Top Five Gardening Tools: A healthier lifestyle has nowadays taken over the minds of the every living human being except very few but everyone these days wanted to keep its lifestyle healthier. And this must include both indoor and outdoor activities. And nothing could be better than doing your outdoor activities in the lap of Mother Nature. So, one of such healthiest outdoor activities you can do this spring and summer is GARDENING.
Doing gardening on the routine basis offers you the plenty of fresh air, and of course, say hello to Vitamin D with the sunshine and moderate exercise. That is not all, as the best of all you get is that you end up with a tableful of fresh vegetables and herbs. Gardening for a lot of people is often a summer task, to help preserve garden tools when stored in a possibly damp shed over winter, it is worth applying some oil to moving parts and wipe metal parts with an oily rag after the metal has been cleaned of soil etc.
Gardening sounds like a lot of fun but this is not even that easy as sometimes, you may end up with strained back muscles, scratched hands, and other backyard nuisances. To avoid all this, you’ll need the right tools. There is a wide range of tools available to spruce up your garden, however, some of them will just remain in the garden shed, gathering cobwebs.
And here, we break down the Top Five Gardening Tools every backyard gardener should have. There are, however, 5 garden tools which every gardener should have from the amateur to professional. These, together with a bit of effort on your part, will be the backbone of getting the garden you want.
Following are the Top Five Gardening Tools that you must own if you want a safe gardening experience:
1. The Garden Spade
One the fact about the garden spade is that many of us think of spades and shovels as interchangeable, but they’re not the same gardening tool. A spade features a flat, squared-off blade and often is short-handled. It is ideal for edging beds, slicing under. An ideal garden spade is suited to the height of the gardener, like the fork, if the heights are not matched, back injuries can result. Another point to consider is the width of the spade; a wide spade is generally better for those who have a sandy soil whereas if working on clay soil, a narrower garden spade is better for getting to grips with the heavy earth.
What does a gardening spade is required for?
- It is ideal for edging beds, slicing under sod and working soil amendments into the garden.
- In a pinch, you can even use a spade to chop ice on frozen sidewalks.
- Alongside the many other gardening tools, the trusty garden spade is another of the garden tools which needs to be at the forefront of gardening.
- It has many uses from just digging to shoveling away debris.
- For those who have the energy, the spade is essential for double digging, where the soil is loosened two spits deep (a spit is the depth of the blade) and organic material, such as compost, is mixed in.
Tip for the Buy: The garden spade tends to come in stainless or carbon steel and although it is not prone to rust, the spade should be cleaned of any clumps of earth before putting away.
2. The Garden Fork
Also known as a spading or potato fork, this a perfect gardening tool for turning and aerating the soil, especially clay. The garden fork is really a work of art, yet one of the most functional pieces of garden equipment. It might be worth investing in two forks as using them together back to back, they make an excellent lever for separating dense clumps of roots or vegetation.
Why you need a garden fork?
- Generally, the garden fork can be more functional than the spade for loosening and lift soil as the four tines make it easier for bypassing stones and roots in the soil.
- Use it to break up chunks of ground and to work organic matter, fertilizer, and other amendments into the soil. Forks are ideal gardening tools to cope with buried roots or rocks.
- It comes in handy for dividing clumps of perennials, too.
Tip for the Buy: Forks generally come in stainless or carbon steel making them quite robust and resistant to rust. When purchasing a garden fork, there are certain things to consider, as not all garden forks are the same. The height of the fork is of paramount importance, if the height is not suited to your height, back injuries could occur. If you are a vegetable gardener than a fork with flatter tined is ideal for lifting root vegetables.
For the majority of pruning jobs within a garden, the secateurs or pruning shear is the ideal choice of tool. There are three types of secateurs to choose from:
- The bypass, these work along the same lines as a pair of scissors with the blades sliding by each other.
- The anvil type, where the blade comes down against a fixed anvil.
- The parrot-beak type, similar to the bypass type but the blades have a distinctive curve – i.e. when closed they look like a parrot’s beak.
Tip For the Buy: The most versatile type is the bypass secateurs, as unlike the anvil type which can crush stems or the parrot-beak which is limited to thin stems, the bypass is a good all round garden tool. The bypass secateurs are ideal for floristry cutting and pruning branches of shrubs and small trees.
Care Tips for the Secateurs
- It is important to look after secateurs as if left out in all weathers the spring that enables the jaws to open and close, can seize up; if this does happen a small drop of oil should loosen them again.
- Also, keep the blades clean and sharp, any build up of dirt can stop the blades cutting properly and a blunt blade can damage a plant and lead to an infection taking hold in the plant.
4. The Garden Rake
The garden rake is another much-needed asset to the gardeners’ toolkit; there are type basic types: 1) The lawn rack (illustrated) with long springy tines usually in a fan shape, you cannot put any weight on the tines but it’s designed for raking in leaves off of grass and removing cut grass from lawns.
2) The heavy-duty variety of rake is much squarer and squatter with much firmer and shorter tines, it can loosen the surface soil to produce a fine tilth for the sowing of surface seeds.
Why do you need a garden rake?
- Use a garden rake to dress and smooth out mulch or soil in a planting bed.
- The tines of this gardening tool simultaneously break up small clods of soil and corral small stones and debris.
- Use a flathead style to level the soil for planting; just flip the rake over so its bridge scrapes along the surface of the soil.
Tip for the Buy: Ideally, if you are going to choose just one type of rake, the heavy duty type is more versatile and can perform duties on the lawn and also in the soil.
5. The Garden Hoe
A garden hoe is an essential tool for dealing with the bane of the gardener, weeds. An old-fashioned gardening tool that never goes out of style is a hoe.
What does a garden hoe do?
- The hoe is needed for this job is called the Dutch hoe and is ideal for working through the soil and cutting weeds just below the surface in between a crop.
- It’s also useful for breaking up soil clumps. Tilt it at an angle and the corner of the blade traces neat planting furrows in prepared soil.
- Like shovels, most hoes work best if you sharpen the blades as they become dull.
- Also, the hoe is ideal for hilling, which is the movement of soil towards the base of a plant, creating in effect a mini hill.
Tip for the Buy: 1) Albeit, the Dutch hoe functions best when used on seedlings or soft stalked plants which easily break. Because of the cutting action used, the front edge of the hoe needs to be kept sharpened so that it does cut the stalks and not just bends them.
2) Chopping hoe, the another hoe to consider if you are a vegetable gardener as this is ideal for pushing and pulling soil for drills; this can make life much easier.
Making straight drills more achievable than by just hand alone, this type of hoe can also be used to dig, although not in comparison to the fork or spade, but can be used for harvesting potatoes and such like.
These were the top five garden tools that are anyhow invaluable to the gardener and provided they are taken good care of, they should provide every gardener with the essential tools for gardening jobs and last a long time. We hope you might have liked the article and we are waiting to hear your thoughts in the comment box below.