I am willing to try new garden gadgets and products if they sound like they will make some aspect of gardening easier, save time or are a big improvement on what is already available.
They also cannot be outrageously expensive for the value they provide. Here are some new nifty items for gardeners that I heard about recently.
These “indoor overshoes” are made of a felt-like blend of quarter-inch thick recycled wool and polyester. They are designed to go over whatever footwear you are wearing when you come inside the house with the purpose of avoiding tracking in mud, dirt or snow.
They are designed to easily slip over your boots or shoes and have a heel flap that can be flipped up to secure them if needed.
The slippers are washable. What I like about Bigfoot Slippers is that they make it easy to come inside for something and then go back out without the tedious task of removing your dirty shoes and putting them back on again. For more information go to: www.bigfootofmaine.com
Root Slayer Shovel
Radius is well known for their ergonomically designed garden tools with its patented O-handle grips on longer garden tools and its trademarked Natural Radius Grip on hand tools.
Its thoughtful tool design has the intent of allowing gardeners to “garden more and hurt less.”
The Root Slayer, a multipurpose shovel, is a new addition to the Radius line of digging tools and has won the Direct Gardening Association’s 2017 Green Thumb Awards for the Most Innovative Garden Tool.
The Root Slayer has the recognizable O-handle and a strong inverted V-shaped carbon steel blade. The blade has a sharp tip and saw-tooth edges specifically designed for digging and cutting through tough or woody plant roots.
Radius notes that with this shovel you will not need a hatchet, pry-bar or saw for cutting through roots. It is certified to be 150 percent stronger than similar shovels on the market and it comes with a lifetime guarantee. You can find it on Amazon.com for about $50.
Roundup Precision Gel
Gardeners have been using Roundup and other glyphosate containing products for years to kill weeds. Using glyphosate is perilous because it can kill any plant.
Because it is often tricky to apply glyphosate as a spray to offending weeds without risk of getting it on nearby garden plants, various application methods and equipment have been devised, including foams, paintbrushes and wiping devices.
Last year I found Roundup Ready-to-Use in a trigger spray bottle that allows you to spray a stream or a foam of the glyphosate on weeds. I like using the foam because it is less likely to drift and it is easier to see where I have already treated.
New this year is Roundup Precision Gel. This lets you apply glyphosate in gel form via a container that works just like a gel deodorant applicator.
To apply, you just touch weed leaves with the gel. The gel application permits more precision and should be useful in keeping desirable plants safe in difficult situations.
At a cost of $15 per 5 ounce container, it is a bit pricey, but it may be worth it if you can avoid accidental damage to ornamental plants. It is for sale at many local nurseries, garden centers and hardware stores.
When I hear about more new products, I will share them with you too.
Marianne C. Ophardt is a retired horticulturist for Washington State University Benton County Extension.