Cool Tools for the Garden

By: Danny Lipford

Planting flowers in hanging planter.

It used to be that gardening was a hobby. It was a pleasant way to spend a lazy afternoon by enjoying the sunshine, fresh air, and the self-proclamation of being a green thumb. Soon, gardening became a competition as you kept up with the Joneses vying for the coveted Yard of the Month sign. Today it’s practically become survival of the fittest since much of the country is facing drought conditions and water rationing.

The good news is that you can take the stress of gardening back down to the hobby level with all the cool new tools designed specifically for today’s gardener. A lot of home and garden centers will have yard tools, but not all of them are going to make yard work simple.

Here are some really cool tools that, not only do the job, but make your day in the garden a walk in the park.

Duluth Gardener's Armor

You would think that gloves are a necessity, but not everyone like to wear gloves. Here’s a great alternative. Gardener’s Armor from the Duluth Trading Company is a specially-designed lotion that will protect your hands from bugs, poison ivy and other garden nasties. It forms a protective barrier on your skin to block the ill-effects of poison ivy, poison oak and sumac. It keeps insects from biting and it also prevents any garden chemicals from absorbing into your pores. Plus, the barrier it forms will make washing your hands easier. A 4 oz. bottle costs $12.50 and will provide about 100 applications.

7 in 1 Planters' Buddy

Less is more when it comes to toting around garden tools. Here’s a really cool item I found from Ames True Temper. It’s called the 7-in-1 Planter’s Buddy and, as the name implies, it has seven functions in this single hand tool. It has a really heavy gauge stainless steel blade to be used as a trowel; a serrated edge for cutting bags of potting soil, mulch or fertilizer; the tip is notched for weeding with ease; the other edge is a sharpened blade for cutting sod; the same edge has a V-notch perfect for cutting twine; the handle end is a solid poly composition that can be used as a tamper to tamp down wood stakes, markers and fertilizer spikes; and, finally, the blade and handle are marked in one-inch increments for easy measuring of distance when putting in plants. It runs $14.99 and it’s available at Home Depot, Lowes and True Value.

CobraHead Weeder

Another new design is the CobraHead Weeder, again from Duluth Trading Company.

It has a unique design that slices through the toughest soil like a tractor pulling a cultivator.

It’s sharpened and honed on both sides, zinc-coated steel and practically unbreakable. Really fun to use, too. Only costs $24.50.

Garden Kneeler

Keeping with the idea of making work easier, here’s a comfortable way to work in the yard without all the strain on your lower back and knees.

This is the Comfort Garden Kneeler I picked up at The Home Depot (www.homedepot.com) for only $39.00. It has an adjustable height padded seat, soft cushioned kneeling pads, folds up for quick storage and is very lightweight. The nice thing is that I don’t use this just in the garden. It’s perfect for camping trips, too!

Ryobi Sprayer

Every gardener has a pump-up sprayer. Those are pretty simple to use, but here’s something even simpler. Ryobi has long been known for their cordless power tools. Well, they took the idea of a garden sprayer and attached one of their battery packs to create this cordless motorized sprayer, so you don’t even have to pump it up any more. It will spray chemicals, cleaning agents and stains, so it’s perfect for the garden. You can pick it up at Home Depot for just under $30. [NOTE: This product has been discontinued and is no longer available]

Garden Cart

If you’re doing a lot of gardening, you have to have a garden cart. What makes this one unique is how easy it is to dump a load of topsoil or fertilizer.

This is a dumping cart from Vigoro and it’s a smaller version of a cart they already made, so it’s perfect for home use. This is also a Home Depot item and it costs just $59.99.

Two more items that you should put on your gardener’s wish list is this portable garden center from Backyard Gear.

portable garden center

Not only is it a convenient tool caddy, but it includes a fold away sink for cleaning tools, vegetables, hands, etc. It even has a paper towel holder. You have to order this on the Internet, but you can find it on Home Depot’s site and it costs $140.00.

The sink, by the way, operates by hooking it directly to your water hose. Once you’re done gardening for the day, the garden center rolls out of the way for quick and easy storage.

