What’s The Difference: Dibbler vs Bulb Planter

August 19th, 2021

 TOOL TIME

What's the Difference?

Dibbler or dibber vs bulbs planter

Ever wondered if there’s a difference between two garden products, tools or ways of doing something? Tool time will look at some of these differences over the next few months.

  • Today, it’s about the difference between a tool that’s used to mainly plant bulbs.
  • Planting bulbs is a lot of fun, but can quickly turn into a chore if you have quite a few different bulbs that need to go into the garden.
  • Just imagine planting out the scene pictured, at Keukenhoff in the Netherlands.
  • Every type of bulb will have a preferred depth and spacing so to get it right you will need a special tool.
  • This is where those bulb planters of plant dibbers come in handy.
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Dibbers are those carrot shaped bits of wood with a pointy end, that are used to poke holes in soil.

They will have graduated markings showing depth and sometimes have a metal tip.

Some come with a T-shaped handle, others just a rounded knob at the top.

Dibbers are great for quickly planting up lots of small bulbs, seeds and transplanting seedlings.

Bulb planters are mainly for bulbs, big ones and little ones, but especially big ones.

  • This is a heavy duty implement that acts much like an apple corer with either a short or long handle. Bulb planters have the ability to push through hard soil because of their serrated edge and also have a spring-loaded handle that dumps the ‘core’ of soil you pushed through. 
  • This also makes it a handy tool for digging out bulbous weeds such as oxalis and onion weed, and it can be used to planting small seedlings and tubestock, too.
  • Depth markings are along the side taking the guesswork out of planting.  

High quality carbon steel ones will keep their edges sharp and not get coated with rust if you are forgetful about cleaning your garden tools.

Let’s find out more: I'm talking with Tony Mattson, General Manager from www.cutobovetools.com.au

 

Real World Gardener Why Have Leaf Blowers in Tool Time

June 25th, 2021

 TOOL TIME

Blower Vacs: Leaf Blowers: You Know You Hate them.

For many years I resisted buying a blower or blower vac because not only the noise emitted by these devices is deafening, but I felt that sweeping leaves would be more productive, not to mention quiet.

 
You can just imagine the 'swoosh, swoosh' of the rake as it sweeps up piles of leaves.  
But do you find raking leaves instead of blowing them therapeutic or just a chore?  
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On the other hand and let’s face it, you’ve probably seen so many instances of people, not necessarily gardeners, just blowing their leaves out into the street so that there neighbours get the leaves with the next guest of wind.

That kind of behaviour has given leaf blowers a bad rap.
Sure you're exercising more than using an electrical or petrol driven device, but is it really the best way to use up your valuable time instead of the multitude of garden tasks?

Apart from the noise, is that all there is to leaf blowers and blower vacs?
Straight blowers can be hand held or back packs as seen by commercial operators.

  • Battery operated leaf blowers can be as light as 2.5kgs which makes them very light to use.
  • When buying a leaf blowers, consider how much air volume and air speed you might want for your purchase.
  • Perhaps you want a blower vac, that sucks up the leaves and gets mulched by the impeller inside the bag.
  • The leaves get chopped up, not always that finely, but still you get a reduction in the amount of leaf matter that gets sucked up.A good average amount of leaf reduction is 5 bags to 1 bag.
Well how things change.
I admit to having used a blower vac to vacuum up leaves on hard surfaces and to some extent in garden beds.

I love the fact that leaves are mulched up and can be put straight onto the compost pile.

PPE and Safety
To use blowers and blower vacs always use right protective:gear-ear muffs or ear plugs, and safety glasses, gloves, strong shoes, full length trousers or overalls and long sleeves.

Listen to the podcast

I'm talkingTony Mattson, general manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

If you have any questions about blower vacs or have some feedback, why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com

Real World Gardener Topiary and Topiary Tools in Tool Time

March 9th, 2021

 TOOL TIME

Topiary Shears

During the warmer months of the year, your garden can start looking like a jungle because it’s growing so fast.
More so because of la nina bring welcoming rains to drench the parched soil.
What things can you do in the garden to tame it somewhat other than a short back and sides?
Have you thought of a bit of topiary?

You don't have to go all out and doing something like in this photo, although it is rather nice.
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You could just do a few simple balls on a stick instead. 

But what tools help you do the job properly?
Let’s find out what needs doing

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I'm talking with Tony Mattson general manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au
Normally you need to do the trimming fairly regularly and you're trimming the newer growth. 

Older wood may need a nip with secateurs.
  • The single handed topiary shears are great for small jobs such as perfecting that topiary ball. Topiary shears are similar to sheep sheers. (pictured
  • Two handed topiary shears are a lightweight hedge shear usually weighing less than 1 kg. 
  • The blades are straight and vary between 20-25cm (8-10 inches) in length.
  • There's also battery operated one handed shears.
Starting your own topiary from scratch like the balls in the photo,  you need to choose the right type of plant that responds well to topiary. 

