Having the correct tools is essential for maintaining a healthy, attractive garden. If you're a beginning gardener, the range of tools available at your local gardening supply store can be overwhelming. They have their uses, but some are more important than others. If you're new to gardening, it's a good idea to become acquainted with some of the essential equipment, so you have all you need to cultivate a beautiful garden.
For the purpose of this article, we have compiled a list of some of the most common gardening tools and the tasks that they are best suited for. The things you plant, where you grow them, and how you grow them will define the tools you need, but all these listed tools are essential for most gardeners.
When it comes to gardening, a spade is one of the most significant pieces of equipment since it is used to dig holes and move soil throughout the planting process. Thanks to the blade, which is often rectangular and flat, you have a greater degree of control over the depth to which you dig. Although the terms shovel and spade are sometimes used interchangeably, a shovel typically has a curved blade designed to operate better for scooping the soil than for digging. On the other hand, a spade has a straight blade intended to dig. You may use a shovel to shape a garden bed as well as dig holes for planting trees, shrubs, and large groups of perennials. You can also use the shovel to plant individual plants.
Additionally, you may use it to efficiently dig up plants and transplant them into other locations. It is possible to make quick work of cutting through roots, sod, and weeds with a spade, thanks to the sharp tip that most spades have. Choose a spade with a smooth and slick metal surface since this will make it much easier to clean the tool of dirt and other pollutants.
A digging fork is an instrument that might be helpful when there is a need to loosen up the soil. It has four tines that are flat and thick, which allows it to perform exceptionally well while breaking up densely packed soil, which a spade or hoe would have difficulty working through. If you push it into the ground and wiggle it around, it will not stir up weed seeds or turn over the soil layers as you work. This makes it an excellent tool for use in already existing beds. You can also use a digging fork to incorporate soil amendments or remove a cluster of plants without using too much soil. Both of these tasks are possible with the use of the tool. When working in rocky soils, it is best to use a digging fork with heavy-duty tines so that the tines do not become bent.
One of the most helpful hand tools to have around the garden is a pair of garden secateurs. These shears are also sometimes called pruners or clippers. You will require it to prune and shape plants and shrubs, as well as get rid of any dead growth. It is in your best interest to spend the extra money on a pair of high-quality secateurs since they will last for a very long time, maintain their sharpness for a longer period of time, be able to cut thicker branches and be more comfortable to use.
Even though gloves aren't traditionally thought of as tools, I consider them to be one of the most useful things to keep in my tool shed. Gloves not only prevent your hands from becoming dirty but also shield you from potential harm in the event of an accident. Wearing gloves will protect your hands and wrists from scratches, scrapes, and splinters if you have to deal with thorny branches or other types of plants that are sharp or pointy.
If you have sensitive skin like I do, gardening gloves aren't optional. When I am in the garden, I have to make sure to protect my skin by wearing gloves to prevent rashes and other allergic reactions to the plants, fertilizers, and other chemicals. Gardeners who are prone to eczema should invest in a quality pair of gloves to protect their hands.
A rake is an essential piece of equipment for anyone who has a yard. Before you plant anything, you'll want to use a rake to clear the ground of any stones, boulders, and clogs. The soil's surface can also be leveled and smoothed with it, and it can also be used to gather trash such as leaves and weeds. A lightweight, fan-shaped rake is ideal for covering large areas when sweeping up leaves, and a heavier-duty bow rake will be most suited to dealing with stony ground. You may find that you want to add a few different varieties of rakes to your collection so that you can accommodate different needs most comfortably.
A good example is a leaf rake which may be put to a number of different uses; a bow rake is also an excellent tool to have around the yard. A bow rake can also be utilized for the removal of leaves and the distribution of mulch. Additionally, it works wonderfully to break up hard garden soil in the spring and level the soil.
If you are fortunate enough to have a large yard to garden in, you will discover that having a wheelbarrow or a garden cart will help a lot of the work go much more quickly and smoothly. Dirt, compost, and even leaf piles can be moved around your property with ease with the wheelbarrow. They are also useful for moving newly germinated seedlings to the appropriate location in your garden.
