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The best back-saving gardening tools

Dec 9, 2011, 8:23 a.m.

The different tasks of gardening can take a toll on your back, whether it be soil preparation, the planting of seeds and starts, hoeing weeds, applying mulch, harvesting fruits and vegetables, or pruning and raking up debris at season's close. It's important, then, that you find tools which allow you to remain upright, rather than bent over.

Preparing or amending soil? At 21 pounds, the Mantis Electric Tiller is highly maneuverable, but packs a lot of punch for its size. In addition to its capacity for quietly working even compacted soils, the Mantis offers an edging attachment.

Compost, topsoil, and other amendments can be easily hauled using the Poly-Tough Cart. This cart tips down to the ground to allow for easy lifting--scoop loads in, don't lift them in; the wheels stay stationary during this process. The cart boasts stability during hauling, too.

Try the Earthway 1001-B Precision Garden Seeder, complete with 6 seed plates, to take the back-breaking work out of sowing.

For planting bulbs, seedlings, and even shrub starts, the 37-inch Bond Bulb Planter will also take the bend out of planting time.

Weeding and mulch application chores can be handled with Extension Tools V3000, a collection of cultivation tools that each feature telescoping, soft-grip handles.

And for those engaged in battle with thistle, dandelion and other weeds, the Fiskars UpRoot Weeder is a stand-up tool that removes these weeds from the root up.

The Tractor Scoot allows a user to harvest and weed in raised garden beds by utilizing an adjustable seat with a 360-degree rotation. Other nice features include a rear basket mount and an accessory tray.

Such tasks as raking and pruning get easier with lightweight tools that feature telescoping handles. The Gator Grabber also features telescoping handles, and can be used to pick up old limbs, fallen leaves, stones and you name it; the Gator can handle it.

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