Garden Tools

There’s a tool for every garden purpose and using the right tool will make your job much easier.

When choosing your garden tools, check for a comfortable, balanced weight. Too heavy a tool will wear you out quickly, as will a poorly balanced tool. Too light, and you will have to compensate with your own energy. The handle should be made from high-quality wood, ash is usually ideal. Shovels and rakes with longer handles provide more leverage. Buy well made tools, they’ll last much longer. Those tool made from carbon steel or stainless steel are usually high quality. They’re durable and easy to clean.

Keep your tools in good shape by cleaning off dirt after every use. Swipe the heads with linseed-oiled cloth at the beginning and end of every season.

Your basic gardening tools include:

Weeder – Useful hand tool which digs out tap-rooted weeds such as dandelions without leaving a big hole.

Shovel – A round-point shovel is indispensable when planting new trees and shrubs.

Pitch Fork – Flat tines break up the soil and loosen compost; good for preparing garden beds. (A hay fork is somewhat different and is useful for scooping mulch.)

Spade – Spades have square shaped flat blades and are useful for digging holes, digging trenches and turning beds.

Weeding Hoe – These are great for removing weeding in the perennial garden, shrub border and in pea stone paths and driveways. This is also useful for cultivating the soil.

Edger – These are basically a flat blade that can cut a neat edge between shrub or flower beds and your lawn.

Leaf Rake – Springy and flexible, cleans up leaves from lawn and paths.

Grading Rake – Sturdy, spiked teeth make the garden rake indispensable for grading and smoothing soil the soil after it has been turned and preparing planting beds. Turning the rake upside down will enable you to give your garden a finished smooth grade.

Hand Pruners – For cleaner, more precise cuts, look for hand shears with bypass blades, which slip past each other when closed and cut the branch cleanly. Hand pruners are able to prune branches of 1 inch (2.5 cm) and smaller diameter. Select a pair of garden shears that fits comfortably in your hand while pruning.

Loppers – These pruners with long handles give you more leverage and the ability to prune branches up to 2 inches (5 cm) thick. Pole pruners are basically hand pruners attached to a pole witch can extend.

Pruning Saw – Tote a fold-up model in your pocket. The protected blade stays sharp, and the tool is small enough so you can get into the middle of a shrub to cut a branch.

Related Articles: Getting Started, Gardening Terms, Garden Preparation