Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rambo in the Garden

I realize that the dichotomy between my last post, The Gentleman in the Garden, and this one, Rambo in the Garden sets up some legitimate questions regarding my mental balance.  I'd like to say any concerns you may have for my stability will dissipate by the end of this post, but I doubt it.  Especially when I explain that I will be playing the part of Rambo.

At this point, I'm sure you're feeling empathy for my neighbors, but there's no need.  I don't tie bandannas around my forehead, nor do I own an automatic weapon.  And I'm not on America's Most Wanted (yet).  So what could a 30-something, mother-of-three possibly have in common with Rambo?  A knife.  A big, sharp, serrated knife.  Why am I carrying this knife around my yard?  Irwin hardly passes for a high-crime neighborhood.  Well, mine is technically known as a soil knife, but why dwell on details?

Alright, good idea.  We should dwell on the details.  This knife has become my go-to tool.  Some people don't leave home without their American Express, I don't leave without my soil knife.  It weeds like a dream.  The point is sharp enough to plunge through hardened soil and thick roots.  The blade is wide enough to lift small plants from the ground.  And the serrated edge is sharp enough to do some rough pruning.

Chore number #1 when I received my soil knife was to eradicate a long-established bed of creeping charlie in my yard.  What would a long-established bed of creeping charlie be doing in my yard - a professional horticulturist's yard?  Weeds love procrastinators.  Need I say more?  Anyway, the soil knife sliced and diced and practically removed it all on its own.

Chore #2: Removing rogue lilac starts.  My carefully pruned Lilac sends these up all the time as a means of letting me know it doesn't appreciate the 'manicured look'.  Not the same as weeding, as you don't actually want to kill the root of the plant you're trying to remove.  So it basically turns into an underground pruning job.  Have you ever tried to prune below grade?  It's a bit of a challenge.  Once, in a moment of desperation, I hacked at them with an axe.  But usually I just try to cut them off with the blade of my spade.  Neither the pruners, nor the axe, nor the spade were doing a very good job.  Enter the soil knife.  HEAVENLY!  Apparently no one informed the soil knife that it is difficult to slice underground.

Chore #3: Cleaning up bed edges.  Hand-edging beds is not my favorite job.  And as we all know, I do love to procrastinate.  But as I was weeding my beds with my newly beloved soil knife, I discovered that it sliced a nice new bed edge with ease.  Made quick work of the invading grass roots.  I wouldn't recommend it for large-scale bed edging, but maintaining the edge whilst weeding on my knees was a breeze.

The final reason I love this knife: its bright orange handle.   I am committed to not losing this tool, and a fluorescent handle is a good start.  I don't want to moon over any more lost loves in my garden....

Cautionary note:
this knife (purchased from A.M. Leonard) is S-H-A-R-P!  I have very nearly removed a digit, and I highly recommend a good pair of leather gloves and a healthy dose of respect for the blade.

1 comment:

Wife, Mother, Gardener said...

Yes! My favorite too. So much better than a trowel... with a scoop, knife and poker all in one.

I am always mentioning it on WMG too. Hard not to be evangelical about it!


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