top 10 garden tools according to Kiss my Aster!


1. Is a compost bin a tool? If so it is number one. If not, my Felcos are number one. I literally couldn't garden without composting. And I wouldn't. But I have a feeling it's not a tool and it's just a way of life that also has features and benefits. So let's talk about my Felcos. Felcos are...well, I'm snobby about them. I know I could take my finger off without realizing it and there's a sick sense of pride in that. I used a lot of different pruners before I met my Felcos they all worked like chopsticks compared to them. Daniel insists his off-brand is just as good. That's what he said about Starbucks too when I met them, but whaddya say now Mr. Doppio Macchiato twice a day??? huh???
2. Tiger, my perennials divider that I use to dig any hole that needs it. Tiger was just a few bucks and that was a long time ago. He's not top of the line but he's been good to me. I like a divider for chicks, sharper and smaller... just like us!
3.Wheelbarrow. Check out my vintage wheels! I might give it a makeover. I'll document it if I do...

4. Rose gauntlets by Bionic- right there next to my beloved Felcos riding shotgun... These have been great for me- even though I received a rather substantial rose injury while wearing them- I totally recommend them. They are lovely- a touch Terminator and a touch Sabrina...


5. Amanda-sized pitch fork. I shopped for this one. A longer on just would not do! Great for working in my compost heap. It's the right tool for the job!



6. An old shower curtain. I use this a bunch of different ways. I lay it out in front of my compost bin and scoop into it and then drag the curtain full o' goodness to wherever I want it. Or, I rake leaves into it and then wrap it like a burrito and drag it to the compost heap. Or, I use it as a drop cloth for my non-stop spray painting. OR, I put all my plants on it that come in for the winter.... get the picture?




7. Milk crate. I think I've had this one since I worked at Starbucks (um, I left in '98). Great for sitting on while weeding- then when you're done you can flip it and shove the weeds in there... Use it as a step up for things just a wee bit out of range. Or you can just use it to carry stuff- most importantly for when you are moving and you have a lot of houseplants. A milk crate is probably at it's peak transporting houseplants. As a matter of fact, it's odd they aren't commonly known as "house plant crates".





8. The zip tie, or cable tie. Great for training anything- roses... espalier... Hanging window baskets... I made a zillion bamboo tee-pees with the zzzzzzzzip of a zillion zip ties. Can't get enough. It's the gardener's duct tape.



9. The rake. I never needed one until living here. we have odd cement-like top soil and even odder grade issues. Raking is therapeutic. Very Zen gravel garden.
10.A tie between the little red wagon and the Can o' Worms. Both somewhat superfluous since I already compost and I have a wheelbarrow...but wonderful things nonetheless. I have had the wagon since my first Chicago garden, $9 at the thrift store and I have used it to schlep things like planted containers, new perennials purchases, Koi, pulled weeds... you name it. Now I use it to drag firewood and kindling to the neighbors for their evening bonfires that I can smell while I'm sleeping. Still a benefit! Plus, I love the look of it.
The worm bin is new and amazing. But I'm not sure it's really a tool. Although I guess something that makes mass amounts of fertilizer is a tool. It might be more properly classified as a factory.



BONUS ROUND*
Tool or not something I have done for the first time was to draw out a plan of my house and what I'd planted where. Especially beneficial for all the seeds I've planted in a very half-assed manner.Toss 'em then draw it in and que sera sera. If you know what I mean. It will be a real dream come next spring too, figure out what died what thrived and what annuals I liked enough to buy again. Tool or not, I wouldn't do it without it now that I've tried it.



Well that's it, my little Asteraceae (that means belonging to the family of Asters- and just about everthing else- I hate exclusivity!). What's your number one tool? What am I missing out on? Of course I use other things but I can hardly sing the praises of my coil hose... whatever that means...