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Picking the right gardening tools

5 February 2013
Picking the right gardening tools

You can find most of the tools you will need at your local gardening or home improvement shop. Usually the employees will be simply thrilled to assist you in finding the ideal tools. If you go to a garden center that specializes in gardening, you can usually get some advice in addition to service. Garden center employees are usually an untapped wealth of wisdom.

Specific tools for specific tasks
As far as basic digging tools go, you might already have all you’ll need. There are several types that you should get though, for different specific tasks. A round point shovel is good for digging holes for plants. A spade is necessary for all the more intricate work. A garden fork you might not use as much, but I have one in my tool shed and I’ve been thankful for it on multiple occasions. Having these different varieties of digging tools can help you to minimize the work you have to do. For example, if you try digging a big hole with a little spade then you’ll end up rather tired. The same goes if you are attempting to do more detailed work with a big clumsy shovel.

Lawn rake vs garden rake
A rake is an absolute necessity. You most likely already have one, but I’m guessing it’s a lawn rake and not a garden rake. There is definitely a difference, and if you try to use a lawn rake in a garden then you will not be happy with the results. Same if you buy a grading or a contractor’s rake. You’ll want to look for a bowhead rake. I’ve found these are the best for gardening purposes. They will provide you the maximum control and accuracy, so you don’t accidentally tear up your precious plants.

Must have hoes
As far as hoes go, I don’t believe any gardener should have less than 3. There are so many useful varieties on the market that I have a hard time recommending just one, and that’s why I’ll tell you all the ones I usually use. The one I use the most is the onion hoe, which is very lightweight and ideal for small cultivations and weeding. The Warren hoe is a larger model, with a pointed end. If you need to make a hole or dig out a pesky weed, this is the one for you. There are several other varieties, but I recommend starting with the ones I mentioned. As you progress in your gardening savvy, you will find the need for more types.

Last tip
Most people believe that gardening just consists of a simple spade. But there are many, many tools with many more variations that you will use in your gardening career. Usually you can start with just a few different tools, but you’ll always find that you can use more varieties for special situations. It’s just a matter of recognizing when one tool could be more efficient than another.