Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Choosing tools

In the past, I haven't had much space in which to garden. At the one point during my life when I did actually own a house, there was a condo association that prevented us from doing any of our own planting. In other places, I've mostly used containers (with minimal success in growing tomatoes, but pretty good luck with everything else). So last year, I borrowed tools from my in-laws. I may end up doing the same thing this year, but I would like to get a few basic items just because it seems like a good idea.

First and foremost, I need some gardening gloves, because I have a rose bush, and it's of the New Dawn variety - an old climber with an abundance of thorns. I also have a lot of contact allergies, and gloves provide some protection from rashes and general unpleasantness. I'd like to try the Bionic Gloves, partly just because they seem garden geeky. I considered the rose gloves (who doesn't want to talk about wearing gauntlets?) but I can't see myself wearing elbow-length anything in the middle of the summer on account of one rose bush. The gloves are a little expensive, though, so I'm thinking of asking for them as a belated Valentine's Day present or some such nonsense, since all the money comes from the same place anyway.

I also need a shovel. It's embarrassing to admit, but I only just learned how to properly dig a hole last year. Oops. I'd been doing way more work than I needed to, and now that I know better, I actually really enjoy digging big holes in the yard. Good thing we have a tolerant landlord, hm? At any rate, the front bed needs a ton of work, and I've also got to dig out at least a shallow depth for the square foot garden. I don't figure a shovel is the sort of thing you can properly examine online, so I'll be hitting up all the hardware stores to find one with a good angle and handle length. Unfortunately Zack is about 5" taller than I am, so what's optimal for me will be wrong for him, but I do most of the digging so I'll probably choose one that I like.

Pruning shears are definitely on the list. The rose bush is going to need a pruning in the spring, and I can also use them for the front perennial bed once I get it going, as well as nipping suckers off tomato plants and whatnot. I really, really like scissors and shears and just generally going snip snip snip with stuff. This may be some manifestation of OCD, but I don't really care, because it's fun, and nobody's getting hurt (except maybe a coupon flyer or five). I've heard and read that Felco shears are the pinnacle of awesome in their field, so I'm aiming for a pair of those. They're expensive, but when it comes to cutting edges I tend to be kind of a snob. I don't like to have to replace these kinds of tools, and I want a sharp blade I can maintain. There's a local rose nursery (which, sadly, is going out of business this year as the owners are retiring) where I plan to pick up a pair.

I've also got miscellaneous other desires, like a small hand trowel, a hose reel, different containers for fertilizer, an over-the-door shoe holder to keep all the small bits (like twine, shears, gloves, etc) on the inside of the back door, etc. etc. I'll have to prioritize these somehow, since I've failed to establish an unlimited income as yet. Oops.

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