Treasured Gardening Tools

January is the perfect month to start gearing up for your summer garden.

House & Garden magazine recently asked passionate gardeners to describe the one tool they treasure above all others. Steve Orr of H&G visited The Saturday Early Show to show the tools they selected.

  • The Ratchet Mini Lopper , $75:
    Orr says that with its ratchet power, the Rachet Mini Lopper can cut the biggest and most unruly branches. He says it makes pruning a lot easier because it works like a car jack, multiplying your hand strength up to seven times. The ratchet allows the blades to adjust for cutting large or small branches.
    (Florian Phone Number: 800-275-3618)
  • Felco Pruners, $24-$56:
    Orr says this is an all-purpose tool, good for everything, and the best for pruning, deadheading or cutting. The Felco Pruners are are bypass pruners that deliver a cleaner cut when you're pruning, so there is less trauma to the plant. (Felco Phone Number: 1-425-488-3263)
  • The Hori Hori, $20:
    Orr says you can weed, plant and cut with this Japanese tool. (Hida Tool & Hardware Phone Number: 800-443-5512)
  • Okatsune Shears, $92
    These shears, says Orr, allows for very precise, fast and efficient pruning, especially of perennials. He says because they are lightweight, you can work with them for hours without hurting your hands. (MacKenzie Nursery Supply Phone Number: 1-800-777-5030)
  • Tiny Twine, $6:
    Most gardener do a lot of tying and staking of their plants. Orr says the Tiny Twine is a subtle tool for staking flowers. The twine is green, so you notice only the flowers not the twine.
  • Dutch Spade, $25
    This tool is a short spade, used for precise digging. (Stillbrook Horticultural Supplies Phone Number: 1-800-414-4468)
  • The Asian Hand Cultivator, $23:
    Orr says this tool is useful for cultivating the top layer of soil, which cuts down on weeds, aerates the soil, and allows water and nutrients to get down to a plant's roots. (Walt Nicke Company Phone Number: 1-800-822-4114)
  • The Dibble, $22:
    Orr says the Dibble is an English tool used to punch holes in the ground for planting seeds, small bulbs or potatoes and seedlings. The forged steel point penetrates the soil easily and can be rotated to enlarge the hole.
    (Snow & Neally Phone Number: 1-800-933-6642)
  • Nurseryman's Trowel, $15:
    For the usual digging, try the Nurseryman's Trowel, says Orr. It's similar to a regular trowel used for digging but this one has a longer handle that works more ergonomically. The Trowel's high quality carbon steel makes it extra tough. (A.M. Leonard Inc Phone Number: 1-800-543-8955)
  • Swoe, $34:
    The Swoe has a long handle so you can dig weeds with it. You place the blade right under the soil surface and run it back and forth. Orr says this action uproots all the weeds and keeps the soil well-turned. Placed on its edge, it can be used to dig small holes. (Lee Valley Tools Phone Number: 1-800-267-8735)
  • Long Reach Pruner, $90:
    Orr says the Long Reach Pruner is ideal for trimming branches on trees. A.M. Leonard Inc. 800-543-8955.
  • Heirloom Lawn Edging Knife, $29:
    The Heirloom Lawn Edging Knife has a long handle and Orr says it's great for aerating the surface dirt. He says it makes it easy to slice grass clumps at the edge of a bed, or lift sod. (Smith & Hawken Phone Number: 1-800-940-1170)

    Orr says that higher quality tools - especially a good quality shovel or spade - will cost a bit more. But if you take good care of them from season to season, they will last a lifetime.