Digging! Most gardeners consider it a necessary evil, but digging is hard on every part of the body and it can take a lot of the fun out of gardening. Even if you invest in the most modern, finely designed, ergonomically friendly trowel or shovel on the market, your shoulders, wrists, back and knees bear the brunt. There is a way around the problem, though. The answer begins with a Power Planter earth auger and a tool that is probably as close as your garage or shop - a standard cordless or electric drill. The first garden-friendly auger was created more than two decades ago by Power Planter, a third-generation family-owned business located on a centennial farm in rural Illinois. Since that time, the line of augers has grown to more than ten different types enjoyed by gardeners around the world. Every durable, high-quality auger is made right here in the United States. Earth augers make it easy for gardeners to dig holes, but they also create conditions for healthier plant growth. Because the augers "pulverize" the soil, roots can quickly settle in. If soil is poor or compacted, it's easy to improve it with a handful of compost or well-rotted manure. Looser soil also allows for better absorption of moisture and nutrients, and reduces the risk of runoff and erosion. Water drains well, thus reducing the risk of rot and other plant diseases. When combined with the right auger, an 18V cordless drill can handle most digging jobs in home gardens quickly and efficiently. This includes planting bulbs, annuals and bare root saplings; blending fertilizer or compost; tilling small areas and even mixing small batches of cement. Some jobs, such as planting shrubs, saplings or larger perennials, may need a little more oomph. In that case, a higher-voltage or electric drill may be needed to provide the necessary power. There's an earth auger for every task, including planting trees, installing fence posts and cleaning clogged drainage pipes. Have plans for a new lawn? An earth auger makes it quick and easy to plant grass plugs. Dealing with a tough job in harsh soil? There's an auger for that, too. The benefits aren't limited to the garden. For example, realtors love Power Planter earth augers because installation of "for sale" signs is a breeze, and pest control companies appreciate them for easy termite bait station installations. Even beach resorts use them for sand with fence and beach umbrella installation.

Mary H. Dyer

A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.