The Spading Fork
Outdoor garden tools are slightly different from greenhouse gardening tools. When gardening in the open air, you need to prepare your garden in a very different way to protect your plants from the harsh elements. In order to give your plants the most stable base, you’ll need to prepare the soil for delicate beginning roots by breaking up the packed earth deep enough so your plants can withstand winds and rain. An outdoor gardening tool that makes this task easier is a spading fork.
It is used to dig into the soil and loosen the clumps of compact dirt, allowing roots to reach nutrients buried deeply and adding oxygen to the soil. A spading fork’s handle length depends on your height. Try several out in the store to see which one fits you comfortably. If you purchase a spading fork with a too-short or too-long handle, you can always buy a replacement handle or shorten the existing handle if it is wooden.
You will want to select a quality made spading fork that will hold to years of use. Check the welds and fasteners to make sure quality workmanship is present before purchasing any outdoor gardening tools. In addition, you will want to choose a spading fork with a comfortable handle. Many gardeners prefer wooden handled gardening tools for the comfort and durability they provide.
If you would like to opt for a man-made material, be wary of cheaply constructed fiberglass handles that shed small prickly particles of fiberglass as you use the fork. These types of handles can be impossible to work with unless you have very thickly calloused hands or leather work gloves to protect your skin.
The last step in selecting the perfect spading fork is to find one that fits your budget. Quality garden tools are available for inexpensive prices- if you’re willing to shop around. Compare prices online, visit your local garden center to compare quality products, and look for special features that you desire such as a hanging hook, a wooden handle, or a product that’s made in a particular country or by a certain high-value manufacturer.
Soil tampers can be used before or after sowing seeds. They evenly push tiny seeds into soil easier than a fist or fingers. I tried sourcing pre-fabricated tampers locally and on the internet. Available from the UK, tampers range about $10 – $25 online not including shipping. I wasn’t ready to shell out funds allocated for plants and seeds, so I created yet another carpentry project for my husband.
Materials and Time Required
Total project cost averaged $5.00 using scrap wood and materials on hand.
It took one person and two hours to build four soil tampers.
- Black sharpie marker
- Broom and dust pan
- Dust mask
- Ear muffs (hearing protection)
- Extension cord
- Eye goggles (eye protection)
- Metal angle
- Power drill
- Quick grip clamps
- Straight edge
- Tape measure
- Wood glue
- Workmate table
- Container templates
- Wood screws
- Scrap 1/8” – ½” plywood
- Clear and clean working area.
- Prior to beginning project, charge all cordless tools.
- Pick a clear, cool and dry day to work.
Anything that can save a tremendous amount of time on repetitive tasks always catches my attention. Since I plan on using the same size containers for seed propagation repeatedly, I selected four template containers.
Square and Round Container Templates
• Copy outline of container onto plywood in pencil.
• Secure wood snuggly with quick grip clamps to stabilize template on workmate table.
• Screw blade into the jigsaw tool facing out.
• Cut ‘inside’ the template line so the tamper will fit inside the pot snuggly.
• Create a long handle out of scrap wood.
• Dab a spot of wood glue, center the long handle on wood base.
• Using a wood screw or nail, turn base upside down and attach handle.
Seed Tray Template
The seed tray template took the longest to construct, but provides the most time savings when starting large flats.
• Copy outline of tray pack cell onto plywood in pencil.
• Measure the center of each of the cells. Using a black sharpie marker and straight edge or metal angle, create crosshairs on the underside of tamper template.
• Secure wood snuggly with quick grip clamps to stabilize template on workmate table.
• Create nine small block tampers and one long handle out of scrap wood.
• Center each individual tamper onto base. Attach using a spot of wood glue for added strength.
• Using a power drill and wood screws, turn base upside down and attach each block tamper to the cross hair lines.
• Invert and attach long handle to middle of tamper.
Saving Time and Money
Martha actually had a project that was as simple and easy to create as shown on the video. Save time sowing seed flats in the greenhouse and money by using materials around the garage. Have fun and get growing!
So many people now are enjoying container gardening, whether planting flowers or herbs. By using a Pot Latch you increase the amount of space that you are able to use by getting your smaller pots up off the ground and mounting to a fence or post in your yard.
The other benefits of growing vertically include: the controlling of potential pests as they are right in front of you and harvesting is made easier as there is no stooping or hunching over.
It increases accessibility for gardeners with disabilities because they can tend to and pick from a chair or garden seat. You also will have lest waste not having fruits hiding under lush growth.
We are running a special right now on our Pot Latch; Buy One Get One Free. Follow this link to our web page to place your order for our Pot Latches and the quantity that will work for your specific needs to get growing vertically!
What plants benefit from shade cloths?
Any plant that require more than 30% shade to grow successfully
How long does a shade cloth traditionally last?
Most shade cloths of high quality will last for ten to fifteen years, keeping their shape and effectiveness. The weather and care of the cloth most often determines its longevity.
How should I attach the shade cloth or greenhouse coverings?
A shade cloth can be attached with screws, nails, ropes or cables.
Is shade cloth enough to cool a greenhouse?
While a shade cloth will prevent plants from overheating and burning, proper cooling systems are most effective for cooling. An appropriate ventilation system is essential for proper greenhouse growth. Light, temperature and humidity control are important and a good ventilation system can provide appropriate amounts of these essentials.
How do I know what size of shade cloth to get and what color?
Shade cloths come in many colors, which only matter in personal preference. For size, a shade cloth should cover the roof and 2/3 of the side walls when unrolled. Thus, you can measure how much material it would take to do this on your greenhouse. Most shade cloths and greenhouse coverings go on the exterior of the greenhouse. This is because they can easily be removed for winter and won’t overheat like inside coverings might.
How Many Worm Bins Do I Need?
Most greenhouse gardeners agree, the more worm bins, the better! Since most red worms can consume half their weight in food each day, you will need to figure out how many worm bins you can support. Estimate how much food waste you create each day in pounds, multiply by two, and that will determine how many pounds of red worms you can support. You should place about one half pound of red worms in each worm bin. Just keep in mind that your worm will multiply as time goes on so once your worm population gets established in one bin, you can take worms from that bin to start another.
What to Feed Your Worm Bins
While worms are not particularly picky eaters, there are some food items that they abhor. Do not place milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, meat drippings, trimmed fat, grease, or meat into your worm bins.
Worms are mostly vegetarians, and love all breads, grains, cereals (minus the milk), banana peels, eggshells, vegetables, fruits, and even teabags, and coffee grounds (including the paper filter). They love to feast on moist cardboard, paper, and newspaper, but avoid anything with plastic coatings or chemical treatments.
Tips for Keeping Your Worm Bins Healthy
Maintaining your worm bins is not likely to rival the upkeep on a four-star hotel, but there are some basic worm bin tips that will help keep your worms happy and healthy.
- Keep plenty of fresh, moist bedding in the worm bins (like moistened, shredded newspaper)
- Make sure your ventilation holes are free from obstruction and adequate to keep your bin smelling fresh
- Harvest your worm castings regularly
- Bury your worm’s food in the bedding to avoid attracting insects
Worm bins make a natural and easy to care for gardening companion. They don’t require extensive care, attention, or nurturing like farm animals, and still produce plentiful fertilizers that will make your crops thrive.
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