Best for the Garden: NRG Tools, Critter Ridder, Adirondack Chairs, Clean Air Gardening Composter

Try these goods for optimum growth.

| March/April 2009


Photo Courtesy NRG Tools

Garden energy

NRG garden tools’ soft, green handles are more than a designer’s whim—they help keep wrists in a neutral position, reducing joint stress and increasing comfort and strength. The tools help arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers garden without pain. Made with nonlatex plastic handles and durable, lightweight aluminum/magnesium alloy blades, the tools come with a lifetime guarantee against rust and rot—even when left outside. The NRG line includes shovels, spades and more. Hand Trowel or Cultivator: $13. Pro Spade, Shovel or Transplanter: $40. (800) 340-5846.

Sports equipment resets

While looking for cheap materials to build garden furniture, Mike Bellino discovered a wealth of blemished sporting goods clogging landfills. He now uses them to create his flaming red surfboard park benches and electric blue Adirondack chairs made from old skis. “We ship everything in recycled bike boxes, and our bench legs are made of recycled plastic,” Bellino says. “We’ve been really successful in working with manufacturers to get stuff they were going to discard.” Ski Chair’s website is loaded with possibilities—including furnishings made from golf clubs, baseball bats, skateboards and snowboards. “We reflect the passion and enthusiasm people have for sports,” Bellino says. Wake Board Bench with recycled plastic legs: $500 (custom prices vary). (508) 335-2202.

Out, darn critters!

Frustrated by squirrels in the bird feeder or cats in the flower garden? Critter Ridder is a combination of three pungent pepper compounds—capsaicin, piperine and black pepper—that repels unwanted guests by irritating their senses. While Critter Ridder shouldn’t be sprayed directly on edibles, company spokesperson Karolyn Warfel says, “You can sprinkle the granules around the garden or mulch. You could also spray it to protect your garbage can from raccoons, or on the pole of your bird feeder if squirrels are getting into it.” Critter Ridder has been evaluated and listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). “We want things that are good for the environment, and the OMRI listing is a way to communicate that—it’s a third party that validates that your formula uses organic materials,” Warfel says. Havahart Critter Ridder, 1¼-pound granule shaker: $11. 16-ounce spray: $12. (800) 800-1819.

elderberry, echinacea, bee hive


Feb. 17-18, 2018
Belton, Texas

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