New Tool Time

New Tool Time

Using the right tools really does make life in the vegetable garden a whole lot easier. I'm a little bit of a tool nut myself and do find myself gravitating towards the hardware shop to buy myself a little present from time to time. What I love about tools is their potential (o.k., I admit sometimes never realised!) for action. I love things that do something and have the ability to transform something much greater than the size or price of the tools. Some jobs, especially the mundane, can be transformed by a clever, well designed tool that actually works.

I've decided to include some of my favourites, I'll be bringing you up to date on any new developments we find at trade fairs and from talking to vegetable growers like yourselves. If you have a tool you particularly like using, something you cherish and couldn't do without, please let me know as we'd love to stock it.

I'm going to start with a new one we found this year which I absolutely love, the 'Golden Gark'.

Golden gark multipurpose rake, shovel and soil seive.

The 'Golden Gark'. To be honest when I was first handed this tool I didn't think much of it. I thought it was just another leaf rake and a very light one at that. I got a sample and stuck it in the shed and forgot about it. It was only when I couldn't find my own rake that I pulled it out and that's when my life changed... this thing is fantastic! Don't be fooled by it's weight as it's actually made from aero industry polycarbonate meaning it weighs nothing but is very, very strong.

What is it? It's a rake, a shovel and a soil sift. What's so great about it is you can rake stuff up, flip it over and use it like a shovel to tidy the material into the wheelbarrow. It works like a dream, it really does. Also because the base it made from closely spaced tines you can rake up weeds and stones from your vegetable plot and with a couple of shakes sieve out your valuable soil. This tool will be invaluable for collecting Autumn leaves, you'll enjoy it so much you'll be doing the neighbours when you've finished yours! Watch the video which explains it better to gives you a better idea of its many uses. I use it with my oscillating hoe to make short work of weeding and tidying up in the garden. Perfect for raking up weeds and stones and depositing in the barrow without taking my valuable soil with it. I love this one, I lent our sample to a builder friend of mine (he won't give it back) and suffered withdrawal till we got new stock in.

Oscillating hoe tough and quick weeding tool.

The Oscillating Hoe O.k., so I've mentioned this one before but it's just the best no-nonsense hoe you'll find which does it's job superbly. It makes weeding the vegetable garden a breeze with its easy push/pull action and sharp cutting blade. The movement through the soil actually sharpens the blade so this fast weeder is always ready for action. Use this in conjunction with the 'Golden Gark' and you have the ultimate weeding dream team. The Starskey and Hutch of the vegetable garden!

Berry picker tool for easily harvesting small berries.

Small and Large Berry Pickers The berry picker is available in small and large sizes with both seeming to be equally popular. This is a great one for this time of year when your berry harvesting should be reaching fever pitch. Simply drag the tool through the bush to dislodge the fruit which then drops into the body of the picker for collection. The black teeth are a flexible soft plastic which wont harm the foliage of your bushes and makes collecting your harvest quicker and a bit of fun to boot.

Perfect for Currants, Blueberries, Bilberries, Elderberries, Sloes, Damsons and more. Made from a tough high quality plastic which an be easily cleaned in the diswasher. Small and large available.

Barrow boy This one comes from the same makers as the Golden Gark and though it won't change your life it is a simple and handy tool. What's it for? It's a clip system for securing your wheelbarrow against a garden fence or garage wall.

If you're a tidy type a wheelbarrow can be a bit of a pain to have around, especially in a small garden. It's a bulky item left on it's feet but is unstable left leaning against the wall and can be easily knocked over. The 'Barrow Boy' solves the problem perfectly and is so simple you'll wonder why nobody thought of it before.

Fixes easily to any solid surface and is made from a tough, long lasting plastic. Excellent.