LATEST UPDATE 24th August Please click here for our online shop
Interesting to see the RHS is researching how to keep slugs and snails at bay. We did our own experiments a couple of years ago [yes, smarter people would have published it at the time!]. We found slugs won’t cross copper, no matter how tempting the treat on the other side, but snails don’t even seem to notice copper. They can be stopped, though, by a projecting edge [say, thin metal] as, although they can climb around right-angle corners, climbing over a sticking out edge seems to throw them out of balance. Not that slugs and snails have been such a problem in the dry weather!
We very much hope visitors to this site aren’t getting as much rain as we are just now, in North Cornwall. Our veg patch is half dug but nothing’s planted yet. We’ll just have to hope the plants that usually start early will catch up. The only garden tool we’re getting t use is the Sole Searcher Boot Pick.
We seem to have built up quite a lot of hessian remnants and seconds in the rag rugs part of our business [Makings] and would quite like the space it’s occupying! Therefore we’re offering a chunk of it free to anyone buying anything else and even to anyone prepared to just pay the postage. It’s 10oz ‘sacking’ hessian, ideal for lining, plant protection, mulching, etc, etc. [We’re still getting ‘not-quite-good-enough-to-sell’ hessian coming in so don’t be shy!]
We’ve just the changed the shape of our Cleat Cheat boot cleaner so that the business end will hang on a nail, rather than the lanyard through the handle that were using. We’ve had some feedback suggesting that [thank you!]. Suits us very well as it’s a bit quicker to make now so we’ve also knocked £1 off the price. It still works in exactly the same way, of course.
Thanks to everyone who’s said they like the idea of sharing tips [below]. Please keep ’em coming!
John, in Swansea, emailed in a very good point. He has a major effort towards the end of the growing season, every year, to get rid of as many slugs and snails as he can before winter in the hope he’ll reduce the chances of many surviving the cold weather. Sounds like a cunning plan and well worth trying. Thanks John. More tips
[We like to pass on any tips we’ve learned or heard [emailed suggestions always very welcome ] mostly because it’s good to share but also in a blatant attempt to get more attention for our still quite new site!] Any accompanying pics would be even more welcome.
7th May was World Naked Gardening day. Here’s a pic of two naked gardeners trying to sort out how to use a tiller fork!
Sorry, our saw blade weeder’s been a victim of it’s own success – we’re having trouble finding enough old circular saw blades at the moment. We’re looking for a better source but have to mark it ‘out of stock’ in the meantime.
We have plans for more youtube videos and picture soon [and have had for a while]. Now it’s not consatntly raining there’s no excuse not to get on with it!
Just added another new product: a saw blade weeder.
It’s pretty much what it sounds like – a root lifting weeder we make out of old circular saw blades.
Apart from the benefit of re-using the hardened steel is tougher than old boots! [Sorry, at the moment we’re struggling to find enough old saw blades so have had to take it off sale for a while].
We’re hoping we’ve done a smart thing: we’ve got hold of some woven poly rubble sacks that have been misprinted at half the usual price and are passing on the saving. They’re 75cm x 50cm and only £2.50 for 5!
All our online shop payments are still processed through our longstanding Makings Paypal account.
We can now accept payment over the phone.
Just uploaded a new video [using a Tiller Fork on freshly dug soil]. The soil was fairly dry but had loads of weed roots in it.
We now have the first of our freebies [yes, there should be more to come]. We’re making big plant row labels [320mm – 13″] out of the offcuts from making our beech handles. They’re ideal to write on with a permanent marker. We’re giving them away FREE in bundles of ten and if bought with something else the postage is already covered. Item 6 in our online shop We guarantee all our tools for life and offer a money back promise, if not satisfied, as we’ve always done with our rag rug tools.
