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In the jungle of concrete that we live in, it is getting increasingly difficult to live close to nature. You are lucky enough if you get to stroll in the local park. But in our homes where we spent most of our lives, the only way to be close to nature is to nurture our gardens.
Gardening is not just about having ornamental plants potted in the aisle or by the compound wall; it is about experiencing the joys of your hard work. Not only the bounty of fresh flowers but you can have enough supply of fruits and veggies (we are over-optimistic!) provided you put in enough of elbow grease.
Liberty Hyde Bailey quoted, “A garden requires patient labour and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy decambitions or to fulfil good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.”
Whether you are about to start from scratch or are curious about how to make your garden grow, here is the list of must-have gardening tools. But before that, let’s look at how to choose the right gardening tools for the job.
Why Do You Need Gardening Tools
Life of a gardener is never easy. From deciding what plants to grow to soil, watering, and pest control, gardening is quite a task. You cannot expect to raise a garden without the use of tools. Whether you maintain an outdoor garden or want to grow your vertical garden in a skyscraper apartment, you will need tools for fertilizing, seeding, weeding, pruning and a whole lot.
Think of gardening as cooking. There’s a whole supply of tools available, but you don’t need all of them. As a beginner, you need high-quality tools that you can use for different tasks. Once you get the hang of these basic tools, you can move ahead to choose specialized expensive garden gear.
How To Choose a Gardening Tool?
Ask any hobbyist or sincere gardener, and they will tell that they have a strictly selected collection of tools. Gardening is a laborious task, and tools are a mechanism to make it easier and efficient for you. This is why when you choose a gardening tool, make sure it is:
Effective-From ploughing the soil to trimming the stems, the tools you pick must be effective. When you pick a tool, look at the effectiveness of your personalized use. An automated weeder is not what you might need for a home garden. It is efficient at weeding but not effective for home gardens.
Comfort-Applicable for manual garden tools, grip comfort, is an important factor to look into before buying a tool. You will be using the tools for everyday gardening and inefficiently designed tools can not only cause discomfort but can also lead to injury.
Material-Plastic shovels to reinforced steel garden knife, you will find garden tools made of all kinds of materials. Don’t get tricked by low priced garden equipment if it is not made from high-quality material.
List Of Gardening Tools You Must Have
1. Pruning Tools-Pruners, Shears & Loopers
Pruning is an important part of gardening. Trimming is just of least importance, but pruning is done for a host of other reasons such as removing dead growth, cutting for transplanting, shaping, and collecting of flowers.
You can use your scissor for soft stems, but sooner or later, you will need to deal with hard stems. You will be glad if you have the appropriate pruning tools. For gardening, you have hand pruners, shears, and loopers. Based on the working mechanism, you have three types of pruning tools-bypass, anvil, and ratchet.
The bypass pruner works exactly like a scissor. It has one sharpened blade that slips by a thicker unsharpened blade. In contrast, the anvil pruner has a single straight cutting blade that closes down on a flat edge, the anvil. The ratchet pruners are just anvil pruners with a mechanism to perform cutting action in stages.
Of all three, the bypass pruners have the best closeness and cleanness of the cuts.
When To Use a Pruner, Shear, or Looper?
Pruners are the smallest of the three and can be operated with one hand. They are used for smaller plants and shrubs.you can cut stems thick up to an inch using the pruners.
Loopers, on the other hand, are large tools used mostly for pruning trees and large shrubs. Designed to be operated with both the hands, loopers can cut branches up to 2 inches in diameter.
Shears are also large handheld tools, but they are designed for delicate pruning. They are just large straight-blade scissors that are built more for speed than strength. Mostly used for shaping large areas with small growth, pruning spears cannot cut thick branches.
The Technique To Use Pruners
For the most clean cut place the cutting blade at least ¼” behind the cutting site. Due to its shape, the blade tends to slip about ¼” from the actual cut position.
Get the branch deep into the pruner all the way in. You will be tempted to trim the stems like the way you use the scissors at the very tip of the blade. However, it will not work with pruners and unnecessarily stress out your hands.
Recommended-Kraft Seeds Garden Pruner
Stainless steel blade, ergonomic plastic handle with a strong grip and 2” blade makes it a suitable pruner for home, office and school use.
2. Digging Tools
The most basic task of gardening is digging. Over the years, the tools we use for moving and turning the soil have become more diverse in design and application. There is a range of digging tools, knowing the purpose of each will help to pick the right tool for the job.
Shovels and Spades
Often seen as the same, shovels and spades are not the same. The main difference between the two is the difference in the leading edge shape.
A shovel has a rounded edge and body, which is more suitable for moving material. It can also be used for digging soft soil. However, a spade is designed to cut into the soil because of its square-shaped edge.
How To Use
You put the square edge of the spade on the ground and push it down with your foot on its back edge. Once it is in the ground, you pull back the handle like a lever, turning back the dirt.
A miniature shovel, a trowel is a hand-sized digging tool that you can use for smaller digging tasks. Digging holes for small plants, making short seed furrows, removing weeds, or plant bulbs, the pointed edge of the trowels is useful for all.
For tilling and aerating the soil, garden forks have square or flat tines made of very strong material with a D shaped handle. The forks with four tines are sturdiest and best suited for breaking up heavy clay soil.
For forming trenches and digging out rows, a garden hoe is the best digging tool. It is often used as a weeding tool because of its perpendicular mental blade. The best use of hoes is to dig out weeds by their roots.
The word rake is taken from old English “raca” which means to scrape together. Although all rakes are similar in design, different types have been developed for certain tasks.
