Wise gardeners understand the importance of essential gardening tools

Wise gardeners understand the importance of essential gardening tools

Article by Lisa Houghton

Garden enthusiasts often choose good-quality basic tools over the latest designs because they understand the important role they play in gardening.

Successful gardeners do not work alone. They enlist the help of some of their closest friends – garden hand tools.

There is an array of innovative garden tools to choose from, but the secret to successful gardening, in fact, lies in owning the most important, yet basic, types.

Whatever gardening tools you choose, you can ensure they last by taking care of them.

Clean them regularly and never leave them outdoors – otherwise, the metal will rust and wooden handles will rot.

Preserve metal by rubbing it with an oily rag and preserve wood by rubbing it with linseed oil occasionally.

Essential gardening tools – spade

Arguably, the most important garden hand tool is the spade, used for large-scale digging and cultivation.

Choose the material wisely. Your choice of a carbon or stainless steel spade depends on the frequency of use. For an infrequent spade user, a stainless steel one will stay smooth and glide through the soil as you use it, but the blade will blunt sooner.

Essential garden tools – digging fork

Slightly lighter than the spade, the garden fork is the optimal tool for soil digging. It makes fidgety work much simpler and prevents the need for messy work.

In addition, it is much easy to remove weeds from the root with a weed fork. It is important to get one with a comfortable handle if you are to use it frequently.

Using two garden forks together may help tease roots apart of perennial plants when dividing them.

There are gardeners, however, who claim it is best to cut them with a spade or old kitchen knife.

Remember to take the material of these garden hand tools into consideration. Stainless steel may rust with frequent use, although works better initially. Carbon may be resistant to bending and last just as long.

Essential gardening tools – hand fork

Those who are having trouble pulling weeds out by hand may benefit from owning some hand forks.

These gardening tools will loosen the soil around the weeds and ensure all of the roots are loose. With this tool, a stainless steel has a nicer feel when working.

Essential garden tools – hand trowel

Smaller jobs, like planting bulbs and bedding plants in cultivated soil, should be tackled by these handy gardening tools.

Stainless steel is certainly best in a hand trowel because the blade will stay clean and it is easier to spot if misplaced.

Essential gardening tools – secateurs

These gardening tools come in two varieties – bypass and anvil blades. Bypass blades move past each other to make the cut while anvil blades are thin and sharp and brought and sit next to each other.

For a cleaner cut with less crushing of the stem, choose the bypass blades. Between the handles there is a spring, which moves them apart for ease of use.

You can prevent residue buildup by using fine emery paper on the insides of the blades. On bypass secateurs, sharpen the large blade. The other should be left alone.

When you are pruning out diseased plants, disinfect the blades before use.

For more information on gardening tools/garden tools and garden hand tools, visit http://www.diymatters.co.uk.

About the Author

DIY Matters is an e-commerce website and a subsidiary to one of the largest importers of garden fabric in the UK and has access to the world’s best landscape fabric.

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