Posted on 25 March, 2016Comments (0)

Garden Notes – What do you need?

Garden Notes – What do you need?

I wrote a long piece on the essential tools in a garden, but it was so boring. Everyone knows that a two wheeled wheelbarrow saves the strain on your back and can be pulled when full. A sharp spade can chop up those perennials and lift the turf to plant bulbs. Who is going to use a push mower when you can do everything with a rotary?

I have for years used the Burgeon and Ball rice sickle. This is a short curved serrated blade on a straight wooden handle. I use it to cut back perennials, especially hardy geraniums. I use it to weed. If you drag it across the surface it cuts weeds off at the roots, you can then use the back of it to disturb the soil. If you have lots of buttercup seedlings, whose strong white roots make it very difficult to get them up, you can cut them off just below the crown of the plant leaving the useless roots behind. No more sprained wrists. Finally it is ideal for hoicking out those seedlings in the centre of another plant. Very sensibly they now call it a herbaceous sickle, there being few rice paddies around.

My other favourite toy, sorry essential tool, is the Bosch garden saw. This is used for pruning shrubs. The advantage it has over the conventional pruning saw is the narrowness of its blade. If you can get your nger between that old stem and the new ones you want to keep you can get the saw in. Being powered by a battery it takes no time to cut through stems as thick as your wrist.

Now is the time to check those pots that have been sitting out all winter. The ones full of seeds that you hoped would germinate with a bit of frost on them. You need to beat the slugs to them. You will probably nd that the labels are now illegible. All except that bit that was buried in the pot. Perhaps you should put the labels in upside down next year.

Stella Strachan

[Please note that this message is not posted on behalf of Bentworth Parish Council and does not necessarily reflect the Parish Council’s policy]

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