13 Essential Garden Tools
September 11th, 2014
September is here! Which means summer's over, back to school, and back to the garden. Here is our list of 13 essential gardening tools to get your garden in order for the fall season.
1) Garden Fork - A quality garden fork is considered the swiss army knife of gardening tools. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced green thumb, you must have a sturdy garden fork. A garden fork is useful for loosening and digging heavy patches of soil and creating holes to aerate your lawn. It can also be used to rake out stones and break up dig out weeds. As opposed to a shovel or a spade, the tines of the garden fork allow it to be pushed more easily into the ground.
2) (Lightweight) Gardening Basket - Your hands can only carry so much. Make gardening easier on you with a (lightweight) gardening basket. This will help with moving plants and flowers around your lawn and is essential when de-weeding your garden.
3) Shovel - Shovels are best for digging holes and trenches, and for shifting large quantities of soil. Investing in a long-handled shovel and fork will help prevent back injuries.
4) Trowel - A trowel is a hand tool that provides the same duties as a shovel/spade but used for smaller scale tasks. It can be useful in breaking up soil, digging small holes, especially for planting and weeding, mixing in fertilizer or other additives, and transferring plants to pots.
5) Hand Fork - A hand fork provides the same essential duties as a large garden fork; it is useful for breaking up soil and aerating your lawn. The reason to have both is because the hand fork's miniature size allows it to be versatile. It let's you get into those awkward and tight spaces that a large garden fork could not fit. Use a hand fork for small planting jobs and removing weeds.
6) Rake - A sturdy standard rake is used to level seedbeds and tamp down soil. Alternatively, a spring tined (thinner bristles) rake is great for for removing moss from lawns, as well as raking dead leaves in the autumn.
7) Hoe - The most useful tool for weeding is a hoe, which you push along the surface of the soil to slice through the necks of weeds, where the stems meet the soil. Although hoeing kills annual weeds instantly, perennials chopped off in this way will survive and regrow. Weeds with tap roots, such as dandelions, are better dealt with using a weed grubber.
8) Weed Grubber - A weed grubber is a long pointed tool that penetrates deep into the soil. It is perfect for removing deep roots out of the soil which prevents persistent weed from regrowing.
9) Pruning Shears - There are lightweight shears for cutting flowers and shaping fine topiary, heavier shears for pruning stems of around pencil thickness. Choose the right pruning tool for the job because clippers may be damaged by material that is too thick. Using the right pruner also makes the job much easier.
10) Pruning Saw - Large branches should be cut with a pruning saw, which has a curved blade to make sawing easier and fits into awkward spaces. A pruning saw will be too rough and unwieldy for small branches.
11) Watering Can - In summer, watering becomes the main task in the garden, and a basic watering can is fine if you have only a few containers or small garden. Fit a rose on the spout to sprinkle water on delicate seedlings or new plants after planting. Use a full watering can to soak the roots of new plantings and for large potted trees and shrubs.
12) Garden Hose - In larger gardens, or if you have lots of pots, you may find it necessary to use a hose. Look for one with adjustable settings so that you can gently sprinkle water onto containers or spray established plants. You can also buy long-handled hoses for watering hanging baskets.
13) Oil - Clean your tools regularly to keep them in good condition. Oil clippers every few months to prevent them from rusting and check that the blades are tight so they cut efficiently. Brush soil from spades and forks regularly, and apply oil to the blades and prongs once or twice a year to deter rust.