There are many kinds of garden tools and equipment, implements and other accessories required for various operations and uses. The most commonly used ones are described below.
Land Measurement and Preparation:
The ordinary measuring tape of cloth or metal is used for measurements. Nylon or hessian ropes of varying thickness as desired are useful for marking areas or rows. Digging of small beds or garden area can be done with the help of spade, shovel and fork. Bullock drawn plough, small or big garden tractors or hand drawn tillers or tractors having rotary discs or cultivators may be required for ploughing large or small garden areas. There are also hand drawn cultivators like Planet Junior which are ideal for small areas.
Seed Sowing and Raising Seedlings:
Generally seeds are sown in earthen pots and pans or wooden seed trays (4.5 cm x 35 cm x 7.5 cm). Nowadays plastic trays of similar dimensions are also available which can be used for this purpose. Polythene sheets or glass sheets and old newspaper sheets are required for covering seed trays or pots after sowing. When a large area is to be sown, hand drawn seed drills may be useful particularly for sowing long rows of sweet peas, nasturtium and others which have bold seeds. In foreign countries, Jiffy pots, plugs, protrays, plug-trays, styrofoam sowing trays and small plastic thumb pots or netted pots are used for seed sowing, and raising seedlings and for propagation of plants by cuttings or suckers.
Weeding and Hoeing:
There are many types of implements used for weeding and hoeing which are known by various names in different languages. Hand rake and hand fork with long wooden handles are more convenient to use than the conventional tools. Sickle or scythe may be used f or weeds or removing or cutting tall grass
Planting and Transplanting:
A small dibbler and trowel are required for planting seedlings. For planting tree saplings large pits can be dug conveniently with the help of an auger.
Planting and Rooting Media:
Soil, leaf-mould, cow manure, vermiculite, perlite, peat, sand, gravel, coconut fibre and sphagnum moss can be used as per requirement. The constituents of potting medium or rotting medium will depend upon the plant species.
Pruning and Trimming:
Secateurs, pruning knife and pruning shears are used for pruning and trimming or cutting hedges. Pruning of trees and large woody shrubs can be done by tree pruner and pruning saw.
The tools and other items required for propagation are budding knife, polythene tape, raffia, grafting wax and sphagnum moss. For large scalepropagation mist system may be installed. Nowadays commercial propagation of ornamental plants is done by tissue culture in labora-tories, details of which can be had from the companies dealing in it.
Watering of pots is done by a water can or by a hose pipe of rubber or polythene fitted with a nozzle. One can also water the pots with the help of a bucket and a mug when there are only few pots. Sprinklers may be useful for irrigation lawns or large beds/areas. In the areas that have water shortage, drip system is often recommended, particularly for irrigating in orchards and for pots in greenhouses.
Details of sprinkler and drip irrigation systems are available from the companies ling in these items.
Plant Protection Equipment:
There are many kinds of equipment for spraying and dusting pesticides Several types of sprayers, like knapsack sprayer, H.C. sprayer, hand i sprayer, pneumatic hand sprayer (one liter capacity), and mist sprayer of plastic or metal (one liter capacity). Big power sprayers are used for spraying large areas. Similarly power dusting machines are also available besides the small manually operated dusting machines. It is necessary to use apron, rubber hand gloves, mask and rubber boots while spraying or dusting pesticides. Weighing balance, measuring cylinders and graduated buckets and mug are required for weighing or measuring the chemicals/pesticides.
Hand-drawn lawn mower can be used for mowing small lawns while bullock-drawn and power-operated ones are used for large areas. Lawn mowers have rollers attached to them which roll the grass while mowing. Sometimes big rollers are separately used for large turf areas. The edges of a lawn can be trimmed and kept clean with the help of edging shears
Training of plants:
Many kinds of house plants like Philodendron, Monstera, Scindapsus and synigonium etc. growing in pots are trained on moss sticks. The moss sticks of varying sizes and thickness are available in nurseries or garden centers/shops. Climbing plants may be trained on wire or galvanized tubes, wangle iron or wood.
Pots and Containers:
Plants can be grown in pots or containers made of terracotta, ceramic, plastic or cement of various shapes and sizes. Metal drums may also be used for growing plants. Baskets of galvanized wire, wood, earthenware, bamboo or plastic may be required for growing hanging, trailing or cascade plants. Bonsai plants are grown in small attractive shallow trays of round, rectangular, square or oval shape made of terracotta or ceramic. Orchids are grown on wood bark/log or blocks, while terrestrial species can be planted in pots.
Pots with plants are kept in attractive planters which are made of wood, reed, bamboo, ceramic, brass, copper or fiberglass. There is a wide choice of shapes and sizes of planters. It is always a good practice to keep a platter below a pot so that the extra water dripping from the bottom holes of the pot does not spoil the floor or carpet.
For flower arrangement, terracotta, ceramic, glass, metal or bamboo vases of various shapes and sizes are used commonly. Flowers are also arranged in baskets of cane, bamboo or reed with or without a handle.
Fertilizers, pesticides, weedicides, plant growth regulators (gibberellic acid, malic hydrazide, cycocel or CCC, B-nine, Phosfon D. etc.), rooting hormones (NAA, IBA, Seradix, Arodix etc.), cut lower preservative or food, the proprietary products now available in the market, are commonly used in gardening.
Ornamental foliage plants and those plants which require partial-shade are best grown in an area covered with shade cloth or net. The shade cloth is a knitted nylon/plastic cloth which is available in different grades depending upon the percentage of light cut off by them, such as, 40 percent 50 percent or 80 percent. The shading net is also useful for covering nursery area where seedlings are grown in wooden boxes or raised beds.
A low semi-circular tunnel is made with the help of galvanized wire (6 gauge) covered with fine mesh (24 mesh) plastic/nylon net and tied with hessian/nylon string on top in a crisscross manner (Fig. 23.3). The wire has a loop about 15 cm above the either ends which are fixed in the ground. The central height of the semi-circular wire should be about 75 cm above the ground and the diameter of the semi-circle may be 75 cm to 90 cm according to the width of the bed.
A convenient length of the bed is generally 4.5-6 m. The nylon net is fixed over the structure from ground to ground and both the ends length-wise may be tied to a small bamboo pole about six inches high above the ground. The semi-circular wire frames placed about 60 cm apart, are tied with strings at the top, the ends of which are fixed to the same bamboo poles to which the nylon net is tied.
A string is passed through the loop in the wire over the net in a crisscross manner, so that the net is not bloom off due to strong wind. However, during rains, it is necessary to cover the tunnel with a polyethylene sheet in the same way as in case of nylon net and the polyethylene sheet cover should be folded and fixed at the top of the tunnel when there is no rain. The low tunnel is used for raising seedlings grown on raised beds and protected from strong sun and rains.