Sunday, 9 May 2010

Basics of the job.

It was a bit of a mixed afternoon at the plot today. The beginning was good for the soul.I passed a young family, a mum and two or three daughters who were struggling to clear the long grass edging the plot they were trying to work on.I was on the way to strim my plot so asked if they needed any help?
Ten minutes later the grass had been scythed down and they were able to put there efforts into more rewarding work. I was happy to have helped someone get into gardening more and so needed no reward other than seeing them happy and went on with my work.
Now, the problem is this: On my way back home, I passed this and other plots which left me shocked by the basic lack of understanding of the very basic tools and how they are used.
I saw a trowel stuck in some roughly hacked soil, not a garden trowel but a builders. And a plot holder hacking at a weed clump with a rake, dragging it from the soil with a lot of wasted effort.
So, to help those who are keen but completely new to the whole garden world, is a quick beginners guide to the basic tools and their uses.

The basic garden trowel. Used to dig, cover and transport soil. Used to fill pots and to transplant young plants.

Builders trowel. No use unless you are pointing a garden wall. Note the lack of curve in the blade. No good for digging or carrying.

The Garden Rake. Used in a comb like fashion to move soil around on the surface.
Used to separate large debris, foreign objects, dead weeds and lumps of soil from the finer tilth of the plot.Used for levelling and covering and generally pulled and pushed across the surface.

The Dutch Hoe. Slides beneath the soil, parallel to the surface and slices through weeds and roots with a sharp front edge.

Draw Hoe.Used to draw hoe for earthing up,making shallow drills and covering sowings.
Can be used to cut through weeds but not specifically a weeding tool.

I intend to expand on the basics with other tools to be added as experience is gained but not beginner should really use more than these in the first year.

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