There are some large pieces of garden equipment that I use all the time – for example my shredder – which is needed frequently to deal with my gardens jungle tendencies – but there are other things that are only needed once or very occasionally. In this situation it makes sense to hire, which is what I’m planning to do when we finally get down to dealing with our extremely scruffy lawn. I’ll need a lawn scarifier to get rid of the dead thatch and then a rotavator to dig over the surface and then incorporate the leafmould and grit that I want to add to help improve the drainage before we lay the new turf. I’ve recently heard about a rather useful new online service called Erento. It helps gardeners track down the equipment they need in their local area and at a very competitive price.Whether you are tackling a neglected allotment, turning over a new piece of ground or re-establishing a scruffy lawn and want to see what is available locally - for Erento click here.
I’ve been busy in the greenhouse this week and I’m finding the Sophie Conran trowel (£14.95) from Burgon & Ball is a very handy combination of trowel and scoop. I’m quite a messy gardener, so anything that means the compost goes where intended – rather than down my boot – is very welcome.
I’ve been sent a very neat, safe and easy-to-use tool sharpener called the Anysharp Edge (£14.58 available from Amazon). It has certainly transformed the performance of my shears, loppers and edgers and I’ve just gone round the knives in the kitchen too.
It isn’t so good for secateurs unless you are good at taking them apart (I’m not). I shall stick to sending my Felco’s for an annual service. (£14.50)
B&Q’s 7 function metal spray gun for the garden hose is brilliant. With a simple twist you can get every variation you could wish for when doing your watering – from fine mist for your seedlings to a powerful jet which comes close to transforming your hose into a power washer. £14.98 or £16.98 with 3 connectors. Use water butts wherever you can, but if you do need to use as hose, this head means you are far less wasteful as it directs the water to precisely where it is needed.
I have a sturdy old trestle table which comes out of storage at this time of year and is erected in a shady corner of the garden. It is invaluable as a cool place to prick out seedlings and allow them to recover before moving them to a sunnier spot. It is also a good spot to germinate pot sown seeds that can be inhibited by too much heat.