Does anyone else have Spring Fever?
(HIT) – At HomeGardenandHomestead.com, we’re always on the lookout for what’s new and cool. Springtime is always a good time to get outdoors and start getting the backyard ready for the warmest time of the year. And if you’re a gardener, you’ve probably ordered seeds and plants—and are patiently awaiting your “last freeze date” so you can get your garden started.
Here’s our roundup of the Top 10 Coolest Yard and Garden products to get you excited about spring and summer. If this stuff doesn’t get you excited about spending more time outdoors, nothing will.
Colorful shoes and boots for the great outdoors
|Photo courtesy of Sloggers|
Whether you are working in the garden or walking the dog in the morning dew, you’ll feel comfortable in a pair of waterproof shoes or boots from Sloggers®. New this season is the attractive leaf print in sage green, bright blue, rose red or basic black. The high-top boots are especially great for heavy rain and working in a water-logged yard.
The deep-lug treads give these made-in-America shoes and boots excellent traction in water and mud. Every pair includes the exclusive “All-Day Comfort Insoles” that give Sloggers® the reputation for high comfort. The shoes slip on easily, and there are no laces to tie or clips to fasten. Clean-up is easy—just hose them off! The sole contains up to 50% recycled material. When you’re finished with your shoes or boots you can send them back to Sloggers® and the company will recycle them in the making of a new pair.
Women’s shoes and boots are available in full sizes 6-10. (Half sizes should round up and order a pair of “Half-Sizer Cut-to-Fit Insoles” to make any Sloggers® boot or shoe ½ size smaller.) Sloggers® Rain & Garden Shoes sell for $34.99 and boots sell for $39.99 in garden stores and online at www.sloggers.com.
Easy and eco-friendly way to start seeds
|Photo courtesy of Botanical Interest|
Spring is for starting seeds for the garden. Botanical Interests, known for the wide variety of non-GMO and organic flower and vegetable seeds it sells in colorful seed packets, now offers a great way to help gardeners start their gardens—one seed at a time.
Botanical Interests’ Recycled Paperboard Pots are made from 100% recycled, food‑grade paperboard and are manufactured using low-water and low‑energy methods. Simply “pop” open a 3” by 3” by 3” paperboard pot, fill it with soil and sow your favorite seed variety. The pots have a perforated bottom that tears away easily, allowing you to place the entire pot in the ground, minimizing root disturbance when transplanting seedlings. The remaining paperboard breaks down in the garden soil or compost pile. These ingenious little eco-friendly pots won a 2015 Green Thumb Award from the Direct Gardening Association. The paperboard pots are sold in packs of six for $2.99 at local garden centers and www.botanicalinterests.com.
Cut roses and other flowers with a flourish
|Photo courtesy of Joseph Bentley|
Flourish Stainless Steel Floral Snips from Joseph Bentley were designed with women in mind. These lightweight pruners are perfect for precision cutting, making them the tool of choice for cutting flowers and performing all light-duty trimming. The compact size fits easily into a woman’s hands, and the narrow bypass stainless steel blades provide, sharp, accurate cutting. These pruning snips are ideal for pruning roses, perennials and all live green wood.
Flourish Stainless Steel Floral Snips are available in two feminine-inspired colors— Antique Rose and French Lavender. A pair of Flourish Stainless Steel Floral Snips sells for $14.99 in fine gardening stores and online at www.homedepot.com and www.amazon.com.
Use weatherproof BioMarkers to label your garden plants
|Photo courtesy of MCG|
Sometimes it’s hard to remember exactly what you planted—and where. That’s where MCG BioMarkers™ come in. The patented BioMarkers are perfect for labeling the rows in your vegetable garden and the flowers throughout your yard. BioMarkers are made in the USA of a proprietary blend of corn cobs and recycled plastic that’s tough enough for many years of outdoor use. Each set of BioMarkers comes with weatherproof, pressure-sensitive labels. You can write the plant information on the label or use an inkjet printer, then place the label on the BioMarker. The labels remain in place (and readable!) in all kinds of weather, but when it’s time to peel them off they don’t leave a residue. So each BioMarker can be reused year after year.
BioMarkers come in three sizes: 9.25” tall with a label area that is 1.875” by 2.875”, 13” tall with a label area of 2.5” by 4.0”, and 24” tall with a label surface measuring 5” x 4”. Four colors are available: terra cotta, dark green, black and white stone. Prices start at $75.95 for a bundle of 50 small BioMarkers from www.mcgBioMarkers.com, 1-800-305-9983.
A cool tool for the garden
|Photo courtesy of CobraHead|
Good gardeners want well-made tools that make work easier. So it’s no surprise that the CobraHead® Weeder and Cultivator hand tool is a favorite among professional gardeners. The forged CobraHead® blade works like a “steel fingernail®” to weed, cultivate, dig, plant, and transplant. The strong, sharp, tempered blade cuts through and breaks up all soils, even the toughest clay and makes short work of cleaning weed-choked gardens.
CobraHead® tools are proudly made in the USA by a Wisconsin-based family business. The lightweight, hand-held CobraHead® Weeder and Cultivator features an ergonomically comfortable handle that’s made from a mix of recycled plastic and wood fiber. The handle is molded around the unique blade to ensure it can never, ever work loose. The CobraHead® Weeder and Cultivator hand tool sells for $24.95 at garden centers and online at www.cobrahead.com.