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Think buxus species, lilly pillies, or the common myrtle,  (Myrtus communis) are great starting points to kick off your topiary garden.
Between each trim, step back and look at how you are progressing so it ends up symmetrical.  

If you have any questions either for me or for Tony you can email us Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

Real World Gardener New Garden Hoses in Tool Time

September 27th, 2020

 TOOL TIME 

Garden Hoses: New Hoses on the Market

Watering your garden by hand in the warmer months is usually a relaxing pleasure unless of course you’re fighting with a cranky hose.

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Hoses don’t last forever, and when they start to show signs of wear, you may find yourself getting frustrated every time the hose kinks and stops the flow of water.
So what’s new in hoses if you need an update?
Some are made of vinyl, some are made of rubber, some have reinforcement, some are expanding, and others advertise as being kink free and even made of steel
Which one do you choose?
Let’s find out.

That was Tony Mattson, general manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au
Tony’s tip, is ‘buy what you can afford, and don’t just go for the cheapest.

  • You want it to last a minimum of 5 to 10 years

Hoses have a hard life out in the sun, or frost in some cases so don’t expect too much from your hose after 5-10 years.

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  • Check the distance from the hose to the furthest point you want to water. Longer is not better because it's heavy to move around.
  • Consider how long should you have a hose. Tony says most people overestimate how much hose length that they need.
  • The diameter is 1/2 inch or 12.5mm. A nursery would traditionally use a 19mm diameter hose.
Materials of hoses: kink ratings are not connected to any standard. A bit of marketing goes into the rating most likely.
A totally kinking hose may be made totally of  rubber.
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Then store it in loops not small circles.

  • When you first get a hose, lay it out in the sun to straighten it out.
It may just be time for a replacement.
If you have questions about hoses or have information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write to 2rrr PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

 

 

VEGETABLE HEROES

Real World Gardener Tips on choosing Pruning Tools in Tool Time

August 26th, 2020

 TOOL TIME

Tips on Choosing Tools

You might think you have all the garden tools you need in your shed right now, but there’s always lighter, and more ergonomic garden tools that are being released on the market that might make your job a lot easier.

Here I am talking with Tony Mattson
 

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Or you may be thinking of upgrading some of your pruning tools. 
So how do you choose which one is best? 
Let’s find out.. 
I'm talking with General Manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au
Checklist #1

Tony’s tip is “buy what you can afford, rather than going for just the cheapest.” 
Another tip: if you do a lot of gardening, then buy something is a bit more heavy duty. 

But more heavy duty does not mean the bigger the better.
sometimes, all you need is something that fits snugly into your hand,  
  • Also ‘Try before you buy” is the mantra

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Checklist point #2

Another point in the checklist is reach.
Two feet on the ground is better that going up a ladder when it comes to pruning.
Think about extendable poles for that extra reach.
Many pruning tool are now much lighter and holding those tools with extendable handles is much easier.
Checklist point #3
Are there spares available for the tools that you want to purchase?
Are the spares more expensive than the tool itself?
Checklist point #4
Warranty covers poor workmanship or poor assembly or poor parts that go into making the garden tool.
The warranty does not cover the chips or blunting you get from heavy pruning. Tony calls these consumables, like ordinary wear and tear on any piece of equipment.
If you have questions for Tony about pruning tools or have information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write 

 2rrr PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener New Garden Rakes in Tool Time

March 3rd, 2020

TOOL TIME

Garden Rakes
Garden rakes have got to be one of the many of the must have tools in a garden shed. 
But like the old successful tv ad about engine oils where they said, oils aint oils, the same applies to garden rakes. 
There’s no one formula that suits all garden situations, but some are more flexible than others, 
Let’s find out more. 
I'm talking with Tony Mattson of www.cutabovetools.com.au 

Do you hate raking the leaves because your garden rake catches on everything aor is heavy so the job is tiring?

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  • Believe me when I say, that once you find the right garden rake, one that is light, adjustable, with tines that seem to scoop up leaves without too much effort, then happy days.

The rake with the adjustable fan width and handle height seems to be the most versatile of rakes and would be a great addition to the tools in the garden shed. 

Tony mention that out of the plastic rakes, Polyamide nylon and high impact nylon will last a lot longer but of course will cost a bit more. 
There is also specific rakes for dethatching lawn, or raking up gravel or spreading soil.
These are all different to the rakes that are for raking leaves. 
Why is it that gardens seem to have lots of leaves?
If you want to know more or if you have any questions about garden rakes, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.
 

Real World Gardener NEW Pruning Saws in Tool Time

November 21st, 2019

PRUNING SAWS 

There comes a point in your pruning when secateurs, and loppers just won’t do the job.

Do you strain, grit your teeth and pull faces when cutting large branches in your garden that your garden loppers can’t handle?

Let’s face it, the size of the branch is too big but not big enough to call an arborist, so what do you do?     

Get a pruning saw and here’s why.

Let’s find out. 

