Picture Snob

May 24, 2011

Japanese Hori hori knife for ease in weeding and digging


High-quality Japanese steel blade makes this hori hori knife very durabie and sturdy. The stainless steel blade is very sharp and concave shaped for scooping soil and other materials. It has a serrated edge to cut through weed roots and the concave shape makes it possible to scoop up soil and a whole small plant for transplanting.

The length of the blade is 7.28" and with the handle the length is 12.5". So it's a good size for the close work of weeding and moving plants. The polymer handle has an easy grip. This is a versatile tool that does the work of several tools currently clunking around in the bottom of your garden bag. The pointed blade and curved shape work like a garden spade while the serrated edge works as a garden knife to cut plantings apart. Also perfect for weeding, transplanting and cutting open fertilizer bags.

At Japanese Hori hori

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May 23, 2011

Rain barrels can save rain until you need it


Although it seems that it will never stop raining, it will. And having a rain barrel to catch the rain now to use outdoors later is an old idea that is worth considering. A rain barrel is a simple way to harvest runoff water, prevent unwanted erosion, and conserve healthy natural water. By either purchasing or making a rain barrel, water runoff from a gutter system or roof will be collected for use around the yard and can even be hooked up to a homemade irrigation system to keep any garden hydrated and nutrient-rich.

The average American uses around 100 gallons of water per day and more than 50% of that water is for outdoor use. An inch of rain produces 625 gallons of water runoff from a 1,000 square-foot roof. A rain barrel holds approximately 55 gallons of water, keeping a significant portion of that runoff for yard and landscape uses. Water collected in rain barrels is also devoid of chemicals and treatments including fluoride and chlorine and is therefore better for the lawn or garden. Many green gardeners have also taken the opportunity to be creative and decorate their rain barrel using paint and flowers.

So I know it's hard to keep up your spirits in the week long rainy period, but getting a rain barrel or two and installing them will pay off when a summer drought hit. Some varieties of rain barrels are very attractive vase shapes and some are large enough to store 65 to 75 gallons.

At Algreen 81002 Agua 50-Gallon Rain Water Collection

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May 18, 2011

A rotary cultivator tills places your rototiller misses


If you've got your garden tilled and planted with young plants triving, you might find this garden "weasel" very handy. Most likely the weeds are thriving along with the vegies, and although I make my rows far enough apart that I can get the tiller between them, this hand driven tiller gets into places my rototiller can't go without damaging the tender young plants.

The "weasel" is made of steel so it won't break or bend easily should you hit a rock with it. It's handle is 56" long so that you can push it back and forth without bending over. It's width is 5.5" which enables it to get close around growing plants and loosen up the soil and knock down and uproot weeds.

At Weasel cultivator

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April 20, 2011

Burpee Seed Starting is an all in one system for a great price


If it's still freezing at night in your area or generally too cold to plant the warm weather vegies, you might try this seed starting kit from Burpee which has everything needed for successs. They say it is guaranteed to grow bigger and better seedlings every time. The all-in-one kit has everything needed to start growing seeds. Everyone says it is easy to set up and doesn't require much maintenance. You only need to water once.

It has a transparent cover retains heat and moisture and the mat underneath draws water from the bottom tray reservoir and feeds it to each cell evenly. Roots don't stick to mat as in other systems. It comes with enough soil and nutrients to grow the seeds into transplanting size. The big 72-cell tray makes it easy to start all your seeds in one unit and it is reusable.

At Burpee Ultimate Seed Starting System

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April 8, 2011

Wall O Water works for early warm vegetables


If you are dying to have the first ripe tomato or pepper or eggplant, then you might try the Wall o Water which really works very well. It's a plastic self-standing vinyl, made from l sectioned cylindrical tubes You just fill with water to hold the warmth from the sun to keep plants cozy at night. With this simple device you might be able to start your garden outside, 6-8 weeks early and begin harvest 30-45 days sooner than normal without the fear of freezing. . It works for peppers, squashes, tomatoes and other warm season crops and protects small plants down to 16° F.

