Written by Terry Smith
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All the garden hand tools you need
This article was last updated on November 3rd, 2021 at 9:08 pm
Gardening tools – knowing how to choose the right tools
Gardening tools make life just that bit easier, you need the right ones of course and get it right, you’ll find life just that much easier.
Gardening not only brings food to our tables but is a great way to relax and just enjoy the outdoors, nothing beats the sensation of a well considered compliment of your flower beds or lawn. Getting your hands dirty, while gardening is a fantastic way to pass time, whether you are doing it in the winter, in the summer, in the spring or even in autumn so we’ve compiled the best gardening tools to help you.
To enjoy the experience more, you need to have the right tools and there is a wide variety of tools available in the market that have some of the latest designs, meaning that you are able to use the gardening tools without too much effort. The fact that you have so many tools to choose from means that you are covered in every aspect whether it is taking care of the lawn, or pruning the hedges, or spreading manure in the garden so that you can improve your soil condition.
The huge variety of tools available can make it a bit confusing on which is the best one to buy, it is so easy to get lost in the world of tools and you may end up finding that you’re buying things that may have the same functionalities, or be in a situation where you buy a tool without really understanding what it is for. This is why it is important for you to have a clear list of the tools you need and a clear understanding of what each tool will do for you before you set out to do your shopping.
A simple way of coming up with the list is to classify your tools, for instance, you can have;-
- Cutting tools which would include the hedge trimmers, lawn mowers, log splitters, among others.
- Digging tools which include garden forks, shovels, hoes, spades, garden knives, saws among others.
- Gathering tools like wheelbarrows, rakes, compost bins, leaf collectors, litter pickers, amongst others.
- Sharpening tools
- Soil testing accessories
- Other gardening accessories like gloves, coveralls, boots, and hats
If you use the right tool, you will find that gardening is very easy and something you can do in a very short time. Make sure you have the right tool for the job and also pick tools that are comfortable to use, meaning that they fit comfortably in your hands, they’re not too heavy, and they do not require too much maintenance. Also, check that they are made of high-quality material that will give you durability and long-term use. Since you will be using the tools in different types of climate, Make sure that the metallic parts of the tools are made of corrosion free stainless steel material that requires very little maintenance.
We will explore the best way to buy your gardening tools as well as give you ideas on how to get that healthy looking garden using a few basic tips, for example, when to water your garden, creative ways to make your garden look good, getting birds to help with pollination amongst other things. You will quickly realise that gardening will benefit your mind and body in ways you never could think about and can also help you save your money because you can have a kitchen garden that gives a fresh produce every time you want to prepare a meal.
Gardening tools summary table.
Gardening Hand tools
These are the tools you need when you are planting or pruning and they will help you turn your garden from a barren piece of land to a lush flourishing landscape.
Spades and forks.
Spades are very important if you need to dig holes, move soil, or even for use to transplant seedlings from one place to another. One of the most important factors to consider when buying gardening tools is that you need to be comfortable when using them. Take factors like your height into account so that you get one that is not going to require you to keep on bending when using it. You do not want to have to deal with a backache and joint pains because of the wrong length of the shaft. Make sure that you buy a size that is good for you, meaning it should not be too heavy because it will be difficult to handle when you are using it. Look at the kind of material used in its construction because you want something that will not rust and one that will give you long term usage.
There are many kinds of spade you can consider. The typical garden spade has a square handle and you can use it to dig, cut, or lift soil. When making the decision to buy, be clear about what you want to use it for, whether to prepare land for planting of seedlings, dig channels or break soil. Many people tend to confuse spades and shovels but spades are actually smaller and have a flatter blade.
Forks have round tines and are good for transporting things like compost, hay, mulch amongst others. There are also some that you can use for turning the soil, separating or lifting plants as well as tackling rocky areas. You can also use them to aerate the soil. Standard forks are used for heavier work like breaking up compact soil or difficult to handle clay soil because the material used in construction ensures that the soil does not adhere to the fork. Pitchforks are good for lifting hay, mulch, compost among others. Smaller forks can be used for digging in between plants because they are normally smaller and are good for use in tight spaces.
1. Draper 16566 fork and spade set.
The Draper fork and spade set is made of high-quality carbon steel material that’s is hardened and tempered. They have shafts made of steel with a plastic coating. They are good value for money because you can get a set for under £25 pounds and gives you good functionality in your gardening efforts. At this price point, you get good value for money because you get sturdy, strong gardening tools that will deliver as per your expectations.Cons
You need to use the tools for the jobs to which they are suited otherwise they may break. Some quality issues have been reported by some users who have complained about the poor quality of the set.
2. Spear and Jackson spade and fork set.
Coming in at just below £50, this spade and fork set from Spear and Jackson is made of stainless steel that has a mirror polish and promises you rust resistance and minimal adhesion to the soil. The shaft is made of hardwood and is weatherproof and will survive any attacks by the elements such as water.The handle is split from the hardwood shaft forming a wishbone handle. This makes it easy to handle and comfortable on the hands when in use. If you are looking for the traditional look in spades and forks this would be the brand to buy.Cons
- The handle may become loose or break, and while it looks good, some users feel that it doesn’t last very long.
