Gardening is potentially a very rewarding task. There is nothing more satisfying than looking out your window and seeing a beautiful flower bed in full bloom or bountiful vegetable garden ripe for the picking. However, these beautiful gardens do not just spring up on their own. They need a lot of careful tending and hard work to make them flourish. There are certain garden tools that are essential for any avid gardener. Here is our short list.
A garden or digging fork is one of the most useful and versatile tools in a gardener's arsenal. It is useful for turning soil, mixing in nutrients and aerating soil. A spade can also be used to carry out these tasks. However, the tines on a fork come in handy for breaking up clods and raking out weeds and stones. Most gardeners will have both digging fork and spade.
There are several types of garden hoes available to use for weeding and creating seed furrows, including the heart-shaped and diamond-shaped hoe. Every gardener has his or her own favorite type of hoe based on personal preference and the type of gardening being done.
Pruning shears, loppers and a pruning saw are all essential items for keeping a garden neat and tidy. Pruning shears are useful for dead heading flowers and cutting back unwanted vegetation. Loppers come in handy for cutting off twigs and small branches as well as for pruning bushhes. A pruning saw is useful for cutting off dead branches from large bushhes and trees.
A hori hori knife is a very versatile tool. This multi-purpose knife has a sharp, heavy serrated blade with a semi-sharp point. It can used for many gardening chores, including cutting open bags of soil, planting, weeding and light digging.
A garden cart or wheelbarrow is very useful for transporting bags of soil and plants as well as other gardening supplies and materials. A cart can also be used at harvest time to transport ripe vegetables back to the house.
Gardening trowels are another versatile type of tool that are used for a variety of garden chores. They are especially useful for weeding, planting, digging up plants and mixing fertilizer into the soil.
It's always a good idea to have a sharp-pointed shovel on hand for digging holes and breaking up dirt clods. If a flat blade or scoop is better suited for the task, you will want to use a long-handled garden spade instead.
Use a watering can or garden hose to keep plants watered. For a more automated solution, a drip irrigation system could be used instead.
When shopping for garden tools, always choose the ones made by reputable manufacturers with high quality materials such as strong steel and sturdy wood. Ash hardwood is the best material for handles. It is a very strong wood that still has a bit of give to it. Also pay attention to the length, weight and angle of the tool. It needs to feel comfortable to use and fit your body type. Not every tool will be the right fit for each gardener or every gardening task. You may need to experiment before you finally come up with the perfect set of tools that fit your gardening needs. The good news is, once you do find them, quality gardening tools will last for many years to come.