Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Small Garden Tools

Every gardener has small garden tools but when it comes to small garden spaces and square foot gardening you really need handheld gardening tools. They outperform the forks and dessert spoons I've been known to use on occasion. Besides they make you feel more like the gardener you know you are!

trowel and cultivatorTrowel & Cultivator

I actually have 3 hand held trowels with the most recently purchased one due to not being able to find the other 2 after our move. I also have a new cultivator for the same reason. My new ones are hanging safely on a hook in the garage where they will be joined by my old ones as soon as I find them.

Handheld garden tools usually cost under $10 each but recently the dollar stores are carrying them for considerably lower prices. I picked up this handheld trowel and cultivator at Dollarama for $1.25 CDN each. Surprisingly they are quite heavy and if looked after properly will continue to give durable service in the garden.

The enemy of most garden tools is rust. If you want to get the most out of your garden tools then rust prevention is a must! After each use I rinse off the handheld tool then hang in the sun to dry completely. Some gardeners recommend using an oil on garden tools but this is not something I recommend. Simply keeping these tools clean and dry is enough to retard rust for quite some time. Scratches from use will eventually wear down the painted finish leaving unprotected metal. When this gets bad enough to cause rusting I take fine steel wool to clean up the tool well then apply a new spray paint finish.

sprinkler headSprinkler Head

The vast majority of manual watering I do in the raised garden beds involves using a sprayer attachment on the hose. We are very lucky that even this is seldom needed. When we get the rain barrels set up I will return to using a drip watering system. Containers have already been set up to use collected rain water. I like to water close to the roots to avoid getting the foliage wet. Wet foliage is one of the quickest ways to spread diseases amongst plants in your garden!

On the very rare occasion that we need to use a sprinkler attachment to totally soak through the beds I use the one pictured. A sprinkler comes in handy after a dry, hot spell because it not only waters the beds deeply it cleans dust and dirt from the foliage much the same as a good rainfall does. The best time to use a sprinkler is just after any dew has burned off and well before the sun hits the plants. Water droplets left on the plants act as magnifiers for the sun so can cause sun damage in susceptible plants.

My sprinkler gets used about twice a season depending on the season. This year unless August changes dramatically from July it will see no use. At any rate, my sprinkler was showing signs of rust. I decided it was time to clean the sprinkler up to keep it in good condition for later use. I used stainless steel to remove the rust then washed the sprinkler well and set in the sun to dry well. Once the sprinkler was dried I plugged the input and output holes then set the sprinkler on an plastic food container then on a sheet of cardboard. I sprayed the sprinkler with 2 coats of Kylon® spray paint. When the top was entirely dry I turned the sprinkler over and repeated with the bottom. When the sprinkler was completely dried I replaced the washer and it was ready for use. This simple bit of maintenance will give me several more years of life for the sprinkler.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2009


4 comments:

  1. Hello there GardenGnome !
    YES !! I havenoticed that the garden tools plus other bits and pieces from the Dollar stores are excellent value for money and I have a number of goodies from those stores : )
    Thank you for fav'ing me girl : )
    I appreciate it and I will try to keep tabs on how you are doing here ? ;-)

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  2. Hi Gardengnome! Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I appreciate that you found me on Blotanical & added me to your favorites. :) Thanks for the great tips on keeping handheld tools in tip top shape for the season. I'll have to make note of this for future use.

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  3. I don't take the best care of my tools, but have a bunch of them, so that when I misplace one, I can find another. I should wash them off and hang them to dry like you do. Thanks for the information.

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  4. Hi There! Thanks for faving me on blotanical. I'm so glad you did because now I get to visit your blog too! Nice post on hand gardening tools. I don't take care of mine as well as I should. -Jackie

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