- In some, the rivets on the handles stick out too far and may lead to soreness or bruising of the skin.
Hoes provide a great range of functionality in a garden because they are used for different purposes like digging, moving dirt, digging trenches, removing weed among other uses.
3. Sungmor Wrought Steel Garden Hand Hoe
Product features and what makes it a good buy
The 17 inch wrought steel garden hoe is manually forged making it very strong and durable. It is corrosion and wear resistant with a soft grip that is comfortable to hold even for extended periods of time. Use it to loosen soil or to reclaim land that is not in use, as well as any general gardening work that you need to do. You can also use it to dig out roots and other weeds and is, therefore, a very handy tool to have in your gardening tool shed.
Shovels are used for moving debris and other material from the garden. The square shovels have a square edge and are therefore ideal for moving large volumes of material. You can also use them to level uneven soil. Pointed shovels have raised edges that make them convenient for loose soil and gravel. Micro shovels are small and are good for use in tight spaces while snow shovels are good for moving snow from the garden.
The bulldog shovel has a forged taper mouth with a steel shaft and wooden cross piece grip. This means you get a very strong shovel that allows you to break up aggregate easily. You can use it for filling trenches, and working on your curb due to the fact that you can use it on concrete.The shovel is forged from one piece of steel thus assuring you of durability and strength. Use it for your fencing as well as to pick up any material including tarmac and cement.The handle has good grip, and the core which is made of fibreglass will not warp or rot. It comes in at a good price point, is lightweight and good value for money.Cons
- Take care of it well to avoid rusting.
5. Root Assassin Shovel
Product features and what makes it a good buy.
This combines a shovel and saw that makes it great for cutting roots and weeds. The sawing action makes the cutting action very easy. It then scoops out the dirt giving you multiple functionalities. The blade has carbon steel construction with 16 serrated teeth on each side of the saw allowing you to easily cut through roots, and the pointed tip will allow you to dig deep into the ground. You can also use it to cut tree limbs.
The metal handle with a rubber coating is sturdy and comfortable to use and will not rust or chip.
The manufacturer gives a lifetime guarantee for replacement.
- You may need to be strong to use the shovel saw
- The saw is not durable and may bend with aggressive use
Working in a garden covered in snow can be a daunting task. You, therefore, need a gardening tool that will make it easy for you to work.The Bulldog SNOW 1 has a large scoop made of plastic which assists in snow removal. The material is durable and lightweight with a metal edge at the front. The handle grip makes it comfortable to use. Its construction consists of one piece of forged steel and will, therefore, give you durability and strength.The shaft is long enough to ensure you have to bend therefore no strain on your back. It gives a wide range of functionality, not just outdoors in the snow but is great for cleaning the stables or cowsheds as well.Cons
- The plastic may crack under very strenuous use.
- The metal strip may come off.
7. Heavy Duty Plastic Snow Scoop with Replaceable Shovelhead.
Product features and what makes it a good buy.
This 2-in-1 shovel has a replaceable head depending on the use you want it for; whether normal shovel use or for shovelling snow. The blades are made of polypropylene which is tough and can carry heavy loads.
The ergonomic D-grip handle with a rubber cover is comfortable to use and allows for easy storage on hooks or racks.
8. Kent and Stowe Daisy Grubber
The Kent and Stowe hand Daisy grubber is made of stainless steel and is ideal for use in soil and grass surfaces. Use it to easily remove daisies and weeds that are top rooted.It has a 15-year guarantee and has a handle that has FSC approval. The stainless steel makes it corrosion-resistant and it will give you long term usage due to its durability.
The company is well known for its quality products especially in the garden tool category and there are no negative reviews for this particular and grubber.
Product features and what makes it a good buy
The Spear and Jackson garden saw allows you to cut across and along the grain. You can use it for wet wood and for a large number of cutting applications in the garden. It gives you clean and very fast cutting action with minimal whipping and vibration because the blade is very rigid. You are therefore able to cut varying thicknesses of wood and it gives you great value for money.
You have a very soft grip due to the ergonomic handle which comes with a finger guide and a 45 degree and 90-degree guide for accuracy when cutting.
- Take care of the saw well otherwise it may rust.
10. Davaon Pro Pruning Saw
Product features and what makes it a good buy.
The Davon Pro Pruning saw has blades which are high strength and made of SK5 carbon steel, giving you a saw with very sharp teeth, that have a coating for less friction and no resistance when you are sawing. The blade will not bend because of the position of the nut that is far from the edge.
You do not have to worry about rusting and the manufacturer assures you of a long-lasting saw. It has an ergonomic handle with an anti-slip grip which makes it very easy and comfortable to use, even if you are pruning for a long time. The thumb placement gives you extra comfort when using it. The 7TPI blade allows you to select blade positions so that you do not strain your wrist, and its light weight makes it easy to carry and will not strain your hands when using it. The eyelets allow for easy portability.
You’ll get a wide range of uses from this saw whether it is pruning, using it for survival when out in the wild, and cutting dry or wet tree branches, among other uses. It is easy to store because you can easily fold it away and the easy switch locking mechanism keeps the blade away when not in use.
