The Essential Gardening Tools
If you are someone who's passionate about gardening, you should be armed with the right tools. Listed below are the basic tools every gardener should start with. After years of experience I can provide you with a few types available in each category and tell you what my favorite's are.
This is a versatile gardening tool that should always be ready at hand. It is used to plant small plants and scoop soil in pots. It can also be used to remove stubborn weeds. The trowel is the all purpose tool in your arsenal and having more then one is quite acceptable. There are many verities available but my favorite is an all plastic model. I have had a problem with the expensive metal versions before because they always seem to slip their handle while I am working vigorously. No such trouble with the all plastic model.
Shovel is used for many jobs. It can also be used to move or remove dirt but its main purpose in my garden is to dig holes. I recommend you invest in a high quality shovel. You need both kinds- a spade and a flat head shovel. After breaking most every type available I ended up with an all metal shovel, metal handle and metal blade all in one. I have not been able to break this one yet.
If you are working with trees and plants, it is essential that you buy the right shears. Make sure that you buy a high quality model even though it means you will have to pay extra. You should accept the extra cost and get the best. I have bought cheap shears and broke them in one day. Back they went and I came home with the top end model, by the way this shear is still doing it job after 10 plus years. You will find three different types, long blade to trim hedges, lopping shears designed to cut larger branches and small hand shears made to snip and trim small branches and shoots. Shear blades should be kept clean and very sharp and be lubricated with light oil. Follow this advice and your shears will last for years and be there when you need them, or your neighbor needs them!
Having water in your garden when and where you need it is very important. In fact it is what separates us from our ancestors who had to make due with ditches or buckets to water their gardens. With the Garden hose we can have that water when and where it is needed. You can choose to spend a lot or a little. I have bargain cheap hoses and expensive hoses and they both do their job. If you seek quality look for a garden hose that has several layers of ply walls and good thick brass fittings. If you have a long hose, buy a hose rack or reel for easy and hassle free storage. I use both a reel that is mounted to the wall and a wheeled rack I can move around the yard as needed.
A good rake (maybe two) should be at the ready in your garden. Need to sweep up leaves or debris that gather up in your garden? Your rakes should be ready to go. The rake can be made several ways depending on the intended use. There is the heavy iron rake that can rake leaves and be used to smooth gravel and dirt. There is the rake made with thin metal or bamboo strips. This rake is best used for raking leaves as the tougher jobs will cause the tines to bend too much. I have both the heavy and the light Rakes but mine are made with heavy fiberglass handles. This type of handle cost more but will never give you splinters when the rake and wood handle gets older.
The Wheelbarrow and Garden cart
If you Garden or just need to do yard work, you will need to move things around such as loads of leaves, grass, dirt etc. You may need to work with heavy tools out at a far corner of the yard. The wheelbarrow is best to move the loads and a garden cart may work better to move your heavy tools.
The wheelbarrow and garden cart are very important to help you transport heavy loads without hurting your back. The wheelbarrow is available made from metal or plastic. Both are fine but I actually prefer the heavy plastic model as my first wheelbarrow was thin metal and only lasted a few years before rusting and bending and being discarded.
The garden cart is kind of like a little red wagon but made much larger for doing real work. Find a model with heavy construction and larger inflatable wheels. Take note if you have a riding mower, some garden carts are made so as to be able to be pulled with your riding mower like a trailer. Some garden carts have sides that fold down and some models have a rear gate and can dump a load by pulling a pin in front. Look at a few before you buy. Find the model you feel will work best for your situation.
As you can see having the right tools can make life much easier when yard work and gardening is on the agenda. If you love your tools as I do then you should take pride and feel right at home with your garden tool collection.