Guest Article by NRP & Blue April 27, 2022.
Hello again everyone:
How about a few words on some Gardening Tools?
“A few Tools”
Let’s talk about a few essential tools that are, IMHO, a ‘Must Have’ from Left to Right.
1. That is my Wooden “Drag” that I use to level off the Raised Beds when I fluff the soil and/or add more Nutrients, aka Manure, Fertilizer, Blood Meal, Bone Meal, and So-On. (Will get into those in another Article). Tis a simple tool, that has an “Ear” hanging out on each end that sits atop the sides of the bed and is drug down the bed to “Smooch” off the excess dirt in the bed.
This is simply a piece of 3/16” thick by 1-1/2 wide by 4’ long steel strap; this is used for making the “rows” in the Raised Beds for seeds. I simply mark where I want the Rows and ‘saw’ the strap into the soil, then rock it back and forth to create a “V” in the soil usually about 3/4” to 1” deep. It also has markings on the length for Seed Spacing, 4”,6”,8”,12” SO-On.
A “Digging Fork”; is my main tool for reworking the Beds and Barrels. I dig the soil as deep as I can and loosen the dirt and break up ‘Clumps’ each spring. I also use it to ‘Turn In’ the additives. When you get one of these do NOT buy a cheap one, spend a few extra $$$ and get a good one. You can get one on Amazon for around $38, try to buy local if you can find one. Home Depoe and Wally World also have them.
A Radio!!!!!! OMG don’t even think about NOT having a Solar Powered Radio in the Garden, I mean really, listening to some mellow music or even annoying Talk Radio is kind of relaxing as it gets. Also, believe it or not, playing the Radio is supposed to be good for the Plants. I have no idea if that is true or not, but I do know it helps keep the critters away, Deer HATE Rock-N-Roll HAHAHAHA
A good Bow Rake, again get a good one, This is also for leveling out the Beds when you ‘stir’ them up, and also a hundred other things around the Garden and Yard. Home Depot has them for about $44, again get a good one, it will last as long as you have the Garden.
Cheap/Inexpensive heavy duty Work Gloves, yes I said Cheap, those things get torn, worn-out, ripped, manure stained, you name it, those things will get ruined. I get Cheap ones, I’ll be darn if I’m paying $8-$10+ a pair for gloves, these things are $2.25 a pair for “Hyper Tough Cowhide Leather Palm with Safety Cuff Work Gloves” at Wally World, get em, you’ll be happy you have a dozen pair around the place.
An old “Short Handled Square Point Shovel”. Now that’s a mouth full huh? As you can see that old puppy is probably as old as the hills, seriously probably 35-40 years old maybe more. Ya have GOT to have a Shovel around a Garden, bite the bullet, and get one.
With a watering wand, you can buy a hundred different models. I built that one with some PVC and a Ball Valve. I prefer the Ball Valve because you can regulate the water flow a LOT better than those ‘pull the trigger’ Sprayers. I attached a “Rain Nozzle” for a finer spray, you don’t want to use a sprayer that will dig up the dirt when you water those freshly planted seeds.
I also have a short watering thingy that I use a LOT, it’s simply a Spray Head attached with a small Hose Shutoff Valve, I suggest you get one of these for those smaller Planters, Buckets, Milk-Creates.
Ok, everyone in the world has an old kitchen knife lying around right? Grab one (even if it has a broken tip), sharpen it up, and stick it in the Garden Shed, this will save you thousands of trips back to the house to get one when Harvest Time comes around……. Go on; ask me how I know….
3 more little tools, A small digging spade, a small set of pruning shears, and a small digging fork, I got these out of a set of tools someone had tossed away at the dump because the “Box” was broken…… Hummmm.
Ok, the most important thing you will need in the Gardening World…. A Straw Hat, yeppers that’s right, a Hat. I LOVE to work in the garden all summer long and let me tell you I get plenty of “Tan” showing up on the old-fart arms and stuff right through the clothing, BUT I do NOT want to fry my brain or cook my scalp; wear a hat, Wear A Hat, WEAR A HAT!!!!! Also, make dang sure you drink plenty of water when out in the Sun, Dehydration and Heat Stroke are nothing to mess with.
