Last week, we began cutting back the OPC Stonehouse display garden in preparation for winter.
In past years, we adopted the organic gardener’s method of cleaning the annual garden beds for winter. Rather than dig the annual plants out by the roots, we cut them off at soil level, leaving the roots in the soil and the soil undisturbed.
During the winter, most of those roots will decompose, adding organic material and enriching the soil. Digging in the dirt disturbs the beneficial soil dwellers that include more microbes in a teaspoon of soil than there are people on the Earth. Hard to believe, but healthy soils contain tons of beneficial bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, earthworms and arthropods. Soil microorganisms exist in large numbers in the soil if there is a carbon source for energy, and the roots of our annuals we leave behind in the soil provide that carbon.
This fall, I have a cool new tool to do the job. English Gardens gave me a Kamikaze KM-M Force hand pruner sample manufactured by EZ Kut Products, and I chose to try it out when we cut down the OPC garden. Though I’m not cutting the 1 1/2-inch tree and shrub branches that this pruner with razor sharp blades is rated for, I did use it to remove some dead branches on rose bushes. A piece of cake!
The handles are ergonomically designed, making repetitive use comfortable for both men and women with hand issues.
The KM-M Force Kamikaze model has a medium head and a small handle. While the tool is said to be designed for pruning green wood, I found it’s for great for pruning dead branches such as those on roses and smaller shrubs. These features allow the reduction of effort by 30%. Force tested to be sharpest and most efficient garden pruning shears on the market, you will enjoy fast, clean cuts with these razor-sharp blades. The Teflon-coated SK-5 Steel Blades remain rust-free (yes, I did say rust-free). The unique blades prevent the pruning cutters from sticking — and they self-clean.
The pruners have replaceable blade components and are backed by industry leading customer service since 1988. You can purchase these garden pruners at English Gardens, knowing you will have peace of mind and with the lifetime guarantee. At $49, believe it or not, I rate them above the iconic Felco pruners. See ezkutproducts.com.
Nancy Szerlag is a master gardener and Metro Detroit freelance writer. Her column appears Fridays in Homestyle. To ask her a question go to Yardener.com and click on Ask Nancy.