The coldest weather seems to drop in with a wallop at night, turning the topsoil in containers and in the ground into frozen lumps. Now there will be no more playing in the dirt until the weather warms up enough to thaw out the containers and garden soil. Even though I miss my “in the dirt” time outdoors, I now have time and the inclination to check out what is available to make my gardening time easier.
We have recently been made aware of a unique, durable line of tools hand forged in Holland by artisans for over a hundred years. Thinking ahead to Christmas, several of these tools would make unusual, yet thoughtful gifts. Some of the tools could even be used as tree ornaments or incorporated into the bow on Christmas packages.
DeWit (pronounced DêVitt) tools has an array of hand-held and long-handled tools to drool over. If you are like me, you always find something perfect for yourself while shopping for friends. I could easily see myself with either of the small steel Ninja tools slipped into my back pocket along with my pruners. The Ninja Onion Hoe and the Ninja Cultivator are both laser cut from hardened boron steel and heat treated for toughness. Loosen soil and dig out weeds with the Ninja cultivator and cultivate in tight spaces with the Ninja onion hoe. Paula Schmidt, Marketing & Customer Experience Manager of TDI Brands, had this to say about the little Ninja tools, “…they are small, stealthy little tools that get the job done quickly. Plus theyeach are two tools in one!
I was curious about the name “Onion Hoe,” having not heard of one before.Schmidt Said, “Onion Hoes are typically small enough to get rid of weeds in between onion plants, which is where the name was derived. Our onion hoes are good to use as a lightweight chopping hoe, and to help tear up the soil. When you pull the hoe back, it works nicely to get rid of weeds under the surface.”
The Bonsai Tool Set is wonderful for its intent, to work with small plants in tiny containers. It is a favorite of Japanese gardeners and growers use it to transplant tiny seedlings. The set comes in a wooden box, but thinking outside the box, why not break up the set and give one of these small tools as a gift to four different friends? Or, hang them on the Christmas tree or tie them into the bow on a gift. The ash handles have holes to make it easy to hang them up on a peg, but the holes would also make it easy to run a ribbon tie through to fasten on a tree or gift. Like all DeWit tools, all four tools have blades made of Swedish boron steel and are fitted with Ash hardwood handles from FSC certified forests¹.
Next on my list for friends and myself is the sweet little Forged Tulip Trowel. It is great for breaking up clay soil (of which I have plenty) and was a best seller at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2011. Believe me, if the English gardeners want it, I know my garden buddies will want it, too. It works as a fork and trowel combined. I am thinking ahead from Christmas even to Mother’s Day. This would make any gardening mother happy.
Said to be the favorite of women, the Intermediate Shovel with Teeth is indeed a favorite of one of my woman-gardening friends. All are made with FSC-certified ash wood handles and boron steel blades, the same steel used on a popular U.S. brand of bulldozer blades. It has a smaller head and is lighter weight than traditional American shovels. It also has a T-grip handle made of Ash hardwood, which makes it easier to maneuver. The shovelhead is forged by hand. The wide teeth make slicing through clay and roots so much easier than thumping away with a regular shovel.
All of the DeWit tools are handmade in Holland and guaranteed for a lifetime. Look for DeWit tools at www.dewittoolsusa.com where you can view photos, learn more about DeWit, and find an online retailer or garden center. Alternatively, ask for them at a garden center near you. If the retailer does not have what you want in stock, he can order it for you. We couldn’t be happier to have such a quality toolmaker associated with GardenSmart.
¹ FSC certified forests are sustainable forests, replanted to keep the forest intact. The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is a government entity that oversees this green initiative and certifies that the hardwood comes from sustainable forests.
Posted November 15, 2013
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By Pamela Crawford, author, Easy Patio Veggies & Herbs
Photographs by Pamela Crawford
Pamela has written a great article about mixing herbs in containers. Herbs are natural companions with different textures for interest. The herb mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme offers lots of flavor from a small combination loaded with textural interest.
To learn more, click here .
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