Here is the thing, I have had a LOT of different Hoses over the years, I have purchased a LOT of cheap plastic hoses and have even tried some of those new Fang-Dangled “No Kink” and even those collapsible POS’s. One word….. JUNK!!!!!
Get yourself a GOOD Industrial Grade Rubber Hose. You’re going to pay around $80 for a 100-footer. But let me tell you, I have been through the Gauntlet with those Cheap Hoses.
If you can find one that’s 110 or even 120 feet, spend the extra money. Yes I know, this is a “Frugal” site, but I have spent hundreds and hundreds of $$$$ on cheap hoses, Don’t.
The most modern mode of Transportation ya can have and there is my “Fleet”…… In a Garden of course HAHAHA PS: I don’t care for the 2 wheeled ones, but a LOT of folks do, go to the store and walk one around a bit and see what you like.
Get a heavy-duty Contractor Wheelbarrow, NOT one of those little shallow weak flimsy Yard Thingy’s.
Again spend a few bucks and get a good one, it will last a lifetime.
I have 3 of them; see that one on the left? That baby is a good 45+ years old and has seen a million tons of dirt…. Ok, Ok, maybe not a million tons, but it’s seen its day for sure, the other two were given to me by someone that moved to a “City” of all things…….
You will want a Work Bench in the Garden sooner or later.
Keep your eyes open around town and see if you can find a restaurant that’s being remodeled or torn down. Maybe you can find an old Stainless Steel bench at a Scrap Metal Yard they would sell you cheap.
If not, plan on building a Wood Bench somewhere in the Garden, you WILL use the heck out of it. Trust me on this; you don’t want to be potting up “Starts” in pots sitting on the ground or standing at the Kitchen Sink inside the house, also when you Harvest you don’t want to be cleaning the Vegetables on the Ground or in the Kitchen, thinking about the dirt on them, hose ’em off and clean them outside first.
After a long time, I finally built a Garden Shed, I would recommend not waiting as long as I did. This little puppy really turned out nice and is GREAT to have around.
It’s 8’X16’X8’ high, more than enough for the Gardening “Stuff” so it has also become a Storage Shed for all sorts of stuff….. Empty Canning Jars come to mind, plus a LOT of other goodies that freezing or hot weather won’t hurt.
Build a Work Bench inside and make a place to hang or store all the other Yard Tools you have, you will not regret having a good Shed. Also please notice the Vents at the Top and Bottom, If you store Flammables in a Shed (think Lawn-Mower, Rototiller Chain-Saws), make DANG sure it has GREAT ventilation.
BTW, this Shed cost me right at $1600 to build and around 4-5 days total.
I did look up a few comparable Sheds, from $3500 to $4500. Guess it really does pay to build things yourself huh?
“Good Ole Blue”
Get yourself a GREAT Garden Dog, yeppers I said a” Garden Dog”.
He will let you know when the sun is out and time to move to the Shade When it’s time for a drink of water When it’s time for a Nap (most of the time), and most importantly when it’s time for Dinner HAHAHAHA.
In all seriousness, a Dog truly is Man’s (or Woman’s) best friend. Just having my buddy around when working in the Garden really does make it that much better.
And yes my friends, there are times when the Garden is probably not the best place to be working HAHAHA
But, this is the sort of time when those Preserved Vegetables taste soooooooo good YUM, and a good time to be planning for Next Year.
PS: Yes I was still harvesting Swiss-Chard, Spinach, and Collard-Greens even after this Snow. Even pulled a BUNCH of Carrots and Parsnips all during the Winter, as long as I could break through the frozen ground, and OMG were they Yummy!!!!
Be well folks, Ole Blue says “HI”
Life sure is good here on Lightning Point.