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The Equipment You Need To Grow Indoor Plants

Oct 31, 2007
The beginner who walks into his garden supply store is going to be overwhelmed at the number and variety of home garden equipment he is going to find on sale. There are literally hundreds of different kinds of pots and trays, dibbles and trowels, hand rakes and sprayers on the market. Almost all of them are useful but only a very few of them are essential.

If you are not scared off by the number of different things available, the tendency is usually to buy more than you need, or at least more than you are sure you need. Too many beginners have let themselves get carried away, only to find later on, to their dismay, that the only uses they could find for the expensive decorative pot they bought was as the base of a home-made lamp or broken up into small pieces for crock material. Don't let it happen to you.

Tools

There is no reason that you can't get along adequately without buying one of the tools listed below. You can use a kitchen fork for a cultivator, and you can use the teapot to water your plants. But these tools have been designed to fulfill the specific functions for which they are made, and as a result they are a good deal more efficient than home-made substitutes. We also believe that in the long run you will be happier with professionally-made tools because they wear better, last longer and make your work easier.

Watering can

Watering cans come in every shape and size imaginable, but without doubt the best kind available on the market today is the type with the long thin spout. It is particularly useful in watering around the base of plants whose foliage should not be wetted, such as the African Violet or Saintpaulia.

Knife

A sharp knife is an essential tool for many of the chores required in the home garden. A pocket knife will do the trick very well.

Pots

House plant pots come in every size and shape imaginable. Basically they can be broken down into two groups: the unglazed red clay pots which are the cheapest and most plentiful of any single type of container made, and glazed decorative plant holders. These pots are made in standard shapes and sizes ranging from 2 inches in diameter to 8 inches and above.

The advantages of the common red clay flowerpot over all other kinds are several: 1) they are inexpensive; 2) they are plentiful and easy to find in any size; 3) their sides are slightly porous enough so to benefit the soil by allowing it to rid itself of excess moisture through the sides, and to breathe.

All red clay pots have a drainage hole at the bottom to let out excess water or to act as an inlet for moisture with those plants which are bottom-watered. The disadvantage with these containers is that many people find them so plain as to be ugly.

Because they are so readily available, and because at first you will probably buy all your plants in adequate pots, there is no need to stock up on extra pots until it comes time for you to do some repotting or until you are ready to try your hand at propagation. At that time you should be able to choose the pots you need without wasteful overbuying. There are no standards for the size and shape of decorative glazed pots.

You can buy them in the same size and shape as clay pots, but they also are made in oblong or upright shapes or made to look like animals, tree trunks or what have you. They are usually more expensive, and often don't have a drainage hole in the bottom, but otherwise are just as good for growing plants as the old-fashioned red clay type.

Copper, and other varieties of metal pots, are also on the market, but these are almost entirely decorative, and are used to house (and disguise) the pot in which the plant is actually grown.

Now you have the basic tools, it is time to begin gardening!
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