Gardening: Garden tools don’t have to be expensive

Don’t spend a fortune on garden tools until you check your kitchen drawers.

| February 2009

  • Scissors
    Use a pair of kitchen scissors to divide clumps of plants or to take cuttings off of a branch.
    CAPPER'S Photo Library

  • Scissors

Why go and spend a fortune at the nursery on new tools, when there is probably a wealth of unused stuff tucked away in your kitchen that will do the job.

Just make sure that anything taken from the kitchen really is not wanted. Such stuff should make a one-way permanent trip out to the garden shed.

Here are just a few suggestions of things that are useful kitchen refugees:

Old dinner knives can be used for digging weeds out from between concrete sections or pavers.

Old kitchen forks can do light weeding in and around tight places or where you do not want to disturb root systems that are close to the surface.

Good sharp kitchen knives or a pair of kitchen scissors are great for dividing clumps of plants or for taking cuttings off of a branch.

Kitchen tongs can be used to pick up thorny cuttings or to help you repot thorny plants like cacti.

Serving trays or placemats work to keep things organized, or for carrying produce, cuttings or weeds.

Potato mashers are great for pushing past a thorny plant or rose.

BBQ or carving forks work for digging out stubborn rooted weeds and root veggies.

Kitchen funnels are perfect for pouring various liquids into containers or for accurate pouring around plants, or to get seed or even small screws and nails into storage packets or bottles.

Chopsticks make great little pot stakes (metal and wooden skewers work, too), or construction sets for some jobs.

I've seen bamboo placemats and chopsticks cut down to make scenery pieces for bonsai planters, along with old aquarium ornaments.

Measuring cups and measuring spoons are great as scoops for fertilizers and potting mixes.

Ice cream scoops work great for measuring and scooping potting mix in and around new pot plants.

Egg rings and biscuit cutters are perfect for shaping growing fruit just for fun, or as a simple hand-held hoe for light weeding around plants.

So there are a few things which can obtain a second life out in the garden shed and garden, instead of being stored for years in a drawer, or being thrown out or passed on to a charity store.


About the author: The Bare Bones Gardener is a qualified horticulturist and a qualified Disability Services Worker. He hates spending money on stuff which doesn’t live up to the promises given, so he looks for cheaper, easier, simpler or free ways of doing the same thing, and then he passes these ideas on to others.

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