Seasonal News

Summer Issue 2023

Gardening Made Easier

Written by Amy Thompson, active Roanoke Master Gardener Intern

Gardening is the best pastime, although I would be lying if I failed to admit that I am not opposed to finding the newest, best tool or gadget to make life a little easier.  Perusing the internet, there are numerous opinions on the best garden tools.  It seems like everyone from Bob Villa to The Pioneer Woman has a say on this topic.  


Let’s see what the internet, as well as some of our own experts, recommend.  I mostly found all these online at Amazon; however, I am quite sure you can find these items at most shopping websites.  All prices are from Amazon at the time of writing of this piece unless otherwise indicated.  


Worx 5" Pruning Saw

$159 with charger and battery.  This saw can de-limb a 4” diameter branch on a tree or a 10” diameter branch on the ground.  The same battery powers over 75+ tools.  It weighs just under four pounds with the battery attached.  Barbara Leach, emeritus master gardener, said that what attracted her to this chainsaw is that you can use it to cut wood or landscape timbers.  She was looking for something that was for cutting wood larger than loppers can handle.  I cannot wait to order this little gem!

(This was found on the Worx website.)

Roo Garden Apron

$29.50 Although not a high-tech gadget this harvesting pouch is ergonomic, water resistant, and washable.  Load it with weeds or vegetables and it easily releases its contents at the bottom of the apron when full.  It is perfect for when you need to keep your hands free in the garden.  One size fits all.

Radius Garden Pro Ergonomic Stainless-Steel Weeder

$64.98 This tool resembles a shovel with wide foot placement and a long blade for digging deeper.  It helps to pry out some of the toughest weeds with less work.  This tool can also be used for digging holes in difficult soil.  It was awarded organic gardening magazines editor’s choice award and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Fiskars Power Gear 2 Bypass Lopper 

$42.43 Fiskars has a new and improved model that maximizes leverage when pruning.  It has three times more power than regular loppers and can cut up to a 2” diameter branch with ease.  It weighs under four pounds and has a lifetime warranty.  It was a favorite at the city invasive cleanup day on Mill Mountain.

Mini Terrarium E Superegrow 

$39.99 This cute, little terrarium has a built in LED light and fan with twelve- and twenty-four-hour lighting options.  It has an adjustable growing light that can be set at 50% or 100% power.  Perfect for orchids or small plants, size is only 4.5 x 4.5 x 7.5.    Cindy Unwin, extraordinaire orchid enthusiast, and Master Gardener, said her miniature orchids have done very well with it.  She notes that it is very small so only miniatures or small succulents would be happy in this terrarium. 

Gardening tools should always be what fits not only the job, but what fits your hands (or your plant.)  What works for my husband cutting down a tree branch does not work for me and vice versa.  What we both agree on is a Hori Hori knife ($23-$33) for a variety of things in the garden.  So chose your weapon of choice with the see and touch method so that you are comfortable handling the device.


If you would like to see your favorite garden gadget or gear highlighted in a follow up newsletter, or you have heard of something new and exciting for use in the garden, please send your suggestions and recommendations to


It is nice to know what fellow Master Gardeners recommend and explore ways to make our favorite pastime more productive and fun.