With these transplant tongs, you’ll never damage your seedlings again
How many times have you tried to ease your seedlings out of their tray only to shear off some of their soil and roots? This tool from Gardener’s Supply Company makes that a thing of the past. Specifically designed to work with starter trays, these stainless steel tongs are shaped to lift seedlings out of their cells easily and without damage. You can also use them to create planting holes the exact size of your plugs. They couldn’t be easier to use, and cleaning them is a breeze.
Create stronger plants with air pruning
In most normal seed-starting trays with simple drainage holes, roots hit the bottom of the cells and then start to circle and become crowded. The Winstrip® Mini Wini Seed Starting Kit from Neversink Farms is different. At the bottom of each cell is a long strip, with additional smaller strips on the sides. Roots come near these openings and are naturally pruned off by exposure to the air. This prompts the plant to constantly produce new and stronger roots, which makes for more-robust transplants. Each seed-starting kit comes with two bottom trays and differently sized inner seed trays for different crops—two large, four medium, and two small. These trays are made from BPA-free plastic and will last for years.
Tackle all your weeds with two tools in one
Your current hoe has nothing on the Connecta™ Starter Kit from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. This tool comes with two interchangeable stainless-steel heads. The collinear head allows you to cut weeds off at ground level between rows and is attached at an angle that allows you to stand up straight in an ergonomically friendly position. The contour wire head is better for tackling small weeds right up against crops without damaging them. Each head can be locked into place easily and released with a push button on the end of the ash-wood handle. You may think that having two heads means you have a lot to lug around, but a convenient clip allows you to hook both units to your belt or belt loop for easy carrying.
A delicate harvest knife for when pruners just won’t cut it
Your bypass pruners might be great for pruning roses, but they aren’t always suitable for cutting the fleshy stems that are so prevalent in the vegetable garden. This sharp harvest knife from High Mowing Organic Seeds is perfect for cutting anything from fine microgreens, to sturdy tomato stems, to thick and stubborn squash vines. Only 7 inches long and weighing just over half an ounce, this knife stays super sharp and is easily stored in an accompanying nylon sheath (sold separately) that you can slide right onto your belt or into your pocket. Best of all, this might be the most inexpensive tool you buy this year.
Prices: $11 (knife); $13 (sheath)
—Diana Koehm is the assistant editor.
Photos: courtesy of the vendors