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Shears that cut and grab.

Shears that cut and grab

When you grow cut flowers, as discussed and shown on pages 102 through 105, you might find flower gathering easier with cut-and-hold shears like the ones shown here. Because they are designed to hold' the stem as well as cut it, reaching up or stretching over wide flower beds for blooms is less precarious than with ordinary shears. You need only one hand to cut--the other hand is free to hold a basket or bucket.

The plastic-handled shears are fine for cutting nonwoody stems but are harder to use on tough rose stems. These 6-inch-long clippers weigh only 2 1/2 ounces.

The chrome-plated steel shears are 6 1/2 inches long and weigh 3 1/2 ounces. The blades crush stem ends as they cut. However, since experiments have disproved that crushing stems prolongs vase life (see page 105), you may want to recut the stems later.

While long-handled versions are expensive, some cut-flower enthusiasts find them worth the price because they allow cutting flowers above and beyond normal reach. If you're strong, you can operate them with one hand, but it's easier with two. The shears pictured at right have a 29-inch-long aluminum shaft with 3 1/2-inch clippers on the end; they weight just 17 ounces. They cut and hold in much the same way as the steel shears; a trigger handle squeezes blades shut to hold flowers as they are cut.

Look for cut-and-hold shears at well-stocked nurseries or garden supply stores; you may find variations by different manufacturers.

Here are some garden supply mail-order sources that carry the ones we show (or similar models). Unless noted, write first for a free catalog; otherwise, send a check and your order directly to the company.

Plastic shears. W. Atlee Burpee Co., Warminster, Pa. 18974; $9.95 plus $1 handling (order direct). The Clapper Co., Box A, West Newton, Mass. 02165; $9.95 plus $1 handling. Walt Nicke, Box 667, Hudson, N.Y. 12534; $6.95 plus $2.50 handling.

Steel shears. A.M. Leonard, 6665 Spiker Rd., Piqua, Ohio 45356; $12.90 plus $2 handling (order direct).

Long-reach shears. Gardener's Eden, Box 7307, San Francisco 94120; $31 plus $4.45 handling (add sales tax for shipment to California). A 24-inch version is sold by Walt Nicke (address above) for $38.95 plus $4.50 handling.

Photo: Both shears grip as they cut. All-metal version, left, holds stem by squeezing cut end. Steel-bladed plastic shears, right, have a bar over the blade to hold cut stem snugly against serrated edge

Photo: Long-reach shears with trigger grip extend your range. Hand on shaft helps steady your aim
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Mar 1, 1984
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