- The blade may wobble
- Does not have a hand guard
- Faulty locking mechanism in some of the saws
Product features and what makes it a good buy.
If you are looking for a bow saw that you can use for almost any application, then you should consider the 21 inches Bahco Bow saw that comes with an extra wet cut blade. Whatever you are using it for, whether gardening, fencing, roofing, or even use in confined spaces, this bow saw is good quality and comfortable to use due to its lightweight which makes it easy to use.
It comes with 2 blades which you can easily change depending on the use you require.
- it does not come with any instructions and may be hazardous to use if you don’t have knowledge of how to use bow saws.
- The design is flimsy and the plastic finger guard may fall off.
12. Roughneck 64012 Micro Cutter
Roughneck micro cutter mattock has a fibre glass handle and comes with a black painted finish. It is suitable for a wide range of uses including fencing, prying, wrecking, building, chiseling, bolstering among others.The steelhead is drop forged with an ax on one end and a mattock on the other, giving you multiple functionalities. The steel is heat treated and tempered for durability. It is lightweight and the soft rubber grips make it easy and comfortable to use.Cons
- The handle is narrow and feels flimsy when you compare it to the weight of the head.
- The head is not well fixed in some products and may wobble when in use.
- The edges are blunt and may require sharpening.
- There is poor power balancing between the weight of the mattock and ax.
13. Heavy duty pickaxe
This 5lb heavy duty pickaxe is a grubbing mattock with a forged steel head and a fibreglass handle which is 36 inches in length. It comes with a 5-year warranty and assures you of long-term usage.You can use it to dig up roots, create beds, break up soil among other functions. At its price point, it is a great value for money and is very durable.Cons
- It is a bit heavy and may therefore not be suitable for everyone.
Shears, scissors, and secateurs
14. Davaon® Pro Geared Secateurs
Product features and what makes it a good buy
The Davaon pro secateurs reduce the strain and fatigue that comes with pruning. You can, therefore, use them for a long or short time depending on your needs without getting blisters or hand aches.
They provide multiple functionalities because you get both anvil and bypass secateurs and are therefore great for branches, hedges, live or dry branches among others. You can also easily cut stems and branches because of the anvil grip. The bypass secateurs act a lot like scissors and you can use them on live plants without damaging them.
The blades which are made of SK5 heat-treated carbon steel will give you a sharp blade that is very strong and durable. You do not need to sharpen them frequently and they have a non-stick coating so that sticky substances do not adhere to the blade.
The Davon Pro has an ergonomic handle making it very comfortable to use. The handle is lightweight due to the fibreglass material, very strong, rust resistant, and has index finger placement and a thumb safety lock that’s very safe to use. The anti-shock spring will protect your hand when doing particularly difficult tasks.
These secateurs make a great gift and you have a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
- The handles are far apart and people with small hands may find them difficult to use.
- Difficult to use lock and release mechanism.
- They may feel a bit fragile for some people.
15. FLORA GUARD hedge shears
Product features and what makes them a good buy.
These shears are made from SK-5 Japanese steel which is hardened and is therefore extremely sharp and durable. They have a Teflon non-stick coating which protects from rusting and are safe to use because the material makes them resist bacteria.
For a good grip on branches, it has a wavy blade edge that ensures there will be no sliding when you’re cutting. The heat treatment applied during its manufacture ensures the blade does not bend or fracture and will keep its edge over a long period of time.
The handle is made of aluminium alloy with a non-slip grip; it is very light and easy on the hands making it great for use even for a long period of time. You can extend the handle up to 34 inches to reach the branches that may be higher up. Easily loosen or tighten the blade using the elastic knob.
These shears have good reception in the market because they do not seem to have any negative feedback from the people who have used them.
- Remember to take care of your gardening tools otherwise, they may rust or break.
16. Zenport ZS104 Deluxe
Product features and what makes them a good buy.
These scissors are made for a wide range of applications when you are doing your gardening and the construction is carbon steel which is lightweight and very durable. They have soft grip handles and are therefore convenient for long term use. You can adjust the scissors to be as firm as you want by lightly tapping on the rivets until you get a fit that suits you.
The scissors have long handless making it possible to cut off stems and remove small tubers. The blades retain their edge over a long period of time.
- The blades can become loose over a period of time.
- If you do not take care of them well, they will rust.
- May not be good for heavy pruning
17. Spear and Jackson Anvil Lopper
These loppers have a powerful progressive cutting action with a twist and lock mechanism. The blades are made of C50 carbon steel that is tempered and hardened thereby making them very durable. The blade has a PTFE coating which makes the rust resistant and will allow you to cut smoothly whatever the application. These loppers are made for heavy-duty use and will not get damaged even if you are using them on very thick stems.The lightweight aluminium handles are non-slip and have a soft grip and are long enough to ensure that you are comfortable every time you use them. You can extend the telescopic handle using the twist and lock mechanism and you can achieve up to 28 inches in handle lengthThe product comes with a 10-year guarantee and is great when you want to cut thick stems with maximum ease. By adjusting the length of the handle, you can reach branches that are higher up the tree without too much of a struggle.Cons
- The handles may bend or break possibly due to the fact that they are hollow.
