You’re ready to take on your gardening venture so you head to the store to get the supplies you need, but where do you start!? After you plan out to purchase the plants and/or seeds you want choosing the best tools used for gardening can be a bit overwhelming. Do not despair! There is a vast selection when it comes to supplies and equipment to make your garden grow with ease but there’s no need to go overboard. There are, however, some tools you simply can not do without.
Before you shell out a small fortune on supplies, find out which tools used for gardening are the right ones for your needs. For specific garden types there will be additional tools you’re going to need, but we’ll get to those a little later. For now, let’s start with the basics for any beginner. Every home garden, big or small, should have these 5 tools in their arsenal!
This handy tool looks like a small handheld shovel with a narrow spade. This is a versatile tool that serves multiple purposes. It is often used for potting container plants as well as digging small holes in the ground for transplanting. It’s also useful for breaking up or loosening soil and digging out weeds. Opt for a trowel with a stainless steel head for better durability and cutting through tough roots.
This hand tool works similarly to a trowel to loosen and turnover soil, however it is much more efficient when it comes to dense soil There are various designs when it comes to garden forks that make them better at certain tasks. A garden fork with slightly curved tines are ideal for moving mulch and turning compost piles. Garden forks with straight tines, however, are more suitable for digging particularly dense soil such as clay soil or rock.
VIDEO | Martha Stewart’s Top 5 Gardening Tools
Watering Can or Hose
Water is a vital element to any plant’s life. A watering can is a great start for beginners because it’s easily portable to water your plants directly. If you have container plants this is an easy way to water them sufficiently. With larger flower beds or plants that are in the ground a hose may be more practical. Be sure to get one that’s sufficient in length to reach the plants from the faucet. You can also purchase an add-on sprayer that attaches to your hose to cover a broader area at one time.
Spending time in the garden can wreak havoc on your knees over time if unprotected. A kneeling pad isn’t necessarily a garden tool but it will make gardening much more comfortable and will help keep your pants clean from dirt. You can easily find an inexpensive foam kneeling pad at most hardware stores or in the gardening section of retailers.
Some gardeners aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, but a durable pair of gloves will do much more for you than simply keeping your nails clean. Working with certain types of plants can become troublesome with thorns and spines. Look for durable gloves with reinforced fingertips as well as water-resistant material for comfortable and long-lasting use.
Gardening Tools for Your Flower Bed
For large scale gardening there are a few more tools you’re going to need for better efficiency. When you’re planning out the project at hand consider these tools to help make the job go smoother and easier to maintain.
You will need to prepare the area you plan on putting your flower bed by removing debris and fallen leaves prior to planting. Your standard leaf rake can get the job done quickly and help in keeping your flower bed free from unwanted debris. A garden rake consists of shorter, uniform-sized tines that will remove weeds while creating a nice level surface.
Having a wheelbarrow can be a real time-saver as well as save your back from heavy lifting. A wheelbarrow can be used for moving soil as well as hauling bags of mulch or compost to where you need it. Plastic wheelbarrows are an affordable option if you’re on a modest budget and have a small project where it can be useful. For heavy-duty jobs a metal wheelbarrow will certainly get the job done and last longer.
This is a long-handled tool which consists of a flat-edged blade used for cultivating the soil to prep it for gardening. The blade is made with straight or a curved open-square design based on its intended use. A flat or straight hoe is suitable for fruit and vegetable gardens to turn soil into rows while a weeding hoe with a curved in head is more beneficial in chopping down top growth to eradicate weeds.
For larger plants an angled shovel will be much more efficient to dig holes for planting than a hand trowel alone. If you have a large landscaping project or planting rows of vegetables a shovel consisting of a triangle-shaped head will allow you to dig bigger holes. For more precise cuts use a shovel with a squared-off blade.
When it comes to maintaining your garden, weeds are often a major concern. If you have a large landscape and prefer not using harsh chemicals, a handheld weeder will be much easier to use than a trowel or gardening fork. Weeders are handheld devices designed to pull weeds by the root.
Garden Tools for Specific Plant Types
Some plants require special care for growth and maintenance which means very specific tools. Here are a few tools you may need when considering certain types of plants.
Bushy plants such as rose bushes and shrubs can become unruly if not properly cared for. Pruning shears or hand pruners are tools used to trim plants to keep them from getting out of control. For delicate, live plants you need bypass pruners which are designed and cut similarly to scissors. Choose a pair of pruners that fit comfortably in your hand for ease of use when it comes to trimming.
Garden Tool Care Tips
Garden tools have a dirty job. To keep them in optimal condition care should be taken when it comes to cleaning and storing them. Always clean your tools properly to remove dirt and debris and dry them thoroughly using a towel or cloth before storing to prevent rusting and deterioration.
For metal or stainless steel tools such as trowels, forks, and shovels, clean off any soil or debris after each use with steel wool or a nail brush. Store them in a dry location in order to keep them from rusting over time.
Keep wheelbarrows clean and stored in a dry location to prevent rusting. Be sure tires are adequately inflated before use for easier mobility. You may want to consider never-flat tires which do not require inflation for long-lasting use.
Keep pruners and other cutting tools well sharpened for optimal efficiency and less injury to live plants when trimming. A sharpening stone or a specialized pruner sharpening tool can be used to sharpen blades by pushing it along the same direction as the blade. Eye protection should be worn while doing this for your safety.
Keep gardening gloves stored away out of sunlight. Prolonged exposure to the sun will eventually breakdown the fabric and shorten the lifespan for use. For your own safety you should also keep gloves stored in a safe location from insects to avoid any surprises from unwanted crawlers the next time you put them on.
Sometimes gardening supplies and equipment get stored in damp or drafty locations where moisture can form and lead to rust. In addition to keeping them clean and dry prior to storing them, tools used for gardening can also be treated to prevent rusting. Boiled linseed oil or mineral oil can be applied to tools to condition them to prevent rust. Apply the oil to the surface and allow it to sit for approximately 15 minutes before wiping off any excess prior to storage.