Editors Choice Awards 2007

We spent the spring & summer of 2007 testing dozens of tools and other gardening aids. These 12 proved themselves so valuable to us we recommend them to you.


Plant Labeler
We spend a surprising amount of time thinking about, discussing, and making identification signs for our plots. Lisa, who cares for the ornamental beds at the Rodale family gardens, raved about the Brother PT-1280 Label Maker because it allowed her to fit all the plant information she wanted on one label. And the labels stayed clear and legible after a whole season of exposure. Techno-savvy gardeners can use the labeler to transfer plant information to their computers for future reference. About $40 at office-supply stores; brotherlabelmaker.com

Power Cultivator
The most useful cultivator this season was the new Stihl MM 55 Yard Boss. Dale and Brad found it powerful for cultivating and aerating soil at the Rodale family gardens, and its new handle and wheel innovations make it easy to manipulate. About $330; stihlusa.com


Mulching Fork
Suzanne especially liked the unique shape of the Unifork for gathering large amounts of material. Made of high-grade polypropylene, it will never rust and is lightweight. Vegetable gardener and tester Brad reports that it's surprisingly effective at heavy-duty compost turning and mulching. $40; unionjackstable.com

Long-Handled Tools
Designed to relieve arm, hand, and wrist stress, the Radius long-handled tools won over all of our testers (male and female). With stainless-steel working ends, a unique handle design, and generous stepping edges, these tools proved both comfortable to use, Lisa reports, and strong enough for every garden task. $35; radiusgarden.com