Yesterday I spent all day at the plot and I plan to do the same today. A lot of time was spent pulling out annual weeds that had started to emerge and given the state of the plot last year, I expect to spend a considerable amount of time weeding around my permanent plantings.
I imagine we all have favourite tools; the way the handle fits in your hand, the just-right weight of a fork or spade, the just-right length of a rake or hoe.
And then there are the slightly unconventional ways in which we use said tools: yesterday I was perched on my milking stool weeding beds (the knees aren’t what they used to be) with a tool designed to remove moss and weeds between paving slabs! But it’s perfect for precision weeding between young raspberry shoots.
Did the stool have to be painted gold? Well no, but that makes me smile. Its the same with my tool bag. This follows me around the plot and it full of the Very Useful Bits, such as trowel, hand rake, secateurs, scissors, string and pencil. Does it have to be bright green and pink, of course not, but that also makes me smile. I used to have a very functional dark green trug, did the same job but with a bit less joy.
What else is important to keep the plot tamed and trimmed?
I choose a spade for digging. I tested every single one; some were too tall, too heavy, just plain awkward. This Wilkinson Sword spade has a nice sharp edge and is comfortable to use – it’s also in it’s 10th year!
Other essentials are gloves. I seem to have a small collection but they all have a purpose; the ones in this shot were intended for light dibbling such as weeding and planting out. The leather pair are for heavy duty digging and construction and a winter pair, rubberised and fleece lined.
Boxes and crates aren’t immediately essential but very useful for storing corms, tubers and bulbs not to mention fruit and vegetable harvests.
And finally and possibly the most important bit of kit at the plot, is a sharp hoe. Charlie at Park Road gave me this one, who gave it to him is lost in the mists of time. The wooden handle is smooth with time and use and blade is sharp. The hoe is good for sweeping across larger beds and between rows.
It would be remiss to not mention the rake. Once the ground is dug and weeded, a rake will help you level the ground and create a nice tilth – or if you have clay soil, turn the big lumps into smaller lumps!
All of these tools are in pursuit of harvests. It’s tulips at present…