Miami Valley gardeners’ favorite garden tools

Before the holidays, I shared a small list of my favorite gardening tools and asked that you share what you like the best. The following are some of the favorite tools sent in by Miami Valley gardeners:

Richard Matthies had a list of tools that included a 30-inch plastic leaf rake, a telescoping pole pruner, a steel short tine rake, and knee pads or a kneeling pad.

I need to add a narrow (around 10-inch wide) plastic leaf rake to the list. It’s great for getting leaves and debris out from between my perennials. I also use it to pull out the trimmings after I prune perennials.

I agree with the knee pads because I can strap them to my knees. There are some really good quality knee pads on the market today. I use them to keep my jeans from getting filthy because I am typically on my knees weeding.

Friend and colleague Carol Burke agreed with the fact that it’s easy to lose gloves. To solve this issue, she purchased three pair of the same color. When she finishing gardening and is heading into the house, she sticks the gloves on her bottle tree and knows where there are every time.

An additional bonus, if they are really dirty, rain washes them clean!

Gil Templeton of Kettering said that he loves his winged weeder. I have to agree with this as I think it’s the best type of hoe available.

It has a sharp blade shaped like a triangle wing on a handle. The pointed blades at each angle are great for small detail work.

This is a great tool to use early in the season when the new seedlings emerge and it’s also good for mature weeds as well.

However, keep in mind that this won’t be effective on perennial weeds or those with a taproot. It simply cuts the foliage, leaving the root.

On the other hand, an effective but slow way of eliminating perennial weeds is to continue to remove the top and eventually starve the root.

Thanks to Beth Barret Hauer for taking the time to provide a list of her favorites. These include her nejiri gama hand weeder (I have one too and love it — keep it sharp), Felco pruners, garden spade with a short D handle, four cubic-foot garden cart, several types of gardening gloves for different projects, and floral shears used for deadheading and cutting flowers for the house.

Toby Acheson from Oxford said that his favorite tool is a good old chopping variety of garden hoe. He also commented that it’s difficult to find one that is affordable and well made today.

One concern of his is the length of the handle. Since he is tall, he looked for a replacement handle that was long enough when replacing the one on his old garden hoe.

Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas for other gardeners to try.

Pamela Corle-Bennett is the state master gardener volunteer coordinator and horticulture educator for Ohio State University Extension. Contact her by email at

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