If you frequently move soil or compost, the conventional wheelbarrow style will serve you best because it is simple to unload the contents of the wheelbarrow after you have reached your destination. A cart design may work better for you if you need to move things like tools or plants the majority of the time.
In conclusion, by purchasing this basic gardening equipment, you can ensure that your shed has all it needs to keep your garden looking beautiful and growing.
How To Keep Fresh Cut Flowers Alive Longer?- Flowers are defined as seed bearings of glistening lovely shades. We all get flowers as gifts on birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, and stages of convalescence. They know to draw us closer to nature, create smiles, happiness, and Warmth, and at the same time, foster bonds.
It’s saddening watching this beautiful gift of nature wither with little or nothing to do. Most flowers tend to live for as long as thirty days, fourteen days, ten days, seven days, and three days being the least. The longevity of a flower depends on
the flower type and most importantly, how the flower is been taken care of.
Flowers are beautiful, they deserve to live longer.
They’re lots of ways to prevent flowers from getting degrad easily and prolong their longevity. They’re basically adhering to some flower care tips and using some home substances.
Cleanliness is next to Godliness, and life doesn’t exist in a place of dirt, the first and most important step to take is to get a neat vase thoroughly wash and free from any residue, and remains. Flowers bloom well in a neat vase,
as a dirty vase will lead to bacterial growth and death of the flower.
Flowers bought from a florist shop usually scrutinize and condition, It’s necessary to same at home if the flower’s lifespan is been consider. Flower stems to trime at least once a week to allow the surface area for water absorption easy and quick. The flower stem is been trimmed in a forty-five-degree pattern, depending on the flower type, it can do underwater,
studies have shown that cutting the stem beneath the water cancels the air bubble effect in the xylem.
Always check out for those below the flower line and cut them routinely. This method is referre to as pruning, it’s vital because most times those shrink leaves serve as a host for bacterial growth which if unattended to, affects the whole flower. Fresh Cut Flowers
Endeavor to top your water every day or after a few days, draining the dirty water, this is to keep the flower fresh, a thirsty flower is a dying one, and you obviously don’t want that. In as much as it’s important to top up water in the vase, don’t over water a flower, as this too, can kill it.
The area of exposure is a contributory factor to the lifespan of a flower, they should be shield from direct sun rays, heat, appliances, and fruits, especially ripening fruits. Sunlight makes fresh cut flowers lose their beautiful shades, and shriveled,
which most times is evident by the bleached smudges on the flowers.Flowers not suppose to be in proximity to ripening fruits, especially bananas and apples, as they known to secrete ethylene, which the flowers absorb, increasing the existing ethylene level,
this affects the flowers adversely, causing discoloration, closed buds, and death of flowers. Alcohol such as Vodka is believer to reduce ethylene production, and this extends flowers’ longevity.
Before plopping fresh cut flowers in a vase, it’s important to know the flower types, this is because, most flowers can never cohabit,
either one will be parasitic on the other, and since there’s no equilibrium, the flower will wither.
Flowers need nourishment to be sustained.
Buying flower food packs from florist shops is highly recommend, flowers need food to survive and look fresh. Flower food makes up of three major components; sugar, acidified, and biocides. Sugar known to facilitate flower growth, and openings, extend its lifetime and enhance its sweet smell. The acidifier help maintains water-Ph equilibrium, it increases the acidic tendency of water and sorts out the right water for a flower to blossom, the most accessible acidifiers are citric acid, lime, and lemon juice. The biocides terminate both bacterial and fungi infections, and it serves as prophylactic measures too. The roots of the flowers are the first line of attack by microbes, reducing water and sugar absorption and death of flowers. Chlorine and bromide are the two common biocides.
