I am deeply attached to my favorite gardening tools. They are the things that make my job simpler, more comfortable, and some days more homelike. And I think almost all gardeners have their favorites.
My pruners, Felco 2s, are deeply beloved. And I mean beloved in the pry them out of my cold dead hands kind of way. I’ve had them for years now, and I love that I can take them apart and reassemble them whenever they need cleaning or sharpening. I have them adjusted so they spring just so in my hand. Plus, if anything needs replacing, I can order just about any part I might need. They cut beautifully, which suits my love of pruning perfectly. I’m usually at my happiest in the garden with a shrub or tree to corral back into shape. There’s something soothing about pruning. I usually finish the job with sore arms and bits of twigs and leaves in my hair and down the shirt, but I always feel better about life.
And while I’m on my everyday hand tools, the ones I carry constantly in the garden, I would be remiss if I forgot to mention my soil knife. I use one from A.M. Leonard which I really love. It fits nicely in my hand, and I use it for everything from planting to weeding to cutting twine and opening bags of soil. The only downside of it for me is that the blade gets dull within about a year, but it does see heavy use with me. I have always been hard on my tools– especially the ones that see daily use. I have also been coveting this glorious knife from Barebones Tools. I ran across it at the AHS River Farm plant sale last week and I loved the weight of it. It has excellent heft, and it’s tremendously sharp. I also really enjoyed that the pommel end doubles as a hammer. I hate having to carry a mallet around when I need to put stakes in.
Plus, it’s gorgeous. It’s hard not to admire a beautiful tool when I find one.
I could go on about my handsaws for days– that love of pruning means my saws are so important to me. I use a Silky Zubat and a Silky Pocketboy most of the time, and they go through wood like butter. The Zubat makes large cuts easy and quick and it’s probably one of the best saws I have ever used. The Pocketboy is great for smaller cuts and tight spots, plus it actually fits in my pockets. It’s definitely convenient for pruning season, when I already feel like I’m carrying around a ton of stuff, between my saws, pruners, pole pruners, plus a spray bottle of alcohol. And then I have to carry all this stuff up a ladder, and boy do I hate ladders– I climb them for the sake of the trees.
But enough about saws and trees– on to weeding, and another tool I love. This is the last one, I promise. I adore my scuffle hoe for weeding in the vegetable beds. It saves so much time on hand weeding and it just knocks the weeds right down. The one I use has a sharp blade and an easy action for pushing or pulling. My preferred scuffle hoe is one from the Garden Tool Company, and I’m actually on my second head for it. I wore through my first one’s blade last year, but they do see really heavy use. Even more than the sharp blade, I think my favorite thing about this scuffle hoe is the wonderfully long handle. It makes it so much on my back and neck to not have to hunch over my tools.
That’s pretty much my favorites– I mean I definitely have favorite shovels and rakes and hoses and sprinklers, but the list would go on all day, and these are probably the tools I use the most. I can’t help having favorites, especially when these are the things I use every day. Hopefully some of you will tell me about your favorite gardening tools– I always love to hear about new things!