- They are heavy and may not be very easy to use.
There is a wide range of chainsaws available in the market and whether you choose an electric chain saw with a cord or cordless, petrol chainsaw, power cordless chainsaw, really depends on what you’re looking for. Make sure you have the right accessories including gloves, boots, trousers, jackets amongst others to assure you of your safety while using the chainsaw.
Chainsaws are basically mechanical saws that can be used for cutting trees, pruning, limbing among other users. The more specialty types can be used to cut concrete or ice. This is an expensive tool to have and you, therefore, need to take good care of it. Lubricate any metallic parts and use the right fuel to run the machines, if you using the petrol chainsaws, or make sure you have constant power supply if using electrical chainsaws. Make sure you sharpen them so that they continue to perform well. Have the right clothing to avoid injuries rising from chainsaw use.
18. Bu-ko 26 cc Petrol Chainsaw
The petrol chainsaw has a 26cc engine capacity giving you a powerful, lightweight and easy to manoeuvre chainsaw. It has an ergonomic light-weight design that makes it comfortable to operate allowing you to cut quickly through wet and dry timber. It also features anti-vibration handles so that you’re comfortable when operating it.It is easy to use and has a safety valve switch for safety and efficiency. It comes with full safety gear and a 1-year guarantee.Cons
- Quality issues in some chain saws, for example, poor quality chains and protective gear.
- Hard to put together and may be a bit noisy.
19. Blaupunkt Electric Chainsaw
Product features and what makes them a good buy.
This electric chainsaw has an 18-inch blade and is suitable for cutting wood. It has an automatic chain brake and a cable with an automatic cut-out that stops the chain immediately you release the trigger. It has a 2.4 KW electric motor which allows you to cut through thick branches with ease. The hand-guard will protect you during your operations.
You can quickly replace a the chain when it becomes dull using the SDS system. Easily to up the oil tank because you can check the oil levels through the clear window with the levels and the handle ensures you have a solid grip in whatever position you are using it. At 6 kilos, it is lightweight thereby allowing you to work for a long time without serious fatigue. It also has overload protection, no kick back, and automatic chain brake.
The machine comes with a 3-year guarantee and a 30-day return policy.
- The chain loses its edge quickly.
- Does not have very clear user instructions.
20. CobraHead Original Weeder
Product features and what makes them a good buy.
The cobra head original weeder and cultivator are made from forged steel and has recycled plastic handles. The ergonomic design makes it easy for digging, planting or edging and the manufacturer’s advice that it is made from hands-on gardening experience and is able to respond to every gardener’s need.
Rugged construction and the quality of material will assure you of long-term usage. Do not let the small size fool you, it has a wide range of uses and is very tough.
Whether you’re an expert or beginner, this weeder is extremely easy to use and the curved head has the ability to tackle any kind of soil that you use it in.
It has ambidextrous functionality and can, therefore, be used by both left and right-handed people.
- The shape of the blade is not very good for capturing weeds.
- It is not easy to chop out roots using the blade unless it is a weed that has mesh linkage in the roots or is a creeper.
The Amtech hand cultivator has a comfortable grip for easy use. The blade is made of polished aluminium. It comes in at a good price point and you get value for money because you have a wide range of uses to give your outdoor space a well-maintained look. The manufacturer has given a 3-year warranty on the products and also offer free product advice should you require it.This is a very handy tool to have and can make a perfect gift for a loved one. It is very strong and promises you long term usage. There seem to be no negative reviews for this product and you may, therefore, consider having it as part of your gardening tools.
22. Amtech E2556 2-Sided Diamond Sharpening File
The Amtech sharpening file has a flat side and a half round side. It has 240 and 400 grades making it suitable for a wide range of sharpening applications for indoor and outdoor tools like knives, garden tools among others. To really enjoy its benefits, make sure you apply the correct sharpening techniques otherwise you will damage both the sharpener and the tool.It has a soft grip that makes it easy to use and it comes with a 3-year guarantee.Cons
- With repeated use, it may lose its abrasiveness
23. Spear and Jackson Bulb planter
These bulb planters come with a stainless steel rust resistant head with a mirror polish which does not allow for the soil to adhere to it and makes it very easy to clean. The weatherproof handle is strong and durable and it has a wide t-grip handle for ease of use.The long shaft makes it easy to use so you don’t have to strain your back by bending over repeatedly. It also comes with depth markings so you know when you have reached the right depth. The bulb planter easily cuts through soil making your work easier and faster.Cons
- The handle is not very well made and can come loose after a short time.
- It may break or bend
- It may not work very well in certain soil types like clay soil.
24. Garden Kneeler Folding Seat Stool
This gardening kneeler allows you to tend to your flowers while kneeling and then sit while you prune your bushes. It is very portable due to its size and you only need to fold it to store it or carry it around. It has a tool pouch that allows you to carry your gardening tools and is made of high-quality steel tubes for durability. The cushions are made of polypropylene foam thus very comfortable.You get a one year guarantee when you buy the product.Cons
- Folding it back may be challenging.