Flower nutriment can also cause a flower to deteriorate, this happens when the components of its food are been add in excess proportion. Flower foods can made by anyone by using the right materials. A substitute is Apple cider vinegar, water and sugar. Apple cider vinegar serves as an antibacterial agent, to get this flower meal done,
mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with two tablespoons of water,
add two tablespoons of sugar, stir, and add to the flower vase.
Subsequently, the use of coins has proven to help sustain the lifespan of a flower. Copper coins are the most effective. The longer the existence of coin, the more amount of copper which is an active fungicide, and acts as a biocide, reducing bacterial growth. Copper coins were more common in 1982, with 85 to 96% copper coating,
unlike penny coins of recent with 90-95% of zinc coating and 5%/ of copper.
Save the old coins for the bouquets. Fresh Cut Flowers
A penny coin, coin, sugar, and a reasonable amount of acid makes the flower live protected. This way the three basic nutrient-providing requirements have met.
Refrigerating flowers also helps to make flowers look healthy and increase their lifespan. Cold knows to reduce the aging process, and flowers bloom in cold temperatures. The refrigerating process does within a maximum period of 8 hours between thirty to forty-three degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to remove all fruits from the fridge before refrigerating, to prevent them from absorbing ethylene. The major function of refrigerating flowers aside from giving a blooming bouquet
is that it helps reduce the dehydrating process of the flower.
The use of soda has proven to boost the life span of flowers, soda contains sucrose, and adding soda to a flower vase. Will yield the expected result, as well as enhance the flower fragrance.
Applying these steps will help preserve the amazing flowers given by loved ones, making them fresh and blooming.
Did you know NASA recommends one houseplant per 100 square feet for cleaner indoor air in your home? Their 2-year long Clean Air Study showed that plants can help to remove volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) from the air. They found that both plant leaves and roots worked well to remove these toxic vapors.
Nowadays, pollution can not only be found in the outdoor air of dense cities—but everywhere around us. In fact, more than 107 million Americans live in areas with unhealthy amounts of ozone and other toxins. Part of the solution could point to the air cleaning power of house plants. But if you have been burned by a ghost of house plant past, you could have feelings of hesitation when thinking about taking on new plant. Don’t stress—we are here to empower you with not only some of the best air purifying house plants, but the hardiest as well. Here are the top three must-have house plants that are also low maintenance.
Best House Plants: Monstera Deliciosa
Split-Leaf Philodendron—also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, or Monstera Deliciosa, is probably one of the most well-known house plants due to their stunningly large and iconic leaves that split in bright, indirect light. Philodendrons are known specifically for their ability to remove formaldehyde from the air. They are easy to maintain, and very forgiving if you happen to be forgetful about watering. You can tell when they need water when their leaves start to fold out over the edges. In addition, they are extremely easy to propagate and quick to take root. In truth, propagating regularly will keep the mother plant healthy and at a more manageable size.
To propagate, simply cut below a node and place it in water. A node is the thin line that circles around the stem, usually near a branch or shoot. Make sure the water does not turn murky during the rooting process. If it does, dump it out and replace it with fresh water. The new roots should form in about 2-4 weeks. You can add fertilizer, but as long as you repot it annually with new soil, it will still thrive.
Best House Plants: Epipremnum Aureum
Next on our list is the Pothos plant—also known as Devil’s Ivy, or Epipremnum Aureum. They come in a variety of gorgeous heart-shaped leaf patterns and colors, including Jade and Pearls, Marble Queen, and Golden Pothos—the fastest growing type. They also thrive on bright and indirect light. However, if the transition is slow, they are tolerant of most conditions and can take limited direct sunlight. They leave beautiful, vining trails that complement any home or piece of furniture.
Pothos plants are one of the most effective indoor air purifiers for removing common toxins. They would excel in a well-lit garage as it can clean benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, xylene, and more from the air. Fortunately, they are also very easy to propagate so you can have your very own fresh air forest quickly. To propagate, cut below a node and place in water. Roots should form in approximately 1-2 weeks, making sure that the water stays clear.