Garden Rakes vs. Hand Rakes
Garden rakes are fairly long with strong and short rigid tines that are designed to do heavy jobs such as creating planting rows and breaking up hard soil. Hand rakes are of similar design but with smaller handles designed for working close to the surface. For working in between the plants and tight spaces, hand rakes are much more suitable.
Recommended- HKC HOUSE Gardening Tools Set Garden Tool Kit
Digging tools can get confusing, especially if you are not sure about their application which is why we picked HKC House Gardening Tools that have a quality shovel, rake, spade, trowel, and weeder. All made from rust-resistant CR-MO metal plates.
3. Garden Knife vs. Paving Knife
A garden knife is simply a blade with no moving parts just like a kitchen knife but much more utilitarian. The most popular garden knife is hori hori that is mostly used for digging. Made from stainless steel mostly, there are carbon steel garden knives also available that tend to be more expensive. Garden knife is an invaluable tool that is helpful in weeding, cutting sod, transplanting, and dividing plants. There are many uses of garden knives from weeding the narrow areas to planting saplings and trimming soft stems.
Weeding is a specialized application of garden knives; while ordinary knives can be used for weeding soil blocks, they are of little use to remove weeds from between the stones and paver bricks. For the purpose, you will need a block paving knife. With an L-shaped blade, the paving knife is used like an edging tool to remove the weeds between paver stones.
Recommended-Falcon FEK-20 Steel Edging Knife
Weeding between the paving blocks require a paving knife like the Falcon FEK-20 that has a hardened and tempered coated steel blade to cut the weeds cleanly. A comfortable plastic nylon grip is just an added advantage.
Your garden will need a lot of nutrients to flourish, and compost is the single most important supplement. The nutrient-rich humus, when added to the garden, not only fuels plant growth but also restores vitality in depleted soil. Above all, compost is free, easy to make and the best way to help the environment.
There’s a high probability that you live in an urban area. To create nutrient-rich compost for your garden, there is no space to create an open compost pile or dig compost pits. You are limited to using the worm bins and compost tumblers.
Which compost to use?
If you are planning to compost mostly the kitchen scraps, then the worm bins are most suitable. They use the process of vermicomposting to convert kitchen scraps into compost. However, if you are planning to turn kitchen scraps plus some yard waste into compost, then you will need a compost tumbler.
Recommended-Trust Basket Trustbin Indoor Compost Bin
This product has it all. Secure bins to check the foul smell, compost maker with detailed instructions, and ability to convert kitchen scraps into compost in 4-6 weeks.
5. Miscellaneous Garden Tools
Most people overlook the use of rain gauges, but experts agree that they are fundamental gardening tools. There is no better way to manage the garden irrigation than to use a rain gauge.
The right amount of watering leads to a healthier garden. A rain gauge is a simple tool to prevent drought-stressed plants or to overwater. If you overwater your plants, it leads to shallow roots, making plants susceptible to diseases.
How To Use Garden Rain Gauge?
There are different versions of rain gauges from expensive to basic ones, but we recommend the model that directly sticks into the ground. These rain gauges measure not only the rainwater but also the mild and dew.
Note-Don’t put a rain gauge too close to plants where a splash back could skew the readings. Also, the leaves and other green material into the soil could mess up the reading. Always put the rain gauge in an open area of your garden.
Recommended- Atoz Prime Rain Gauge Container
This polystyrene rain gauge has a capacity of 35mm, which is best for gardens. It comes with an attacher so you can easily fit it in a secured open space in your garden.
We know that your garden seems to be too small to cause you any harm. All you do is spend time maintaining the flower beds, pots and work tirelessly to keep your lawn blooming all seasons, but don’t do it with bare hands.
Gardening gloves are important to keep your soft hands turning into a builder’s palm with splinters. Also, working for bare hands with soil, manure, and fertilizers can result in pale dermatitis allergy. Gloves not only keep your fingers and palms safe from the dirt, but they also keep your nails clean and prevent nail breakage. Also, you don’t have to face the risk of infected cuts when you are working with garden gloves on. Good pair of gardening gloves will not only protect your hands from cuts but will also keep them in good condition.
There are several glove types on the market. Buy one, depending on your needs. Latex or rubber gardening gloves are best fitting and mostly suitable for gardening as they are affordable. You can use them with most chores involving water. Leather gloves, on the other hand, are preferred to work with sharp plants and to avoid cuts.
Note-Always buy fitting gloves as ill-fitted ones are not only uncomfortable but can also be dangerous. If you are using power tools, lose gloves can easily be pulled off. Also, too tight-fitting gloves limit movement and can cause injury.
You will not enjoy gardening so much if you have soggy, wet, or muddy feet. Rubber shoes save you from all the troubles and put you in a good mood with your garden plants. Protecting your feet from rocks, water, and sharp objects, you need to know how to choose the right gardening shoes.
We recommend you to look for gardening shoes that:
- Keep your feet dry
- Fit well
- Properly cover and protect your feet
- Have a good grip
- Easy to put on and take off
Rubber shoes have all these qualities making them ideal for gardening.
Recommended-Fasteck Metro-Safety Steel Toe Gumboots
Made from synthetic that is ISI marked with a steel toe, these 13 inch Boot design gardening shoes are ideal for most garden chores.
Gardening is not just a hobby but art, too, with its dedicated set of tools. To get that alluring flower bed or fruits & veggies in your garden, you need to put in a lot of effort. But the outcome is worth it which is why GreatBuyz decided to set you on the right track with an exclusive and detailed list of must-have best gardening tools.
We made sure to include the best tools for all gardening chores from digging the soil to pruning. We would like to add more to this gardening tool guide like edging iron, axe, cultivator, soil scoop and more in the next post. If we missed on some important tools that you think will be a valuable addition to our list, let us know in the comments.