- The tool bags are a bit small.
Factors to consider when buying gardening tools.
You may think that buying gardening tools is a very simple task, yet the reality is that it is not. With so many brands available in the market and so many types of tools, you may get a bit confused when thinking about what to buy. There are several factors you need to consider before you make the final decision on which tool to purchase including the type of tool, the task level you wanted to achieve, the price, the material from which it is made amongst other considerations. Buying the wrong tool can be very costly for you because you will end up needing to buy another one to replace the useless one, not paying attention to learning how to use the tools can result in you buying tools that you never actually use thus a waste of money.
So how do you know which tool is the right one for you?
Understand what you need the tool for.
Determine what your needs are and buy the right tool for the job. With so many products in the market, you have a wide variety to choose from and some of the tools give you the benefit of multiple functionalities. Once you have understood what your requirements are, you need to decide where you want to go buy the tool. You can use online shops, supermarkets, specialty stores amongst others and the beauty is that you get a wide range of suppliers allowing you to do proper price comparisons.
One of the most important things to look for when you’re buying your gardening tool is how useful it is and how comfortable it is to use. We would recommend that you do your research very well before you go to the market and also use our buying guide above to help you choose the right tools.
What is your skill level?
It is also important that you understand your skill level; the tools that would be used by a beginner are very different from those that a professional would use.
Take note of the design
Also take note of the design of the tool because some are prone to breaking easily because of poor handle attachment, brittle material, among others. For instance, those that have a tang and ferrule do not last very long because they tend to separate. If you get one that is forged from handle to end, it may give you longer usage but you need to know that you will spend a little bit more on the purchase because they are a bit more expensive.
Find a garden tool that has a good grip otherwise, you will have to deal with blisters every time you decide to do your gardening chores. You may not totally avoid the blisters, so ensure that you have a good first aid kit at hand so that you can take care of anything that could lead to infections like cuts or scrapes from the tools. Ergonomic handles make it easy for you to use the tool and it reduces user fatigue because of the design aspects. Make sure you test the tools before you buy them to ensure that you have the right weight, height and a grip that are comfortable for you.
Tools with large handles make it easy for you to grip them when you are using them.
Check the length of the shaft for those tools that have shafts like hoes, shovels, and rakes because you do not want to hurt your back by bending too much when using them. Poor posture can lead to health problems like backaches and strained muscles, so watch out for this when you buy your gardening tools.
What is your budget?
You also need to consider the pricing, this largely depends on how much you have put aside for buying the tools, but we would recommend that you just buy a high-quality tool so that you do not have to keep on replacing it. The higher the quality the more expensive it is but the longer usage you’ll get out of it.
Consider the material from which the tool is made.
Look for high quality, durable material and if there is any metallic part, you should ensure that it is stainless steel so that you do not have to worry about rusting. Stainless steel is also very easy to clean and to use because it tends to slide through the soil thus increased efficiency. Forged steel is very hard and will give you a very durable tool, while plastic, carbon fibre, and aluminium will give you lightweight tools that are very easy to use.
Consider brand and user reviews.
Some companies are well known for the quality of the gardening tools they produce. This is why you need to do your research before you buy anything. Also, see what other people are saying about that particular tool because user reviews provide a lot of important information. Look for a brand that gives you a warranty on their products because this will be a clear indication that the manufacturer is confident about his product. There are some brands that will even offer after sale services like the sharpening of the tools so you don’t have to worry about handling such tasks.
Type of tool.
You have the option of choosing between manual and powered tools. Powered tools give you efficiency and you’re able to get through a large amount of work in a very short time. If you’re going to invest in those that use battery power, electricity or even petrol, be willing to spend quite a bit of money on the purchase and maintenance of the tools. However, you have increased efficiency if you are to compare them to manual tools. Think about it this way, if you were to use a manual lawn mower and an electric lawn mower or a petrol driven lawnmower, the amount of time you will spend will be vastly different.
Power tools are also a bit heavier and if you’re using an electric one, you will need to consider having an electrical outlet and cables that are long enough to allow you space to manoeuvre.
Look for tools with interchangeable heads.
The ability to change the heads will give you more functionality because all you need to do is buy a good handle and a variety of heads like a fork head, shovel head, trowel head etc.
The must-have gardening tools.
We have reviewed a number of gardening tools that would make your work so much easier, but the reality is that you may not be able to afford everything that we have highlighted. So which tools should you absolutely have as a priority when you are shopping for gardening tools?
Pruning shears or scissors.
People use the word shears or scissors or secateurs interchangeably to describe the pruning tools. They are important for getting rid of dead wood, cutting live plants, and cutting dead plants amongst others. Get one that fits comfortably in your hands and sharpen them regularly to make sure that they retain their edge. It is important to note that if you do not use them well, you can injure the plant and cause it to die. Practice your pruning techniques before you apply them to any plants.
Garden forks and hoes.
You will need this to turn the soil. You can also use them to scoop up mulch or turn compost and are great for use in all kinds of soil. When buying your garden fork, look for one with high-quality material that will not rust and make sure that the tines are strong enough, so that they do not bend or break when you are using them.
