Monday, May 2, 2011

mint, onions and tools

chocolate mint

While most folks I know are trying to rid their gardens of mint, I brought home a chocolate mint plant last week from the farm. I love the addition of mint to a fruit salad and chocolate mint makes a nice tisane. Plus, I love the purple and green foliage.

onion sets

This weekend we planted our onion sets and the leeks that we grew from seed. The shallots went in about a week ago. Here are the varieties we planted this year:

red onion-Red Baron
yellow onion-Stuttgarter

Having the right tools for the job makes gardening even more rewarding. We've found the stirrup hoe (on the right) to be indispensable. We first learned of this tool while volunteering at the herb gardens. It makes weeding (especially when weeds are small) a cinch. No bending over required! It's also a great cultivator.


For tough weeding jobs, I always reach for my Cobrahead weeder. It's what we use at the farm as well. If you despise weeding and have to deal with dandelions or other long roots in your garden, you should try out a Cobrahead weeder.


Tom's favorite tool is the Hori-Hori knife from Japan. He ordered one this winter and now uses it for everything from digging holes to weeding and cultivating.


What are some of your favorite tools?


  1. i cannot live without my stirrup hoe. i was just last night telling a friend that if she was to buy any tool it should be this one! so nice to see you out in the sunshine!!

  2. The cobrahead has quickly become my favourite too! And my new Atlas Nitrile gloves - the first ones that are actually comfortable and useful. They fit so well that you don't find yourself taking them off to work on small details like pruning, pulling leaves, or transferring seedlings. This year I have sent those two items as little gardening packages to some of my loved ones!
    - fiona

  3. ooh I love chocolate mint too! I would be keen to grow onions, garlic and leeks but I've always imagined they would be very difficult (and maybe needed especially deep soil?) so I have tended to stick to green things I know like lettuce, spinach and herbs. Are they extra difficult and fussy?

  4. My husband can't stand the mint even though I have it relatively contained. I bought a chocolate mint too but I plan on putting it in a pot to avoid his ire. ;-)

  5. I woke up this morning thinking I'd like to get a nice knife for garden use. I'll have to think about a hori-hori. One of my most used tools is something like your cobrahead, but it's straight - not sure what it's called. We are working on growing a small mint grove. It is amazing the despise people have for mint - even those that drink mint tea on a regular basis.

  6. I love this little tool-torial (sorry, couldn't help it!). I'm new to gardening and have only a few tools, the usual suspects such as shovels, trowel, rake, etc. I liked learning about these neat ones, most of which I hadn't seen before. My favorite tool to date would be my hands, though I must say that cobrahead weeder looks like it'd work better in some cases!

  7. I guess my favorite tools in my garden are my hands!
    But I am sure you are speaking of the metal kind ;) I guess my favorite tool in that category is my hoe. It means I don't have to bend over quite as much. I like that Cobrahead weeder...that looks like it could do some mean business on some giant star thistle that grows around here!

  8. I heart my short handled edger and my long handled gardening fork. We dig and turn and weed large plots and the fork is indispensible. The edger gives me the beautiful Victorian edge on my perennial borders that really sets them off, and it just feels so good to edge a little more lawn out every time. I swear they don't get that much bigger!! :)