7 Essential Ways to Cut Spending on Gardening Tools

Hoes, spades, rakes, trowels, the list is endless! They are literally a gardens’ lifeblood. But, do we really take count of how much we spend on them? Whether it’s in repairing broken handles or replacement of lost or completely worn out tools, our gardens do eat a chunk of our annual expenditure. We cannot really do away with this but we can minimize unnecessary costs through the following: 

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1. Go for quality

A tool isn’t just a tool. The market is full of cheap options, which might tempt you. For those who need something for a onetime job, it is okay to go for these. Dedicated gardeners however must consider the long-term implications of spending decisions. Thick iron made tools are good but if possible, go for steel products, which will not burden you with too many cautions.  

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2. Keep rust away

Rust not only eats away tools but also give them an unsightly view.  Fortunately, various interventions like applying a thin grease coating on the metal surface before storage do help. You might also consider repainting your rakes to save you from constant greasing.

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3.  Right tool, right use

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The most susceptible tool to wrong use is a knife. Certain types of knives are neither meant for curving holes on wood nor digging the ground and therefore should not be applied to such tasks. It causes them to be blunt and therefore necessitating frequent sharpening. This causes quick wear and so you will always be planning for replacements.  Avoid using the butts of trowels, knives, or spades for hitting nails or other objects if you wish to keep away from the repairs store (or the doctor!) 

4. Keep tools away from the sun 

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Yes! They are meant for outside use but, too much exposure to sun is not really healthy for tools especially those with wooden handles. The heat not only causes fading but also facilitates splintering. Do them a favour by keeping the tools in the garage or somewhere else.

5. Give them some sharpening

To preserve cutting tools, avoid using them when blunt. The handles of chisels or knives are forced to bear excess pressure during use and too soon, they fall off. 

6. Apply finish

The finish on wood does not only give it beauty but also serves a protective function. To delay effects of harsh environment on these your spade handles, apply a thin layer of shellac or any other coating when they start to wane.

7. Keep prying eyes away

If you have an open yard, your beautiful tools may just attract somebody from the neighborhood. The short time you use to go inside for some milk is enough to make your best trowel disappear, forever.  Once you are done with a tool, try to keep it where it is invisible.   

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Conclusion

Giving proper care to your tools will ensure you get the longest service possible from them. The ways listed above together with your manufacturers’ directions will contribute to longevity. Also, avoid using broken tools until they are repaired. In this way, you will prevent further damage while also protecting yourself.

Great Tips on How to Enhance Your Safety with Garden Tools

Gardening is a challenging but interesting experience. It is a flexible activity where every family member can make an input in one way or another, whether adults or kids. However, failure to observe proper safety practices in handling of tools poses serious risks to many people. Here are a few tips on how to keep on the right side. Garden Tools Put tools to correct usage

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Warnings on misuse of tools are always taken for granted until the reality strikes. Some people for instance, use the butts of knives to drive nails into wood while holding the sharp edge. Many have ended up making deep incisions into their palms some of which have necessitated surgery operations. Avoid such dangers and even if you are an ‘expert’, be a good example to your kids because they will want to try out whatever you do. 

Safe storage

Children were naturally created to run around. You will find it really hard to stop them from accidentally stepping on your precious flowers once in a while. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that tools are well kept. Objects idling around can cause serious falls or cuts not only to the children but also to anybody else who walks past, unwary of their location.

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The main goal is to place them either where they are out of reach or where they are most visible. If there is no enough space in the garage, use hooks to hang them on the perimeter walls or shade. In this case, though, you will have to stick to more regular greasing.

Use tools at their best

Tools in good working condition will rarely cause injuries. It is a glaring offence to continue using an instrument when it evidently needs a retouch. Apart from causing further damage to it, you expose yourself to otherwise preventable harm. Blunt knives for example may make the user put in excess force, which if misdirected may be disastrous. Also ensure that connections between tool handles and their heads are kept tight to prevent the head from flying off and hitting someone during use. Garden Tools Rusting and tetanus

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Leaving an iron implement on the soil overnight is likely to result in rusting. It is therefore important that you store them in a place free from humidity. During wet seasons, you can place a dehumidifier in your store to absorb the excess moisture in the surrounding.

When contaminated tools cause even a small cut on the skin, they allow tetanus bacteria (which loves rusty places) to enter the body. The first step to preventing tetanus is therefore preventing rust. However, in case of any cut even without visible signs of rusting, ensure you still go for a jab just to be on safe side.

Safety gear

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In case of any object falling on your feet, you will be safe if you are wearing boots. Strong gloves are also good for preventing any cuts. All these are essential for performing any involving tasks. 

