Sunday, March 25, 2012

Working Day

No philosophical rambling yesterday, my friends, no time here to play.  Yesterday was a work day at ProfessorRoush's garden; mulching, weeding, transplanting, dividing, and general all around "leave the gardener aching" day.  Well, okay, there was a little play, since nearly everything I just listed is really playtime for me.  But, all in all, a pleasant and satisfying day of life.

I need to let you in on a big secret, however.  I've got a tool for you to add to your garden armory.  No, not one of those tools that you buy once and then leave hanging in your tool cabinet or shed unused.  This is not toolshed clutter.  This is shear genius of tool creation.

I'd like to introduce you to the Radius Garden Pro Weeder, found online at  I first saw this gardening lifesaver at the annual Manhattan Garden Show, and thought it interesting but a little pricey at $50.00.  Then, fate intervened to send me exactly $50.00 of "mad money" recently and I took it as a sign from the gardening gods that I was destined to own it.

The second big secret is that, while I'm sure it is a nice weeder, weeding is not remotely its best function.  Think of this, those of you with clay soil interspersed with rocks, as a small spade, able to reach down deep between the stones and pry them up.  And more importantly, able to CUT THROUGH THE TOUGHEST MISCANTHUS CLUMP TO DIVIDE IT INTO NICE PLANTABLE PLUGS!  Forget about the team of sweaty muscular young men to lift the grassy clumps and the chainsaws to divide them. This baby let me transplant my Miscanthus, albeit minus a couple of growing years, where it needs to be rather than where I originally planted it.  I'm going to now burn out or Roundup the rest of the clumps.  No need to break my back anymore in a fruitless attempt to move mountains!

It's built extremely tough, with, as you can see on the back, a nice strong spine to prevent bending.  My pictures show a working weeder, dirty and smeared, but it is made of stainless steel and has a rubber molding around a steel core clear to the "O-ring" handle.  I don't know that it needed more than a "D" handle, but the O-ring is workable and comfortable to use.  It comes in several colors for those who care about the color of a gardening tool.  But, most important, there is no bending or breaking this baby. 

The real secret is in the tip.  It's about 2.5 inches wide and its not sharp enough to slice you inadvertently, but it is sharp enough to go easily through the tough clay and small enough to work between stones.  Think about the force on the tip;  a normal spade, with a width of 6-8 inches, distributes my weight along all of that width.  This baby multiplies my force by 3 times at a minimum.  Genius!   It's a pry bar with a handle!  It's a spade for the Flint Hills!  It's a bulb planter with wings!

Consider this just a tip of the gardening hat to a fabulous tool from a gardener who has no connection with the manufacturer nor who gets directly or indirectly paid for this endorsement.  This one will not live solely in your tool collection, but will become a real workhorse in your garden.  And worth every penny just for the savings in Miscanthus plugs.

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