The Basic Gardening Tools
Different kinds of gardens require different kinds of garden tools. Hardware stores mostly cater for a wide range of tools, but there are shops that specialize in the more expensive kind of garden tool that shouts quality. Wherever you decide to shop, here are a few pointers to advise you.
Do you have small garden or a large one? A small garden will not require the same large equipment that would be of use in an extensive one. A ride-on mower is unnecessary if you only have a small strip of lawn. Another point to consider is who does most of the gardening? Some tools may be too heavy for people with smaller builds.
When you buy secateurs make sure the blade always stays sharp to avoid damaging the plant. Look for models that have blades that can be sharpened or replaced, models with tension control and with sizes that best fit your hands. Good quality secateurs usually cost around $50 - $130.
Hedge trimmers or shears are handy - but only if you have a hedge, or plan on growing one. Some hedge trimmers have curved blades to stop branches from sliding out when cut.
Forks are used for turning and aerating compost and breaking up lumps of soil. The cheaper ones are often not strong enough for heavy soil, so go for sturdiness instead of price. Forks usually cost around $30 - $100.
A shovel has a scoop blade and is best used to move around dirt and garden soil. A spade has a flat blade great for cutting edges, digging and dividing plants. The edge of a spade should be kept sharpened for clean and efficient cutting will cause the least amount of damage to plants. These are a basic garden necessity and usually cost from $30 - $50.
A pruning saw is used for pruning trees and larger shrubs, while secateurs are for plants like roses. Pruning saws have a narrow curved blade that fits between stems or branches and easily and cuts them as you pull the saw backwards. They are approximately $27- $55.
A chipping hoe is a handy tool for getting rid of small weeds. The Dutch or push-hoe is slightly more user-friendly as the action required to use it does not jar the neck and shoulder quite so much.
A rake is also a basic requirement for the garden. The strong rake with the flat head and sharp metal prongs is used for smoothing a garden bed and getting out the last of the bumps and weeds. The plastic rake is used to gather leaves and grass clippings only.
Photo: M. D.Vaden
Gardening tools don't have to be expensive. Flea markets and garage sales can be excellent places to pick up great tool bargain.
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