First peony of 2015

The name of the peonies we planted escapes me, but over the years they have been changed thanks to the many friendly bees that visit our garden. The first to bloom this year was super bright pink, while her friends have been light pink, even white, since her appearance.

Peony

This entry was posted in garden.

The Essential Gardening Tools and How to Store Them

Newtown, Connecticut

Having a garden does not mean just planting a couple of seeds and expecting them to turn into fully-grown trees producing fruits and vegetables – seeds have to be taken care of and your garden needs as much attention as possible.

While many people do not pay that much attention to their gardens, there are some that do the opposite: they dedicate their time and efforts to this beneficial hobby and want to have a garden space they can be proud of. What allows those people to perform their gardening duties are the right tools for the job and the storage space they need for them.

The Essential Gardening Tools

Among numerous gardening tools, there are a couple you cannot picture gardening without – these are used regularly and are greatly helpful to the gardeners.

Starting from the beginning of the process, a shovel is quite important when digging deep holes for your plants and only the right tool will ensure good execution – whether you are digging in hard or wet soil, a sharp shovel assisted by a mattock will make your job much easier. Secondly, a rake is a useful multifunctional tool that will come in handy with raking off leaves, tidying up the lawn or smoothing out the soil before planting seeds.

tools

As for the smaller planting tools, you have to have a soil knife if you want to transplant a part of a plant, cut through roots or slice through turf. Its compact size fits in your hand and its edges are sharp enough to do the trick.

Also, good gardeners always make sure they have a pair of good scissors – even regular ones you find around the house are good enough to open a bag of soil – near them, as well as a weeder that will take care of their weed problem before it becomes too serious. Finally, things like trowels, dibbers, saws, garden hoes, pruning shears and loppers should not be forgotten.

The Storage Space

With so many tools, the issue of storing them can be tricky even if you have a garage or a shed. However, the easiest thing to do organization-wise is to install a couple of closets and shelves for boxes containing small tools – you can even put all your power tools such as saws and drills there as well – and mount the bigger ones on the wall.

Hanging supplies on a pegboard or a corkboard will make them easily accessible and always visible, so you do not have to waste time looking for them. Another good idea is to install peg rails and hang rakes, brooms, shovels and mattocks on them – if you manage to find an adjustable rail, you will be able to place two pegs close enough to leave enough room for those tools to hang. You can easily turn all of these ideas – and many more, such as building a tool rack out of the spigot-handles and some wood – into reality by yourself and therefore not spend too much money on them.

Kruiwagen & gereedschap

When talking about small tools, it is more than important to have them all at one place, such as in boxes or small containers which you can label and store conveniently. If you cannot afford closets, you can just place boxes with tools atop of one another – they will not take too much space or clutter your garage, but will always be near.

Everything You Need in Place

If you manage to organize your gardening tools carefully, you will save a considerable amount of energy looking for them each time you want to do some gardening, and this will make your hobby a more enjoyable experience. Finally, a neatly organized tool shed is certainly more inspirational than a chaotic one.

Author bio: Neil Adams is a homeowner and DIY enthusiast, especially interested in sustainability and environment friendly projects. He loves trying new tools and old materials in his woodworking endeavors. When not tinkering around the house with his kids, he enjoys writing for a number of diy and technology blogs. You can find him on: Facebook, Twitter or Google+ . He also writes for Smooth Decorator.

Gifts for the gardener

Mother’s Day is almost here, and if you are still stumped on what to get your mom, I have a great idea. Especially if your mom loves to garden! And of course, this would be an amazing gift for any garden lover at any time of the year.

garden gloves

High quality garden gloves are always welcome for any gardener. These beauties come in a six pack, and will last through many garden seasons! Give one, or all, to the gardeners in your life.

potting bench

Spoil your favorite gardener with their very own potting bench! This bench is truly lovely. It doesn’t come assembled, but it only took me about an hour to put together (doing it alone). The bench is light weight too, which makes it easy to move around when you need to. I love that it has two different styles on the bench part, and storage under too.

potting bench

You can’t see them in the photo, but there are hooks under the top shelf so you can hang tools. It would be a nice touch to buy a few potting tools and hang them on the hooks as part of the gift!

You can find other fun garden inspired gift ideas at your local ACE Hardware. They also have an order online and pick up in store feature on their website.

Disclosure: I was provided a potting bench and gloves in exchange for this post.

This entry was posted in garden.

Spruce up your sprinkler system

It’s already time to run the sprinklers in our neck of the woods, and as always, it’s important to do a bit of maintenance at the start of the season. The EPA has some great tips for watering wisely, and we loved this infographic they created too.

sprinkler-spruce-up_infographic

Remember these four simple steps: inspect, connect, direct, and select.

  • Inspect. Check your system for clogged, broken, or missing sprinkler heads. Better yet, go with a pro—find an irrigation professional certified by a WaterSense labeled program to do the work for you.
  • Connect. Examine points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes/hoses. If water pools in your landscape or you have large soggy areas, you could have a leak in your system. A leak as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen (or 1/32nd of an inch) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
  • Direct. Are you watering the driveway, house, or sidewalk instead of your yard? Redirect sprinklers to apply water only to the landscape.
  • Select. An improperly scheduled irrigation controller can waste a lot of water and money. Update your system’s schedule with the seasons, or select a WaterSense labeled controller to take the guesswork out of scheduling.

To see all the tips, visit the EPA Sprinkler Spruce Up page.

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This entry was posted in garden.
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