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Dreaming of the Perfect Garden

Dreaming of the Perfect Garden

By Karen Alexander, Garden Works USA
Photographs courtesy of Garden Works USA

The dead of winter is the perfect time to plan for spring gardening. You look thru gardening magazines and seed catalogs and envision what could be. You’ve found the perfect plants. Now it’s time to make a timeline and see if you have the right tools. Gardening is supposed to be fun and fulfilling. Don’t make it a chore by not having the essential tools. 

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Ken-Ho– This is my go-to tool for preparing my beds. It is both a surface weeder and cultivator. The sharp blade skims just below the surface, easily getting rid of any weeds. It also works great to smooth out a bed before planting.

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Soil Scoop– With this handy tool, you can plant a flat of annuals in record time. The bowl-shaped blade with serrated edges digs the perfect size hole, keeping the soil in the scoop. Drop in your transplant, then cover with the soil.

Both of these tools have ergonomic handles, which if you are preparing/planting continuously really relieves the stress on your wrist.

Most likely you will need to cut back some spent perennials, especially if you have left them up throughout the winter for birds and wildlife, or for visual interest. For smaller perennials, I use:

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Long Needle Nose Secateurs– The needle nose allows you to get inside the foliage, closer to where your cut needs to be. I also like the quick release lock so I can hold back the plant with one hand and open and cut with the other.

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Heavy Duty Ratchet Pruner– I had never used a ratchet pruner until I got these. There is no turning back. They will cut a diameter up to 1”, have ergonomic handles, and the ratcheting allows you to increase your hand strength seven times. After the azaleas bloomed last spring, I trimmed back in one day what usually takes several days. It took longer to gather the clippings than to actually prune. Perfect for all types of cleanup.

After 40 years of gardening, I’m finally gardening smarter. I’ve got my plan, do you?

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Article and photos courtesy of Gardener’s Supply

Blossom end rot is a common garden physiological disorder caused by lack of calcium within the plant. A soil test is suggested and a PH of at least 6.5-7.0 is suggested. To learn more click here for an informative article.

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