Ten Very Useful Implements
Water Wand- for getting water to the
ground and roots, avoiding wetting the leaves. This helps prevent fungal
disease, especially Blackspot which is known to be spread by water splashing
from leaf to leaf, and from ground to leaves near the ground, (Blackspot
usually starts low on the bush and works up the plant). Source- garden
Gauntlet Gloves- those tough gloves that cover
the forearm and reduce scratches and blood loss during pruning.
Source- garden center.
Excellent Pruners- work
well, last a long time. These should be “bypass pruners” which work
like scissors and cut cleanly, not “anvil pruners” which crush the stem.
Recommended brand is Felco, and there are a number of models (Felco #2 is a
great choice for most people, look for other models if your hands are
large). Cost about $50, Source- upscale garden centers.
Pesticide Sprayer- sized
and powered appropriate to your garden size (future garden size if you
anticipate expanding). Can be a small and compact hand-pump sprayer, a
larger hand-pump version for medium-sized gardens, or a battery powered tank
sprayer (e.g. SpotShot) for spray volumes over three gallons and large
gardens. Considerations: how will you transport a medium or large
sprayer? Is carrying from point to point, wearing on your back like a
backpack, or on wheels the best for your physical considerations? Best
advice: get the right product that You will take out and use.
Source: small hand pump: garden store; large battery powered sprayer on
wheels: talk to other owners and try Rosemania.com.
Liquid Fertilizer Mixing System- this can
be a siphon in a bucket of mixed liquid fertilizer or you may graduate up to
a special container (plastic bottle) that dilutes the concentrated
fertilizer and sends to your hose. Another alternative for small
gardens is a miracle Grow-like applicator. You use a fertilizer
(similar to Miracle Grow, for example Magnum Grow) that is initially solid,
and then mix before (or as) it is applied by a hose. Very nice for
medium to large gardens (not just roses). Source: Miracle Grow
applicators- WalMart/ Lowes (about $5), siphon from a specialty garden
center or catalog (about $16), plastic mix tank and dilution system from
Primary Products or Rosemania.com.
Three-pronged Garden Hoe/Weeder on long handle-
these tools allow you to weed/till the ground without bending over very
much. The Three-pronged types (look like a big version of the
short-handled scratcher) are more efficient than the two-pronged backside of
many hoes. They scratch in fertilizer very well, too.
Garden Seat- these come in a number of
types from a standard lawn chair (usually a bit too high), to a smaller
plastic box on wheels, to a blanket/towel. Similar, but different, are
rubber cushions for your knees (so that you can kneel), or knee-pads.
Raised Rose Bed- An
alternative to bending and kneeling, building your next bed of roses Above
Ground in a raised bed requires significantly less stress on the back and
knees in the long term, while, in the short term, keeping you from having to
move all of the rocks and boulders (that the glaciers deposited) if you were
to dig the holes for the roses and amend the soil with a shovel. The
walls of your raised bed can be made of paving stones, or wood.
Pressure-treated garden timbers, similar to railroad ties, but without the
creosote, are reasonably easy to work with and costs are reasonable.
They are long-lasting. Works best if you drill holes through the
timbers and insert a length of rebar to ensure they stay in position.
Filled with amended soil, and watering/rains, tend to make the box want to
Tool Tote- This
can be a Gardener’s Bag (with lots of pockets), an ordinary bucket, or
anything in between. Like the carpenter’s toolbox in usefulness. And
as all gardeners know, and so does Murphy, you will always need one more
indispensible tool, but you will not recognize that you need it until you
are the furthest from where the tools are stored.
See the article on Watering in the www.ctrose.org website
in the Rose Culture section. The best overall type of system, for many
gardens, is the Shrubler type. It requires a little bit of assembly,
but is a much better applicator than most others. Can be used with
liquid fertilizer mixing systems, where the below-listed types of watering
systems can not. A drip system, that is semi-rigid plastic with
special holes 6” apart, can water well, but is slower, and is not good for
sandy soils (the drips just drain down). Porous rubber hoses (usually
made from recycled tire rubber) work, but are very slow, and are subject to
major leaks. I recommend against buying cheap, low quality
leaky-hoses- they can be expensive to repair and replacements are required
Good wheelbarrow. For larger gardens, a plastic
barrow with two LARGE wheels is recommended. Holds a lot of weight, a
large volume, and is easy to maneuver.