allotment, Blog

Gardena -Edging tools

AD- Well hello there little blog I am really sorry I’ve been so quiet on here recently, but it got the point where I realised I needed to take a step back from my allotment, social media and work to concentrate on myself and my mental health. After taking a few months off I feel like I am in a much better place and ready and raring to go for my growing season in 2020.

 
My allotment has been left alone for a good couple of months to brave the elements, I definitely have not completed my autumn to do list and to be honest I’ve barely even started it but I plan to work really hard now coming up to spring, I’m just hoping snow doesn’t put a stop on to my work. I feel like I have got some really good ideas racing around my head and its inspiring me to make this growing season my best to date.

 


Back in Spring 2019 I teamed up with Gardena to trial some of their gardening and watering tools down on my allotment. I have really enjoyed using their tools and have continued to use them on my allotment over the past year. I have a few more tools to try this time round, something I was supposed to do back in autumn but due to my health it has been put on hold until now.

 
The tools I will be using from Gardena this time are all focussed around lawns and edging, this is something that I had asked to trail as the edging on my vegetable beds is terrible. Every year I have a huge fight with couch grass creeping into my vegetable beds and suffocating some of my lovely vegetable plants, so I am trying to find an easy/low maintenance way of keeping on top of it all year round.

 
The aim for me will be to spend initially quite a bit of time edging all the beds on my allotment getting them ready for spring, in return I hope working hard edging the beds properly now will help keep the couch grass down through spring and summer and with using some of my new tools I will be able to stop it from getting into a mess again.
I approached my abandoned plot last week to try using my new tools, I have to admit I was very frightened to see what sort of state the allotment was in but nature is a beautiful thing and to be fair it looked much better than I hoped. It was a glorious sunny day with perfect blue skies so I couldn’t have asked for more splendid day to spend time at my allotment again for the first time.

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The first task for me was to mark up and edge the bed so I could make it nice and straight to cut clear straight edges. I decided to focus first on one of the smaller beds to get a feel for the tools before moving onto the bigger beds on my allotment. The first tool I used was the lawn edge trimmer that attaches to the Combisystem handle. The tool is a half-moon shape that is made of hardened steel with a sharp edge. The half-moon shape allows for ease when pushing the tool into the ground to create the edge. The tool has two foot panels so you can use one foot, or all of your body weight on the foot panels if you have any tougher ground. The Lawn edge trimmer is corrosion proof using duroplast-coated steel and comes with a 25 year warranty. The Gardena Combisystem tools fit all handles so you can inter change your tools whilst working. The great thing about the Combisystem is that it saves lots of space in your shed or storage area.

 

The tool was really easy to use and cut through the grass paths really well. With the string marking out where to cut it didn’t take long to get the edges cut and the couch grass off cuts put in my compost bins. I would say it only took around 20mins to mark up the edges and cut them making what I would have thought would have been a big job much quicker than I initially thought.

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Couch grass compost -I have a separate compost bin just for the couch grass. If you leave it for 2-4 years and the compost bin gets warm enough you can break down the couch grass without risk of re adding couch grass roots to your soil. I layer the compost bin with couch grass and then wood chip to keep the heat in the bin. I filled the bin last year to the top with couch grass and it has already broken down and is now only filling half of the compost bin.

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Next on the to do list was to try the Long handled shears. For a while now I have been on the hunt for a product that can help keep the grass short on the edges of my beds without having to rely on transporting power tools like a strimmer down to the plot every time I need it. When I visited Glee in September 2019 I visited the Gardena team on their stand and had a good look at the products. I saw the long handled grass shears and felt these were exactly what I was looking for.

 
Now the edges have been cut I got to work on cutting the grass back on the inside of the edges and the top of the edges using the shears. I thoroughly enjoyed using this product, again like all Gardena products they are simple and easy to use and have a colour coding system on the tools to show what each part does. On each Gardena product there are orange parts and all of these parts move, which makes the tools really easy to understand.

 

 
The long handled shears are a great tool for cutting lawn edges, small patches of grass and here’s a few reasons why I like the tool so much.

Ergonomic posture– the long aluminium handle enables you to cut the lawn from an upright position ensuring that I didn’t get back ache.

Convenient handling– the ergonomic shaped handle fits perfectly in your hand and helps keep the tool stable while rolling the shears and cutting.

Wheels– the wheels at the bottom of the handle near the shears, mean that you can just roll the product along the edges and cut. This saves you from holding up a normal pair of sheers that might hurt your back or become too heavy

Blade coating– the blades have a non-stick coating so when you are cutting along the edges the blades are not getting clogged up with grass.

Safe storage– There is an orange lock button on top of the product that clips and locks the shears together ready for safe storage.

Rotating Blades– By far the best bit on the product is the rotating blades, they rotate 90 degrees so not only can you cut on top of the grass edge you can with a quick turn of the blades then cut along the inside of the edge.

 

I wanted to add some before and after pictures of the bed that I completed on the allotment, you can see what a massive difference using these tools has made on this bed. The couch grass isn’t encroaching onto the beds and the clear, deep edges will make it easy to manage.


My aim is to work on all the beds in the same way completing them all within the next 4-6 weeks ready for spring. once they are all done I will continue to use the long handled shears during the year to keep the grass cut back and short hopefully then keeping on top of the awful couch grass and keeping my beds a couch grass free zone.
I have had a wonderful time trialling Gardena products and feel like I have a great set of tools to take forward keeping my plot looking good and keeping on top of the jobs I have to do. I will keep my blog updated with how the plot is looking and if I’ve managed to keep the pesky couch grass under control.

 

You can view my other Gardena blogs here
Gardena Watering tools

 

https://mylittleallotmentsite.wordpress.com/2019/08/19/watering-with-gardena/

Gardena Allotment tools https://mylittleallotmentsite.wordpress.com/2019/06/06/gardena-tools/

I would love to know what you are up to on your allotments at the moment, so please leave me a comment below.
Happy Growing
Kirsty Ward

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