Tuesday, 28 January 2014

10 Tools Every Gardener Needs in Their Shed

Gardening Equipment HSS Sales
Image Courtesy of xedos4 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Whether you are an avid gardener or just a hobbyist that wants to see things bloom in the spring, you need the right tools for the job. Gardening becomes much easier, and even more rewarding, when you are able to correctly prepare the ground, plant seeds and care for the plants in your garden so that they will thrive and complement your yard and home. 

Both vegetable and flower gardens take work, but that work can be made much simpler with the right tools. Here’s our list of the top 10 tools every gardener needs in their shed. 

Shovels and Spades 

Garden Spade / HSS Sales

Shovels and hand spades make it possible to clear land for plants, dig holes to transplant plants and plant bulbs. Every gardener needs some shovels and spades in their collection of tools.

Look for a shovel with a pointed head so that you can more easily cut into the ground and a hand spade with a comfortable grip to make planting that much easier.



A raker is a must when it comes to clearing debris from your yard or flower beds and cleaning up after the fall leaves have dropped from the trees. Using a raker to clean up leaves will make your yard look better and will prevent leaves from becoming soggy and mouldy through the winter, which could damage your garden.

Rakers are also the perfect tool for digging things like dead leaves, sticks and other debris out from between plants or shrubs and make the job much easier. You can quickly pull a raker between plants to clear your beds and make room for new growth.



A hoe is especially important if you plan to grow a vegetable garden, but can come in handy for any gardener. Use this tool to easily make a trench for seeds and then burry them again. If you plan to create long rows of plants, a hoe can save you a lot of time and back pain!



Trowels are mainly used to till the soil to make it loose enough for planting. But, using a trowel will also till the soil and allow it to get more oxygen and keep the ground healthy and soft.

You can also use a trowel to clear an area of weeds, instead of kneeling to pull each weed individually. Drag the trowel over the weeded area to dig up the plants and tear them out of the ground. Then, come back with a rake and gather them up to remove them, making room for your plants.


Watering Cans, Hoses and Sprinklers


Reinforced Garden Hose / HSS Sales
Watering cans, hoses and sprinklers are essential for a gardener. All gardeners know their plants need water, and these tools make it easy to keep the soil moist and your plants healthy.

Consider getting a large watering can so you don’t have to refill it as you water your plants and look for a hose that comes with a wheel to wind it up on. These are much easier to store and are less likely to get tangled and damaged.

Even if you have an underground sprinkler system installed in your yard and garden, a sprinkler that you can attach to a hose will let you water areas that seem to be especially dry, despite the sprinkler system.


Lawn Mower

Makita Petrol Lawn Mower / HSS Sales

Every shed needs a lawn mower. There are all kinds of mowers to choose from and you can even get one that is self propelled, so that you don’t have to do as much pushing. If your yard is especially large, you can invest in a riding lawn mower that will make trimming your grass a snap.

Some gardeners actually save the clipping from their lawns to use as compost, something you may want to consider if you are interested in making your own nutrient-rich soil to supplement the soil in your garden or to use in pots, planters or raised gardens.


Hedge Trimmers 


Hedge trimmers are a must if you have any kind of bushes or hedges in your garden. With a good pair of hedge trimmers, you can keep these plants looking good and shape them anyway you want. Hedges that line your garden or bushes underneath windows often look better when they are evenly trimmed. 


Pruners make it possible to cut small branches off of trees and cut back plants that have become overgrown. Dead parts of plants can actually inhibit growth, and pruning your plants can encourage them to grow better and healthier.

When you keep a set of pruners on hand, you will be ready to take on anything from long fruit tree branches to dead plants to stray bushes.

Kneeling Pads

Every gardener knows that your knees will begin to ache if you kneel too long. You can solve this problem by keeping kneeling pads in your shed. These pads are made of foam and are tough enough to stand up to grass, dirt and even gravel.

They are perfect for kneeling over a garden as you pull weeds, plant seeds, pick vegetables, bury bulbs or prepare a flower bed for planting. Keeping a few on hand means you won’t have to drag them around the garden as you move between projects, but can keep a few around while you spend the day working.


If you plan on gardening this spring and summer, you need a good pair of gloves. When you wear gloves, you can tackle thorny plants, rough soils, rocks and almost anything else you might encounter in the garden.

Gloves are also necessary for protecting your hands and skin from cuts and bruises, so it is worth it to invest in a good pair that will keep you safe. Look for a pair made of leather or another heavy-duty material.

When it comes time to plan your garden and start planting next spring, make sure you have these 10 essential tools in your shed to make the job easier and to make your garden blossom like never before.  

To browse HSS Sales' extensive collection of gardening equipment and tools for sale, or to buy online, please visit our Gardening Page: www.hsssales.com/cl/1300000/Gardening.html

Monday, 21 October 2013

Take the Stress Out of Packing: How to Plan the Perfect Move

If even the thought of cleaning, organising and packing makes you nervous, relax; we’re here to help. Moving is a big task, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. The key to a smooth and relaxed move is to plan ahead and these tips can help you do just that.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

First, try to give yourself plenty of time to pack and move. Don’t wait until just a few days before you need to leave your current residence to start the moving process. If you do, chances are you will be very stressed and it will be much harder to get the job done right.

One way to plan ahead is to designate a few days or a week to each task so that as you get closer to moving day, you are already getting things done and will be well prepared.

Make Sure Messy Tasks are Done Beforehand

Make sure messy tasks are done well before you move. Things like cleaning floors, making small repairs, cleaning the bathroom and scrubbing the kitchen should all be done before you begin packing so you don’t have to worry about them during the move. You will need a good vacuum cleaner, but also a carpet and an upholstery cleaner in order to deep clean your new house before settling in. You can browse HSS Sales' website for carpet cleaners and upholstery cleaners - http://www.hsssales.com/c/1200009/Carpet-and-Upholstery-Cleaners.html.

