever met. This remains my favorite tool- it reminds me that Someone cares enough about me to even make me spur-of-the-moment garden tools. Coincidence? I don't think so.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2003 at 1:40AM
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mscarlet(z5 MA)

I think my favorite is my handheld garden claw. I use it for EVERYTHING. I weed with it, dig with it, pick sod up with it etc etc etc. It is the one tool I can not live without!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2003 at 7:32PM
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treacle(Z6 NY)

It's sort of a tie between a Felco #2 secateur and a Spear & Jackson 10 " border spade.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2003 at 10:07PM
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Does anyone here use a Trake? It's a hand shovel at one end and and a claw at the other. Now theres a handy tool!!!!! ARUM

    Bookmark   August 10, 2003 at 9:06PM
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Elmore(z7 N.AL)

Grafting knife. TINA #608.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2003 at 2:31PM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

I'm not sure what this thing is called: it's like a trowel, except that the bowl is curved more like a scoop. One edge is serrated, and it's got a sharp pointed tip. Our soil tends to be clay around here, and this thing digs in much more easily than trowels do.

Gardeners' Suppy called it a 'Scoop Trowel'. Enter 'scoop' in the Search field, and it will come up.

The follow-up favorite is a pair of GOOD gardening gloves. Mine are from Lee Valley Tools, but there are many good brands. Good fit is such an individual thing, you'll need to try different ones to find a brand that suits you best.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardeners Supply website: do a search

    Bookmark   August 13, 2003 at 6:32PM
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Mine is the little red wagon I got at Tractor Supply Co. It is like the child's red wagon of old that they still sell, except this one has larger, pneumatic tires and rolls easier. It seems to be a little bit larger than the standard red metal wagon made by that other famous manufacturer. It is so handy to load up and carry things, tools, bags of dirt, plants, pots, you name it. Eventhough it wasn't originally intended to be a garden tool, it sure is handy.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2003 at 1:32PM
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A metal rake. Couldn't live without it.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2003 at 4:02PM
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garden_witch(z6a MI)

I have three..

3. A five gallon pickle bucket. Its about five years old, has seen more than its fair share of abuse, but still one of the most usefull items in my shed!

2. The wheelbarrow DH bought for us a couple years back, I would be lost without it!

1. My Pitchfork! $3 at a yardsale, the most usefull tool I own =)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2003 at 3:54PM
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Pruning shears. I can't go into the yard without them. Something always needs to be deadheaded or cut back.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2003 at 6:54PM
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duffy49(z4 UT)

My walkmaker concrete form. I might not be so enthused if I didn't already own a cement mixer.

Here is a link that might be useful: picturetrail photos

    Bookmark   September 24, 2003 at 12:54PM
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My double toothed self-powered combination pruner/fertilizer.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2003 at 7:27PM
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Wendy_the_Pooh(z5/6 NY)

I can only see the pic when I'm at home, and I'm not, so imagine me sitting here seeing a red X right now. I know what it's a picture of, though, he-he! What's black and white and furry all over?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2003 at 1:28PM
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You know me, Wendy! LOL

    Bookmark   September 26, 2003 at 1:46PM
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westtxteach(z7 WestTexas)

My Fiskar Garden scissors. (with little serated blades) I've even given them to other gardeners as a little gift!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2003 at 7:00AM
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sandra_NY(z4 NY)

A tool that's given me my money's worth: A Gardena pruning shears. It's 15 years old, never been sharpened and still cuts everything. I don't see them in stores anymore. Around here everything is Fiskars

    Bookmark   October 18, 2003 at 6:49AM
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a serrated sickle (about $10 @ True Value Hardware Stores)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2003 at 10:52AM
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At this time of year, the Ez-Pikup Rake is my favourite tool.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2003 at 10:35PM
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A tie between

(a) Long-bladed Japanese pruning shears
(b) Large bottle of Advil

    Bookmark   November 23, 2003 at 7:52PM
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I've got a great little Japanese (or is it Korean?) thingy; a long cupped blade with serrated edges on one side and and a semi-sharp blade on the other. (Really need to see about getting it sharpened.

Other than that, it would be a toss up between the buckets that 40 lbs of kitty litter come in, or chopsticks. (Honestly! You'd be amazed how handy they are for all sorts of weird things!)

And garden gloves. And, and, and.....

(Hard to believe I gardened successfully for years with just an old spoon!)

    Bookmark   November 24, 2003 at 1:09PM
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my half-moon shovel. Easiest thing to dig clay with.
My garden shoes for working in the mud with. And garden gloves with rubber so they stay dry for awhile.-

    Bookmark   November 24, 2003 at 8:21PM
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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

My Mantis Tiller for me too ;) My hoeing days are over!


    Bookmark   November 25, 2003 at 2:47AM
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WestEnder(z7 Atlanta GA)

2 things I always carry with me when gardening:

small anvil pruners. I never buy very expensive ones because I lose them frequently. Cheap ones work just as well, with the anvil blade. I think the bypass blade might be better in an expensive brand, but i prefer anvil blades in a smaller pruner.

large black plastic cement trough. I found this when I was actually looking for a very large cat litter box. I paid about $4 for it and it was too big for any litter box liners so I started using it in my garden. It's big enough to hold clippings from an entire bush, weeds from a pretty large flower bed, and even thick and sturdy enough to hold about half a wheel-barrow's worth of garden soil or mulch. But unlike a wheelbarrow, you can pick this up and carry it sideways on your hip when it's full. You can also set this on top of a full wheelbarrow and push an even larger load in one trip. It has a nice sloped side that makes it easy to dump the contents into a compost bin or trash can. It's handy for loading up all the tools and things you'll need as you're heading outdoors, like a bottle of water, sandwich, trash bags, etc. and you will find you are constantly using it for something new, like mixing up special potting soils or collecting worms from the curbside (they breed in rotting leaves). It also works well as a huge dustpan when sweeping leaves off porch steps. I have two of these now, and recently saw an even bigger one ($7) that I plan to acquire in the spring.

Next most favorite garden tool: Long-handled pruners. I have both anvil and bypass blades on these, and spend quite a bit more for this tool than I do for small pruners. Even so, they won't last forever (15 years of heavy use is the most use I've gotten out of a pair). Rubber handles are very helpful on these, but wood handles work ok, too, especially if you can find an old/used pair where the wood is already smooth.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2004 at 4:22PM
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