Right tools for the right job make the work more enjoyable

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!