The Wall O Water comes in a package of three and is not very expensive so you can experiment with a few vegies before going all out. But these water walls have been used with great success by my local gardeners. They suggest that you fill the wall all the way to the top and fill one cylinder on one side and then fill a cylindar on the other side to keep them balanced. It's also good to fill them and let them sit where you are going to plant for a few days to get the soil warmed up. And as the plants grow, it's good to check for slugs and other cool weather hungry critters to keep the plants safely inside.


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March 21, 2011

Peltor Over-the-Head Earmuff are light and effective


If you are tuning up the garden rototiller or the lawnmower and getting ready to run the machines that make a gardening life easy, then it's also time to get a pair of earmuffs to block out sound that could damage your hearing.

Peltor earmuffs are top quality. They have a soft ear mold that does't pinch the ear but stays comfortable through a day's work and even if you are wearing glasses. They are adjustable for head size also. If you want to save your hearing and eliminate the annoying noises of neighbors, barking dogs, the shop vac, the power tools, and gunshots, this is the product to get. They provide 29 dB hearing reduction and don't weigh you down.

At Peltor Earmuff

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March 18, 2011

It's time to test your soil before spring planting!


If your garden soil is now thawed and you're itching to get your fingers in the dirt and start planting, I am with you completely. But it might be a good idea to do some soil testing before you start filling up the rows. There are many different levels of soil testing, sometimes even going so far as to send samples to a lab for results.

A soil test measures which elements (phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, manganese, copper and zinc) have their nutrients available within the sample. The quantity of available nutrients in the sample determines the amount of fertilizer that is recommended. A soil test also measures soil pH, humic matter and exchangeable acidity. These analyses indicate whether lime is needed and, if so, how much to apply.

Because soil composition changes very quickly it is a good idea to test the soil as soon as possible after taking samples. You also have to be careful about the composition of the water used in the soil test as the ph of the water can affect the outcome of the test. Distilled water might be the best choice rather than faucet water.

At Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Soil Test Kit

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February 28, 2011

A seedling heat mat will make the growing season arrive sooner

41f0Y1OaIGL._AA280_.jpg It's been warm and sunny here for all of January up until now. I worried about the water table and snow pack and river level and now it's started raining again and snow is forcast for the next week. Suddenly I feel restless and wish I could get in the garden.

It's hard to imagine gardening unless you have a sunny room or porch. But for those of us who can't wait to start some plants, I'm thinking this heating pad looks perfect. It's 20" by 10" so it fits underneath a large seed flat. It's waterproof and made of heavy fray proof material. It will warm the soil in the flat 10 or 20 degrees above room temperature so that seed germination is faster. It comes with a 6 ft. power cord and instructions for use and also comes in larger sizes. No matter where you are, if you can't bear the thought of another month or two of winter, you might try hastening the season with this seedling heat mat.

At Seedling Heat Mat

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December 23, 2010

The Yard Butler comes in very handy for planting bulbs


This drill works well for bulb planting, for tree areation and other jobs where small holes are needed in difficult places. The advantages of using the Roto Planter is that it digs holes up to 22-Inch deep and 2-Inches wide. It can also be used for electrical or sprinkler installations under sidewalks. It can help with deep watering around trees, aerate and fertilize trees and shrubs. It digs for you. You insert it into any 3/8-Inch or larger electric or cordless drill.

Reviews say that this auger will dig even in heavy clay soils and will rip through small roots if the drill is strong enough. This is an important element if being satisfied with the product. Many people who tried it with small cordless drills in heavy clay had an overheating problem which cleared up when they switched to a heavy duty drill. This auger can save your back and also save plenty of time if you're trying to get the bulbs in a break between winter storms.

At Yard Butler RP-3 24-Inch Roto Planter

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December 15, 2010

A garden tool set and stool make a perfect gardener's gift


This is a great gift for the gardeners on your holiday list. I nice set of tools comes in a carrying case and attaches also to the light weight stool which can be easily moved from place to place. There are five tools included--a rake, a trowel, a spade, a weeder and a fork. The tools are steel with wooden handels and the stool has a polyester canvas seat.

It's all very compact and convenient and the reviews are very positive.

At Picnic Time Gardener Folding Chair with Tools

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