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Useful and Not So Useful Items You Have

Posted by nutsaboutflowers 2b/3a (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 20, 11 at 16:09

It's the time of year where probably most or all of us feel like going out and buying something new for the garden. I often look at things like the Lee Valley catalogue, or I'm in a store and see something and think, hmmm, would that really work, or will I get it home and it'll turn out to be junk? Or, will it be more work than just doing it the "old fashioned" way? Will it take up more room in the garage that it's worth?

Are there things you've bought, or made, that you thought would be good and they turned out to be problematic or useless? Or, are there things that exceeded your expectations?

Here's a few of mine that I can think of at the moment:

- Green plant tags from Lee Valley. Don't really like them. The white insert can been seen from a mile away and it's distracting.

- The metal plant hooks that have three prongs you put into the ground and then you hang a plant. I wired mine to the step railing last year. The plant and pot are too heavy, the prongs are too short, and they don't stay straight. I think it needs to be anchored with bolts and a hunk of cement.

- I paid about $100.00 for a garden cart last year. I feel it couldn't have been a gardener who decided on it's dimensions, as it can transport almost two flats of plants, but not quite, so you have to take them one at a time. If it's dimensions were a bit different, it would be much more practical.

What have you bought, or made, that you like and/or dislike?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Useful and Not So Useful Items You Have

I bought the air pruning pots from Lee Valley last year. Used them last spring and this spring for tomato and pepper starts. This year I thought to have a control group that went into 3.5-inch pots. The leaves and root systems on the plants that went into the normal pots grew larger than those in the air-prune pots, plus they were loads easier to remove (it was impossible to remove them from the air-prune pots without breaking a LOT of roots). Both were potted on to deeper half-gallon pots and a couple of weeks later, the plants that never saw the air-prune pots are still further ahead.

Here is a link that might be useful: air pruning pots kit


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RE: Useful and Not So Useful Items You Have

I love these hanging pots from lee valley. I planted them densely with licorice vine, million bells, pansies and flowering kale and they were amazing and lasted well into fall. I also have the raised bed kit that you insert paving bricks into. I *love* it! DH's favorite new tool last year was the weed hound weed/taproot remover. I swear it made weeding like a video game to him!

Here is a link that might be useful: hanging basket


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RE: Useful and Not So Useful Items You Have

Garden Claw by Garden Weasel is one of my best tools. The thing I bought thinking it was a Garden Claw is definitely one of the worst!

My garden carts--all 3 of them--are wonderful. I needed 3 because DH keeps borrowing them!


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RE: Useful and Not So Useful Items You Have

I love perusing Lee Valley's website but don't buy much there. I'm too 'frugal' and have gardened long enough to know I don't need or want every gadget. One very useful item they sell is The World's Kindest Nail Brush. I have one near every sink and besides being kind to hands and getting nails clean, I also use them to scrub veggies, gently scrub at stains before laundering, and rest my natural vegetable oil soaps on them to dry so they last longer. I 'try' to always wear gloves when gardening but somehow my nails get filthy and these brushes work really well. Good for feet also for those, like me, who wear flop-flops.

I agree those green plant tags from LV are not the best, I've broken almost every one I bought. I think they have tin inserts that aren't as obvious as the white ones, or at least they used to. They have some nice copper tags that are good for trees. I also like their velcro plant ties.

I only use shepherd's hooks for light decorative stuff in the garden, otherwise I have to pick them up off the ground too often!

My least fav garden cart is the one with small wheels and a deep bucket that does not wheel well over rough ground. Good thing I only paid $5 at a yard sale. I use it to hold my small tools, plant stakes, and empty pots and don't move it around much, it just contains things so I can find them easily.

My fav 'haulers' are my 2 children's wagons. They don't hold as many weeds as a large wheelbarrow but are easy to move around. Especially good for moving potted plants or heavy bags of amendments. Also have a couple of large wheelbarrows. One's always full of soil/mulch/compost/amendments during planting time so need another for weeds.

I'm a simple gardener, just need a shovel, rake, hoe, and a few small hand tools. Do like my big lopper for cutting branches and those willful aspen sprouts.

Here is a link that might be useful: The World's Kindest Nail Brush


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RE: Useful and Not So Useful Items You Have

I like:
- my cordless electric hedge trimmer (love love love)
- anything brass from Lee Valley (if you need brass faucets, etc. theirs are very reliable)
- two clear plastic "greenhouse" domes I got with some cheap seeds from Home Depot many years ago, excellent for starting seeds
- 3-prong gardening hand forks rather than trowels which clump up the soil and tend to break
- roll of velcro plant tie
- multi-pattern sprinkler
- regular old wheelbarrow I use instead of a cart
- portable hose reel, but see below

Things I hate & or threw out:
- really expensive leaf vacuum - it only works on loose crispy leaves, although it is useful for gathering and mulching leaves for covering my roses in the fall
- cheap walmart gazebo, got turned into an aerial pretzel by a windstorm and deposited over the hydro wire
- I sort of hate my hose reel because it's short and I am tall and it's really uncomfortable to pull around.


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RE: Useful and Not So Useful Items You Have

My most useful item is my sump pump watering system my DH set up for me. The sump pump sits in my rain barrel and easily hooks up to a hose and allows me to water without lifting. He also ran pipes under the deck so I don't have to drag the hose to the other side. The pump is easy to transfer to other barrels around the yard also.

I also love my Hawes watering can. It is the one with the long spout. It is very well balanced and worth the cost.

I agree that the velcro ties are great, but I also like old panty hose.


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