The creators of the CobraHead precision weeder and cultivator call it “the closest thing to a universal garden tool” because its claw-like stainless steel blade-head can be used to weed, dig, scalp, and cultivate. Aside from being one of the rare tools I’ve stumbled upon still manufactured in the USA, the CobraHead also features an eco-friendly handle made of a composite of post-industrial recycled plastic and post-consumer recycled wood fiber. Plus, the company covers the multifunctional tool with a one-year warranty against manufacturer defects. ($24.95, CobraHead)
|Hemp is a remarkably versatile and sustainable fiber used to make everything from paper to biocomposite plastic. A low-maintenance crop suitable for cultivation in most climates, hemp requires little or no pesticides, is prodigious in growth, breaks down into its own mulch, and produces textiles that are durable and naturally antibacterial. These hemp-canvas work/gardening gloves, perfect for outdoors work, are unbleached, undyed, and made in the U.S.A. ($15, Hemp Sisters)|
|Compressed peat pellets are a popular method of starting seeds indoors. Peat is mined from ancient bog land, however, and horticultural demand is now making those precious wetlands one of our most endangered wildlife habitats. Earth Plugs are an eco-friendlier seed-starting medium made of composted tree bark and “inoculated with colonizing root growth microorganisms for maximum nutrient uptake.” ($7.37 for 25, Seeds of Change)|
|Biological pest control leverages natural predator-prey relationships to suppress pest populations without the use of toxic pesticides or insecticides—vital for any organic garden. Watch aphids rumble with ladybugs, and mealybugs wrestle with hoverflies in some of the oldest knock-down, drag-out wars. You can also cultivate certain companion plants, to attract and sustain beneficial allies, before calling for backup. (From $13, Green Home)|
|If the style maven in you won’t tolerate the hodge-podge look of yogurt cups and sawed-off juice cartons, the TerraNotta squeeze pots by WorldWise may be what you’re looking for. Resembling terracotta planters, but without their fragility or risk of drying out, these “flexible, squeezable, and even bounceable” pots are made from a blend of plastic and 100 percent recycled rubber. Seeds of Change also claims these pots last longer than their ceramic, clay, and plastic counterparts. Available in four sizes, each with a coordinating saucer. Bonus: Made in the U.S.A. (From $2.11, Seeds of Change)|
Compared to conventional grow lights that eat up between 100 watts and 1,000 watts of juice, these SolarOasis Ruby LED grow lights use less than 2 watts of power, saving you (and the planet) on energy costs. The company estimates that these three LED lights, used 16 hours a day, at 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, will cost about $21 per year to operate. The life expectancy of each bulb is 20,000 to 100,000 hours, which is 10 to 50 times longer than that of a conventional grow light bulb.
($159.95, Clean Air Gardening)
|Control soil conditions and improve productivity per square foot with a raised garden kit made using High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) from recycled milk jugs and plastic scrap. Unlike its wooden brethren, which are more susceptible to the vagaries of the elements and age, this setup is strong, durable, and guaranteed for 50 years. Also resistant to paint, ink, mildew and other contaminants. Comes in three standard sizes, and in different colors. (From $55.95, Abundant Earth)|