I spent much of Summer 2019 with my face about 18 inches above the ground. Most of the time, I was installing transplants of native grasses, wildflowers, and other perennials, although I’ll confess sometimes I was just searching for lost screws or my sunglasses. The rest of the time I was carefully murdering weeds. In my effort to grow a prairie from scratch, I came to depend on three tools:
1) Soil auger. I got my 3” soil auger (drill bit) off Amazon.com and it’s been an incredible time-saver with my transplants. With the auger, I simply make a large hole in about 15 seconds, mix in a scoop of compost, add the plant, top off, and voila! Done. Warning: Make sure you understand how powerful your drill is, and the potential to injure your wrists if you hit a hard object in the soil. Power Planter 3"x7" Bulb & Bedding Plant Auger https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0015Z3OZ2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
2) Sweet Peet compost. Kurtz Brothers donated several bags of this compost (made from horse stable waste) in exchange for a product review. I warned them I would be honest, so here it is: this is some good sh*t! I mixed it with the backfill on EVERY prairie transplant -- the clay here is too lumpy by itself -- and virtually everything has survived and thrived. Come see for yourself. I also use it to top-dress transplants and established plants, too. https://sweetpeetohio.com/ (Note: The bag says it’s mulch. It’s compost. Trust me.)
(To prove I’m not a KB lacky -- for the love of plants, people, STOP USING SO MUCH &%$#!! MULCH -- KB’s primary money-maker.)
3) Fancy weeding tool. I’ve had a handheld “blade-on-a-stick” for close to 20 years, and it’s rare when I let anyone else use it. It’s that precious to me. I can weed an area in about half the time it takes with any other tool. I wish I knew the original name/manufacturer, but here’s one that seems close. I’m buying a couple of extra for the folks that help me weed at CGS!
What are YOUR favorite gardening tools? Which ones are a waste of time or money?