Ten essential garden tools
Like cooks, gardeners can acquire quite a collection of tools. The essential gardening tools fall into three categories: long-handled tools, watering tools and hand tools. This is a list of the top ten, 'cannot do without' tools.
Long-handled tools: Shovel, rake and cultivator
Long-handled tools are back savers. When working with a long-handled tool, stand straight and bend your knees (not your waist) to lift. To make lifting easier, use your forward hand like a fulcrum.
When raking or cultivating, hold the handle at the top and mid-point with both palms down to balance your effort between both arms. Select a handle diameter that fits comfortably in your hands.
A heavier tool, especially for your trowel, shovel and rake, can equate to more force pushing into the soil, as long as the extra heft is not a strain on your arm.
Watering tools: Watering can, hose and breaker nozzle
A watering can with a detachable 'rose' nozzle allows you to both water softly and free flow.
Hose walls are made up of plys. The more plys the stronger the hose, the less likely it will kink. Also, check the brass fittings of the hose for finish and fit. They should be easy for you to screw together.
Adding a breaker nozzle with an extension handle 'wand' to the hose provides a soft spray and saves on reaching and bending.
Hand tools: Bypass pruner, garden knife, trowel and gloves
A bypass pruner (unlike an anvil pruner) gives you clean cuts on the many herbaceous stems on vegetables and the thin branches on small fruits in your garden. The garden knife and trowel are multipurpose: planting, weeding, digging and, sometimes, hammering. Pay close attention to the feel of the handles and the weight of the blades in your hand. You will be holding these two tools the most.
Gloves, gloves, gloves! Every gardener has favourite gloves made from leather, fabric or rubber. You may need to try several varieties before finding the fit and wear you want. Some gardeners can go through several pairs in a season. Others make do with a single pair.
Paint your tools
Tools can get lost in the garden. Use yellow paint or other bright colour to make a tool more noticeable.
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