The type of hoe you buy depends on the type of garden you have and what you want to use it for. For instance, if you have a vegetable garden you may need a wide hoe and if you will require it for weeding then get a weeding hoe.
A spade has so many uses in a garden including digging, edging, lifting, or moving things from one place to another. Buy a good quality spade because it is something that you will use over and over again and you do not want to keep on replacing it. Find one that is comfortable to use with a steady shaft and good handle that can absorb vibration and shock. Look for a handle that will be comfortable for your use depending on what your height is. Make sure that the material is of high quality and rust resistant.
Other tools you should consider include gloves to protect your hands when you’re working, loppers which are good for cutting thicker branches, hand trowels which are great for transplanting, rakes which are good for cleaning up, Water pumps, lawn mowers, leaf blowers among others. Remember the type of tool you buy is totally up to you as an individual based on what you need in your garden, it makes no sense to buy a tool and never get to use it.
How to store your gardening tools.
Taking good care of your tools is very important because you do not want to spend money buying them and then they get spoilt because you have not taken due care in their storage. If you do not keep them correctly, they can break or rust thus requiring you to replace them.
If you consider your tools and investment that help you save money then you’ll want to take good care of them. Tools that are well taken care of last a long time saving you from spending money on buying others. Keeping the tools away from the elements like rain and sunshine is important because they are normally made of metal and wood which can rust or rot depending on how you store them. The most important thing is to make sure that you clean them well after use and store them appropriately.
What do you need to watch out for; in as far as the gardening tools are concerned?
Any wet environment will damage your tools. If it is metal, it will rust and if it is wood, it will rot. These are the two scenarios you have to watch out for and that is why it is important that the storage area is very dry to avoid this. If you live in a very humid area and you have the equipment, you may consider investing in a dehumidifier to help keep the humidity levels ideal. No matter how much the manufacturer promises that their equipment is rust-free, if you do not take care of it properly, you will quickly realise that it is more often than not just a claim made by manufacturers.
There are some accessories you can use to that against trusting like silica gel which helps prevent moisture from getting onto the tools. If you’re using tool boxes, have some silica gel to help protect the tools.
Winter can be harsh on tools. If you use your tools during this season is very important to have silica gels because of the moisture levels in the air.
Storing power tools in cases
It is a good idea to keep the packaging material for power tools. Most of them come in cases that are constructed in a way that they will provide protection against hard impacts that would damage them. The cases also have the added advantage of keeping away moisture or humidity and they’re also very convenient what you want to transport the equipment.
Use nail hooks
Consider the use of rocks and nail hooks to hang your tools. You will save a lot of space this way and you’re able to keep them out of the way so that no one bumps into them accidentally resulting in injury. This is also a great way to keep the tools out of children’s reach especially if you have toddlers in the house. Hanging out holes it also keeps them safe in case water pools in the ground or on any flat surfaces. The best part about it is that the tools are easily accessible and easy to put back once you’re done using them.
So how can you store your tools?
Consider the size of the tools
There are many storage solutions available for different tool sizes. If you have a toolbox, you can keep smaller tools like knives, shears, and pruners. Look for boxes that are sturdy and have different configurations to allow you to arrange the tools properly. Keep the toolbox locked away so that if you garden with the children, they can be safe from cutting themselves or injuring themselves in any other way.
If you’re lucky enough to have a shed, use it to store the larger tools such as the lawn mowers and Wheelbarrows. A nicely arranged garage can also provide good storage space for some of the bigger tools. Have racks in your garage so that you’re able to arrange the tools to keep them out of the way while optimising on the available space. Racks are great for leaf blowers, trimmers or any other tool that you can hang.
Use hanging baskets.
You can use hanging baskets to hold some accessories like gloves, twines among others. Make sure that whatever you put in the basket is not the kind that will tangle around each other making it hard for you to access them when you need to use them.
Use wall hooks and nails
Some tools like those with handles can be hung from the wall using nails or wall hooks. This makes it easy for you to organise and it makes them easily accessible when you need to use them. You can also put the nails at a height that is high so that the children are not able to reach them thus ensuring safety for the children.
Make a storage bench.
You can do this as a Do-It-Yourself project and have storage benches in the garden. Not only does it give you a great place to keep your tools, but you can use the benches to sit on or as part of the decor for your garden.
Transform pallets into a tool storage table.
Pallets are great for a wide range of DIY projects, by repurposing a pallet, you will find that you have a very good way of storing your gardening tools. The best part about it is that you have so many functionalities out of one pallet including the ability to drive nails into it for nail hooks; you can arrange it in a tabletop manner for the tools that are not suitable for hanging, among other functionalities.
Maintaining gardening tools.
If you want to get the most out of your garden tools, you have to keep them well-maintained meaning you need to clean the well then oil them so that you avoid rusting, store them well and most of all use the right tool for the different jobs.
There is no rocket science involved when it comes to keeping your garden tools clean. If you have tools that you use regularly like hedge trimmers, lawn mowers, and pruning shears, then make sure that you clean them immediately after use and store them safely away. You will be happy to know that sometimes cleaning is as simple as just taking a rug and wiping down the tools. This is especially true if you’re using it in dusty conditions, fencing, or redoing your outdoor space for better functionality.
