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Angela Pratt, Horticulturist (Photo by Eileen Lynch)

These gadgets make gardening easier, regional experts say

By Dan Vierria, Special to The Bee, 01/01/2015

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Tool: Bulb auger

A self-described “gadget geek,” Pratt had difficulty choosing just one tool. After much deliberation, she chose the bulb auger, a long, metal drill attachment used to dig holes for bulbs and other plants. Pratt paid “around $25” for the auger that has a 2.5-inch diameter and is 24 inches long.

“It makes quick work of bulb planting and turned a formerly dreaded task into something I now enjoy,” Pratt said. “It’s an energy-saver, a time-saver and a back-saver. Mine has a long shank and spiral cutting blade. Look for one that also has a soil whip at the top.”

She tried those “as seen on TV” hand-held, cylindrical bulb planters, but they didn’t do the job.

“They were no match for clay soil,” she said. “I suppose you could use them in fluffy, raised beds or in the kitchen as a biscuit cutter. In the garden? Not so much. The drill-powered auger is especially great for those of us who have to contend with clayey soils and garden beds dominated by mature tree roots.”

She uses a 12V lithium ion DeWalt cordless drill to power the auger, but any comparable drill will work. The auger can be found on or check with, Peaceful Valley Farm Supply in Grass Valley and Ace Hardware as possible sources, Pratt advised.

“You can use it for planting bedding plants, too,” she added.

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Sunset Magazine

Sunset’s Blog Roll

Botanical zeal infuses these dispatches from a mom-gardener-photographer near Sacramento.”

Sacramento Bee, May 2006

Best Area Blog and Site

Angela Pratt, a horticulturist, has designed a masterpiece. For area gardeners, this is a must-bookmark Web site. Her blog (personal gardening diary) is fun to read and filled with digital images to illustrate what she’s planted and where she’s visited. Colorful images are showcased throughout the site. Links to Sacramento-area gardening information will lead you to just about anything you desire. There’s advice for planting and maintenance…. there’s now a list of Northern California gardening blogs. – Dan Vierria, Sacramento Bee Garden Columnist

Sacramento News & Review, 11-22-07

Green Guide > ask a treehugger’s “Favorite list of local green blogs”