Best Garden Tools: Rogue Hoe, NRG Trowel, and Zeon Electric Riding Mower

Check out our first three Tools for Wiser Living and why they qualify as best garden tools.

| April/May 2009

As we all know, there’s a lot of unnecessary, or necessary but poorly made, stuff on the market. To help you identify products that meet high standards of design, materials, and/or function, we’re marking Earth Day 2009 by naming our first three MOTHER EARTH NEWS Tools for Wiser Living. Calling them the "Best Garden Tools" might be a little presumptuous, but they'll certainly stack up favorably against others of their kind.

An Essential Low-Tech Tool

There’s nothing like a quality hoe to keep weeds in their place. We’ve tested many hoes over the years, and our all-time multipurpose favorites are the Rogue garden and field hoes. Instead of the cheap, lightweight metal used in most commercial hoes, Rogue hoes are handcrafted from high-quality tempered steel made from recycled agricultural disc blades. The blades hold a sharp edge extremely well, and have a slight curve that helps the hoe cut into the soil. These simple, classic hoe designs are offered in several styles and widths, including extra long handles for taller gardeners.

We thought the Rogue Hoes might be too heavy for routine garden weeding, but the extra weight means you don’t have to chop as hard. Some models, such as the 7-inch wide “70G,” do triple duty, easily cutting irrigation ditches and reshaping raised beds.

These hoes are versatile and superbly designed with high quality materials and recycled steel — truly a Tool for Wiser Living. You can order Rogue hoes from Prices start at $26.

A Modern Spin on the Classic Garden Trowel

We’ve previously reported about the wonderful NRG (natural radius grip) garden trowel, and we still dig it. With a unique curved handle and a rust-proof, lightweight aluminum and magnesium blade, this trowel works better than traditional straight-handled trowels. We like it so much that we sell it. And this year we’re also offering the NRG line of stainless steel long-handled spades, forks and more. Price for the trowel is $12.99; the shovels start at $29.99.

Finally, an Electric Riding Mower

Walk-behind battery-powered electric mowers have been around for a while, but we’ve had our eyes peeled for someone to bring an electric rider into production. Finally, the folks at Hustler Turf in Hesston, KS, are introducing not just an electric conventional rider, but a snappy zero-turn model. MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributing editor Hank Will was the first journalist to test drive the company’s new Zeon. Here’s his report on our third Tool for Wiser Living:

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Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!