November 3, 2007
It is never too early to start thinking about injuries in the garden. We are talking about the aches and pains of the average gardener. William and Judy shared some tips and some of the newest tools on the market. First the tools: Fiskars shared some of their newest tools that have been recognized by the Arthritis Foundation for their ease of use and design. They are designed with power gears and are lighter in weight to relieve stress and strain on your hands and body. We also saw tools with extending handles and benches to make it easier to get work done around the garden. Tips to help your body included working later in the day once your muscles warmed up and working with containers and raised beds to relieve stress on your back. For other labor (and body saving devices) check out your local garden center.
STIHL FALL TOOLS
October 20, 2007
Fall is the time to clean up for the winter months ahead. If your lawn and garden needs a big time clean-up, you need to find a tool that will do the job right, the first time. We paid a visit to Wayne Sutton of Stihl to learn about the different Stihl products that will help you to get the job done. First, Wayne displayed a couple of leaf blowers. Blowers have become the #1 nuisance machine in the garden. Wayne talked about using them safely and considerately. The first model was a blower that also became a vacuum/shredder. This will let you suck up the leaves, shred them and then dump them into your compost bin. The second model was a super quiet one that is so quiet you can talk on the phone while you use it. We then moved to chainsaws. Wayne had one that was one of the simplest to use. This one was loaded with features that included an easy start and a quick way to tighten the chain. We also saw all the safety equipment you should be using when you operate this machinery.
RED PIG SMALL TOOLS
October 13, 2007
tools help the gardener get the job done quicker and easier. But there
are some small tools that defy description and whose tasks are
interesting. Bob Denman from
Red Pig Tools (503-663-9404)
is a tool genius and he pulled out some of the more interesting tools he
makes. The first one was a girdling tool. This tool cuts a small piece
of bark off a fruit tree and shocks the tree into producing more fruit.
He then brought out a bench scoop that is designed to pick-up more stuff
from your potting bench. He also had a weeding tool, a bulb lifter, a
root hook and a ball weeder. These are all made by Bob and will last
for generations to come. If you are interested in more tools you can
check out their website for the full list of tools they make.
RED PIG TOOLS
September 1, 2007
A couple of months ago
we visited with Bob Denman at
Red Pig Tools (503-663-9404)
to watch him make a garden trowel. Bob’s tools are well made and built
to last and sometimes they are designed from tools that have been used
in the past. Bob brought out a few of his unusual long handled tools to
show us. The first one was a mangle cutter. This tool was used by pig
farmers to cut up corn pieces into smaller chunks so the pigs wouldn’t
choke. It is great for local gardeners that want to cut their compost
into smaller bits for quicker composting. Bob also makes a weed fork
for those tough to get weeds, a ridger that helps in planting seed
crops, and a half-moon weeder/cultivator. Our favorite was the
blackberry hoe. This tool, which Bob designed himself, has edges that
let you easily get the small plants with one side and the large tap
roots of the old plants with the other side. If you are interested in
unique tools for tough jobs, check them out when you are in the Boring
STIHL -- KOMBISYSTEMS
August 4, 2007
are always on the look out for new tools on the market that will make
gardening easier. We found a great new system from
Stihl called the
The Stihl KombiSystem
is a complete family of multi-task tools comprised of different power
heads and numerous attachments. The split shaft design lets you quickly
change attachments. It also comes with the new Easy2Start engine which
takes no effort to start! Wayne Sutton from Stihl demonstrated how easy
it is to operate. Check out the Stihl website to find a dealer near
July 14, 2007
many times has this happened… we spend all spring working on your garden
to make it beautiful and then you go on vacation and come back to find
all your hard work wasted. All the wonderful plants you have nurtured
are dead because they didn’t get watered. Well, we went to the
Catalog Store (800-825-1925) to find a solution to this problem.
Michelle gave us 3 ideas for taking care of the problem. The first was
a special gel called Dri Water, that retains water and is all natural.
You just cut the bottom open and stick in the pot. The second device
was the Oasis Watering system. This system holds enough water to keep
20 plants wet for up to 40 days. It is on a timer so they get watered
the right amount every time! The final product was the Aqua Mat. This
mat has a super absorbent liner that retains water and then releases it
to the plant through the bottom of the pot.
July 7, 2007
We are tired of lugging our potted
plants around every time the season changes. Our problems were solved
by a new product we found at
Greenhouse Catalog (800-825-1925). Michelle told us about the
Potlifter. This product is designed to lift just about anything in the
garden. The buckle was easy to latch and handles were comfortable to
use. They say you can use it to carry pots, stumps, boulders and even
sacks of concrete. As long as it is 72 inches around and less than 200
pounds it can be carried safely and easily. We even bought one before
we left the store!
June 2, 2007
Our trip to the tool
shed this week finds William wrestling with a pesky garden hose. As you
pull stuff out for the coming gardening season, check your hoses to see
if they need some work. Look for bad connectors, cracked latex and
other potential problems. If it is an expensive hose, look to make the
necessary repairs, but if it has seen better days, take the time and
replace it. You can find repair parts and new hoses at most of your
local independent garden centers.
May 5, 2007
you know what a trug is? It is a small basket for carrying produce or
cut flowers in your garden. These baskets are well known in Europe for
their looks and versatility. We found some interesting ones locally at
(800-294-1343) in Lake Oswego. JoAnn told us about the ones she carries
in her store. These are made near Coos Bay out of myrtle wood from
trees that have been blown down during storms. They are made by
hand and are dipped in a mineral oil that gives them a nice natural
finish. You may have heard of them before. The Wall St. Journal chose
them as one of its "Nifty Gifts for Gifted Gardeners" in December, 2006.
April 28, 2007
found a tool at the Oregon Garden that they use in their garden with
great success. It is the
Circle Hoe (800-735-4815).
This tool is an improvement over the normal hoe you find in your garden
center. This one has a rounded edge so you don’t damage the plants in
your garden. It also has a sharpened edge on the inside of the circle
so it only cuts the weeds. It also breaks up the soil and cultivates it
while you are weeding instead of creating piles or mounds of dirt. If
you are looking for a new hoe or you are tired of damaging your plants
while weeding, check out this tool.
April 21, 2007
We are planting our containers right now, but it won’t be long and we will want to hit the road for the summer and then all the hard work we have done now will be lost if our potted plants get fried in the summer heat. We found some great self-watering containers at the Greenhouse Catalog (800-825-1925) that will keep our summer plants from getting too thirsty. One was a group of stacking tubs that had a reservoir in the bottom and came in different sizes that you could stack. The other container was called the Earth Box. This is a great container because it allows the plants to self-water. It came with a trellis kit so the plant can grow on something and it was on wheels so it could be easily moved! Check out the Greenhouse Catalog for more great container ideas.
April 14, 2007
Your plants need watering; you need to have fun doing it. We found some pretty cool watering cans that get the job done at Daisy Fields (800-294-1343) in Lake Oswego. The owner, JoAnn, has found some interesting ones that bring a sense of whimsy to garden watering. We saw animal themed ones that included an elephant, a ladybug and a rooster. There are even one-of-a-kind hand painted cans that feature garden scenes. You can order them on-line or check out her store in downtown Lake Oswego.
TOOL SHED - 2008