Gardening is an activity that begs finding the most efficient and easy way of doing the repetitive things that must be done to keep a garden well planted, tidy and trimmed. Tools are invented and then improved upon, though gardener's tools haven't changed that much over the years. Variations are made that work better, but usually follow the tried and true way with earlier versions.
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The daisy grubber is an old gardening tool that removes weeds and unwanted plants. It has a short wooden handle with a screwdriver-like rod extending about two inches from the handle. The end of the rod is split into two tines or points. By placing the forked end at the base of a weed and pushing it into the soil through the weed's stem, the daisy grubber cuts through the stem and the weed is removed.
Shaped like a small scythe, the pruning knife has a sharp new-moon shaped blade affixed to a wood handle. The pruning knife is used to harvest herbs or fruits and vegetables. The small sickle-style pruning knife has gardening references as far back as the early 19th century, but is depicted in folk art from much earlier periods. Pruning knives from the Roman period have been found in the Mosel River Valley.
The watering can was first known as a watering pot until Lord Timothy George noted the term watering can in his gardening diary in 1692. It is a canister which holds water and distributes it through a spout. In more modern versions, the spout begins at the base of the can allowing for a smoother flow of water until empty. Some cans spray through multiple holes; others pour from a singular opening. The Haws watering can was patented in the 1880s and the handle was moved from the top position to a rounded handle at the back.
An old device for planting seeds, the seed dibble is a conical shaped tool attached to a handle. It makes the hole for the seed as the gardener plants the row of seeds. The tool has also been made without a handle, but instead has a broad end for gently pushing the earth over the newly planted seed. Some dibbles have a T-shaped handle that is more efficient for pushing into hardpan or hardened soil. These old tools can be found in old gardening books in the United Kingdom and Europe.
A tool popular in the British Isles in the early twentieth century, the corkscrew weeder is a steel open spiral with a wooden handle. The corkscrew is placed at the roots of the weed and screwed into the ground. It twists the weed moving it out of the ground. Pull and the weed comes out with the spiral weeder tool.
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