Maintenance Advice for Your Garden Tools

trowel_pic_of_102sFor gardening, one needs a specific set of tools. Almost every task related to the garden such as digging, pruning, and mulching needs specific tools. A trowel is one of the most important and versatile gardening tools.

Trowels are used in masonry and archaeology as well as gardening, though their specifics differ.

For instance, the gardener’s trowel is a little heavier than that used by other disciplines. The trowel basically features a wooden or plastic handle and a sharp metallic blade. The blade can be made up of carbon steel or stainless steel.

Other gardening tools include shovel, pitchfork, spade, rake, and hoe. Proper maintenance of such tools is necessary for any gardener.Garden Tools

Here are some essential measures for maintaining gardening tools.

Clean with a Brush: Cleanliness and hygiene are important concerns in gardening, especially when you are growing species such as hostas. Use of dirty tools can spread infections among plants, thus causing diseases that can kill the plants!

You should regularly clean your gardening tools, especially your garden trowel, shovel, and spade. Scrub the tools with a brush to remove the dirt, then rinse them with warm water.

Scrub the Wooden Part(s) with Sandpaper: The wooden parts of gardening tools, such as the handle of a trowel, can get rough when exposed to moisture for a long time. It is a good idea to scrub these parts with sandpaper after each use. Use of faulty gardening tools can adversely affect the plants in your garden, particularly species like heucheras.

Remove Rust from the Metallic Part(s): It is not advisable to use gardening tools that have rusty metallic parts. Usage of such tools is not favorable for the plants in your garden. Scrub the metallic parts of your gardening tools with a wire brush to remove the rust.

Sharpen the Tools: The metallic blade(s) of gardening tools need to be sharp. Tools such as steel trowels, shovels, and spades should be sharpened regularly. Most gardeners use a flat file to sharpen their tools.

Best Ways to Complement the Hostas in Your Garden

Hosta

Hostas with Dicentra, Heuchera, and ferns

Being one of the most popular species of perennial plants, hostas are frequently chosen for their beautiful foliage. There are multiple species of hostas differing in size, and color of foliage and flowers.

Their tolerance to shade and low maintenance needs are two other reasons that gardeners tend to choose these plants. Even if your schedule is very busy, you can usually find the time for the maintenance of hostas.

While planting hostas alone improves your garden, placing them with the right plants also can make quite the impact.  The plants accompanying hostas can complement them in such a manner that the overall look of your garden becomes show-stopping!

The following are smart ways to complement the hostas in your garden. Take a look at these!

Combine Hostas with Other Perennial Plants 

hosta_and_heuchera

Hostas and heucheras

Once you buy hostas for your garden, the next step is to determine the right spot for them. Shady areas are preferable for these plants. A common and well-known option is to combine hostas with other perennial plants such as heucheras, also known as coral bells.  Complementing the hostas with heucheras can add more visual appeal to your garden, due to their contrasting colors, leaf shapes, and sizes. You can also choose other perennial plant species such as Dicentra (bleeding heart), Brunnera, Tiarella, Astrantia, Astilbe, Helleborus, etc.

 

Hostas

Hosta mass planting

Mass Planting of Hostas

Mass planting of hostas is another way to enhance the beauty of your garden. The most attractive feature of hostas is their foliage, which gets accentuated in a beautiful manner when these plants are grown in masses. While grouping hostas together, you can combine complementary textures for an appealing look.

Useful Advice for Planting Heucheras in Containers

Coral bells are perennial plants known for their dramatically varying color of foliage. Some of the common colors include red, orange, yellow, green, purple, black, silver, and pink! The edges of the leaves of these plants can be ruffled or smooth.Heucheras

Growing coral bells in pots and containers makes them look even more appealing. These plants are shade perennials and have minimal annual maintenance.

Here are some useful points of advice while growing coral bells in pots and containers.

Choose Matching or Contrasting Containers

It is a good design idea to grow heuchera plants in containers that match or contrast with the color of their foliage. You can place these containers at entrances, near gates or doors, or near pathways. Some species of these plants have more than one color in their foliage! In some other species, the color of the foliage slightly changes every season. For such species, you can go for multicolored plant pots.

Combine Contrasting ColorsHeuchera_Georgia_Peach_8b-200x300

A mix of contrasting colors can sometimes make your garden look even more attractive. You can place two containers together, one having a heuchera plant with dark-colored foliage, and the other having the same with a light-colored foliage.

Proper Drainage

The pots or containers in which you are growing your heucheras need to have adequate number of holes for drainage. You can prevent the holes from getting clogged by using a layer of pottery rocks and shards.

Choose the Right Soil Mixture

The soil mixture is one of the most important factors while growing coral bells in a container! For heucheras, you should avoid using mixtures which have too much peat, since peat is designed to hold water and heucheras don’t like to have ‘wet feet’. It is sometimes welcome to mix a slow-release fertilizer in the soil.

Protection from Harsh Weatherheu_berry_timeless

While growing heuchera plants in containers, you also need to shield them from harsh weather conditions.

If you live in a cold region, you should bring them inside a garage or basement and cover these plants to protect their roots from the chill in winter.

If you live in a place with a hot climate, you should avoid exposing them to too much sun and extremely hot weather in summer.