Fall 2012 Mercantile: Gardening Tools
See this season’s best tools to assist you in your gardening endeavors including seeders, waterproof boots, plant protectors, and more.
By the Heirloom Gardener Editors
Sea Magic from Bonadea Gardens of Winnipeg is a dry soluble seaweed extract that can be used in the home garden on all vegetables, flowers, fruit trees and shrubs, lawns, even houseplants. The seaweed in Sea Magic (Ascophyllum nodosum) is harvested from the cold clear waters of the North Atlantic and is quickly dried using a special procedure designed to keep its natural qualities intact. Just dissolve the 1/2 ounce packet in a 2-liter pop bottle filled with warm water to make a liquid concentrate.
When you purchase a handcrafted, American-made garden tool like the Hoss Wheel Hoe or Seeder, you have reason to believe it will last the rest of your life. The new Hoss Seeder plants small and large seed and easily attaches to Hoss or Planet Jr. wheel hoes. It has a removeable hopper and easily adjusts planting depth up to 1.5 inches. Interchangeable plates for different seeds are available, but the Seeder comes with plates 1-6 from the size of mustard seeds up to beans and field corn. An optional row marker is available that automatically marks rows for the seeder.
The FireKnife from Light My Fire of Sweden is a practical, yet fun way to be prepared for fire making. The FireKnife has a blade of hardened Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel and a handle with a high-friction rubber grip which is comfortable, easy and safe to use. Profile-grinding makes the blade fine enough to ease out splinters and the back of the knife has been ground to work perfectly with the Swedish FireSteel. The Swedish FireSteel is durable (3000 strikes) and works equally well when wet. Sparks easily ignite a stove, BBQ, paper, dry grass, birch bark or any other prepared tinder. It comes with a sheath with belt clip.
If you love the functionality of rubber boots around the farm or garden, you’ll love the feather-light Billy Boots that weigh just 2.1 pounds per pair. Made in the USA from an eco-friendly EVA compound, these boots are recyclable, PVC-free, and chlorine free. Billy Boots are durably constructed and built for comfort and reduced fatigue, so you can wear them all day while working outside, then take the dogs for a hike in the tall grass afterward. The self-cleaning sole and composite safety-toe seal the deal.
Artisan Beryl Wells Hamilton has been sculpting metal for many years but started working with copper when a friend asked her to make a large copper turtle to attach to his downspout using scraps left over from a copper roof installation. Her friend was so happy with the turtle that he asked her to make a giant frog, and from that the word spread and 5 years later she’s busy making all kinds of things out of copper. Her Hanging Copper Bird Bath or Bird Feeder is sturdy and durable, cut from a sheet of copper that has been hammered, heat-treated, bent and shaped until she’s happy with it. All kinds of beautiful colors appear after copper is heated and quenched immediately in cold water. Can be treated with lacquer or wax to protect finish, or left to age and mellow on its own.
Grow it Now! Plant Protectors are polyethylene domes designed to hold up against all kinds of weather — and an alternative to expensive high tunnels and greenhouses. This new weather-resistent, greenhouse system provides plants with protection from frost, wind, hail, snow, and temperature fluctuations. In addition the system is easy to use and easy to disassemble and clean and can be reused year after year. Made in the USA of recycled plastic, the plant protectors come in small and large sizes, with an interlocking top opening and four tabs at the bottom for easy anchoring.
The Big Bag Bed from the makers of SmartPots is a fabric raised bed for growing vegetables, flowers, herbs, or fruit that you simply foldout and fill. This instant raised bed, made in the USA, is 50" wide by 12" high and allows 13.5 square feet of growing space. The special porous fabric is weatherproof and lasts for years; it warms quickly in spring, yet releases excessive heat in the summer and provides for excellent drainage. Fabric raised beds also have the advantage of discouraging ground pests like gophers and moles. We think this bed would be perfect for growing a fall lettuce or greens crop — throw some Reemay over the top when a frost is predicted!
The classic English Haws long-reach watering cans are made using time-honored methods and heavy-gauge steel. The galvanized zinc coating resists rust and the powder coat finish further protects it. The fine spray oval rose tip is removable and a filter between the spout and can prevents the brass rose from clogging up. With two handles, the can is perfectly balanced for watering. We think this would make a special gift for any heirloom gardener.