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Essentials for the garden shed

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basil_-_potting_bench.jpgGarden sheds all over the country are going through a revival, gone are the days when only the tin shed types prevailed. Nowadays garden sheds can be anything from an old packing crate, to recycled wardrobes and water tanks to the fancy new purpose built wooden ones that contain everything including the kitchen sink.

It does not matter what your garden shed looks like, what’s important is what it contains.
Whether it is big or small, all garden sheds require a few essentials to ensure a bumper crop. With Christmas looming some may be asking what would you like this year, a few items for the garden shed may be just the answer.

The Essentials

Potting bench

A strong and sturdy bench or table is a vital component for a garden shed. Old doors, picnic tables, ironing boards or up turned drums all work well as a garden work surface. Sowing seeds and potting up is always easiest and more enjoyable when done at waist height.

tools_-_well_organised.jpgTool kit

Well-kept tools will last for years, if well looked after they can be passed down from one generation to the next. Fork, rake, trowel, spade are all required for planting and digging. Secateurs, craft knife and a string line are essential too, wheelbarrow, watering can and gloves complete the list.

dsc00294.jpgFerts and dirts

Ferts - No good garden can thrive without the right ingredients. Ferts (fertilisers) are the backbone of any successful garden. Ensure you always have on hand the four most important fertilisers. Nitrophoska Blue compound fertiliser for rapid, sustained  growth in vegetables, fruits and ornamentals, Tui General Fertiliser to boost soil nutrients and trace elements , Tui Lawn Fertiliser for lawns and Tui Eco-Fert soluble fertiliser for pots and containers.
Dirts include everything from compost and garden mix to container mixes and seed raising mix. Tui Vegetable Mix is perfect for growing all vegetables in, use it in containers or raised gardens. Using this mix means, you do not need to add any extras into the soil as it has all included in the one potting mix. It’s so versatile you can even plant veggies such as lettuces, broccoli and cabbages straight into the bag, and without delay as it wont burn roots.

trowels_are_very_handy.jpgBorder patrol

Prevention is always the best form of plant protection. Slugs and snails can test the patience of any gardener. Lay Quash slug and snail pellets around all seedlings at planting time and regularly until harvest to ensure what you munch don’t crunch. As an alternative grow crops under Haxnicks grow tunnels or cloches.  Pests can’t penetrate these protective layers keeping vegetables fresh and intact.

Read all about it

Ensure you have at least one good garden reference book, for the veggie garden seek out The Tui NZ Vegetable Garden.  This easy to understand book takes you through each process from sowing seeds and planting, to growing and harvest. The plastic cover of this book makes it a robust companion to live in the garden shed.

dsc00247.jpgWater control

Water is a vital ingredient in the garden. Veggie gardens will struggle to flourish without regular supplies of fresh water. Morning watering is ideal, it’s not a good idea to water plants in the evening, this can cause disease problems; hence the golden rule never put your garden to bed wet. Add Saturaid to the soil to help it hold onto more moisture, this product has super powers as it quickly enables dry soils to hold onto water again.

Crowd watch -  weeds

Ensure you always have always have time to pull weeds or have some weed spray in the garden shed to deal with unwanted plants around your gardens. Spray or weed as soon as you notice the weeds growing. 

carrot_planter.jpgPlanters and Pots

If space is at a premium in your garden, vegetable planters are the perfect way to economically increase your growing area. Potato, tomato, strawberry and herb planters are widely. New this season are the carrot, space saver and cane planters from Haxnicks, these will be a welcome addition to any garden and can be stored in the shed during winter months.  With Christmas approaching, they are a brilliant gift idea for that gardener who has everything.

Seat or bench.

It is well recognised that a comfy seat or chair placed in your garden shed or green house aids to the well-being of both the garden and the gardener. Select something comfy to rest the limbs and to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Happy gardening!

By Rachel Vogan