Basic tools and kit

Knives (1), safety razor blades (2)

and secateurs (3) Sharpening stone (4) Oil for lubrication (5) Cleaning rags (6), solvent (7) and emery paper (8) Pressers (various) for firming compost (9) Dibbers (10) Sieve (^ in mesh) (11) Labels and soft lead pencil (12) Notebook for records (13) Polythene bags and tape (14) Raffia, twine, etc. (15) Split canes 12 in or 15 in (16) Hand sprayer (17) Watering can (18) Fungicides (19) Pesticides (20) Rooting powders (21) Panes of glass for covering seed trays (22) Panes of glass for cutting (23) Pots (24) and seed trays (25) Composts (26) and fertilizer (27)

not to push a cutting into the compost; always first make a hole with a dibber of suitable size, and then plant the cutting in that hole. A dibber should be approximately the same diameter as the cutting to be planted.

Although many people will use a kitchen table, draining-board or greenhouse bench, the most suitable place to make cuttings, graft or sow seeds is a bench in the garden shed with a convenient shelf for all the bits and pieces of kit, tools, rooting powders, etc. The height of the bench will be a critical factor to the comfort of the gardener if considerable time is to be spent propagating or potting plants. Incorrectly sited benches will encourage or enhance backaches and cricks in the neck. It is also important to have good lighting placed directly over the work bench itself.

Plant propagation in many ways is akin to surgery, and nowhere is there more routine and standardized procedure than in an operating theatre—where all concentration is centred on the patient.

Therefore the secret of success for a gardener lies in having all the required tools and kit readily to hand and clean and in good working order, so that any technique of propagation can proceed smoothly and all concentration can be centred on the plant material.

After use it is important to clean, service and restore all kit to its correct place so that it is readily accessible on the next occasion.

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Organic Gardeners Composting

Organic Gardeners Composting

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