Cleaning with water
Use warm water if you need to, especially if you have been working in the snow or anywhere there is mud. When the tool is clean, make sure you dry it properly so that there’s no moisture that remains on the tools.
Lubricate any metal parts so that you avoid rusting, WD-40 is a good lubricant to use but there are so many other products you can use that will keep the rust away. Use sandpaper or steel wool to rub out any rust and then lubricate using oil so that the rust does not build up again.
For tools that are susceptible to rusting, place them in sand soaked in oil, a simple effective way of keeping away rust.
Power tools are a bit more complicated and you have to be very careful when cleaning them because you do not want to damage any of the motor parts. Pay attention to how you clean the trimmers, your electric lawnmowers, and even your washers. For a more thorough cleaning, you may consider getting a technician to do it for you so that you do not mess with any of the internal components that are required for the running of the machine. If you do decide to go ahead with the cleaning on your own, it is important that you unplug the machine from the electrical outlet. Use oil or lubricants in the parts that may rust.
Most manufacturers have manuals that will give you directions on how to clean the machines. Even without a manual, the internet is awash with information on how you can handle some of these tasks. So please, do not be a know-it-all, consult if necessary and if you know that you cannot do it on your own, then let their specialists handle it.
If you are using gasoline, diesel or petrol gardening tools like heaters, among others, make sure you drain them before storing. This will help avoid build-ups or clogging which can end up damaging the machine or costing you a lot of money to clean.
Sharpening the tools.
To make sure that you get maximum functionality out of your tools, keep them in good condition and this includes sharpening them when they become dull. Even tools made of high-quality stainless steel material that keeps the edge well will become dull over time due to repeated use, and if you do not sharpen them, you will damage them. Use the right sharpening equipment, for example, whetstones or sharpening files and apply the correct technique so that you do not spoil the edge.
Gardening mistakes to avoid.
Gardening is not easy and there are some common mistakes you can make that will result in poor results for your garden. It is not a simple matter of digging a hole and putting in a seedling and hoping that it’ll grow into a healthy plant. There is so much you need to do for example; you need to know what conditions are best for the plant, how much space you need to have between the plants for them to grow well, what time to water your plants, whether they require shade or not among other factors. You need to know when to plant depending on the seasons, how to take care of pests like slugs, checking the effect of rain on crops, how to intercrop, among others.
With some basic research, it is very easy to avoid some of the mistakes. Also, read the recommendations that come with the seeds or seedlings so that you have a healthy harvest and beautiful looking plants if your gardening is all about aesthetics.
So what do you need to know?
Not knowing where to plant different types of plants.
Different plants have different needs, some need a lot of water to grow meaning that wherever you plant them, you need to have a proper water source, others require shade while others require direct sunlight. If you do not pay attention to the right planting conditions, then your plants will definitely not grow. For example, you may start to notice that the leaves are turning brown or the plant is starting to wilt. If you are buying the plants for improving how your garden looks, you will surely be disappointed.
Before you decide on the plant you want, talk to the person selling it to you and understand the conditions that it needs to flourish. Even before going to the store, have a basic understanding of the plant you looking for so that know what the implications of owning the plant are including how to care for it.
Using too much or too little water.
Using too much or too little water is another common mistake. Plants require water but just like you require a certain amount of food, so do they need a certain amount of water. Swamping them or giving them too little water is akin to you eating too much or too little food. You know how it feels when you over-eat, you can barely move, you feel bloated and lethargic. Just pretend that the plant is you and treat it accordingly. Seek advice if you’re not sure about the amount of water you need to use on the plants and have a watering schedule that you adhere to on a daily basis.
Using too much or too little fertiliser.
Using too much fertiliser on the plants is not equal to healthy plants. Quite the opposite, if you put too much fertiliser you will kill the plants, and if you do not use enough fertiliser you will not have healthy plants. Follow the recommendations that come with the packaging and if you’re not sure, talk to plant experts so that they can give you the right directions.
It is not a good idea to plant haphazardly, different plants have different spacing needs and if you do not take care, you can end up choking some plants. Make sure there’s enough space between the plants so that they all get sufficient nutrients, water, and sunlight. Blending in the colours will give an aesthetically pleasing look to the place whether it is for the garden, curb or hedges. Green walls are also very attractive but you need to have the right technique in order for them to grow.
Not planning yourself well.
It can be very exciting to see your garden flourish and you may get tempted to try too many things at once. If you will be handling the garden on your own, do not take on too much work by having too many plants at a go. Remember plants require care for instance pruning, watering, and weeding among other routine activities. Only plant enough so that you’re able to focus and if possible limit the number of vegetable or flowers you grow in a season. Some plants will require more attention than others and you need to be aware of this before you proceed.
Ignoring the weather.
Before planting, make sure you understand the weather patterns and how it affects the different crops you’ll be planting. Some plants do not do very well in cold weather and if you live in such an area then you may need to avoid them totally. Some plants may rot if the soil is too moist because of constant rain, if you talk to a plant expert, they will be able to tell you the best crops to plant depending on the seasons, for example, peas and salad greens do well in spring, tomatoes and chilies do well in summer while carrots and cabbage can be planted towards the fall.
