Every gardener has gloves, a shovel, hoses and more weeding gadgets than they care to admit. If you've vowed not to add to your already overflowing lawn and garden inventory, you might want to make an exception for these five devices. Not only do they work as advertised, they just might inspire you to ditch the less effective tools and free up some space in your shed.
1. Water-powered dandelion remover: Unless you get the taproot, the whole taproot and nothing but the taproot, dandelions grow back bigger, stronger and hardier than ever. Many leverage-based weeders can snap the taproot, providing only a temporary fix. But this ingenious version uses water to loosen the earth so you can pull the dandelion—roots and all—from the lawn with ease. Attach it to your garden hose, pull the trigger and press the nozzle into the ground along the taproot. You might get muddy, but there are no chemicals and even the most stubborn dandelion comes out cleanly. Removed all your dandelions? This weeder can also be used to plant small bulbs such as lily-of-the-valley. Note: Unless you want to be splattered in mud, use when the ground is moist.
Pictured here: Water-Powered Weeder
Available at: Lee Valley Tools (photo courtesy of Lee Valley Tools)
2. Ratchet secateurs: If you have small hands or suffer from joint pain, you might never use your old secateurs again. While thin stalks can be snipped with a quick squeeze, the ratchet function cuts larger stems in three easy pulses. Unlike ordinary pruning shears, most ratchet versions can tackle branches up to 1/4-inch thick. Whether you're doing a lot of pruning or cutting through tough branches, these do the job without leaving you with sore hands.
Pictured here: GARDENA SmartCut Ratchet Pruners.
Available at: Sheridan Nurseries and other fine garden centres
Price: $59.99 to $69.99
3. Needle-nosed flower shears: Leave the scissors in the kitchen. These fine-pointed shears snip with precision. You can easily remove dead blooms from a cluster without damaging emerging buds or open blooms. The design is ideal for cutting herbs, trimming delicate stems or deadheading tightly clustered or very small flowers such as shrub roses, marigolds, pansies or campanulas.
Pictured here: Fiskars Micro-Tip Pruning Snip
Available at: Home Depot