Garden Gadgets

By Jeff Rugg

March 6, 2015 3 min read

Have you received enough garden catalogs in the mail yet? After you get a dozen or so, it becomes hard to decide which seeds to order. I try to pick specialties that are only available from each catalog. When my eyes start to glaze over, I will drift to the back of the catalog. It seems that every one of them has a gardening supplies section with new tools, gadgets and lots of kitchen utensils. Here are a few you may have missed.

The Territorial Seed catalog has the H2gO wheelbarrow water bag, which fits and fills a wheelbarrow. I sometimes need to carry a 5-gallon bucket of water to the back of the yard. It not only is heavy, even when only half-full, but also splashes. The bag is FDA food grade and can hold 20 gallons. It won't slip out of the wheelbarrow and will make life a lot easier for many gardeners and campers.

Did you ever want to make your own peanut butter or sunflower oil? The home oil press from Territorial Seed lets you make fresh oils and nut butters for use in cooking, soaps and beauty products. Fresh peanut butter sounds good to me.

I love stuffed peppers and baked apples. The Totally Tomatoes catalog has a nonstick baking pan designed to hold peppers, tomatoes, artichokes, apples and pears.

Just about every garden in America will have a tomato plant. And just about every gardener is going to eat a freshly sliced tomato before it even gets to the table or the top of a burger. To get perfect tomato slices without smashing the tomato and without a chance of cutting yourself, try the tomato holder from the R.H. Shumway's catalog. This aluminum holder has knife slots that measure out perfect slices.

The White Flower Farm catalog has potato grow bags. These are soft-sided fabric bags that hold 15 gallons of potting soil. The bags promote healthy roots and make harvesting much easier. You won't damage the tubers as you do when you dig up potatoes in the garden. These potato bags can be used anywhere there is enough sunshine for the plant to do well.

Speaking of gardening where the sun is shining, many gardens don't have much sun. The sunny spot moves during the day. It would be nice to have a garden that could be moved with the sun. The Gardener's Supply catalog has the solution. A cedar box 4 feet long, 2 feet wide and 14 inches deep is a good-sized garden planter. Aluminum corners hold it together, and wheels that are 16 inches in diameter make it mobile. It can be fitted with a 5-gallon watering reservoir to make it self-watering.

Have you seen a bottle tree? They are becoming popular. Wine bottles and other colorful bottles are hung on metal supports. The Gardener's Supply catalog has bottle tree and bottle shrub frames for supporting your bottles. It also sells colorful bottles if you need them.

Jeff Rugg's weekly column, "A Greener View," can be found at

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