Not having a good understanding of the soil.
This is the most important factor when you get into gardening and if you do not have a good understanding of it then you will surely not succeed in your gardening or landscaping endeavours. Learn the correct soil improvement techniques especially when it comes to balancing the PH and getting the right nutrients. Soil that is too acidic or has too much alkalinity is not good for most plants and you will need to neutralise it for the perfect balance. Use compost manure which is cheaper for you, can be easily made at home and has a lot of beneficial nutrients and organisms for your plants.
Ignoring unwanted guests.
There are many animals that can attack your crops. While birds can add to the ambiance of the garden and help in pollination, they can also attack your crops and eat them before they are ready. Even the domestic chicken can do irreparable damage to your garden. The other unwanted guests include moles, hedgehogs, and raccoons among others. Keep the domestic animals away from the plants and use fences, or enclosures to keep away some of the wild creatures.
Gardening is fun and it has great benefits whether it is for aesthetics, a healthy mind, a healthy body, or putting food on your table. However, if it is not done well it can be frustrating for you because you will keep on wondering why your plants are not flourishing while the neighbours’ seems to be doing so well. Do not ignore any of the factors we have highlighted above if you want to enjoy the benefits of your gardening labor.
Pest control tips.
There are so many pests and diseases that can attack your plants and you will quickly realise that in order to have a healthy garden, you must find a way of fighting the pests and diseases that can attack your plants. You can use organic and inorganic methods to control the pests. The method you choose all comes down to which one you feel gives you the best results.
However, you should know that not all the animals that come into your garden are bad. Insects like bees, dragonflies, ladybugs, praying mantis just to name a few are beneficial because they help in pollination or they also eat some of the more harmful insects. For instance, ladybugs will eat aphids which can destroy your plants. Others like ants, woodworms, mice, slugs, and birds can destroy your plants so you need to know how to take care of them.
So what can you do to control the pests?
You do not have to resort to pesticides and insecticides when you see some of this pest. Simply picking them and getting rid of them is a good place to start. For example, you can easily pick out a caterpillar although this depends on the size of the garden.
Use organic pesticides and insecticides
You can actually make some of this stuff in your own house, salt sprays, garlic and oil sprays will keep away some of the pests.
Use of fences
If you keep some of the domestic pets like chicken and rabbits, you will need to keep them away from your plants. Having a fence will help with this. If you live in an area with wildlife like deer or bears, you may need to invest in higher, stronger fences which can be a bit costly.
These are sheets that provide cover for plants without smothering them while allowing sunlight to pass through. They are more common in nurseries and can keep small animals away. The covers are normally used when the plants are young before the stems harden.
Use of cloches.
This is a temporary cover and is made to fit a particular plant. You can, for example, cut off the bottom of a milk jug and use it as a cloche. If you need to protect more than one plant, you can create cloches using row cover fabric and wire. Be watchful that on very hot days you remove them so that the plans do not overheat.
Cutworms normally attack at night and attack from the ground level. Use collars made out of index cards to foil the attacks. Make sure you push the collar an inch or two into the soil so that the pests do not access to the stem.
Use this to protect the plants that have berries or fruits.
Plant disease resistant varieties
There are some plants that will resist a wide variety of diseases and pests and are therefore a good option if your garden is in an area that is prone to attacks.
Practice good gardening techniques
Excess moisture and lack of enough sunlight can lead to fungal infections in the plants. Make sure that there’s enough space in between the plants so that the ground can dry quickly when it rains thereby not giving fungi a chance to grow or spread. If you live in a very humid area, you need to be especially careful about the spacing between the plants.
Use the right amount of pesticides and insecticides, and avoid overhead watering if you can. The leaves should remain dry at all times. Water the base, not the leaves.
If you find any plants that have signs of disease or fungal infections, you need to get rid of them immediately to avoid the spread of the disease. Do not put the diseased plants in the compost heap, put them in the garbage can so that they can be disposed of, far away from anything that will get to the other plants.
Practice crop rotation; some fungi or diseases will only attack a certain crop and if you rotate it with another, they will quickly die off. You also have the added benefit of balancing the soil thus improving the soil fertility.
Balance the soil PH to make sure that it is not too acidic or alkaline. Either extreme will lead to problems for your plants
Make sure your garden is free of weeds. Weeds are parasitic and they live off the other plants. If they attack your garden, they will smother the useful plans and you’ll have nothing but a garden full of weeds. You can use mulch to keep the weeds down, cool the soil and prevent loss of moisture. Pull out the weed immediately you see them so that you do not give them a chance to take over. There are also some pesticides you can use that will prevent the weeds from developing.
Gardening is extremely beneficial, it will provide you with fresh produce for your table, it’ll give you a beautiful landscape, and you get to relax when you’re doing your gardening resulting in a healthy state of body and mind. To be able to garden well, you need to have the right tools and we have explored this extensively above. Also, have the right gardening techniques and make sure you take care of your tools well. Look at your tools as an investment that needs to be taken care of well.