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The Right Equipment For The Gardener Explained

Oct 12, 2007
Whether your grounds are large or small, the right tools and equipment can speed routine tasks and help you to successful gardening. Taking good care of your tools and keeping them in one place will pay dividends in time and effort.

If you do not have a tool house or room where you can keep all your tools, and the insecticides, fertilizers, stakes, wire, paint and other equipment a well-prepared gardener should have, arrange to make space in your garage, or build a locker in a corner of your carport or breezeway. A tool shed that is like a giant kitchen cabinet can be added lean-to fashion to your garage.

There are basic tools everybody needs. These include a metal shank spade or, better, the easier-to-handle and extremely useful spading fork, and the small and handy planting shovel. Then, to carry in a handbox or basket, so you will have them when you need them, your steel shank hand trowel, hand fork and hand cultivator.

An iron or bow rake is fundamental, of course, and so is the bamboo or broom rake. A weed spud for hand removal of weeds is a favorite instrument, and a good pair of shears or hand pruner is indispensable. The other musts are your hose, hand mower, roller, watering can and wheelbarrow.

Not as vital but very useful are an edging sickle which utilizes old razor blades; lawn edger and grass-edging shears; long-handled or pole-pruning shears, hedge shears and lopping shears. Also, a good sprinkler; a deep cultivator such as the potato hoe; a dibble for seedlings; a stapling gun; a pruning saw and soil sieves.

Other equipment to have on hand that will keep you from running to the store just when you want to be out working on the grounds, includes: plant ties, stakes, labels; burlap or canvas, chicken wire, garden line; a yardstick and a measuring cup and spoons; creosote and other needed paints and a paintbrush ; sand, peat moss, lime, plant foods and insecticides and also a wand for soaking the soil without getting water on the leaves are valuable attachments.

Storage Tips

Storage of garden tools in a precise fashion helps keep them in good working order, and saves you time in locating them. A tool house 3x6 feet can take care of a great deal of equipment. Because tools are usually kept in unlighted places, and often not wiped off after use, rust is the major enemy.

The garden hose is often badly taken care of. Besides using a reel, you can preserve the life of your hose by not letting it kink while water is running through it. Don't leave it in the hot summer sun (especially if it is a plastic hose). Coil it loosely on your reel or rack made on the exposed studding of your garage. An improvised reel can be fashioned from wooden TV cable or wire reels.

With these tools and the right storage technique, your garden will become a joy to work in, and not a chore. Happy gardening!

Tools should be cleaned immediately after use, while the soil is still moist. Use emery cloth, a wire brush or steel wool. Rub in crankcase oil. Keep your wooden handles sanded down and preserve the wood with linseed oil. Sharpen hoes with an 8-inch mill file, stroking toward the cutting edge, but don't sharpen digging tools too keenly for when they are thin they nick easily. Apply your file to only one side of your sickle, with the bottom edge kept flat. Power sprayers should be washed with clean water and washing soda after each using, and the nozzle should be examined to get out the grit particles. Clean the sprayer's rubber hose with vinegar and the shower, and the nozzle .with kerosene. Oil the leather plunger washer after using to prevent the leather from drying out.
Gather fall leaves and use them for mulching. You run it over the lawn in the usual way. The leaves are cut chemicals and, finally, pots and flats.
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