Sorry or the delay in getting our two latest products ready [after saying ‘we’re getting our act together’ too!]. The two tools are now ready and included in our online shop though there’s still more info to come. Our only excuse is we’ve had a distraction – we’ve just collected Blue Cross re-home dogs Shep & Olly. They’re a lovely pair of dogs! [Ivy Pry & Soil Scribe are almost ready in spite of all the excitement].
Thanks very much to everyone who’s sent kind remarks and good wishes, we really appreciate it. The answer to the questions about stocks is: yes, we do have all three products in hand – we’re still feeling our way but just about keeping up with demand and expect to be making everything more efficiently as we get into the swing of it.
Please check out our youtube video showing our tiller fork in action – https://youtu.be/uJben9hU74o – please take a look. Hope you like as much as the white rabbit in the background did! Also new – our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Pengardentools-797658187010221/timeline/?ref=hl
We now have our online shop live. It’s still a work in progress but it should very soon look more like it’s meant to [we’re tool makers rather than website designers but we work hard!]. Please note: although we ship our rag rug tools from makings.co.uk all around the world we’re only able to send our garden tools to the UK at the moment. Please check again soon for updates on this.
This new site is being set up by the people at Makings [Home of UK rag rug making] and will be devoted to our unique, patent applied for, garden tools that we hand make here in Cornwall – they’re all made from stainless steel with beech handles. We’ve been making our unique rag rug tools, including the old favourite rag rugger, for over 20 years but we’re also gardening enthusiasts and now we’re combining our passion for making tools and growing veg. At the moment it’s a work in progress, there’ll be a lot more here soon. Please visit again.
A near neighbour, Les, says sprinkling a little table salt in the trench when planting potatoes keeps wireworm away. He didn’t say whether it improved the taste as well, though.
We’ve been using chicken wire instead of sticks to support our peas for several years; one temporary fence with peas planted on either side or the fence running East/West with peas planted on North side only [so they grow into the wire. It’s worked so far!
Betty, in Wales, has told us her wet garden is plagued by horsetails [sometimes called puzzlegrass]. She’s given up using the usual weedkillers but has discovered compost accelerator does the job very well.
Jon, from Exeter, says he gets trouble with his knees when doing garden jobs that involve stooping and getting up again and, especially, when digging. So he wears patella supports [he got from a sports shop] and reckons they make a huge difference. It might not be a ‘handy’ tip but it’s a good idea.
Chris, in Carlilse, has a tasty idea! He plants ‘sacrificial’ radishes near any plant he particularly wants to protect to draw slugs and snails away. He says he’s yet to find any plant the pests prefer or comes up faster than radishes. He puts slug pellets amongst the radishes but there’s plenty of other ways to finish them off.
Jenny, who lives near Barnstaple, says she digs fallen leaves from trees into her veg patch, rather than burn them, and finds they break down into free fertiliser by spring. Sounds like a perfect plan if you don’t mind the digging!
Mark, who has an allotment in Isleworth, sent us this ‘anti-tip’. Apparently he’d heard a barrier of coffee grounds stops slugs and snails from crossing so he’s been saving grounds up in a bucket in poly tunnel. It seems, far from being repelled, the slimy varmints get into the bucket and use the grounds as a dance floor! He says they left trails everywhere. That was last autumn, this year he’s trying something else.
Janis, from Ramsgate, says ‘Well known high street coffee shops (eg Starbucks, Costa Coffee) now happily donate their waste coffee grounds to anyone who wants them.’ Guess you sill have to pay for the coffee and muffin, though.
Mike, in Stoke, says he always cleans his greenhouse glass in spring to let more light through. Apparently he has two greenhouses and last year only cleaned the glass of one which was then noticeably warmer than the other on sunny days. Definitely a hot tip!
John, in Swansea, emailed in a very good point. He has a major effort towards the end of the growing season, every year, to get rid of as many slugs and snails as he can before winter in the hope he’ll reduce the chances of many surviving the cold weather. Sounds like a cunning plan and well worth trying. Thanks John.
We’d love to hear what you think about our new tools and would be grateful for any emails to firstname.lastname@example.org