14August2020

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Impact of the Decision To Leave the EU

Impact of the Decision To Leave the EU

It is now clear that the British people have made the choice to leave the European Union. The countr...


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Toolhardy - GIY News

I have an admission to make. There’s a dark corner of my garage that’s a graveyard for dead, decrepit and defunct garden tools. When I visit the garage to do manly stuff (cutting, sawing, sanding, hammering etc) I have to avoid eye contact (figuratively speaking) with this Boulevard of Broken Tool Dreams because it is an embarrassment to me, a reminder of my appalling lack of DIY skills. Some of the tools have bits falling off, others are broken in two; there are spades and shovels with handles missing; rakes rusted beyond belief etc. In my defence I once turned a broken spade handle in to a handy long-handled dibber using an approximation of the ancient skill of whittling which felt pretty darn good – but I think it’s broken now..

So I’ve learned a thing or two about the importance of investing in good gardening tools. Every book on growing your own mentions this as being important of course, but as a novice grower you aren’t always convinced of it. I would generally flick quickly past that chapter, keen to get to the good stuff about growing veg. The result is that either you stick to using the wrong tools for the job (and they take far too long as a result), or you end up buying cheap tools, which inevitably end up on that pile in the garage.

The triumvirate of must-have tools for the GIYer is the spade, fork and rake. Seek out the best and don’t feel bad about paying extra for them – it will stand to you in the long run. I can’t emphasise enough how useful a good hoe will be in your veg patch. Run a hoe over your entire patch once a week or so (it’s enjoyable work) and you will be on top of weeds in no time. I own three of them – an oscillating hoe (for bigger jobs), a small-headed Dutch hoe (for precision hoeing) and a ridging hoe for earthing up spuds. Smaller tools like trowels, hand-forks and hand-weeders are useful too.

A final word – I’ve read in gardening books that you should finish each session in the veg patch by cleaning your tools. I’ve always thought this was the kind of ridiculous advice that no sensible person would ever really contemplate. But reluctantly I now have to agree that it has its merits. I now tend to line my tools up outside the potting shed and give them a good hard spray of water before putting them back inside.

Source: GIY - Toolhardy