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Other equipment – Part 1

There are a few other items you might find necessary before you have been at the gardening game for long:

Watering Can: A watering can is a must for watering small seedlings and new plants. Watering cans usually come in a range of capacities up to about 2 gallons (10 litres) — how large a one you buy will depend on how much you feel like carrying at a time — a gallon of water weighs 10 lbs (a litre weighs 1 kg) – but you can always half-fill a big one. Nowadays, watering cans are usually made of plastic, but metal ones are still available. You can buy fine ‘roses’ (the attachment at the end of the spout through which the water sprinkles) and coarse ones, your choice will depend on whether you want fine drops for small plants and seeds or big ones for more mature things, and other attachments, like weed applicators.

Hose: A hose can make watering a lot easier, especially if it has some form of sprinkler attached. Buy a kink-proof, reinforced one; it is more expensive, but worth it. A retractable hose reel is now available. Although pricey, it takes all the hard work out of unwinding and rewinding the hose.

Sprayer:A sprayer is needed for spraying plants with pesticides, fungicides and foliar feeds. Sprayers can be of several designs. The smallest is a hand trigger-operated model, usually holding about a pint (around half a litre). The largest are the knapsack ones used by professionals and can contain several gallons. They are quite expensive and when filled are very heavy, so they are not really suitable for any but the biggest gardens. In between these two are a range of models usually worked with compressed air pumped in by a pressurizing mechanism screwed into the top, liquid being forced out along a lance and through an adjustable spray nozzle. Some sprayers work on the syringe principle, liquid being drawn up and pumped out by means of a pump barrel on the lance. Because certain chemicals have an adverse effect on the plastic of the sprayers, and because some chemicals do not combine well with others, sprayers should always be washed out well after use.

It is not a very good idea to use watering cans and sprayers for weedkillers unless they are kept and used for this purpose alone. However, if you cannot readily afford two watering cans and two sprayers it is possible to combine their use; but after containing weedkillers, cans and sprayers should be more than thoroughly washed out with hot water and strong detergent, followed by copious rinsing with hot and then cold water.

 

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