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Starting a garden can become overwhelming, especially when you start looking into all the tools available in the market. In this post, we will be talking about the most important tools every gardener should have. Late as your experience grows with your garden, you can expand your tool collection with novelties.
How to select a garden tool?
Choosing gardening tools is very personal and varies from a gardener to another. To help you make the right decision, focus on two main factors: the type of garden tasks you mostly do and the ergonomy of the tool.
1- Gardening tasks
Gardening tasks differ from a gardener to another due to the different gardening methods followed. Growing crops on a large or medium scale is very different from growing them in a backyard setting. Using high-raised garden beds is not the as inground gardening. These are just two examples to show you how diverse gardening tasks could be.
In a backyard garden setting, you might opt for short-handled tools just because you might be doing more detailed tasks. On the other hand, if you have a large property and grow things in a wider space, bulky and large tools might be more useful.
2- The ergonomy of the tool
Ergonomy is the science of tool design intended to minimize discomfort and fatigue. Today the market offer gardeners a wide variety of tools made with different materials and in different shapes and sizes. It is important to choose the one that fits your physical needs.
When shopping for a garden tool, try your best to try it first and handle it as accurately as possible. Notice the feel of the grip, the amount of force you need to apply, and so on. Gardening is already an intense job, so do not make it harder on your body.
Most essential Tools
The following list is for the most essential tool to start your garden adventure.
Shovels come in different shapes, sizes, and materials. Try your best to spend your money wisely and choose the one that will last. Gardening is all about handling soil. A good shovel should allow you to dig and scoop soil easily. Here is what you should look for:
- A round shape with a pointy edge to slice into the soil easily.
- A slight scoop-like form to be able to scoop out soil.
- An angled handle to prevent you from bending your back too much.
- An appropriate handle length for your body.
After shoveling the soil, you need something to help you move it to your destination. Most of us use buckets, but as our gardening tasks increase, something on wheels would be more helpful. Depending on your garden size, you may choose to use a wheel barrel, gorilla cart, or a poly dump cart. Here is what you should look for:
- Proper size for your garden.
- Easy maneuver.
- Easy to dump the material out of it.
- Good grip and balance.
#3 Bow rake
We got our shovel and used the cart to fill the growing space with soil. Now we need to smooth the soil to our liking and prepare it for planting. This job requires a rake, which is like a comb for the garden. It spreads the soil evenly and rakes the leaves. Here is what to look for in a rake:
- Good grip and appropriate handle length.
- Good quality steel.
- Comfortable weight for you.
Now we are getting down to the dirt level and getting closer to planting. A cultivator is a hand tool with two sides, one with three prongs and another with a flat blade. The pronged side helps loosen up the soil and maybe get rid of the growing weeds. The flat side helps dig small trenches and holes for planting. It also serves as a clump breaker.
A hand trowel is the most common garden tool. It is basically a small shovel that scoops soil and digs holes on a smaller scale. They are also useful to uproot small plants to replant them elsewhere. Hori-Hori trowel comes with a serrated side that allows you to cut through the roots that can be in your way.
A dibbler or dibber is a stick with a pointy side. It is made out of one piece of wood or a piece of metal with a wood handle. This nifty tool is handy for planting onions, garlic, leeks, and big-size seeds. It helps make the right size hole with the desired depth.
#7 Hose nozzle
After planting, it is time to water, and relying on watering might not be efficient. Choosing the right hose nozzle will help you water your garden properly according to its growth stage. Try to choose a nozzle with multiple settings to be able to select the right water flow. The most important settings are:
- Mist: for watering delicate seedlings.
- Shower: for regular watering.
- Jet: for washing off insects from leaves.
There is also another element to add, and that’s the length. Using a long wand instead of a short nozzle helps you reach the farther or the lower points of the garden bed without straining your back.
#8 Pruning sheers
Once your garden starts growing, it will need maintenance and upkeep. Pruning sheers might be the tool you will use the most. It comes in handy to prune soft and woody stems. Make sure they feel right in your hand as they will be your garden companion.
#9 Garden Fork
Having a garden fork is somewhat necessary. It is a great tool to till the soil and stir compost, but I find it most useful to lift garlic and potatoes at harvest time. It is also handy to uproot plants. Again try to select a fork with good quality steel and a strong handle.
Gloves are an essential tool for gardeners, but most of us do without them. However, there are circumstances where gloves are a necessity. Working with soil exposes you to different critters, which can be nasty biters. Using good quality and well-fitting gloves can protect you from them. Also, thick and long gloves make handling thorny plants easier.
These are some of the gardening tools worth the investment. They are put in such order following the timeline of gardening tasks from setting up to harvest.