This weekend, I spent some time cleaning out one of my ornamental borders. I think we are past the point of a hard freeze...and I just couldn't stand to look at the bones of last year's garden any longer. I weeded and clipped my way through, removing dead annuals, trimming back perennials and pulling out the first crop of weeds for 2011.
Though March is a really wet month here in the Pacific Northwest, it is also a good month for being in the garden. The damp earth makes weeding a snap, particularly if you have grass from your lawn fast encroaching. It also makes the removal of tap rooted weeds like dandelions, easier as the ground is more forgiving. Be careful not to compact the wet soil too much when working in the bed...and really, the less you disturb the soil the better. Weeding is one thing, but any major cultivation should wait for drier weather.
As I have said many times before, I am a lazy gardener. And as such, I am always in search of new tools that make my life easier. I decided to try out some of the Corona Tools given to me at the last Garden Writers Association Symposium. (For the record, I have no relationship with Corona Tools, other than the free tools I received at the GWA meeting.) To the right, you'll see a snapshot of the three I used for my cleaning spree. The large, claw-like tool is an eGrip cultivator, the strangely shaped thing with a notch at the tip is an eGrip weeder...and of course, those are snippers on the top.
Overall, I found the tools lightweight and easy to use. I appreciate that they are red, as I tend to lose tools while working in the beds. These were certainly easier to spot than brown and black handles.
Of the three, my favorite was the cultivator. Let me tell you, that claw made ripping out stubborn grass an easy feat! It got underneath the matt of green and pulled at the roots, making removal much easier. Further, it was excellent for raking out leaves and debris between plants.
The weeder was helpful for dandelions, but I am still in love with my OXO knife and can't see replacing it with any other weeder. However, it does have a black handle...and I lost it more than once last year. Maybe the next generation of tools will have GPS locators in the handles and I will track them with my iPhone.
The snippers were handy, too. I am perpetually buying snippers as I am perpetually losing/breaking them. I will use these over the summer and see how they fare. What is it about snippers and bypass pruners? I seem to go through them like nobody's business.
All in all, a good experience with Corona Tools. Give them a try...they have some really innovative, and colorful, stuff!