Great Gadgets for Under $50
No doubt about it--gardening is hard work. But many nifty inventions on the market offer shortcuts to make chores easier and more pleasurable.
Clippers and Gloves
Wiss thread clips are actually made for the sewing industry, but gardeners are discovering they make handy gadgets for quickly cutting herbaceous plants. Model 1570B (in blue, about $10) features stainless steel blades and a larger, more comfortable plastic handle. Model TC1 (silver, about $15) is made of nickel- plated drop-forged cutlery steel. For slightly more serious work, try the Wiss grape thinning/orchid snips (model C4AS shown with black handles, about $25). The straight blades made of drop-forged steel are great for reaching into tight spots. Cooper Tools; (919) 362-1670; www.coopertools.com.
These TAIA secateur clippers (yellow handle) have been field-tested in the vineyards of Italy, where they are made. Two forged-steel cutting blades slice woody material with precision, leaving a clean cut that promotes quick healing ($50 including shipping and handling). The Rare Fruit Council International, Inc., 14735 SW. 48 Terrace, Miami, FL 33185; (305) 554-1333.
Washable leather gloves (shown in red) won't get stiff or brittle even after a day in the dirt. These cowhide gloves feature durable nylon stitching. About $33 from Gardener's Supply Company; 1-888-833-1412; www.gardeners.com.
Foxgloves (shown in blue) are made from spandex and nylon for a great fit; they keep your hands clean and protected all day long. About $25 from Petals from the Past, 16034 County Road 29, Jemison, AL 35085; (205) 646-0069.