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Wooden tools for gardeners.

Handy wooden tools to help with garden chores like transplanting and sowing are quick winter projects that even beginning woodworkers can manage. Surprise a gardening friend with the gift of one of these homemade items. It's bound to spend more time on the job than in the toolshed. Tools go together with scraps of wood, dowels, or molding of hardwood (oak, birch) or softwood (pine, fir). For curved cuts, use a coping, band, or saber saw; use a drill to make holes for dowels. Sand all surfaces smooth, then stain wood or leave it natural. Linseed oil applied once or twice a year protects wood from moisture (and darkens it). Two dibbles. Multipronged dibbles (above left) make planting seeds or transplanting seedlings easy and fast. The short dibble works for sixpacks, the long one for 16-inch-square flats. You'll need a 6-inch or 16-inch piece of 1-by-2, a foot or two of 1/8-inch dowel, and a 5/8-inch drill bit. For sixpacks, space three dowels 1 3/4 inches on center, starting 1 1/4 inches from each end. For flats, space eight dowels 2 inches on center, starting 1 inch from each end. Flat-bottomed tamper. When transplanting annuals into large pots, soil should be tamped down thoroughly. Otherwise, soil will settle after watering and expose the roots. You can give the tool a long or a short handle. Its diameter is flexible, too; we made ours 7 inches across to work well in both medium and large pots. To make the tamper, you'll need a 7inch length of 1-by-8, a 3-foot length (variable) of 1 -inch dowel, one 1 1/2-inch #5 woodscrew, and a drill to make a clearance hole and countersink the screw. Transplanting stick. When moving a potted plant into a larger container, it's important to pack soil into gaps to eliminate air pockets. The transplanting stick has an angled end that can push soil down into difficult-to-reach corners. You'll need a 3- to 4-foot length of 1 1/4-inch dowel (adjust height for person who will use it). For stability when cutting the end, clamp the dowel to a table. Mad scraper. For gardeners who work in clay soil, this handy scraper helps clean sticky mud off forks, shovels, and other tools. It requires a 10-inch length of 1-by-4 and a leather bootlace for the hanger.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Feb 1, 1991
Words:391
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