All Things Gardening forum: Most challenging aspect of gardening

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amksparky
Mar 28, 2018 5:27 PM CST
Hey everyone, I am exploring new designs for tools and gardening practices for a project to help bring ease to the everyday gardener, especially for those who are either elderly or have some kind of physical limitation. Any feedback is incredibly appreciated, and may be used to create a new product that could change the way we garden!

In terms of yard maintenance, what is your most common practice? (weeding, raking leaves, attending garden, etc)

What do you find is the most common tool or method you use to accomplish yard tasks?

Are there any aspects of lawncare that you find difficult to accomplish?

Are there any limitations that keep you from gardening/make gardening difficult?

Is there some aspect to gardening or lawncare that you get frustrated with?

Are there any tools or practices you wish were different?

If so, what ways do you imagine these can be improved?

There is no need to answer all or any of these questions, at the very least use the questions to spark some thoughts for problem areas and maybe potential areas for innovation. Much thanks! I believe this could potentially give many of us insights to how we can improve our practices!!
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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skits
Apr 4, 2018 1:25 PM CST
Our yard care consists of a rider gathering clippings for my garden. I'm old, so bending down is hard. I usually find a beer or soda carton and sit on that. Although sometimes I stretch a bit and may look like I've expired in my garden. My "girl" shovel (smaller than a normal spade) is my best friend. A present to myself a few years ago.

As far as frustrations, only my neighbors spraying their lawn every spring. But I love my dandelions, so his work is futile.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
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greene
Apr 6, 2018 8:41 AM CST
Tell us more about this project, please. Is it for school? Or for a publication of some type? Thank You!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Apr 7, 2018 12:59 PM CST
I have a shovel that has a large step area for your foot, I will not use anything else now. I wish they made more tools with that step on them.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Apr 9, 2018 4:05 PM CST
I had a shovel with a nice large "step", it broke off... ended up with a sharp edge that digs gouges out of the bottoms of my boots... sorry now that I didn't stay with rolled steel.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Apr 10, 2018 3:04 AM CST
hmm, that is odd, I have had 3 over the years, I break the handles off (my own fault), I think I accidentally ran over one and busted it.
I love mine, saves my feet! Plus the step is textured so I can get a good grip on it.
I did have one that I took in on warranty and they honored it, replaced it for nothing. I had used it for 3 years but it has a lifetime warranty. This is a kobalt from Lowes. depending on what brand or where you got it, you may be able to get it replaced.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Apr 10, 2018 3:26 PM CST
Frillylily said:This is a kobalt from Lowes.

yup...

Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Apr 10, 2018 4:12 PM CST
My garden spade and my clippers are my best friends. Especially the spade. What keeps me out of the garden is that I have chronic pain. So if I push it too hard, constantly bending and squatting, sometimes I'll have to skip some garden time, but I water everyday. The wind dries out the soil more than the sun does. 😉 good luck!!

Mindi
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Apr 10, 2018 8:25 PM CST
Frillylily said:hmm, that is odd, I have had 3 over the years, I break the handles off (my own fault), I think I accidentally ran over one and busted it.
I love mine, saves my feet! Plus the step is textured so I can get a good grip on it.
I did have one that I took in on warranty and they honored it, replaced it for nothing. I had used it for 3 years but it has a lifetime warranty. This is a kobalt from Lowes. depending on what brand or where you got it, you may be able to get it replaced.


they have a lifetime warranty, all I did was bring mine in and they gave me a new one, no questions. I paid nothing. She told me that for as long as I own the shovel they will replace it if something happens to it. I didn't even need a receipt, Kobalt brand is only sold at Lowes and they will replace it at any Lowes store.
Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Apr 10, 2018 10:16 PM CST
In terms of yard maintenance, what is your most common practice? (weeding, raking leaves, attending garden, etc)
***********Lawn maintenance, blowing leaves and debris, watering fertilizing.

What do you find is the most common tool or method you use to accomplish yard tasks?
***********:Common as in what everyone else uses? That would be a lawnmower. Mine is key/electric-start. But my favorite most useful tool is the Echo backpack blower, a good fireman-style hose sprayer, and a gas powered weedwacker. I also love the Whizz, battery powered fertilizer etc., small hand spreader and a good fertilizer hose end sprayer that has ergonomic trigger.

Are there any aspects of lawncare that you find difficult to accomplish?
************I absolutely HATE twisting parts on and off hoses and spigots! The heat makes my lawn care job difficult sometimes.

Are there any limitations that keep you from gardening/make gardening difficult?
************The weather holds me back sometimes. I think my hands are arthritic. Never got a formal diagnosis. But both my hands always hurt after a day in the yard.

Is there some aspect to gardening or lawncare that you get frustrated with?
*************Again, twisting anything on to a hose end or spigot.

Are there any tools or practices you wish were different?
*************Why do all gas-powered items have to be pull start? I am a small-ish woman. Pull-starting gas machines is not always easy and getting more difficult as the years go on!

