Your shopping list for the garden goes beyond plants, seeds and soil. These are some new items on the market:
-- Bamboo in your garden? Not to grow, says Gardener's Supply Company, but to use for strong, flexible, naturally rot-resistant trellises, supports and other structures.
The catalog firm offers the basics and then some, such as bamboo poles (12 5-foot, 10-inch poles, $14.95; 50 7-foot poles, $44.95; 25 3-foot bamboo stakes, $10.50) and lashing cord with a tacky wax coating (400 feet, $11.95) to secure the structures.
If you want to form fences or gates, consider thick structural bamboo (10 6-foot poles, 1-1 1/2 inches in diameter, $29.95). You can start by requesting or reviewing online the ''Making Bamboo Fences and Trellises'' bulletin, which has ideas and advice for making your bamboo project. For catalogs, orders, or the bulletin, call 1 (800) 955-3370; Web site is gardeners.com.
-- Poly is the great impersonator for durable Stone Edge lawn edging and Deco-Garden fencing from Ames-True Temper. Choose the edging in natural, terra cotta, or slate gray; the low fencing comes in Promotional, Wrought Iron, and Cape Cod stylings. Each pack ($5.95) has four 2-foot sections, which can be installed with a mallet.
-- Just as Velcro made fastening things easier in clothing and gadgets, so it does in the garden. Velcro Plant Ties (30-foot by 1/2-inch roll, $2.55) are the hook-and-loop solution for controlling, staking, and training plants in the garden. Because it's reusable, it can be adjusted as the plants grow.
-- Little gardens are big. Gardeners building miniature water gardens, model railroad layouts, water ponds and waterfalls in their yards might find small-scale tools from V&B Manufacturing Company useful for working in small spaces -- digging small drainage ditches, ponds, track beds, and other tasks.
The Mini-Groundbreakers Landscaping Tools ($13) have multi-tasking toolheads that can help them work in different spaces and from different positions without changing tools.
-- Women with small hands often find standard-size garden equipment a bit of a slog. The Garden Gals line from Garden Pals, Inc., includes a new Deluxe Mini Lopper ($19.99) that has drop-forged steel bypass cutting blades with 1 1/2-inch cutting capacity and shock-absorbing neoprene bumper.
The lightweight aluminum handles and molded grip handles help reduce stress and fatigue on hands and wrists, the company says. For pruning jobs, there's a bypass pruner ($13.95) with a 5/8-inch cutting diameter, fitted for a woman's hands or the senior who needs less grip stress. The firm also offers new heavy-duty canvas gardening gloves with leather palms ($4.99).
-- Perhaps your back or your knees complain if you squat down there to plug in bulbs or move plants already in the garden. You're still standing with the Bulb Hound Planter ($24.95) from Hound Dog, a long-handled gadget that lets you cut and refill holes with a squeeze on the handles. It also lets you scoop up and move existing growths.
-- Leaf blowers are a cause with anti-noise people, so finding one that doesn't disturb the peace can help keep your neighbors friendly. The Solo Model 470 backpack blower ($399) puts out less than 65 decibels measured from 50 feet away, at about half the speed of most blowers on the market, according to the manufacturer.
The intake and exhaust design helps the blower operate effectively at a lower rpm rate, which also increases fuel efficiency. It also has an anti-vibration system and padded backrest for the comfort of the user.
-- A practical two-in-one is Ryobi's cordless hedge trimmer/grass shears combo kit ($99) with one battery and charger to serve both. The shears have single-action 4-inch replaceable blades, while the trimmer uses 18-inch replaceable blades.
The battery-charger in the kit, HT12VS, also fits Ryobi's cordless drill, so the user can easily switch batteries between the tools. Supplementary batteries are $39.
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