Home gardening is one of the best activities to do. It gives you the opportunity to get fresh fruits and vegetables for cooking and snacking, and as well as grow beautiful flowering plants to decorate your home. Technically, gardening will only require seeds, soils, sunshine, and water. However, it also needs hard work, which can be made easier by using the right tools.
If you are new to gardening, there are many gardening tools available that you can add to your collection. If you want to start, you can read our article about the Essential Garden Tools for Every Gardener. But if you wish to learn more beyond the basic tools that you can use for gardening, you’re in the right place. Today, we are giving you the ultimate gardening guide to the proper tools.
In gardening, tools for digging the soil are very important. If you can only afford a few tools, then you need to get a sturdy shovel, pruners, and hand trowel. As you continue gardening, you will eventually figure out the other tools you will be needing. To help you, here are the essential tools you need for digging and preparing the garden bed.
A hand trowel is a small version of the shovel. It is usually used to dig small holes for planting seeds. You can also use it to measure depths in the soil and as well as to dig up tough weeds in your garden. When buying a hand trowel, ensure that you pick one that has a narrow but sturdy blade. This way, you can use it to easily cut into the soil. Choose one that has a comfortable grip as well to avoid fatigue on your hands.
This garden tool is the mini version of a garden fork. It is mostly used for scratching the soil to remove small weeds. You can also use it to rough up the soil in the garden and in a container. Sometimes, a hand trowel and a hand cultivator are sold in bundles or sets.
A garden fork is quite similar to a pitchfork. It is used for turning over soil and compost, dividing perennials, and digging out root crops. It features a long handle and metal tines to enable it to penetrate the soil easily while avoiding smaller rocks that can get in the way when a shovel is used.
Shovel or Spade
The shovel is the key tool for every gardener. It features a pointed, rounded blade that can be used to dig holes and move soil. A spade is also a type of shovel that has a straight-edged, flat blade. It is used to dig straight-sided holes, remove plants and weeds, make edgings, and cut roots. Always remember that digging is not an easy task. Therefore, when buying a shovel, make sure that you choose a good quality one. Pick one that has a longer handle, and look for forged metal with a sharp blade edge.
A hoe is usually used in removing shallow-rooted weeds. In addition to that, it can also be used in creating furrows for planting seeds and breaking up bunches of soil. There are various shapes and sizes of hoe-heads. When using one, ensure that the metal head is attached securely to the handle. Also, choose one with a smooth wooden handle to avoid splintering.
A ground rake features metal tines. It is usually used for smoothing soil and removing debris and small rocks in the garden.
Pruning, Deadheading, and Harvesting Tools
Here are the essential tools that you will need to prune, deadhead, and harvest in your garden:
Gardening gloves are essential because they can help you avoid blisters and cuts as you work in your garden. Aside from that, they can also keep your hands clean. For gardening, it is better to look for gloves that are waterproof along the palm and fingers. And if you feel like you need more protection, you can consider longer gloves.
Pruning shears are used to cut or trim small branches from trees, shrubs, and perennial plants. There are also several kinds of pruners in the market. The best one probably is the bypass-style pruner, wherein its top blade slices pass the bottom blade, which can cut plants quickly, allowing them to heal fast as well. Pruning shears are also used to harvest ripe vegetables while avoiding damage to the plant. When buying a pruner, ensure that you are getting one with razor-sharp blades and comfortable handles.
Scissors or trimming scissors are also essential in gardening. These scissors have thin and sharp blades and are usually used for removing dead flowers or what is called deadheading. Aside from that, it is also used for pruning delicate plants and snipping flower stems and herbs. This tool can’t replace a hand pruner, but it is made to complement it. When buying garden scissors, ensure that you choose one with ergonomic handles.
Watering your plants is also very important. When you start gardening, you need to plan how you will be able to water the plants in your garden. It is essential to have a nearby water source. Here are the important watering tools you need for gardening:
A garden hose is the most common tool used to water plants. It is something that you can carry at long distances. To reach farther, you can also attach two or more garden hoses together. When buying one, it is better to opt for a high-quality rubber hose that has nickel-plated brass coupling at both ends. There are also adjustable nozzle or sprayer heads that you can buy to deliver different watering needs, such as a gentle sprinkle or a hard stream. You can also read our article, How to Connect a Garden Hose to a Water Line, for more ideas.
A watering can enables you to water plants evenly wherever they are located. It is perfect for small watering tasks. Most watering cans have a capacity of 2 gallons, which is easy to carry even when full. It is also great if you can have a smaller watering can for watering small container plants.
If you are growing plants in water boxes and overhead baskets, it is quite challenging to water them well. For these plants, you can use watering wants. These feature long shafts, which makes them easier to reach the water-hanging plants. This type of watering tool provides soft and soaking water. You can also use them to water closely spaced plants in the garden while avoiding stepping on the soil.
Other Essential Garden Tools
Having the garden tools we’ve mentioned above will help you get started with gardening at home. But in addition to those, there are other garden tools that are not required but are quite essential to have, too. Here are some of them:
A leaf rake is a lightweight garden tool used for raking up leaves and lawn clippings. You can also use it to spread mulch. When you buy one, make sure that you choose a metal rake as it can last longer and works better compared to its wooden and plastic variations.
A wheelbarrow is a very useful garden tool. You can utilize it to haul soil and leaves, and as well as in collecting debris and other moving tasks. Steel wheelbarrows are stronger and can handle heavy loads. There are also heavy-duty plastic wheelbarrows, which are great for home gardeners. Using a wheelbarrow can also help prevent getting a strained back from carrying items around the garden.
A soil monitor is also a useful garden tool. It is something that you stick in the ground to read the sun, water, and pH value. This way, you will have an idea of when to water the plants, and as well as if they are getting enough sun. This will also tell you if the soil in your garden is alkaline or acidic.
Garden Tool Caring Tips
If you want your garden tools to last long, then you need to take good care of them. For the tools that come into contact with soil, make sure that you clean them before storing them every after use. You can wash them with water or soak them if dirt has hardened, then dry them using an old rag. For your pruning tools, make sure that you remove any ingrained sap or dirt with wire wool if needed. After that, wash them in soapy water and dry them before storing them.
Your digging tools and hoes also need to be coated with oil once a year to prevent the blades from rusting. If you wish to sharpen them, you can use a metal file on the front and back edges of the blade, then oiling them after.
If your garden tools have wooden handles, you can clean them by smoothing them off using sandpaper or a sanding sponge. After that, polish them with natural, protective oil. For pruners and shears, you can sharpen them by using a file or whetstone.
Check all your garden tools and tighten up any loose bolts on moving parts. Make sure to inspect any worn-out parts that need replacing. After that, you can spray them with a tool lubricant. It is also essential to apply lubricant all year round, especially after heavy periods of pruning.
It is indeed important to have all the essential garden tools to be able to successfully grow plants and harvest fruits and vegetables in the garden. You don’t really need to spend a lot of money on garden tools. By choosing high-quality ones and taking good care of them, you can ensure that they will last longer and help you in improving your garden at home. We hope this article helped you learn more about garden tools.