Every Greenhouse Grower Needs a Few Good Tools

A good assortment of tools arranged for convenient use can be recommended to every greenhouse gardener.

Those tools actually needed are inexpensive, and many of the most useful are homemade.

Greenhouse ToolsPin

The big thing: have them ready for handy use. In a small greenhouse without a potting shed like mine, spring clips and hooks can be fastened to a piece of plywood and set below a shelf on a glass end.

Where a large greenhouse is joined to another building, better arrangements on the large area of the back wall are possible.

Of course, if you have a work room or potting shed, storage space for tools is no problem.

Factors To Consider In Selecting Tools

The dampness of the greenhouse must always be considered in selecting tools.

Choose those made of stainless or galvanized steel and possibly copper. Electro and cadmium plating on tools are as good as nothing when resisting rust.

Aluminum isn’t good either because it disintegrates in contact with soil, especially soil that has been limed.

Cutting And Pruning Tools

A good sharp stainless steel knife is the most useful tool in the greenhouse.

It is needed for taking cuttings, pruning, and many other jobs. Then you need a good pair of shears.

Florists who use shears daily will tell you those resembling small tin snips are best. They are sturdier and better suited for all cutting and pruning jobs than scissors.

Watering And Syringing Tools

For watering and syringing, you will want the following:

  • Syringing Bulb
  • Watering can
  • Watering Hose

It is hard to find a rubber syringing bulb that is large enough. Those 10-ounce models are much too small.

Watering Cans

I would like to see a watering can that holds nearly twice as much water. A long-spouted watering can is unnecessary unless you have 4′ or 5′ foot wide plant benches.

However, it would be handy in a small greenhouse for watering plants under benches. Fine and coarse roses are needed.

Garden Hoses

At one time garden hose was fairly standard with very few kinds and types to select from. Today there is a complete selection of both plastic and rubber hose. Each kind has its advantages and it is impossible to say that one is better than the other.

No hose, plastic or rubber, will stand too much abuse and you will increase greatly its years of service with a little care. 

  • Never leave a hose in the garden under the hot summer sun, especially if it is filled with water under pressure. 
  • Keep a garden hose coiled on a rack or hose reel when not in use. 

Most important, avoid pulling a hose over sharp rocks, metal edges or other obstructions that might puncture or tear it.

A hose of light plastic will be found now in most greenhouses. Excellent! They are so easy to move about.

In a tiny greenhouse I’ve seen, the hose runs along the ridge and down from the center, where it will reach any part of the greenhouse.

A hose nozzle is not generally used in greenhouses, but I like one type very much.

It has a lever hand control for turning the water on and off instantly and a long spout of small diameter, making it easy to water without wetting the foliage of soft plants.

For syringing and watering seed flats, this nozzle can be replaced with one, making an excellent mist.

Tools For Working The Soil

Your dibble and potting stick are best made of hardwood such as ash or oak, as the soil does not stick so readily to dense grained surfaces.

Those large steel ones with curved handles are all right outdoors but not for light work.

Most of us do not find much use for a trowel under glass, but a three-cornered flat mason’s trowel is handy for the following:

  • Scraping
  • Tamping
  • Leveling 
  • Marking off soil

Shop tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, and hammers come in handy for daily use.

A small can of light oil is a must for lubricating motors and ventilating equipment and tools.

Best Homemade Cultivator

The best cultivator is one you can make yourself. It is a sharp pointed single hook fitted into a file handle.

Light cultivators made of stiff wire bent into two prongs are perfect for cultivating seedlings in flats or loosening the soil of potted plants.

Other small items you will want to have handy include:

  • A stiff brush for cleaning up the potting bench
  • Spoons for measuring
  • Sieves of 1/16”, ⅛,” and ¼” inch mesh
  • Hardwood tamping block
  • Wooden slat sharpened along one edge for leveling and marking and possibly a spotting board for marking off seedlings

A good one can be made with the prongs of a discarded wooden rake.

Rubber gloves might be wanted when handling poisonous insecticides or washing pots.

But otherwise, most greenhouse gardeners do not like to have their freedom of movement hampered by extra clothing.

After all, we can do practically any of the jobs cited above with our God-given hands, the most valuable tools of all.