At the top of our list, we have the Snake Plant—also known as Mother in Law’s Tongue, or Dracaena Trifasciata. Some refer to this plant as Sansivieria, but please note that it has recently merged into the Dracaena genus. Native to West Africa, it is a beautiful, upright plant with long, slender leaves that can grow up to several feet tall when indoors. But don’t worry about clearing a large space for it just yet. Compared to other house plants, Snake Plants can be the slowest to grow, especially in low light conditions.
It is renowne for being an extremely low-maintenance plant. They are the most tolerant of the 3 on this list and are truly difficult to kill. Their cactus-like hardiness allows them to go without water for some time. Although it would thrive with bright light as its former two counterparts, it would also be completely happy in a corner with low light. There are different types of Snake Plants—such as Black Gold, Golden Hahnii, and the rare Moonshine with its gorgeously pale silver-toned leaves. However, if your pets tend to chew on plants, please pass on this one as it is toxic to them. Another alternative would be to place it well out of their reach.
The Benefits Are Endless
Regardless of the reason for adopting new green dependents, or how many you choose to get, there are plenty of benefits to gain from indoor plants. They convert our exhaled carbon dioxide into fresh oxygen, improve our mood by acting as a natural antidepressant, and increase humidity. The latter is important because it has shown to decrease dry skin, sore throats, and dry coughs and colds. Surprisingly, having plants in the home can also boost creativity, productivity, and focus, reduce fatigue, lower stress, foster healing and increase pain tolerance.
Caring for indoor plants can be a rewarding and healthy move towards cleaner indoor air in your home. Not only are they lovely to look at, but they can also provide a more energy efficient way of trapping indoor air pollutants. Since there are many toxins that we encounter daily such as acetone, formaldehyde and benzene,
we need all the help we can get. Good ventilation is also key. As a two-part plan to combat indoor toxins, make sure to regularly let fresh outdoor air circulate and flow through your home.
Taking the Plunge
Apart from those mentioned here, some of the other air purifying super stars include the Peace Lily, Bamboo Palm, Spider Plant, or Dumb Cane. Any of these would make great gifts to those you love as well. If you are considering any plants outside of those listed above, make sure to do your research in advance. It can be stressful when you lose a plant. Look for other indoor gardener’s reviews regarding a plant’s care requirements to ensure it is a good fit for your home. With the right selections, your home will soon be brightened with a splash of color and air you can feel comfortable about breathing.
In Victorian times, flowers were used for more than just beautiful, fragrant gifts. They represented an entire language and were used to send secret messages of love, happiness, and even betrayal in a silent manner. so Friends, lovers, and families alike used this language of flowers to create personalized flower gifts.
In fact, this old traditional language of flowers may have been the start of the practice of gifting flower bouquets to your loved ones. It has surely spread across the globe as a universal token of affection, although many flower givers today don’t know the original meaning given to flowers by Victorian users.
If you’d like to create unique and highly personalized flower gifts or fill your next event with extra meaning take a look below at some flowers and their Victorian meanings. Share these flowers in public spaces, with loved ones, yourself, or dear friends as beautiful, and meaning-filled gifts:
♥ Flowers for Lovers:
Orange Rose - Fascination
Phlox - Our Souls United
Red Rose - Love
Tulip - Declaration of Love
♥ Flowers for Self: Language of Flowers
Daffodils - New Beginnings
Purple Coneflower - Strength and Health
Allium - Prosperity
♥ Flowers for Friends:
Pink Carnation - I Will Never Forget You
Zinnia - I Mourn Your Absence
Bells of Ireland - Good Luck
What wonderful, thoughtful meanings to such beautiful flowers! If you’d like to send an old-fashioned flower message to a special someone, so stop by or look up your local nursery or florist and ask about their flower gifting and flower delivery services.
Need help finding the best local florists in your area? Check out NBU Flowers Find Your Florists search tool to find florists by zip code or location. This search tool will provide you with the business address, contact information, and website of all flower shops in your area. With this, you can inquire and put together a thoughtful bouquet that says so much more!