I'm talking with Tony Mattson General Manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

 

There are two main types of pruning saws and both have different purposes for different types of cutting.

  • Folding saw is typically straight and limited in length of blade-usually up to 200mm
  • Fix pruning saw is curved and used for branches that are greater in diameter than 200mm.

 The pruning saw blade is made as a metal blank and the teeth are then machined into the metal.

The metal is then hardened so they don't wear and chrome plated so they don't rust.

Chrome plating will wear off eventually, ( faster on cheaper blades,) so it's important to clean the blade after use and oil the blade with light machine oil.

Tony prefers not to use vegetable oil because it leaves a sticky residue.

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Did you know that pruning saws have less teeth than most woodsaws?

The other difference is that the teeth on pruning saws are larger and sharper, making the job of cutting tree branches easier.

 

Tony’s Rule: the length of the pruning saw blade determines how big a branch you can cut. Half the length of the blade, is the maximum size of branch that you can cut.

Tony also recommends that , if the chrome coating has worn off, oil your blade after you have used and cleaned it.

If you have any questions for me or for Tony, why not write in to Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Battery Operated Tools part 2 in Tool Time

October 12th, 2019

TOOL TIME

Battery Operated Garden Tools part 2

Last week, part 1 of the topic of battery operated garden tools was aired because there was so much to be said about them.

This week, it’s part 2 with a brief summary of what points that were touched on in part 1.

So, the new wave of garden tools are battery operated.

Let’s get into the topic

I'm talking with Tony Mattson, general manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

Batteries for garden tools can be purchased as 3, 4, 5, and 6 Amp Hours.

How long the battery lasts depends on which garden equipment you are using and how much load you will be putting on that particular piece of equipment.

It's advisable to buy two batteries at the initial purchase so that one can be charging while you are using the other.

Typically, recharging batteries takes between 30 - 45 minutes.

TIP: batteries aren't interchangeable between brands.

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Battery operated lawnmowers don't leave a tread.

Make your brand selection based on the range of equipment that meets your needs.

Battery powered tools are easier to start, lighter, have no petrol smell, and best of all are much quieter and cheaper to run.

If you're wondering whether or not a battery operated lawnmower will cut through buffalo or kikuyu lawns. Tony says, no problem at all, and no tread marks on the lawn because the lawnmower is so much lighter.

If you have any questions for me or for Tony, why not write in to Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Battery Operated Garden Tools in Tool Time part 1

October 3rd, 2019

TOOL TIME

Battery Operated Tools part 1

 

Have you ever cut through the electric cord of your electric hedge trimmer?

I know I have. Thank goodness for the safety cut off.

They may be light than petrol powered hedge trimmers, but apart from the risk of cutting through the cord, there’s the meters and metres of cord that you may have to run.

Especially if you have a long back yard and need to get to a hedge.

So what’s the alternative? 

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Battery powered edger

I'm talking with Tony Mattson, general manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

Lithium ion batteries for battery operated garden tools now have now no memory so they don’t have to be fully discharged before charging again. The power tools themselves are so much lighter.

The big tip is how much gardening do you need to do with the tools?

Base it on amp hours.

4 amp hours will go for 25% longer than 3 amp hours and 5 amp hours will go 50% longer than e amp hours.

 

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Battery lawnmower

But the cost increases on the batteries also. 

Important Tip: The batteries are not interchangeable between brands, so make your selection based on the range of tools that you need for your garden. If the brand you like doesn't have everything you need, as well as spare parts, choose another, but reputable brand.

If you have any questions for me or for Tony, why not write in to Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Join A Garden Club

August 8th, 2019

TOOL TIME

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Plant Cuttings

Why Join A Garden Club?

Joining a garden club may sound a bit off topic for the tool time segment.

However, General Manager of cut above tools, Tony Mattson has given his fair share of gardening talks and has some insights to share about what the benefits are of joining.

Let’s find out. I'm talking with Tony Mattson, general manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

 

Great reasons to join a garden club include

  • Share your gardening knowledge or gain knowledge from plant experts that may be in the club.
  • Pruning tips for your area.
  • Swap seedlings
  • Cutting table and plants for sale, usually for a few dollars each.
  • Homemade refreshments at the end of the night.
  • Excursions to gardens or gardening events such as Floriade or MIFGS (Melbourne Internation Flower Show.)

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    Sei-Sei Tei Show Garden MIFGS

If you look up garden clubs of Australia website, https://gardenclubs.org.au/

you will find your nearest garden club.

For example I looked up what garden club was near TANK fm in Kempsey. Turns out there’s a garden club very close, South West Rocks and District Garden Club Inc, that meets every 2nd Monday 10am.

Very few of the garden clubs have a website but there’s always a phone number, so go on, give it a go. You’ve got nothing to lose and plenty to gain.

If you have any questions for me or for Tony, email us at rea.worldgardener@gmail.com.

Or you can write in to 2RRR PO Box 644, Gladesville NSW

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