Daily Archives: April 5, 2013

Unorthodox Gardening Tools – 10

Unorthodox gardening tools

“And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain…” The gardening toolbag is now cleared out, with everything explained but these two items. And that’s where it gets weird. Er.

The first one is self-explanatory. Back in the late Nineties, the pet supply company Zoo Med offered a series of terrarium cleaning and sanitizing solutions, and the only one still produced is Wipe Out 1. That works beautifully, because that’s the only one I still need to use. This stays on hand not just for cleaning terrarium glass, but also for sanitizing terrarium tools, minimizing the risk of spreading potentially harmful bacteria or molds to new plants. One good spray usually does it, especially for wood or stone where you don’t really know where it came from, and you don’t want it spreading something potentially nasty.

And then there’s the cork. Yes, it’s a standard champagne cork. Old-time terrarium designers swear by the merits of a cork on a long stick or skewer for tamping down soil in a narrow-mouth container, and it also works very well for evening out soil in very small spaces. However, my real reason is that, by having her ask “A cork? A cork in your toolbag?”, I got the Czarina to paraphrase a public service ad from 1975 that still sticks in my head after all these years:

So…any questions?

Unorthodox Gardening Tools – 9

Assorted odd tools

It’s the final stretch on this overview of odd gardening tools, and the toolkit is getting empty. As with the last few, these are tools that don’t get used on a constant basis, but whoo boy are they handy when you need them. To start, from the top:

In the case of this hook, I came across it on the side of the road while I was out on a bike ride. (I’ve come across all sorts of items and all sorts of scenes while biking to and from the Day Job. Remind me to tell you one of these days about the foreclosed McMansion, the garbage bin out front chock full of Japanese hentai porn, and the two Cat Piss Men literally shoving each other into a busy street while trying to clear out that garbage bin. As I stated before, I live an interesting life.) Apparently this is used predominately for electronics work, but you can’t tell how often you’ll need a little steel hook like this. Slipping small rubber belts for tools back into place, pulling wire loops through holes or pipes, getting a really good grip on a tree parasite…just get one, okay?

The second tool is more for those installing caulk and silicone sealer, but if you’re building terraria, this caulk wiper makes all the difference between a sloppy “you used your finger to smooth it” finish and a professional one. This particular tool works best for the wider bead of sealer used for both bathtubs and aquaria, but they come with different tips for a wider or narrower bead than this. Put down silicone sealer where you want it, bring the wiper up to even the sealer and make sure that you don’t have any gaps, and wipe off the excess. Boom.

The last one here was a bit of an enigma at first when the Czarina gave it to me. She found it in a kit of glassworking gear at an estate sale, and apparently it’s an all-in-one tool for heavy glassworking. She snorted at the dependability of an all-in-one, but for light work, it’s perfect. The hammer works in those circumstances where you don’t necessarily need a real hammer, and the various grips work for nipping, grabbing, twisting, and torquing. It’s not intended to be a replacement for appropriate tools in heavy-use circumstances, but every gardener resorting to hammering down a wayward nail with a rock can appreciate having something like this on hand.

And one more to follow…

Have A Great Weekend