Conclusion

The precautions guiding the use of tools may seem easy. Lack of observing them however is tantamount to suicide. Remember to keep your house and yards safe. Garden Tools

How to Keep Rust Away From Your Gardening Tools

Rusting is a universal problem that is not only irritating but also destructive. It is estimated that about 10 percent of the total industrial iron is destroyed completely by this devil. Since most farm tools are made of iron, and garden owners are among the people worst affected. With simple procedures however, you can keep this calamity at bay.

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How does rust come about?

When iron is exposed to both air and water, it undergoes a process called oxidation; where it combines with oxygen to form hydrated iron oxide (rust). If oxidation is not stopped, rusting will continue and it will eat up the whole material with time. The methods of rust prevention therefore aim at stopping either moisture or oxygen, or both from reaching the surface.  Here’s how to stop rusting.   

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Buy stainless steel

Although steel consists of iron, the other metals in the compound such as chromium react with oxygen instead, to form a thin insoluble coat around the material. No reaction can continue under this coat and therefore it remains safe. Steel tools are rather expensive but if you can afford them, then you will save yourself from hustles. However, be wary of cheap steel in the market, which rusts.  Instead, get your tools from a trusted supplier. 

Keep them dry

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Tools left outside are likely to catch rust especially those lying on the soil. It is much better to store them at the garage or shed. Even then, during wet seasons, the storage room may get humid and therefore provide a suitable condition for oxidation. Luckily, you can get a dehumidifier from your local store to absorb all the excess moisture. An air conditioner will also do the trick.

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Apply grease

When planning to store equipment for a long time, it is advisable that you give it a thin grease coating. This prevents both air and water from getting into contact with the surface. Before you do so, ensure you thoroughly scrub it or else any rust that had started forming will continue under the cover.

However, greasing is not recommended for frequently used ground digging equipment such as hoes due to the fact that it prevents air circulation in the soil. You might consider applying car wax in that case. Wax is also easily cleaned unlike sticky grease. 

Put some paint

For less labour intensive tools like rakes, you can apply some paint whenever the original coat begins to fade. Here as well, ensure that the surface is clear of any contamination so as to prevent undercoat rusting.

Other tools like machetes, which do harsh work however, will not be able to retain the paint. And, just like grease, paints should not find their way into earth because they kill micro organisms responsible for aerating the soil.

Conclusion

The key to fighting rust is knowledge and dedication. Always ensure your tools are treated well so that you can reap the most out of them. By observing the above precautions, rusting in your yard will be eliminated.

5 Naturally Green Ways of Controlling Pests

If there is anything that really gets to the throat of any gardener, it is watching your plants slowly being eaten away by pests. These cruel fellows do not even mind; your presence will rarely disrupt them from their preoccupation. The good thing is that there are various naturally green ways of ensuring that your garden wins the battle. Here’s how to go about it.

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Garden ways to Controlling Pests

Buy the right seedlings

Veggies or flowers to be planted may not stand the test of time if they aren’t healthy. Always insist on planting healthy seedlings by checking each properly. Even this is not enough, so you might consider buying your seedlings from a trusted supplier. Such plants will give aphids and worms a hard time in figuring out where to start feeding from.

Get rid of infected parts

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My, oh, my, this old trick does work! Take time to carefully check your plants even when they look healthy. Check the stalks and below the leaves for any unusual mark.  If you find any guests, pluck the parts or the whole plant if necessary.  In this way, you will have prevented the spread. I hope you won’t pluck the whole garden though. If unsure, you can take a photo or take a sample leaf to a firm dealing in gardening to confirm if they are really the bad organisms. 

Mulching

I know you have heard the debate; does mulching protect plants or does it harbor pests? Well the answer is yes and no to both! Now before you jump to my neck let me explain:

Your environment and the type of materials you choose will determine whether your mulch becomes a blessing or a disgrace.

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For example, if you use plant parts that have been infected to form your mulch, you are actually telling the pests like “…dear pests, your host are dying and cannot sustain you for long, so please cross over to the new hosts!”  Some weeds, which are known to harbor pests (like marigold is so delicious to aphids), should not be used to make mulch. Bottom Line: yes mulching is good because it destroys weeds, which may attract pests; but is only safe if the mulch itself doesn’t contain the pests. 

Pepper sprays

It seems pepper is universal defense weapon. Whether homemade or commercial, this substance when applied to leaves and stems will send most pests packing. Its advantage is that it doesn’t harm the environment. If used, remember to thoroughly wash your harvested vegetables or fruits to clear the capsaicin, else you will know why the aphids ran away! 

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Hand picking

You can go manual too. Just take time and look for the unwanted guests on the leaves. This especially works with caterpillars. Take caution however, to use tongs or any other protective materials. Some of these insects have poisonous stings on their skin surface, which may rush you to the doctor!