If so, what ways do you imagine these can be improved?
*************Making everything ergonomic to prevent hand fatigue. Even the handle to hold on my blower hose could use a padded handle. (tried padding it but it slips off. Going to try a bike handle next) Electric and battery-powered items have improved so much but are expensive. Replacement batteries run around $200. But a simple small battery starting system for all gas-powered small engines would be amazing!!
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
[Last edited by ShadyGreenThumb - Apr 10, 2018 10:20 PM (+)]
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Apr 11, 2018 7:36 AM CST
Frillylily said:

they have a lifetime warranty, all I did was bring mine in and they gave me a new one, no questions. I paid nothing. She told me that for as long as I own the shovel they will replace it if something happens to it. I didn't even need a receipt, Kobalt brand is only sold at Lowes and they will replace it at any Lowes store.


I don't have the nerve.... I'd have to bring it back every month...

I've already put an ironwood handle in the shovel head after breaking the old one out... Much improved...

Did you ever see the shovel I posted last year (or whenever) with the metal fatigue?

They don't make tools that can handle the work I put them through.

Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
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greene
Apr 11, 2018 8:41 AM CST
The OP has not been back to comment or to thank anyone for their input.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Apr 11, 2018 10:54 AM CST
Or to answer your questions...???
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Jun 27, 2018 1:21 PM CST
@Frillylily That shovel is now completely useless...
Thumb of 2018-06-27/stone/ecc6e8

Here's what I'm using the shovel on...
Thumb of 2018-06-27/stone/fb4a76
Smilax roots plus some muscadine roots... set them on fire yesterday...
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jun 27, 2018 8:25 PM CST
hmmm something like that I'd probably have to get my dh to use the tractor!

that looks like a TON of work!
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Jun 27, 2018 8:50 PM CST
I agree I couldn't do it. Not strong enough!!

Hats off to you!!, fo all that hard work!! I tip my hat to you.

Mindi
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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skits
Jun 28, 2018 10:25 AM CST
OP is the original writer I presume. Doesn't matter, I'm enjoying reading it. My daughter bought me one of those kneeling things with handles to pull yourself up. I'd just gotten one the year before from an auction. Hadn't used it. I was going to send hers back, but thought I should try out the old one first. I was amazed. It really did help the old knees. I've since mentioned it to another and they're getting the old one and I'm keeping the new (and improved) one. Kinda makes me feel old, but my knees thank me and I don't have to "roll" to get back up.

My favorite "tool" was my pressure washer I got used for $17 dollars. EVERYTHING got hosed. But somehow it got left in the garage over the winter and the nozzle froze. I'm actively looking for a replacement....used. I didn't hose my plants, of course, but my birdbath and chairs, etc. sure looked better.
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Jun 28, 2018 11:02 PM CST
My Top Ten:

First, I need my all steel spade. The blade has a bent top for good foot-pounding. And the flat blade is easy to sharpen for cutting roots and hard soil.

Second, I need my "Mutt". It is basically an ax blade straight down from a post handle. Better than a breaker bar (but I love my breaker bar too).

Third, I have to have my post hole digger. It does the one thing a shovel won't do. Lift out soil in a deep hole. And it makes perfect uniform holes for transplants out of the soil in into the same size hole.

Fourth, I love my scuffle hoe. I sharpen it every year and it cuts weeds off just below the soil.

Fifth, and this may seem strange, I couldn't get by without my hand-held broadcast spreader. It casts organic fertilizer pellets where the large spreader cant go. And mole repellent pellets too.

Sixth, my loppers. I have 2. One a nice light Fiskar good for pruning suckers from my Saucer magnolia trees. The other is a heavy killer (brand escapes me), but it can cut through a 1.5" junk tree sapling. In fact, I just took it apart, sharpened it, and rebuilt it with silicon spray in the joints a few days ago. I took apart a 2' tree after that.

Seventh, my weed puller. You put it over a dandelion or other weed, step on it, the root comes out. You push the handle and "weed off".

Eighth, my "poacher's shovel". If you want to dig around perennials, the 4"x12" blade is awesome! Its a "power-trowel"!

Ninth, the yard cart trailer. I can't even guess how much mulch, topsoil, and compost that trailer has carried dragged along behind the lawn tractor over the years. And it has an easy tip down lever for dumping. Score!

Tenth and not least, my level rake. Exactly 24" wide, with a flat side on the top, this gem has leveled raised framed beds for 30 years. And being all-aliminum, it is a good now as it was originally.

And I have to add an unplanned 11th tool. My stainless steel trowel is indestructible, easy to clean, and sharp. The angled front of the blade gets into hard soil and cuts roots. And it even has inch markings on the blade.

Good tools are joys to handle and a wonder to behold...
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
Yardenman
Jun 28, 2018 11:09 PM CST
amksparky said:Hey everyone, I am exploring new designs for tools and gardening practices for a project to help bring ease to the everyday gardener, especially for those who are either elderly or have some kind of physical limitation. Any feedback is incredibly appreciated, and may be used to create a new product that could change the way we garden!

I meant to add, as a suggestion, that if there was a an easier way to connect/disconnect yard trailers other than those rather painful-to-pull hairpin clips
Thumb of 2018-06-29/Yardenman/0b0ee8
I sure would love to know about one.

Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Jun 29, 2018 9:02 AM CST
Iam jealous of all of your wonderful tools. Your descriptions make me want several. If I went to the garden store I wouldn't know what I was looking for though lol.

😀

Mindi

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