Stock up on Moving Supplies

The first thing to do is stock up on moving supplies like cardboard boxes, packing tape, styrofoam, bubble wrap, labels and markers. When you have all of these things ready, packing won’t be nearly as difficult. You’ll be able to focus on the job and won’t have to waste time searching for the things you need.

Hire a Skip

Hire a skip well in advance so you will have it ready when it comes time to clean out and organise your belongings. When you have a skip ready at your home, you will be able to discard of any unwanted items very easily and the moving process won’t be slowed down as you try to find ways to purge your home of junk you don’t want to move. You can visit HSS Hire's website and browse their wide collection of skips for hire - http://www.hss.com/g/25170/Skips-2-20-Yards-.html.

Spend Some Time Cleaning Out

Before you move it is a great idea to spend some time cleaning out your closets, rooms, garage and garden. When you move you don’t want to take anything you don’t need with you, and now is a great time to remove any clutter from your home. Throw away or donate things you don’t need or want so your move will be lighter and to make it easier to settle into your new place.

Take it Room by Room

The thought of packing up your entire home can be overwhelming. Instead of approaching it that way, start well in advance and pack one room at a time. Begin with rooms and things you don’t use on a daily basis and organise the items into boxes with other similar items, or things that belong in the same room.

This approach not only makes packing and moving less stressful, it makes unpacking easier. When you know what belongs in each room and where your belongings are, you can unpack much faster and more efficiently.

Label Everything

As you pack, label every box. First, write the name of the room it belongs to and then underline it. Underneath that label, make a brief list of the items inside the box. For example, one box might read “Kitchen: Dishes and Glasses.” Then, when you arrive at your new home you will be able to find things very quickly as you need them.

Pack a Move-in Box

Take one or two boxes and label them “Move In” and set them aside. Fill them with a few changes of clothes, some cooking utensils, medications, hygiene items and anything else you will need immediately after moving into your new home. Be sure to pack this box last so it isn’t lost behind all of your other belongings at the back of the moving truck.

This way you will have easy access to essential items and you won’t have to dig through rooms full of boxes and search for hours just to find your toothbrush.

There is no question that moving is a big job and can be hard. But, with these tips it doesn’t have to be stressful. Start by planning ahead and packing things one room at a time, and you will be well on your way to a smooth and easy move!

Monday, 30 September 2013

DIY Ideas That Will Transform Your Home’s Exterior

Could the outside of your home use a little pick-me-up? If the outside of your house, your garden and your landscaping aren’t exactly enhancing the curb appeal of your house, don’t worry. There are lots of ways you can transform your home’s exterior by taking on some do-it-yourself projects that are fun and easy to do.

The trick to transforming the exterior of your home is to envision what you want it to look like. Identify problem areas and think about what you want the area to look like instead. Then, find creative ways to make that happen. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Add Shutters

Shutters can add a lot to the outside of a home. They can take windows from boring boxes to interesting features of the home. Look for shutters in a colour that complements the colours already on your home and that fit the same style. There is a big variety of shutter options available at most hardware stores, so chances are you will find some that work for you.

Make this a DIY project by buying unfinished shutters and giving them a custom paint job or simply hanging them yourself this weekend.

Lay a Garden Pathway

If you have a larger garden, you can create your own garden pathway to make it easier to navigate and to add some charm and beauty. You can buy pavers, bricks or stones at your hardware store and then clear an area in your garden for them. Or, you can pour cement into any mould you want for your own unique look.

Try pressing things like leaves, sticks, objects around the house or door mats into the cement while it is wet to give it a different texture and design.

Install Window Boxes

Window boxes are another element that adds a lot to your home’s windows. They add colour and life to an area that is often overlooked. Window boxes are also charming and classy and can make your home look polished and put together.

You can easily install your own window boxes and then plant whatever kind of flowers or greenery you want inside.

Arrange Potted Plants on Your Porch

If your porch is looking a little bare, use some potted plants to give it new life. Find some interesting and unique pots at your hardware store or take it a step further and create your own planters. You can make planters with anything from old cartons to old food containers or buckets.

Arrange the plants strategically with bigger ones near the back and smaller ones in the front. Use plenty of pots and plants grouped closely together for an especially lush look.

Hang a Wreath from the Door

Anyone, regardless of how crafty he or she is, can make a wreath. A wreath hanging from the front door will make you home look cozy and feel inviting. Start with a wreath form from you craft store and then use silk or live flowers, leaves, twigs and berries to create a custom wreath. This project is great because you can easily change it out each season to give your door an updated look.

Create some DIY Lawn Decorations

Making your own lawn decorations can be a fun and creative way to make your home more visually appealing. With some creativity you can create anything from fountains out of old flower pots to borders out of stones for your garden. You can also use colourful pipes to line your gardens or to create modern art in your yard or on the side of your house. What's more important is to always take care of your lawn and garden - not just during the summer months!

Give Your Mailbox a Makeover

Is your mailbox boring? If you have one of those run-of-the-mill boxes that looks like every other mailbox on your street, give it a makeover. Your can treat and then paint your mailbox with outdoor paint, which can instantly breathe new life into it. Don’t forget to give some attention to the base were you can add decorative rocks, lawn decorations or plants.

In just one weekend you can transform the exterior of your home with these DIY projects. Start by identifying the area that needs the most work, and then use things like paint, lawn decorations, outdoor features and plants to bring it back to life.