Most Indispensable Tool


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When working with CP's in the greenhouse, terrarium, or even on your front porch, I would be surprised to find out that there aren't other people like me who have some little tool of their own that they use or some everyday item that helps them that they have been keeping secret. What kinds of tools or tricks of the trade can we compile here? If some one does have some deep rooted family secret that MUST be kept I'm sure we can let it slide... but don't keep it pent up for too long :D:D

I'll start off with something that I've used in my terrarium that has helped me a ton and that is a small wooden skewer. Great for prying up small seedlings feeding Nepenthes or sluggish sundews. Also good for reaching down into a terrarium where it would be clumsy for a hand to go. But this is just a start. (I'll introduce my patented "plastic spoon shovel" should this thread REALLY take off)

So, what do the rest of you have? :D

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My first and foremost tool is my little point sticks, To clarify I keep several sharpened old art brushes for pricking out seedlings with one having a needle attached on the opposite end for very small seedlings (Using the eyelet end).

My other is a small fold away pocket pruning shears with blades and other tools (Spear & Jackson) a real quality tool.

I'll add one more that I would struggle without and that is the big plastic tubs with rope handles (toy storage tubs?) Handy for mixing larger quantities of peat for potting.

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Like you, I regularly use a wooden skewer for digging around, particularly for pricking out seedlings etc.

I also use one of several old, rarely used, kitchen spoons for conveying small amounts of soil mix from pot to pot and re-potting plants of various sizes.

This year I also bought myself a nice pair of long pointed secateurs.

That's it.

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My tools are :

1. my surgical tweezers, i dig with them, pick out seedlings and weeds with them, i can capture bugs with them, and they're stainless steel so they never rust!

2. my brita filters. this is where i get my water from.

3. my dog. she keep the grass of my "all natural" greenhouse floor down by eating it.

4. 3 paint brushes of various sizes i use for pollinating.

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Wooden toothpicks for moving gemmea and seed around with.

A plastic pipette for flushing the gemmea/seed from the toothpick and for settling the soil round the roots of pricked out seedlings.

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In the greenhouse I use 'kitchen-devils' (hard wearing scissors). Every day something needs old leaves chopped back or stems cut down, these are good for both tiny delicate leaves and hard, thick stems. They're made to cut through chicken bone so are basically all in one pruners!

For indoors, I'm never without the surgical tweezers - use them for everything!

I don't know if it really counts but the pond pump I use to get water from the butts into a hose has made my watering easier for years. haven't used the watering can for ages.

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Guest Sheila

My main tools are tweezers and small pointed scissors, between them they do just about everything I need from digging up plantlets to sowing seeds and trimming the dead off my plants.

My brother labelling machine is a very handy little tool I wouldn't be without.

I also have a much used pond pump for transferring the water from the water butts by the house to the water butt between my two greenhouses, saving a lot of legwork.

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wait. brita filters. you can use them for water for CPs???

my special tools are:

plastic tumbler cups- for utrics

metal needles

wooden skewers (like other people)

straws (for marking certain groups of plants)

and foreceps.

Alex

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My most indispensable tool is a smallish pair of bonsai scissors - very sharp and slim with a needle point for getting in amongst the other leaves, yet strong enough to cut almost anything we normally encounter in CP land. In addition, like Sheila I also wouldn't be without my Brother labeller and lastly my 10x hand lens for examining germinating seeds, terrestrial utrics, pygmy sundews and generally checking out very small things... :)

Cheers,

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For me, definately a pair of surgical forceps (tweezers). I have two pairs of Swiss surgical steel tweezers, one tapering to a needle-sharp point and another curved pair. I use these for pulling weeds, pollinating flowers, feeding crickets to the plants, picking off aphids etc etc.

A small pair of pointed surgical scissors are must have too. These are used for pruning off dead leaves, old flower stalks etc.

Cheers

Andy

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My CP toolkit--

cp-toolkit.jpg

* Turkey Baster-- For watering, creating turbulence to mix pesticides in water, etc.

* Spoon-- For adding or removing small amounts of planting medium, patting it down, adding powdered pesticide to water, etc.

* Scissors (small, precise)-- for trimming dead leaves, precise cleaning of Dionaea bulbs, cutting emerging Dionaea or Drosera flower stalks, etc.

* Tweezers (long, pointed)-- for delicate, precise cleaning of Dionaea bulbs, snipping soft emerging flower stalks, feeding tiny fish food pellets to the Cephalotus, feeding captured and cold-stunned flies to the Venus Flytraps, etc.

* Toothpicks (wooden)-- for working with tiny germinated seeds, moistened to transfer them from germination container to community or individual pots; to gently raise Dionaea leaves when repotting them, in order to get some medium under the curled or ground-hugging leaves and bring the crown and rosette to planting-medium surface level; pushing fish food pellets down the throats of Cephalotus pitchers when fungus strands have pushed them up and almost out of the pitchers (the fungus doesn't seem to harm or bother the Cephs at all), etc.

* Syringe type drop dispenser-- for careful watering of seedlings and other plants

* Paint brush (soft)-- for pollination, removing dust from leaves to "pretty them up" before taking photos, etc.

My favorite greenhouse tool adapted from another realm of human endeavor: commercial bakers' dough storage and handling trays

Instead of typical cheap plastic seedling trays that can flex and bend and split and spill one's plants out when carried, I use much heavier-duty dough-handling trays in which to place plants in small containers, to water them (from below) and carry them. Here is a URL to a webpage that shows the dough trays I use--

http://www.bakingtools.com/productdisplay....h_Boxes_/_Trays

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Guest Aidan
My CP toolkit--

One day... (following the cavity search :P ) you are going to have to explain that lot to the police. It is little different to the average junkie's shooting kit.

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I find I use a Lobster spoon a lot, with its tiny fork end great for transplanting small seedlings and digging grass out, and its spoon end for transplanting bigger seedlings..... and flicking peat at the kids when they come a botherin!

:P

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well, i dould probably use my tap if i wanted to. i just figure the brita make it even safer. but yes, i think brita is fine.

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:thankyou: i dunno. i dont think so. i thought it just is a filter, i thought it just takes out a whole bunch of junk like chlorine and salt and stuff. Hey, maybe it does! But my plants dont seem to mind. I have been growing for over two years-1.5 of which i was using brita. My plants-all 3 generations i have in some-would have to argue with that though! :D

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  • 1 month later...

Here we go! Another interesting little.... well not quite a tool, but a pretty good alternative none the less!

This little contraption is a prime example of me being too cheap to acutally go out and buy pots. But then again I will spend a dollar and a half for two bottles of water to plant things in... go figure...

Picture.jpg

/ Replica of the Catesbaei Yellow Submarine Flower Fish potting system.

This here is two water bottle bottoms, one with holes punched in the bottom and filled with soil mix, and another that simply holds water. If you get two of the same kind bottle they should snap together making a handy little... whatever this is :D AND! if you keep the top and trim it to the size you need, it can make a handy-dandy humidity dome complete with a vent that screws off!

-J.P.

p.s. figured I would put this here and maybe start the thread up again :)

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  • 1 month later...

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