Add architectural beauty to outdoor spaces
|Photo courtesy of Be Metal Be|
Why have an ordinary fence when you can make a unique architectural statement in your yard? Natural Screens™ by Be Metal Be are beautiful laser-cut steel screens that have been rusted to an attractive patina and then coated with a sealant to lock in their unique beauty. Natural Screens can be used both indoors and outdoors in a wide variety of applications. They can be used as decorative fencing, wall art, landscape features, pool and privacy screening, sun screening in pergolas, lattice replacement, as an artistic table top, or as a beautiful architectural feature to hide an air conditioning unit or an unsightly bin area.
Natural Screens are available in many beautiful designs that appeal to a variety of tastes. Each metal screen measures 5’11” by 3’, and they can be used individually or combined to make large fences, shade structures, and more. To view photos and design ideas, check out the website at www.bemetalbe.com. Natural Screens are available at the special introductory price of $249 each on www.Amazon.com. (Delivery is free in the continental USA.)
Rose gloves provide protection and style
|Photo courtesy of Jackson & Perkins|
Protecting your hands and arms from thorns and sharp branches is important when you’re pruning roses or other prickly bushes and shrubs. These gauntlet-style rose gloves provide protection, comfort and dexterity—all while being attractive and stylish. These gloves feature a lightweight, synthetic leather padded palm and reinforced fingertips, and they offer ample protection against thorns and abrasive surfaces. The resilient synthetic suede cuffs guard against further scrapes and scratches.
The Jackson & Perkins Rose Gloves are made of a supple, breathable fabric that allows you to perform all of those gardening tasks with ease as your hands are protected from cuts and bruises. When the gloves get dirty, they can be machine washed on a gentle cycle and line dried. Jackson & Perkins Rose Gloves are available in two sizes—medium and large. Medium gloves fit sizes 6½ to 8 (which fits most hands), while large gloves fit sizes 8½ and over. Each pair sells for $38.95 from Jackson & Perkins, 800-292-4769, www.jacksonandperkins.com.
Help keep potted plants healthy
|Photo courtesy of Nature’s Footprint|
Many potted plants become root-bound, and they suffer when the roots at the bottom of the pot sit in too much water. The Smart Soil Separator™ extends plant life and encourages healthy, vigorous plants by providing a permanent airspace at the bottom of gardening pots that stimulates a plant’s lateral root branching. It also solves the problem of drainage in container growing—making the practice of putting rocks at the bottom of a pot obsolete. The adjustable and reusable soil separator can be used indoors or outdoors. It will fit pots with a bottom diameter from 5″ to 7″.
The Smart Soil Separator provides gardeners a way to make growing small plants as efficient as growing large plants in larger containers. A Smart Soil Separator 2-pack is available at the introductory price of $7.95 or a 4-pack for $12.95. Shipping is free. To order, visit www.SmartSoilSeparator.com/Special.
High-quality digging fork can last a lifetime
|Photo courtesy of Joseph Bentley|
A high-quality digging fork is a tool that can last an entire lifetime, performing the everyday tasks throughout the yard and garden with ease and style. The Joseph Bentley Stainless Steel Digging Fork boasts polished stainless steel tines that are virtually indestructible. This sturdy fork is ideal for turning the soil, aerating the soil, breaking up clumps of dirt and general cultivation. The Joseph Bentley Stainless Steel Digging Fork has an extra-long steel shaft joined to a wooden handle made of solid ash. Not only does this tool offer the classic, English style, the handle also features a contoured wishbone grip for greater comfort in use.
Established in 1895, Joseph Bentley is known throughout England for making high-quality, traditional garden tools that are backed by a lifetime warranty. The Joseph Bentley Stainless Steel Digging Fork sells for $54.99 in fine gardening stores and online at www.homedepot.com and www.amazon.com.
Mother Nature’s organic fertilizer is made by worms
|Photo courtesy of Harris Seeds|
Recent surveys show that more than half of home gardeners prefer using sustainable or organic methods in their backyard gardens. Worm Power, a premium-quality organic fertilizer made by millions of earthworms, fits perfectly in sustainable gardens. Worm Power Organic Plant Food increases soil fertility and improves plant vigor, root growth and nutrient availability.
Add Worm Power fertilizer as an all-natural way to liven up sterile potting soils and revitalize tired, depleted soils. This OMRI-listed organic plant food is perfect for fertilizing transplants and for top dressing beds, rows, or container plants. It works naturally and effectively on vegetables, flowers, fruit trees, grape vines and house plants. Worm Power is safe for use around kids and pets. Easy to spread and handle, Worm Power delivers a guaranteed NPK analysis of 1.5 – 0.7 – 1.5, plus abundant micronutrients and a robust community of beneficial soil microorganisms. One pound of Worm Power fertilizes up to 16 transplants and can be mixed with potting mix at a 10-15% ratio. Worm Power is available in 1-pound, 3-pound and 15-pound packages for $6.95 to $29.95 from Harris Seeds, www.HarrisSeeds.com or 800-544-7938.