Reel Smart

The next item will get the hose out of the way without you having to roll it up yourself. The Reel Smart will automatically rewind your garden hose using nothing more than water pressure. There are a lot of hose reels on the market, but this new design means the size is only about one-fifth the size of others. You can pick one up at the Home Depot for only $69.90.

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17 Comments on “Cool Tools for the Garden”

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  • Carol Murphy Says:
    April 19th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    LOVE my sprayer but would like to purchase extra tank so that I can use 1 for weed killer, 1 for fertilizer. Can’t find it in store or online.



  • John Goetzinger Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 8:46 am

    I need the Wand for the Ryobi 18V Garden Sprayer also.
    Did anyone find where we can locate one. Its a nice little sprayer and works well.



  • Jim S. Says:
    March 28th, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Hi
    I have a Ryobi 18v Garden Sprayer. It’s a great little tool but I need a new wand and can’t find one anywhere. This specific tool is not even listed on Ryobi’s site so I suspect it’s out of production. Any Ideas where I can find the part??
    Thx


  • Official Comment:


    Ben Erickson Says:
    May 29th, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Hi Dave,
    You can contact Vigoro by e-mail at the United Industries Contact Page
    Or you can call them at 1-800-917-5438.



  • Dave Says:
    May 28th, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Danny. I have the Vigoro dump cart and i love it. The only problem is that my front wheel is broke and i need a replacement. I went to Home Depot and i couldn’t find one. I also went on Vigoro webpage and cant find out how to contact them? Can you help me? Thank you.



  • Susan Says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 9:59 am

    I to am looking for a ryobi sprayer – home depot the only one to carry it- I contacted ryobi they say that it is discontinued for lack of sales if no one knows about the sprayer how do they excecpt to sell – live in Orting washington can you help



  • Robert Says:
    July 6th, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    I own one of the Ryobi 18V sprayers, and it is an excellent product. It does hold at least a gallon, giving about a 12 minute continous spray time per fill up. Battery lasts through a few fillups. I bought it at HD in Asheville, NC.



  • Rob Says:
    July 2nd, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    I found the sprayer in the clearance area of Destin Florida HD. 2 of the 18 volt batteries would fill up the liquid compartment. I don’t think it could hold a 1/2 gallon. Good luck to all of you.



  • Rufus Says:
    June 26th, 2008 at 6:16 am

    We need the Ryobi in Los Angeles CA as well



  • ryobi garden sprayer 2400 Says:
    March 26th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Beginning to wonder about home depot store and their web site. Looking for Ryobi home and garden sprayer 2400 at local home depot. Onalaska, Wi. Clerks don’t know what I am talking about until I show them in their Info. folder at their Ryobi display in the store. Did Ryobi just dream about this thing or what?



  • Drew Says:
    February 1st, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Cant find the Ryobi sprayer in Kansas city either. Spoke to several stores and they cant even find it on their computer.



  • Kim Says:
    October 11th, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    My Dad is looking for the 18 Volt One+ Home and Garden Sprayer as well and he can’t find it in Bend, OR 97707 and I cannot find it here (Cincinnati, OH 45014) either. Ryobi’s website still lists it as a product, but I can’t find it any where. Help!



  • Brian Says:
    August 24th, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Help Danny – Not in my Home Depot either, what’s the deal? Wayne PA 19087



  • Wayne Says:
    August 22nd, 2007 at 11:52 am

    Hi Danny,
    Our Home Depot does not stock the Ryobi Garden Sprayer either, can you help!
    Home town- Decatur, Alabama 35601



  • ronnie Says:
    August 11th, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Hi Danny,

    i live in Detroit, Michigan in a bungalow. It cute, but I need major work. Starting with eliminating weeds that ave rooted and formed into young trees. Some are very close to the concrete base/foundatin of the home. Please help!! What can I do – money is funny and change is strange!!!


  • Official Comment:


    Allen Says:
    June 20th, 2007 at 10:58 am

    Debbie…what town? I can contact Home Depot’s corporate and get them to ship some units to that particular store.



  • Debbie Says:
    June 16th, 2007 at 11:41 am

    I have not been able to find the Ryobi garden sprayer in home depot or on the Home Depot website. Where can I find it? I wanted to get it for my husband for Father’s Day. I saw the Danny Lipford segment on The Early Show Thursday.
    Thank You for your assistance.


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