Now in its 90th year, Lasher Tools is the country’s only manufacturer of quality hand tools, which means that when you support Lasher, you’re supporting the local economy. As part of its birthday celebrations, Lasher is offering Edgars Club readers nine tips a month for nine months, with advice on gardening, home hacks, maintenance and more. Whatever your gardening or DIY requirements, Lasher has a tough, reliable tool to get the job done right. This month we look at nine hacks to grow a glorious garden.
An easy way to maintain a neat and seasonal floral border to a garden path or pavement is to take small-to-medium plastic pots and place them at equal distances along the edge of your path or paving. Grab our hardy, long-handled hand trowel and dig holes that are deep enough to accommodate the pots so that the top of the pot falls about 5mm below the surface of the soil. You now have a permanent container in which to place fresh, seasonal flowers. When you are ready to update the look and feel of your border, simply replace your plant with another.
When it comes to snail control, keep it natural
When next you brew yourself a pot of coffee or quick espresso, save the coffee grounds and scatter them around your precious plants to deter slugs and snails. These molluscs can also be kept at bay by throwing crushed egg shells around the base of your plants. The sharp edges make it difficult for slugs and snails to move over them, and an added advantage is that the shells will give your soil a calcium boost.
Make the most of autumn leaves
Aside from providing piles of crackling good fun, a freshly-raked heap of autumn leaves can be put to good use. For starters, you can pack the leaves into heavy duty black bin bags and instead of dumping them, rather store them in a dark place for about a year, by which time they would have broken down into a rich mulch. Brightly coloured leaves can also provide hours of crafting entertainment for your children. Press the leaves by placing them between the pages of a heavy book and leave for a couple of weeks. Once pressed, your kids can create bright leaf collages or decorate the leaves with glitter pens and paint.
Say cheers to fresh flowers
By growing flowers like sweet peas, lilies, sunflowers and roses, you can ensure that your house is continually filled with fresh cut flowers. Use our secateurs to cut the stems at an angle, which allows a larger surface for the stems to absorb water. Add a few drops of vodka to your vase water to kill off any bacteria and a teaspoon of sugar to feed the flowers.
Secateurs are an essential tool in any gardener’s arsenal. Use them to cut fresh flowers or to prune your shrubs.
Keep your tools in ship sharp shape
We are extremely proud of the durability of our high-quality tools, but to extend their lifespan even further, it’s important to look after them properly, which is why we love this simple and effective hack to keep your smaller hand tools clean and sharp. Simply mix mineral oil into course-grained sand and place it in a medium-sized terracotta pot. To store your scrapers, garden spades, forks and secateurs, store by digging the blade/fork end into the soil. The abrasive action of the sand against the metal every time you store or remove your tools will not only clean your tools but also help to keep them sharp.
Attract butterflies to your garden
Aside from adding beauty to your outdoor environment, butterflies are important because they pollinate your flowers. It’s easy to attract these gorgeous insects to your backyard with a simple feeder. Sterilise a glass jar by running it through your dishwasher or placing it in a pot of boiling water and allowing it to soak for a few minutes. Use any one of our hammers to knock a hole into the metal lid with a thick nail. Cut a lengthwise strip of foam and use the nail to help you feed the sponge into the hole, leaving about three centimeters of sponge extending from both sides. Fill the jar with butterfly nectar (available from your local nursery) and fix the bottle to a branch, making sure the lid side is facing down.
Make a cheap vegetable planter
One of the easiest ways to create a vegetable planter is to simply take a bag of potting soil and cut a 5cm slit in one direction. Then cut 5cm in the other direction to form a cross. Continue cutting crosses at equal distances apart and plant your vegetable seedlings in the slits. Water as usual.
Make an organic pesticide
To make an effective pesticide, which won’t damage the environment, take half a cup of chilli and half a cup of garlic and blend to a smooth consistency in a blender. Add double the amount of water and pour the mixture into a container. Place the container in a sunny spot and allow the mixture to seep for 48 hours. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove any vegetable matter. Pour the mix into a squirt bottle and spray your plants about once a week.
An easy way to store your Lasher tools
To keep your long-handled Lasher tools, like rakes, spades and garden forks, neatly stored, buy a length of PVC piping that is wide enough to accommodate the handles of your tools. Cut the piping into 10 to 15cm strips and cut the top end of each piece at a 45-degree angle to allow you to easily drill a hole. Fix the piping to your wall and slot the handles of the tools into the piping for neat storage.
Lasher wishes you many years of happy gardening and watch this space for more exciting gardening and home tips and tricks.
Get your garden going
Edgars Club members can save up to 10% on Lasher Tools at Jack’s Paint and Hardware. Simply show them your Edgars card at the till.
Ts & Cs Apply.