If you are a beginner gardener or a seasoned veteran, good quality garden tools are an important part of the job. Cheap tools can make the chore harder, while proper implements can make gardening chore a breeze. The biggest mistake new gardeners make is in buying cheap quality tools. If you can’t purchase everything at once, buy a good shovel or hoe and hand tools first; fill in other tools as you go. Here are a few of my favorites:
Hoe – There are many different types available, and one of my favorites has a two-sided head; tines on one side and a narrow blade on the other. It works great for cultivating rows, digging trenches for seedlings and weeding between rows. I also have a wider one that has a pointy head for larger jobs. There are lots of different styles, and it really is your personal preference. Just choose one that is made to last.
Shovel and Spade – Although similar in appearance, these tools are designed for very different purposes. A garden shovel is rounded with a pointed nose and is designed for digging. A spade is very square with a flat, almost blade like nose, and is designed for cutting through sod or dirt, for making an edge or bed. Because the weakest part of these tools is where the handle and business end connect, examine the joining. Riveted heads onto handles aren’t made to last; if you can find one with s more secure join, select it.
Pruners – Used for everything from removing dead flowers to cutting branches and harvesting vegetables, a good pair of pruners is invaluable. My favorite brand is Corona, but there are many models available and you might have to try a few pairs to find the ones you like best. If you have a lot of pruning chores, a good pair or pruners will cut down on the fatigue in your hands. Look for a pair that can be cleaned easily, with replaceable blades. Good pruners will last forever.
Hand Tools – This is a place where buying cheap just doesn’t make sense. A hand cultivator, a couple of trowels, and a weeder will get you started. Make sure the handles are comfortable and sturdy, and the heads are joined well to the handles. Try to get a narrow trowel, a wide trowel, a multi-pronged cultivator, and a forked weeder to dig out those long roots. If you can find stainless tools, they will last longer.
Plant Sensor for Conditions – This is a relatively new item, and will help you to determine what to plant in a specific location. It is a spike that you put in the ground, and it will collect data from the location, including amount of moisture, nutrients and sun the area receives. The spike communicates through an app on your phone for you to get a list of what plants will thrive in the area. It is available online through Amazon. If you’ve moved to a new part of the country, or are just new to gardening, this will be very useful.
With so many tools available to gardeners these days, it’s sometimes hard to choose what you need. Choose quality, well-made tools that are comfortable for you to use. It may take some trial and error before you find the ones you prefer.
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