Friday, February 12, 2010

Potting Shed Essentials

I love reading about gardening at this time of year. It gets me energized & organized & very anxious to get my hands dirty.

One of my daily check-in sites is Canadian Gardening. The site is full of helpful hints & tricks, loaded with photos & links to other sources of information. In the 2010 Special Issue I just received in the mail today, there was an article discussing gardening tools & equipment.

Called 'Potting Shed Essentials', it includes:
  • pruner - I currently have 3 varieties of Friskars and am not fully happy with any of them. The new one I bought last year would be better if the handle wouldn't keep coming off while I used it. Might have to see if glue will keep it together this year...
  • gloves - last year I bought a really nice pair of steer hide work gloves in the hopes that they would last me the whole season. I guess my form of guerilla gardening isn't what the gloves were meant to be used for. They did last the season, but the first hole appeared only weeks into the spring season. Usually I go through 2 pair of heavy duty gloves & have many, many pair of the cheap thin ones for light duty chores. I like wearing gloves - keeps my hands better protected from not only brambles but sunshine. Do any of you remember to put sunscreen on your hands? 
  • lightweight rake - the one with the wide angle tines for collecting leaves, small rocks or piles of weeds. They can either be plastic or metal tines & are extremely useful for cleaning up after some heavy duty pruning & weeding. I broke mine last fall - don't ask - & I believe there is another one in my potting shed that just requires a screw to keep the tines attached to the handle.
  • garden spade - versus a garden shovel. The spade is the flat edge square 'shovel' that is used for getting into tight places between plants for dividing & transplanting while the shovel is the curved, rounder edge tool used for scooping dirt or digging holes.
  • garden hose - you can never have enough garden hose to reach all the corners in your yard. Never. 
  • lawn mower - we could have a discussion regarding all the different types; the pros & cons of each, but essentially they are: gas, electric, battery or reel. Or, you could invest in a goat or a few sheep to graze down the grass (and your flowers & veggies too) or even better - let your lawn go wild & turn it into a meadow!
  • hand trowel - I usually have this tucked into my back pocket. It's a wonderful tool for helping with transplanting & digging up deep rooted weeds. 
  • plant labels - for labeling newly planted rows of veggies or flowers. I usually go with popsicle sticks & by the end of the season they have rotted away or make their way into the composter. Since my gardens are always changing, plant markers never really stick with their plants & just end up being throw out. I can't stand the plastic tags that come with store bought seedlings/plants. Non-biodegradable & offensive to look at.
I'm sure there are more articles I could add to my essentials, but this is a good way to start the season off.

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