What's the best garden tool to use? - Knowledgebase Question

Crete, Il
Question by borkhouse
September 27, 2009
I have too many perennials to count. What is the best & most efficient garden tool to use to cut them back in the fall. Some of the plants are iris, tiger lilly, black-eyed Susan, ornamental grasses (spring cutting), etc. Thank you. Laurie B.

Answer from NGA
September 27, 2009


Hand pruners are the most efficient way of cutting back your perennials. Sharp hand pruners will make clean cuts which will be less likely to attract insect or disease problems. Or, you can wait until frost kills the tops of the plants down and then just use a sharp hoe to knock down and sever the dead stems. A hoe is easy to scrape along the top of the soil. A Hula hoe is my favorite because the head wiggles or moves when you scrape it along the ground and it is sharp on both sides. Makes cutting down weeds a snap. Cutting through dead plant tops will also be easy. Good luck with your new garden tool!

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