Unique and surprisingly practical gardening tools: plant catchers, ergonomic shovels and more – Mother Earth News

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Everyone has hobbies in life, but it’s especially rewarding to create things with your own hands. The same joy that drives people to paint pictures on canvas and write countless books fuels other pursuits, like tending the plants and caring for the earth.

A special thrill comes from being self-sufficient and cultivating a successful garden. You get to know each plant personally as you defend them from pests and drought, ultimately harvesting delicious food or gorgeous bouquets of flowers.

No gardener or homesteader would be complete without the equipment that makes gardening possible. Improve your game this year by discovering seven unique gardening tools that are surprisingly handy. They could make your passion easier without taking away the pride that comes with cultivating life.

1. Get an ergonomic shovel

If you’ve built a large garden, you know your plants wouldn’t grow as well without the use of a shovel. This tool makes a home for each of your seedlings, quickly aerating the soil as you go.

You may believe that every shovel is equal, but that’s not true. Consider getting an ergonomic option this year that will take into account its weight and handle design. Excavators made with fiberglass handles are top of the line because they minimize the weight of the tool without reducing its efficiency.

Radius makes excellent excavators that model this design, as does HERShovel. Compare the models to narrow down which one is right for you and your preferred type of gardening.

2. Try an electronic plant sensor

You might feel the creative urge to plant something new this year, but you don’t know where to put it. It needs a specific amount of sun and water, which will change depending on where you are on your property.

Electronic plant sensors are game-changing garden gadgets. Stick one next to the seedling you want to monitor and it will collect information like how often the leaves are exposed to direct sunlight and how long the soil holds moisture. Easybloom is one of the most popular brands of plant catchers you can choose for your garden, along with Gro Water and Parrot.

3. Build a compost cup

Part of being self-sufficient is finding new ways to create what you need. If you haven’t tried composting yet, this year may be the time to start.

A compost cup holds all of your biodegradable materials and spins them for a complete decomposition process. Traditional bins put the contents in one place for months on end, while the traffic benefits the process. You can build a compost cup yourself or look for one online from big brands like Yimby or Envirocycle.

4. Play with an online garden planning tool

You may feel stuck when you imagine your future garden. There is a wide variety of plants to choose from, but you don’t know how to set everything up. Before you grab your garden mat and trusty spade, try an online planning tool that lets you visualize your garden with graphics.

Many homesteaders use the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Garden Planner, Online Garden Planner, and Garden Plan to determine what and where to plant. Which site is right for you will depend on the size and purpose of what you want to grow.

5. Take a basket of fruit pickers

Most people imagine small shrubs and flowers when they think of gardening, but fruit trees bloom in gardens as well. Don’t waste time carrying a ladder and bucket this year at harvest time. Instead, use a fruit picking basket, which quickly picks ripe fruit from the branch and holds them in a padded basket.

Look for brands like Flexrake and Ohuhu, something with features like lightweight fiberglass handles and poles. Padding is also essential to prevent bruising, but you can add it at home if needed.

6. Handle an electric weed killer

Say goodbye to weed-pulling days with sore knees and a sore back. This year, overcome the enemies of your garden with an electric weed killer that invades plants using infrared heat. The heat causes weeds to explode at the cellular level, so you won’t need chemical-based pesticides.

Compare products from Rittenhouse and Nature Zap to see which work best in your garden.

7. Install a solar sprinkler

Another way to ditch pesticides, chemical treatments, and electric fencing is to use a solar sprinkler around your yard. They collect energy from the sun and light up when they sense movement. If a raccoon tries to have a snack in the middle of the night, the device will throw water at it.

Many gardeners trust brands like Orbit, Havahart, and ScareCrow to get the job done. Test them out for yourself and consider placing them in several places in your garden to defend it throughout the day.

Find Unique Gardening Tools That Meet Your Needs

Consider the type of garden you want to grow or currently have in your garden. What do you spend the most time on and what could you make it easier for yourself?

A compost cup could save you from buying chemical fertilizers. The right plant catcher may be what you need to grow that mysterious new seedling. Think about the gardening tools above and decide which one would help you the most.

Kayla matthews writes and blogs on healthy lifestyles, sustainable consumption, environmentally friendly practices and green energy. In the past, his work has also been featured on GRIT, Living Mother Earth, Blue And Green Tomorrow, Remain and Houzz. To learn more about Kayla, follow her Productivity and Lifestyle blog, Productivity theory, and read all his articles on MOTHER EARTH NEWS here


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