Garden ways to Controlling Pests

These are just but some of the ways.  Using chemical pesticides in your garden should only be the last option when all others have failed. Get to share notes with experienced gardeners for more.

Why You Should Hire a Garden Designer

You’ve probably acquired a house recently and the compound looks out of place; or you have been living there for a while and once in a while guilt creeps up on you, asking why you haven’t made any changes after all this time. If you are of the opinion that it is time to spruce up your garden, here are the reasons why it is recommended that you consult a garden designer.

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Get the plan right

Too much ambition may cause you to make decisions that won’t go well. You may for instance put structures where they are not visually appealing. In the end, the place becomes more chaotic than it was before. On the other hand, experienced garden planners know how to put things just where they belong while keeping your preferences in mind.

Save at least 40%

If you were to plan a garden design on your own, you are more likely to overspend on what you don’t need while leaving some essentials out of budget. The excess materials will lie there idly while you wait to make a fresh budget. The outcome is both waste of time and money. In fact, it is estimated that people who consult experts before spending on projects spend 40 percent less than those who don’t.

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Don’t rub shoulders with the law

Ignorance of law is not a defense. Before you build any structure in your compound, do you care to read what the law says about them? The fact is that if you do not struggle, you might land in trouble. Better leave these things to those who know them.

Be flexible

Any good planner should have considerations for the future. A plan should not be done to only meet the current needs. In future, one should be able to make changes easily without incurring a lot of extra costs.

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Your safety counts

Some of the processes may involve use of hazardous materials or machines. If you do not have the appropriate safety training, leave it to those who do. 

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Save time

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Designing a garden on your own may take a lot of time especially if you have a busy schedule. It may literally take ages before you start enjoying your preferred environment. You may lose interest all together and abandon the project.    

All these point to the fact that getting help from a qualified person is essential. However, before you decide to sign a contract, there are some factors that should influence your choice.

First, see how long they have been in the field. Basically, the longer the time a firm is in practice, the more experienced its workforce and therefore this guarantees quality service.

Secondly, listen to what others say about them. If they have ever served a client to satisfaction, there are high chances that they will do the same to you. Inquire about the costs. Too low prices however should ring a bell so ensure you carry out investigation on their clients. Do all these and you will rarely get disappointed.

7 Ways to Make the Garden Safe for Kids

A well-managed garden is quite refreshing and relaxing place to spend time in.  Whether at the front or back yard, homeowners need to ensure that they integrate the beauty of their property with appropriate safety measures. Outlined below are some suggestions on how to achieve this.

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Garden Safe

Remove any objects from way

Potentially harmful materials should not be left anywhere in the compound especially where children can access them- not even in the kitchen bin.  The most common carelessly discarded materials include glass cuttings, nails, used up fluorescent tubes, and metal pieces. You might consider having a separate bin where these are kept and only removed when the collection truck arrives.

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Clear stumps and pegs

After outside parties, pegs used to anchor tents should all be pulled from the ground since kids racing around might trip over them. For families, which graze their animals in the yard, the same should be done to the pegs every day after use.  Tree stumps should also be uprooted or cut below the ground level.    

Keep away harmful plants

Though they may look attractive, not all flowering plants are good for your compound. When some get in contact with your body, may cause mild headache or rash; others may have severe effects or even cause death.  Plants such as cactus may cause serious injuries when kids fall on them. For safety, it is advisable to purchase flowers from a qualified gardening solutions provider. 

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Provide enough lighting

Inadequately lit gardens may restrict your night movements around them. You will however find it hard to stop the kids from playing outside past dusk. Try providing them with good light. There are varieties of outside bulbs or tubes that consume little power so you will have no worries with the bills. A well-lit compound is also more secure from malicious people.

Leisure facilities

Swings, ramps, and other leisure facilities must always be kept in good working conditions. This involves regular greasing and repairs. Ensure also that the playground has about 10 inch sand covering to cushion falls. In addition, homes with swimming pools should have an adult to supervise their use or use fences to bar children from accessing them on their own.

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Pits and ponds

Pits in the garden should be filled or covered appropriately to enhance their safety. Ponds and pits also act as prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes. If you can’t do away with them, ensure you treat them with the right insecticides. Your contractor may also build a backdrop for you to improve the sight of such sites. 

Tools

Ensure that tools in your garden are stored properly after use. If there is no enough space in the garage, you can attach shovels and spades on outside walls using commercially available anchors. This will not only make it easy to locate them but will also prevent falling on them while kids run around. Following these simple guidelines will go a long way in making your garden and yard secure and inhabitable.