Gardeners who like things easy, have mobility issues or get muscle fatigue are always on the lookout for smart gardening gadgets designed to keep them playing in the dirt. This season some of the best are ingenious and, often low-tech, doing the job they’re designed to do brilliantly without added fuss or bother.
- Make heavy lifting easier – Why risk back strain lifting garden pots, rocks and bales that are too heavy for one person working alone. With a nifty labor saving sling device called Pot Lifter, www.potlifter.com, two people working together can move big bulky items with ease. Just slip the sling around the object and lift. The product can handle objects up to 200 pounds and as big as six feet across.
Preen’s new battery-powered spreader applicator cap has an inner fan powered by two AAA batteries, which come installed. The user simply flips open the top, points the cap toward the ground and switches on the fan. Gravity feeds the Preen granules into the fan, which distributes them easily and evenly. Adjusting the angle of the bottle changes the flow rate of the application.
- Stop weeds before they start growing – Preen garden weed preventers cut down significantly on the onerous task of weeding by stopping new weed seeds from rooting and growing for up to three to four months per application. Now Preen offers a smart battery-powered spreader-applicator cap that makes it even easier to apply Preen pre-emergent granules atop garden soil or mulch. Gardeners who have tried the new applicator found it comfortable to use, providing a steady, even application rate. Users could quickly cover large areas, while also readily directing the flow into hard to reach places such as under shrubs and between plants. Weeds that don’t root, don’t grow. No weeds, no weeding!
- Spare knees while kneeling – Jolly Kneeler is a molded polyurethane knee-rest that is orthopedically designed to support gardeners comfortably while they’re on their knees planting, plucking or playing in the dirt. The simple one-piece product, sold at www.gardeners.com, has a handle for ease in carrying. Its bright red color makes it hard to lose in green garden beds or grass.
- Water plants from the porch – Have a cool drink on the porch, then turn a soda, tea or water bottle into a remarkably low-tech garden container watering device. AquaCones from Achla Designs, www.achla.com, are super easy watering spikes that attach to plastic bottles. Just flip over and sink the spike into the soil. The water in the upside down bottle slowly drains to plant root, rewarding gardeners with more free time on the porch! Comes in two sizes to fit 1- or 2-liter bottles.
- Try raking in circles– Raking can be a pain, especially when moving heavy wet leaves or debris or mulch. The Ground Hog Circular Rake, www.homedepot.com, has a circular head with teeth. Its encompassing design minimizes raking labor by gathering and keeping raked materials together as its being pulled or moved. Less spillage means fewer strokes and raking jobs are quickly done. For gardeners who like to get backyard tasks done efficiently, quickly, and easily, these smart well-designed solutions make good sense.