Compiled by Susan Wilhelm, Extension Master Gardener
Gardening is easier and more fun when using the right tool for the job. EMGs shared some of their favorites in response to an informal survey.
Digging, planting, and weeding tools are high on EMGs’ lists of favorite garden tools – with the hori-hori knife mentioned more than any other.
My hori-hori knife is my go-to tool for digging small holes for planting, weeding, and cutting.
My hori-hori knife (the name means “dig-dig” in Japanese) can penetrate almost any soil. The ridged side cuts through roots. The slimness means I can use it in tight spaces. It’s the best tool for removing onion grass with the bulb attached!
Did you know that Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud) exhibits cauliflory? This is when flowers and fruit are produced directly on the trunks and branches rather than on new growth or the ends of shoots. In Bon Air Park’s Quarry Shade Garden this spring, the redbud dotted with fuchsia flower clusters demonstrated cauliflory in spectacular fashion. At the Fairlington Community Center, the redbud tree in front of the Arlington County office of Virginia Cooperative Extension also displays this trait with an abundance of legumes dangling from its branches.
THE MYTH: Compost tea suppresses pathogens and enriches garden soil.
THE REALITY: In recent years, compost tea has been touted as the be-all-to-end-all for healthy soil, capable of increasing plant health and yield, and suppressing plant disease. Is it possible that something that is so easy to make can be that fabulous? Continue reading →