Gardening Tools Guide: The Essential Gardening ToolsPublished: 11/11/2022 | Updated: 29/03/2023
Every gardener, whether novice or expert, needs a few essential tools in their shed. Read on to learn about the top 10 tools every gardener should have.
When buying landscaping equipment, it's easy to overspend.
Concentrating on essential gardening tools can prevent your shed or storage area from becoming overcrowded. There will always be more tools you can add to your collection, but investing in the highest-quality basic tools your budget will allow and keeping them in good working order will give you the best value for money in the long run.
To get started on any gardening project you have in mind, here are the top basic garden tools:
1. Pruning Shears
Hand pruners, also known as secateurs, aid in containing out-of-control and invasive plants.
Anvil-style pruners cut by bringing a sharp blade into contact with a flat surface, much like a knife on a board.
Similar to scissors, bypass pruners make cuts by gliding a sharp blade over a flat surface with a sharp edge.
Anvil pruners work best on dead wood but can break young green branches and stems. For green timber and live plants, bypass pruners are best.
Pruners ought to comfortably fit in the palm of your hand.
For those with arthritic hands, ratcheting pruners provide extra cutting strength.
Pruners need to be sharpened frequently for cleaner cuts and less damage to plants.
2. Garden Fork
Garden forks are a useful tool for turning soil and may dig deeper into compacted soil than a shovel.
To stir compost piles and scoop mulch, you'll want to use forks with a spinal curve, a bit like a pitchfork.
Digging is improved by straight tines; they work best in compacted, rocky, or clay soil.
In contrast to flat tines, which might bend when in contact with a rock or root, square tines are much more durable.
3. Hand Trowel
No shed should be without a garden trowel. This hand-held wonder is an essential tool that is great for weeding, planting pots, transplanting herbs, and bedding plants.
To remove weeds or work in difficult soil with closely spaced plants, use a long, thin blade; a broad blade will move more soil.
The durability and lifespan of trowels that are made of stainless steel, or at least have a stainless-steel head, is better than their fewer sturdy counterparts.
Even though gardening can be an enjoyable activity, without the right set of gardening gloves, it can quickly cause some serious wear and tear on your hands.
Gloves used for handling seeds or transplanting seedlings should be sturdy, but not unduly bulky.
Fit is important since improperly fitting gloves can lead to injuries by falling off.
Long cuffs prevent dirt from entering while shielding the wrists and forearms from abrasions.
Keep gloves out of the sun, away from water, and insect-free.
Another tool for cutting is a lopper, which is basically a long-handled pruner used for trimming and cutting thicker branches and hard-to-reach areas.
It is much easier to cut through wide branches thanks to the lopper's long handles.
Like pruners, they come in anvil and bypass varieties.
The length of the handles normally ranges from 16 to 36 inches.
Bypass loppers offer a more exact cut than anvil-design loppers. Longer-handled loppers can be extremely heavy.
Consider what you'll be cutting and how far you'll need to reach when choosing the appropriate length for you.
Handles made of lightweight carbon composite or aluminum might be more lightweight.
As with pruners, keep your lopper blades sharp and in good shape for the best results.
Get rid of trash and fallen leaves with your trusty rake. Rakes are available in a wide variety of styles and dimensions, but a straightforward leaf rake is a great place to start.
Adjustable rakes serve the roles of many different types of equipment since they can cram a ton of leaves into a small area.
Steel tines are more resilient than plastic ones, but steel can be too rough for a delicate lawn, so consider what you will be using the rake for, before opting for either material.
The humble spade is a powerhouse in the garden.
These small square shovels with short handles are skilled in edging, lifting sod, moving small dirt mounds from one place to another, and digging holes for plants.
Even though a good quality spade can cost you a pretty penny, a good spade will last you the rest of your gardening career.
The treads on top of the blade offer a firmer and more easy to handle surface for when you need an extra push.
Ash hardwood handles are sturdy and effective at absorbing vibration and shock.
When it comes to spades, the choice is usually between long and short handles.
Longer handles provide more leverage but tend to be heavier than short ones.
8. Watering Can
There are two basic types of watering cans: metal and plastic. For nozzles, sizes, colors, and styles, there are countless options.
Watering cans made of plastic may be lighter than those made of metal, but they won't last as long.
Metal cans should be galvanized to stop rusting.
Keep in mind that a gallon of water weighs just over 8 pounds when comparing the size of the can to your strength.
You should be able to carry a full can and effortlessly tip it to pour when the handle is in the proper position.
Two handles offer greater stability for younger or more experienced gardeners.
You will probably want to invest in at least two: one for outdoor plants and one for indoor plants.
9. Wheelbarrow or Yard Cart
A wheelbarrow can work wonders when it comes to moving large amounts of compost, dirt, mulch, or any other heavy lifting and moving job. A good wheelbarrow can help you move hundreds of pounds!
Single-handle, two-wheel versions are easier to handle and perfect for dragging over uneven terrain or for people with limited strength.
Large or irregularly distributed loads may make it more challenging to balance traditional dual-handle, single-wheel models, whereas wheelbarrows with one handle can be drawn or moved with one hand.
Keep everything dry and pristine in storage to prevent corrosion and always keep your tires inflated properly to make wheeling smooth.
10. Garden Hose
A good irrigation system lies at the heart of every well-kept garden.
Everything in your garden needs water to survive, so your garden hose must be able to cover every inch of it.
There are three standard hose diameters:
- 5/8-inch (which has an average flow rate of 15 gal/min)
- and 12-inch (which has an average flow rate of 9 gal/min) (up to 25 gals per minute)
You may modify the spray pattern and water pressure with an adjustable nozzle.
Before you buy, determine the length of the hose you need. Water pressure can be affected by hose length; the longer the pipe, the less pressure it generates.
Vinyl hoses have a shorter lifespan and are heavier than rubber hoses, but they are also more prone to kinking. Keep hoses covered and away from direct sunlight.
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