Six weeks ago first seed catalogue arrived looking through I was amazed at the accesories on sale ,Five types of hoe which as far as I could see any sharp dutch hoe would do as good a job.An assortment of dibbers and string lines.As I delivered my monthly news letter to our plot holders I asked about how many used any type of hoe other than a dutch hoe,only two out of ninety plot holders.A few had tailor made garden lines these were older growers whose grandchildren had bought them as Christmas pressents.most used two small pieces of cane.Twenty one used home made dibbers none had a bought dibber.The most popular dibber for sowing seed in modules and planting out was the same as I use ,this is seventy five years old,never broken or replaced,never lost and better now than when I first had it.This wonder dibber…my index finger,first knuckle joint for sowing seed in modules full finger for potting on after pricking out,.The most popular tool for pricking out was an old table fork.I know allotmenteers are great recyclers and a bit careful with their cash,the question is do you improvise or buy the latest tools?

10 Responses

  1. Beanstew says:

    My favourite tool for pricking out is a very narrow teaspoon handle, which my daughter “acquired” when working at Butlin’s as a student one summer. My garden lines are made of two pieces of cane and a bit of twine, and I don’t usually bother to look at the section of seed catalogues called “Gardening Accessories”. They are a snare for the unwary new gardener intent on “tooling up”, and are often full of gimmicks such as “the upside down tomato planter”.

  2. Miriam says:

    I’m not really a gadget person, either in the kitchen and home, nor in the garden, really. I considered long handled lawn edging shears a gadget which I didn’t acquire till my back got a bit dodgy a few years back.
    My most recent acquisition has been a long handled small fork, which is rubbish – its from Coopers of Stortford, and eventually they gave me my money back, having sent 3 which all did the same thing – came apart at the bit where the tool is fixed to the handle. When I used it, (once each time) it was very useful though, so I should look for a decent replacement.
    Pricking out? Children’s paintbrush, not the brush end, obviously, just one of those small paintbrushes that come in boxes of paints for kids. If they still make boxes of paints for kids with brushes, that is… I’ve had mine for 35 years!

  3. gibbon says:

    the only things came together’ a little plastic pricking out fork with the other end for making a little scraper for sowing seeds, and a second one is a diber with a differant size each end for potting on, and two hoes a dutch hoe that I keep sharp, and a draw hoe for earthing up, the rest I have either had a long time or what I have made myself,

  4. johnmichael says:

    I still use my grandfathers spade,fork and draw hoe,he died in 1948,! (made by the company he worked for,Brades of Oldbury).Have just looked on line and the vintage spades are selling for £120!

  5. karenp says:

    i have to confess i do love to buy new tools, i do have my parents old garden forks spade, hoe and lawn rake which i keep for the garden.
    but for the allotment i treated myself to an azada, a right angled fork both from the same company that should last for years (looks like made by a blacksmith), a back saving hoe, also a back saving fork thats slightly angled, hoping these will become heirlooms along with my parents spear and jacksons, like the idea of passing on my tools in the future :)
    do have a home made dibber also inherited from my Mum, made a line from 2 cricket stumps with string attached :)

  6. Teen says:

    I just use the tools that I need fork, spade, shovel etc. I find a lot of these gadgets are either naff (fall apart etc) or you already have something that will do the job better.

    As for dibber and pricking out tool I use a pencil :0) Handy for writing the labels out with too lol

  7. Miriam says:

    I’ve just thought of one modern piece of kit I wouldn’t be without, and it was cheap as chips at the time – a plastic lawn rake. It is third in line of my most frequently used garden tools, the first being secateurs, the second my stainless steel garden fork.

  8. Magz says:

    I must confess that I am a bit of a gadget buyer, but only if I think they will work for me, and few gardening ones tempt me. I do have a line with turned oak posts that my son made which I do use a lot. For a dibber I use an old pencil and an even older finger. Spades, forks etc we’ve had for years, my bent ‘Neverbend’ fork was replaced but the new one bent too so I just get on with it. I have a bamboo lawn rake which is good for leaves and also for getting pond weed out. And I do have a good pair of secateurs and snips which I wouldn’t be without. But definitely no upside down tomato planters! :D
    One thing I really would like is a hand fork that doesn’t bend or break. The tines on mine are all over the place so I would appreciate any recommendations.

  9. I have a short length of 38mm plastic waste pipe this is great for making holes for leaks, just pulls out a plug of soil clean as a whistle.

  10. roly says:

    not being a gadget buyer myself i can’t remember when i bought my last gadget or tool most of my tools are either hand me downs or acquired from the recycle shop my wife bought me a stainless steel spade i think i used it once or twice i prefer my old tools although someone bought me a pointed spade what i call a drainage tool its very good for post holes and making holes

    as for your never bend fork Magz why don’t you try a builders merchants say Jewsons i don’t know what your digging but the forks are very robust with metal handles and stronger tines

    oops!! i have to confess to buying the wife a mantis tiller also seasider that plastic pipe is well worth a try sounds a good idea

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