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5 Best Low-Tech Garden Tools

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5 Best Low-Tech Garden Tools

Home improvement warehouse stores are full of gadgets and devices aimed at easing your gardening work. However, many successful home gardens are cultivated with a handful of good hand tools — and the high-tech alternatives often won’t help you grow a tastier tomato or brighter begonias. A gardener’s toolkit requires little more than a trowel, fork, manual weeder, rake and shears. Each time-tested tool beats several high-tech alternatives.

1. Shears: A good pair of bypass pruning shears can keep many trees and shrubs neat and tidy, while also helping harvest vegetables and flowers, clear away dead leaves and cut weeds away from the plants you want to keep.

Power pruners such as the Alligator Lopper add chainsaw teeth and electric scissor action. They may seem like a great idea, but sharp hand pruners are plenty powerful for most home gardeners. The Alligator Lopper may be more hazard than help in many homes. Another overrated alternative is the Garden Groom collecting electric hedge trimmer. It looks like an oversized high-tech iron, and it trims away hedges, then shreds and collects the leaves all in one device. However, users complain it is too heavy and may not do the job. It only cuts a small amount at a time, so it requires several passes on many hedges. It also doesn’t pick up all the debris.

2. Rake: Garden vacuums — either gas- or electric-powered — are popular among people anxious to keep a perfect yard. They suck up leaves and dirt, but that is the problem — dirt belongs in the yard. Instead consider raking the leaves and other debris, or simply leaving many of them where they fall. This can create healthy mulch or compost and you don’t have to send all those bags of vacuumed leaves to the landfill.

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Read more: Do Good, Home, Lawns & Gardens, Nature,

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Networx.com empowers people to make educated, economical and Earth-friendly renovation and home repair choices. We are a community of homeowners, renters and contractors who are committed to sharing home improvement expertise and experience.

42 comments

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4:49PM PDT on Mar 29, 2011

Hands anyone? Can't beat hands during gardening and loads of other practical day to day jobs!

3:22PM PST on Mar 7, 2011

Thank you. :-)

6:10AM PST on Feb 22, 2011

Good article...all you really need is the basics and of course the time to nuture nature...

11:13AM PST on Feb 16, 2011

I am glad I have them all (well, I still need a weeder; got any suggestions?)...

4:24AM PST on Feb 16, 2011

A bulb planter is a useful tool.

2:17AM PST on Feb 15, 2011

Can you recommend any weed control tools? I have not had much luck.

2:11PM PST on Feb 14, 2011

I use all of these! especially the fork. :)

1:28PM PST on Feb 14, 2011

Thanks for the info.

11:23AM PST on Feb 14, 2011

I love the feel of dirt on my hands and hate the smell of gasoline powered equipment....just think of how many calories you are burning with good old fashioned hard work.

8:07AM PST on Feb 14, 2011

Can't wait to start my organic veggie garden!! Thank you (:

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