Some of the best tools I have ever had the pleasure of using and owning are the Japanese hand tools like the Nejiri Gama, the Hori Hori and the Ninja Claw Rake. Each one of these tools is built to withstand all the work you can do in a day. They will be ready for you day after day too!
The Nejiri Gama is a beautifully crafted hand held hoe, that because of it’s shape, is easy to use, and will get into the tightest spaces between plants.
The head is triangular in shape with a broad sweep across the widest part of the triangle. The edge is sharp, so that if it is dragged across the dirt, it will in effect “shave” off the offending weeds that may be peeking through the dirt. Many weeds will die if they are constantly being shaved off as their greens start to show. Like any plant the weeds need their leaves to provide food for the roots, so shaving them off on a regular basis makes weeding so much easier. The weeds will never have a chance to set seeds either. No chemicals are needed to keep your garden weed free. Just a little shave every other day or two and you are going to be so happy to own this gem of a tool.
Turned on it’s side, you can use one of the points to dig or loosen up the ground all around a plant that you want growing. Using your own strength and force, you can dig lightly around or give the ground a deep furrowing. It’s also great for working in some fertilizers around the base of the plants or compost tea if you are an organic grower.
The wooden handle is comfortable in your grip, and the loop at the top makes it easy to hang your tool up,after use. Beware this is a sharp implement and needs to be treated with respect and care. Little hands should not be using this tool. This tool is for adults only!
Hori Hori Digging Tool, is my next favorite tool.
I love the double blade that is great for cutting off anything that is growing where you don’t want it. You can use it to cut down a whole plant, or to take off cuttings to re-root and grow elsewhere. The knife is sharp enough that it will cut through soft branches on shrubs and even small tree branches. The pointed blade makes it easy to dig holes for transplants, or for seedlings. Drawn across the ground the pointed end is even great for marking out rows. The wooden handle again is great for those “older” gardeners whose hands need a bigger, solid grip.
I can poke around my garden for hours and not have my hands tire from the work I am putting them through. I can only guess that is because of the design of the tool. Other knives leave my hands aching. Again this tool is not for use by youngsters! It is sharp and can cause injury if not used properly.
The Ninja Claw Rake is another favorite of mine.
With it’s five long sharp tines, this garden claw makes digging into deeply rooted areas a breeze. If you have clumps of Crabgrass or Twitchgrass that needs to be removed from your otherwise pristine grassy areas, than this tool is one that you will truly enjoy.
Not only does the Ninja Claw Rake look good, but it also is a work horse in the garden. Digging and moving plants around with this claw rake is a piece of cake. If you planted something in the wrong place…..don’t worry. Get your ninja claw and dig under the plant, lifting it and it’s root ball by the tines on the rake. Move it to where you want it after having used your Nejiri Gama to prepare a nice new home for the transplant. Water well and it will be happy because the roots have not been too disturbed.
These tools are all very sharp and can inflict some significant wounds if not respected and used CAREFULLY by adults. Children and these tools do not get along well. If children are present I would suggest that your teach them how to garden with tools made especially for them.
Children’s Gardening Tool Set
Children or Grandchildren can be taught to garden using tools made especially for them. Not only will they revel in having tools that are just right for their size, but they are colorful and are safe for them to use. Moms and Dads or Grammies and Grandpas don’t have to worry about sharp edges or little fingers being cut or hurt in any way. Just like the grownup tools, the young gardeners can learn how to take care of their tools too. Each one has a hanging loop, so that when the work is done, they put their tools away for the next time they are needed.
Our children and grandchildren need to learn how to garden and teaching them when they are young, is the best way. You will get to spend quality time with them and impart your gardening knowledge in a fun and safe way.