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Gardening Tool Guide

gardening tools Gardening tools range in complexity from simple hand tools to sophisticated power tools.  The choices available can be overwhelming, but by breaking down your gardening into tasks such as tilling, cultivating, planting and watering, it is easier to get a handle on what you actually need and what you can do without.

The most important tilling tools are a good shovel and spade.  This can be a lifetime purchase if you choose well, so do your research and buy the best you can afford.  Metal spades seem to work well and are versatile for small areas.  If you need to establish a bed, roto-tilling is a good idea, but a poor investment.  It is often wise to rent a roto-tiller as you will not get much more than yearly use out of it.  A mattock shares some attributes of picks and hoes, and it often works better than both at breaking up difficult soil and working around established roots.  Spading forks are helpful for transplanting and aerating, as well as sorting.  A pry bar may or may not be necessary, but I would recommend it if you live in an area with rocky soil.  The pry bar helps to loosen any boulders you may come across and can also double as a pick.

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garden tools - pitchfork, spade, and edger You may also want a wheelbarrow or a cart of sorts, but you should assess your needs carefully.  A traditional wheelbarrow is good for tight spaces, but can be unstable with a heavy load, due to the single tire up front.  A garden cart is steady with a set of bicycle wheels, but it won't maneuver and dump well.  For serious garden maintenance, consider buying a garden tractor and a utility cart.

When cultivating your garden, the traditional tool is a hoe, but there are variations, such as the scuffle hoe (with the blade pointing forward and perpendicular to the ground) and the double action hoe (which has blades that extend back in a 45 degree angle).  You will probably want several sizes; they are available in long-handled and short-handled varieties, depending on your needs.  Another tool to invest in is a pair of gardening shears for pruning smaller plants and bushes as well as pole-pruners that extend to get rid of unwanted lower branches.  A garden rake is an excellent tool to have around for clean up, and the steel variety seems to last longer than the bamboo variety.

gardening tools When planting seeds or plants in your garden, a spade is again your best tool, and a trowel or hand spade works very well for small planting jobs.

As for watering your garden, a hose would be the most obvious necessity, but there are a variety of types on the market.  Soaker hoses have holes in them to water the area where they are laid.  Additionally, there is also a plethora of nozzle types available, and some even change between mist, shower, full, flat, and jet, depending on what you are watering.  If you have a large garden, you may even wish to have irrigation system piping installed that is controlled by an automatic timer.  Such an investment can greatly reduce the time involved in caring for your garden.

However large or small, with the proper tools and care, your garden can bring years of enjoyment.

  • Ames True Temper is a manufacturer of non-powered lawn and garden tools.
  • Mantis Garden Tools features a lightweight tiller/cultivator as well as a composter, a multi-function power tool, and innovative gardening hand tools.
  • Lee Valley offers a broad selection of gardening products, tools, and accessories.
  • Gardener's Supply Company features many innovative garden tools and products, from seed starting supplies and garden furniture to flower supports and greenhouses.

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