Published: Tuesday, May 28, 2013

FYI

Gardening tools: The essentials

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Page 902Gardening is an activity whose benefits are multifaceted. It serves as a hobby, beautifies your surroundings and adds to the ambience. In some instances, it serves as your personal fruit or vegetable source and most importantly, even if by a small amount, it gives back to nature what urbanisation is taking from it on a much larger scale.

For everyone who enjoys and engages in this pursuit, here is a list of the essential tools one must have:

Essential gardening tools vary according to the type of gardening in question; roof-top, land or pot-based gardening.

Page 903Shovel: A shovel is very necessary for any gardener. According to your type of gardening and preference, you may choose a long, heavy shovel or a smaller, more maneuverable one for digging, scooping soil and debris or for spreading mulch.

Comb/ Soil Rake/Fork: As the names imply, these tools are designed for the purposes of weeding, raking off leaves and mulch and getting rid of debris just like a comb is used to untangle hair. While larger rakes can be used for back-yard gardening, smaller ones can be used for pot-plants.

Page 904Soil Knife: This equipment actually has a Japanese descent where it is known as Hori-Hori. The blade, which is sharp on both sides, end in a semi-sharp point, and is used to move the soil around in a pot, to cut through roots, for weeding, light digging, removing plants etc.

Scissors: A pair of scissors is a must for any gardening enthusiast. They can be used for a variety of purposes, starting from cutting small branches or pruning to snipping to cutting open a bag of soil or a packet of seeds.

Hand Saw: These are necessary if you have plants with thick branches. They can be used to cut off large branches, small weedy trees etc.
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Shabol (Bengali name): This instrument is a thick rod with an edge sharp enough to penetrate into the ground but not cause any harm to the plant. This can be used if you have plants in large drums where the soil near the bottom cannot be reached otherwise and can also be used in backyard gardening. These are readily available at Kawran Bazaar.

Hose pipe and water jar: Hose pipes are available widely at Tk8-Tk9 per feet and obviously should be used to water plants. Water canisters should also be kept handy for watering those plants which need less water and those which will not be able to sustain the flow from a hose-pipe.

Some other products that a gardener should have at all times are a water-proof plastic apron, two containers for holding all the above mentioned equipments and a small dirt removal shovel. Additionally, these equipments should be used regularly since they are prone to rusting.
Page 906The locally-made versions of all these tools can be found at Kawran Bazaar opposite the vegetable bazaar at very cheap prices. The more portable ones are available at Agora and Nandan superstores while you will get a greater variety at the hardware store right next to the Gulshan Avenue branch of Agora. These will come at higher prices, but will last for a long time.

Thanks to Laila Karim for her valuable time and insight.