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Cordless tools save you time and work

Most gardening tools are cordless. Rakes, shovels and hoes never have had cords.

However, since the advent of lithium-ion batteries, there are new types of cordless tools available. Everything from chainsaws to lawn mowers and string trimmers for lawn maintenance help to make those tasks easier to accomplish.

While we have those tools, I don’t use that type of equipment. At our home, that is the domain of the man of the house. Instead, I enjoy using cordless tools for working in the garden.

The first tool I purchased was a bulb auger. It has a shank that fits into a cordless drill. The one I have is a 2-inch diameter auger. They are available in smaller and larger sizes. The bigger they are, the more power they need to dig the hole. They also require greater strength to control.

This size works very well when planting most bulbs and plants that are grown in the three-, four- and six-packs that you buy at the local garden center. The auger can also be used to loosen the soil if you have compacted soil and need to plant something larger. It allows you to plant items much more quickly than digging holes with a shovel or other digging tool.

But be careful and learn to use it before working in compacted or heavy clay soil. Try it out on potting mix to get a feel for this on the end of your cordless drill. Use both hands and keep your hands away from the auger attachment.

Another tool that I use often is a battery-powered bypass pruning shear. We have many shrubs and trees on our property. Traditionally, I have used loppers and manual pruning shears. They require some significant physical strength to cut some of the larger branches.

The cordless pruning shears will cut up to a 1-inch diameter branch in a jiffy. It is amazing how quickly it cuts through the wood. Very little effort is required on my part. All I do is pull the trigger, and it makes a clean slice through the wood. It does require that you keep your other hand away from the blade, as it should be holding the branch that will fall after the cut. Fingers could be removed just as easily as branches.

Both of these tools are very handy to have in your tool chest. They make our gardening life easier and allow gardening for people who may not be as strong as they once were.

There is a great resource from Wyoming Extension, “Tools for the Enabled Garden.” The 16 pages has a complete list of helpful tools to make gardening easier for all of us. It takes a minute to download, so be patient. Find it at http://go.osu.edu/empowered.

Greenisen is an Ohio State University Mahoning County Extension Master Gardener volunteer.

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