THE SOIL KNIFE
The top tool among the horticulturists at Dow Gardens is the soil knife (aka the hori hori knife)!
The soil knife has many functions like digging out weeds and dividing perennials. It has a great serrated edge for things like cutting fibrous roots or opening up mulch bags. Many knives also have a built-in twine cutting notch and engraved inch markings for planting depths.
THE HULA HOE OR SCUFFLE HOE
The hula hoe is great for weeding in between plants in small spaces. It also cultivates by the push-pull action underneath the soil. The tool also reduces fatigue by letting you stand with the long handle instead of being on your hands and knees.
THE GROUNDSKEEPER II RAKE
This tool is a little tricky to use but once you get used to it, it will be a favorite in your tool collection. We love this tool because of its versatility. It is a very lightweight rake that levels out soil and mulch. The Groundskeeper II is also great for dethatching grass and collecting sticks and twigs. We have even used it by flipping it over on the other side and sweeping debris off paths.
THE HIVE TOOL
Our entomologist has one tool that she loves, and it is the multipurpose hive tool. It looks like a pry bar, and it is great for prying apart sticky bee equipment. You can also pound loose nails back into place on a frame. It is also a useful way to scrape a bee stinger out of your finger!
Every gardener needs a good pair of pruners. The hort team keeps them close at hand everyday. They instantly improve the appearance of trees and shrubs and makes clean cuts to avoid damage to the plant. Our horticulturist in the Rose Garden uses them daily whether it's dead heading the flowers or cutting back old/dead canes.
THE PERENNIAL SPADE
This spade is about two feet long and is great for making holes for and dividing perennials. The small spade is a convenient tool for planting in small areas. It is also the perfect size for working in a raised bed.
THE PUSH MOWER
Last but not least, the push mower gives the best satisfaction for looking back at your work and seeing perfect mow lines. We have many areas in the Garden where the zero-turn mowers can't get to the small places, and the push mower does the trick. Plus, you're getting in some exercise while you're cutting the grass. It's a win-win.
Created with images by Goumbik - "equipment outdoors dirt" • Pexels - "dirt farm garden" • Annie Spratt - "untitled image" • MireXa - "cutting scissors tree" • Alexas_Fotos - "lawn mower gardening mow"