Gardening tools can make the difference

Linda Stephens-Urbaniak
In the Garden

Gardeners need many tools to make their work easier. From something as simple as a tarp to the most sophisticated electric hedge trimmer, the gardener’s tool shed is as necessary as the plants and seeds to make things grow. Luckily, this simplifies gift-giving for anyone who loves to make his or her garden beautiful.

A handy carrier, the Tubtrug, came on the market a few years ago and can be used to carry tools, weeds to the compost or several plants for setting out. It comes in bright colors: red, orange, pink, yellow, pistachio, green, blue, sky blue or purple and is waterproof and durable. It costs around $15. Another nice gift for any gardener is a pair of nitrile gloves. They come in many colors, too. No gardener can have too many gloves. They’re about $8.

If your garden lover also loves birds, a great way to encourage the smaller birds while discouraging both large birds and squirrels is a Globe bird feeder. The globe surrounds the seed tube, keeping the feed away from unwanted visitors, and costs in the $20 range. If squirrels are your particular problem, you might want to look for a squirrel-proof feeder like the WBU Fundamentals from Wild Birds, Unlimited. At about $40, it is weight sensitive. If anything too heavy sits or clings to the perches, their weight will close the feeding ports. The WBU Eliminator, at about $85, is larger and can be adjusted to respond to the weight of the birds you want to attract or repel unwanted critters in the same way. Don’t forget to include a bag of birdseed!

If the gardener in your life is tired of hand-weeding, try a flame weeder! Acting something like a flame thrower but with a much more controlled torch, these propane powered weeders destroy weeds in paths, driveways or patios and can spot weed if used with care on lawns or gardens. They run about $45, not including the propane tanks that attach to the wands.

Handy for both indoor and outdoor watering, coil hoses are available in 25-foot, 50-foot and (hard to find) 75-foot lengths. The 50-foot length hose compacts to about three feet long when not in use. They are great for watering large numbers of pots and are available in the $25 to $60 range depending on the length of the hose.

Hand tools are always welcome. Almost every gardener wishes for more than one trowel, hand fork or cultivator. Corona makes great heavy-duty aluminum hand tools that sell for about $6, including my favorite, the hand fork with bright red handles (harder to loose!) They also make a wonderful group of extendable handled tools with handles that can be adjusted from 18 inches to 32 inches, making them perfect for those who no longer bend so easily. They run at about $11. If you’re looking for hand pruners, look no further than Felco pruners for a pair that is guaranteed for life if bought through the Felco store. The cost ranges from $30 to $63. Fiscars is one of the oldest companies in the world, established in 1649. With their patented “PowerGear” design, they make great anvil or bypass pruners that are easier to use for those who have a compromised grip such as from arthritis. They are priced from about $22- $26.

Visit your local garden center, hardware store, box store or look online for any of these gifts. You’ll make your favorite gardener’s day brighter with great new tools or a new way to feed the avian visitors in the garden.

Linda Stephens-Urbaniak can be reached at

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