Gardening advice please!(6 Posts)
Moved into a new house with a garden last year, so this is our first summer in it. I have had no previous gardening and would like to know where the best place is to start. We have overgrown grass, not sure what are weeds and flowers, not sure what to plant where, etc.
What are the most useful tools that you have? We do have a mower but I need something to cut grass in awkward areas - I think they do shears with long handles for this.
What has helped you?
I'm a gardening newbie too, but the past few weeks spent sorting ours out and I've used mower, spade, pruning shears, trowel and saw.
Hi Rizzle (& story) I suggest you join the garden chat thread and ask there -everyone's very friendly and there's a host of experience. For what it's worth I recommend, if you can afford it, to get a stainless steel trowel, and hand fork, as they cut through the soil so much better than cheaper types. I also find my Japanese hand hoe amazingly useful for weeding:
Normally I think Burgon & Ball is really overpriced; more style than substance but not in this case. Looks like they only have left handed ones at the moment. RH ones may be available elsewhere.
Also, I generally buy from a local garden centre, and when my (stainless steel) big fork broke after 5 years, they replaced it for free, so keep a note of where you buy things and ideally also the receipt (though I didn't have my receipt in this case -I was amazed at how good they were!)
Actually having googled I came across this set which looks useful and a very good price - read the reviews! you do need to keep them oiled as they get rusty otherwise. I forgot one thing I have a roll of yellow tape that I put round the handles of hand tools, so they stand out in the border.
Bearleigh, Imhave been gardening for 40 years. That tip about the yellow tape is brilliant. Thank you.
TK Maxx had some lovely hand tools in last time I went - Joseph Bentley ones that were really well made for around £5 each.
I reckon you need
- a hand fork
- a hand trowel
- a spade
- a fork
- a rake for soil (i.e. not a leaf rake, one of the horizontal ones)
- rigger gloves and ordinary thinner gloves for gentle work
- a watering can
If you have a jungle or need to clear concrete or rubble, you may also need
- a mattock
- a strimmer
- Cliff energy bars!
It is worth buying decent versions of all of these, and will save money in the long run. You don't have to spend a fortune, but it's worth getting proper metal ones with nice wooden handles. Do not buy the cheapo ones from supermarkets that are mostly plastic - they will break and you will cry. I speak from bitter experience!
If you have trees, you might want to buy a really long handled tree pruner. If you have hedges of more than a few metres, you will want an electric or petrol-driven trimmer for them. Don't buy a heavy one, because they weight about 100lb more after an hour of working with them than they do at the start! if you can get one with a strap that distributes the weight across your body, that is a good idea.
One of those three-pronged cultivators is a godsend and if you want to get really fancy, a horihori is an amazing thing.
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