Two Essential Tools

Having great tools for gardening helps to make it more enjoyable and rewarding, knowing they will work efficiently and can be relied upon to do the work well.


A  Japanese tool called Hori Hori knife is a tool that is so multi-use it can be relied upon as a knife, trowel, and twine cutter. As a weeder, it is efficient, sharp, and can go deep into the soil for easy lifting.  It is ideal for digging holes for planting bulbs, garlic and small plants.  One side has a sharp serrated blade that allows it to be used for cutting through roots, sod, or twine and the other side has markings can be used as a ruler for planting depth or other needs. Many suppliers include a handy protective carrying case with it. I discovered this tool years ago in Japan and now it is easily available in the US. You can choose a Japanese version or one of the copies ranging from inexpensive versions, around $12. to the very high-end fancy types, around $50. and many in between. Make sure to get a stainless-steel blade. I prefer one available from Truly Garden (online) called Hori Hori Garden Knife and it sells for $27.50.


A great pair of hand pruners is a must for every household. Professionally I learned that Felco # 2 are the only ones to use. I have tried many and resorted to cheaper versions since I lose them occasionally (often later discovered in the compost). Yet, I always go back to my Felco # 2 as the best. Made in Switzerland, Felcos have strength in cutting,  versatility in cutting size, durability and last a lifetime. Being ergonomically designed  they are great for day-to-day use cutting branches up to 1 inch. Constructed with  aluminum alloy they never rust, have a notch for wire cutting, and all parts are replaceable. Plan on spending around $50. for a pair of Felco # 2s but know they are worth it.