Every gardener needs a few tools to help their green thumb. No matter if you are a novice or a seasoned pro, a few tools of the trade will make your hobby or obsession a little easier. Depending on what specific type of gardening you do, you may need specialized tools. For instance, a topiary enthusiast will need small trimming tools. A rosebush lover will need protective gloves. But if you weren’t a follower of either gardening style, these types of tools would be useless. Following is a list of basic gardening tools that every type of gardener will love and benefit by using.
The shovel will be your best friend as a gardener. How else would you get to dig holes for planting all of your wonderful bulbs and plants? Shovels come in a variety of styles and sizes to choose from to meet your needs. There are long handled, pointed blade shovels, which work great when you need leverage to dig big holes. The sharpness cuts through the dirt and roots to get down to the depth you need easily. A flat-ended shovel, or spade, will get under sod to dig it up or trim it from the sidewalks and driveway. Hand trowels are small, short-handled shovels to dig in pots or when you are up close to the base of a plant.
A rake sounds a lot like work and not a fun gardening tool, however it is a necessary tool. Using a lawn rake at the beginning or end of your growing season will pull all of the dead leaves, stems and stalks out of an area quickly. A lawn rake has closely spaced, long tines on the end of it, which easily rake up piles of leaves and garden debris. A seeding rake is much heavier, and has tines spaced further apart. Working the soil, leveling the soil or cleaning up the grass is done with a seeding rake. There are also small, hand held rake tools for small flower beds and raised pots.
A hoe is a tool you will have a love hate relationship with. This tool is all about work. Those plants that are growing beautifully in your flowerbeds and along the house will have evil weeds in their midst. A hoe will be your best friend for removing them. Hoes can come with large heads for general weed removal in the yard, flowerbeds and vegetable garden. A smaller, pointed edge hoe works best for small areas or when plants are close together and it is hard to get between them.
A hoe will also till the soil in small areas, before you plant or transplant any flowers and seedlings. The edge digs down and then you can mix the soil up and get it loose before planting. Hoes also come in smaller, hand held version to work in pots or small areas.
When you care about your hands, and every gardener should, gloves will keep them protected. Whether you are trimming rosebush branches or pulling pesky weeds, the gloves will keep your hands from getting cuts and scratches. The barrier against the soil will also keep your hands from drying out and keep the extra grit from under your nails. Every gardener likes dirt, but cleaning it out from under your nails several times a day will be hard on your skin! Gloves can be cotton, canvas and even rubber for extra waterproof protection.
When you have a large yard, transporting anything can be tough if you don’t have a trailer for your lawn mower or a tractor. The next best thing – a wheelbarrow. This will do a lot of your backbreaking work without a complaint. Whether you have a load of weeds to haul to the back of the property or a hundred bushes to plant, the wheelbarrow will do it all in one trip. Wheelbarrows now come in two wheeled varieties, so they aren’t as tippy when using with a heavy load.
Since you have all of these large and small tools, how do you store them? Never fear, there is a garden tool holder just for you! There is a nice little hand held tray which can hold your small tools or all of your tools if you don’t have very many. Then there is the cloth divider that can be placed over a five-gallon bucket. Small and large tools of every size can be sorted and stored with care inside of this, and moved around easily. If you have even more tools, a small cart is made that has compartments and drawers to hold all of your tools. Since tool holders come in every size, you don’t have any excuse for leaving your tools laying around in the yard or garage now!
Since you have everything else related to gardening, and if you have a large yard and a large garden, you may want to think of having your own compost pile. A compost pile is easy to maintain and will be a great benefit to the soil in your garden or flower beds. Simply find a space for your compost, make a bin for it to protect it from the worst elements and begin mixing. Use leaves, grass clippings, organic food materials and soil. If you don’t know where to begin with a compost pile, the library has a slew of helpful books.
Not every gardener will need pruning shears. Some gardeners are strictly vegetable lovers. Other gardeners have a yard full of bushes or flowers that require yearly pruning. You can buy long handled or short handled shears. The shears themselves can have short or long blades.
Take good care of all of your tools to keep them in the best possible working order. Store them in a garage or shed during the cold and snowy months. The cold air can make the metal or plastic parts brittle and snap. The heat of the sun can dry out wooden handles and cause discoloration during the summer. Care for your tools and they will help your hobby in turn!