6 Must-Have Tools for the Home Gardener
Few things are more satisfying than growing your own vegetables. Gardening is much more than a hobby for many people; it is a way of marking the seasons of the year and the ebb and flow of nature. Those who are passionate about growing know there are some essential gardening tools that belong in every shed. Here are six must-have tools for the home gardener.
Various Garden Hoes
The garden hoe has long been a staple of basic gardening tools. The thing is, there are several different types of hoes. All of them are meant to solve specific problems. A single-blade traditional hoe is great for leveling the ground, moving soil around the base of your plants and performing other basic tasks. You may want to opt for a different design to tackle tougher projects.
The fork hoe is one that has tines instead of a blade. These tines are situated at right angles to the handle. This makes it much easier to dig. Fork hoes are great for breaking up soil before you plant. An oscillating hoe is also a useful addition. It has a swivel head that is useful for getting into tight spots.
The wheelbarrow needs no introduction. It is the most handy way to move tools, potting soil and other gardening items. Some wheelbarrows are made from hard plastic and others are made from galvanized steel. The plastic ones can be a little bit lighter and easier to handle, but steel is unmatched for durability. Either way, you must include a wheelbarrow in your assortment of tools used for gardening.
You can even get water transport bags if you need to move water with your wheelbarrow. Always try them out before you buy. The handle length is an important consideration depending on your own height. You also want to look for wheelbarrows that have knobby tires instead of smooth ones. This comes in very handy when you are moving through deep soil.
No list of tools for gardening is complete without the inclusion of garden hoses. The experience of most gardeners has led them to choose a rubber garden hose. These hoses offer superior durability, and some of them are very light.
You want to choose a garden hose that has features such as crush-proof couplings. It is also useful to have no-kink technology, which prevents those troublesome kinks at the spigot. The best rubber garden hose will also be one that is lead-free with a burst strength of at least 400 psi. About 50' in length will work for most situations, but you can easily find longer hoses or couple them together for maximum coverage.
Rakes are one of the most overlooked essential gardening tools. They are useful for keeping your rows neat and clean, and they can also come in handy for removing debris around the base of plants.
The key thing to remember when choosing a rake is to opt for the right one. You don't want a large fan-style rake with flimsy tines or a plastic rake for working in the garden. You need one that has larger tines and strong construction. This will make it very easy for you to make your way down the garden rows and pull soil from the center back to the base of the plants.
Cultivators are essential tools for gardening, but some of them have been replaced by fork hoes and other implements. A cultivator is great for removing pesky weeds, and it also helps to aerate the soil around plants. These items have a long handle that ends in a series of four or five tines.
When using a cultivator, you must remember to be gentle. Penetrating the ground too far can damage the root systems of your plants. It's a precision tool, and that may be why some gardeners have overlooked it in recent years. When used properly, however, it is a valuable addition to your assortment of gardening implements.
Digging spades are the best tool around for setting plants. They can be easily handled, are inexpensive and work very well at breaking up soil. There are handheld spades for smaller jobs, but you will probably want to go with a larger spade for most garden tasks. Using a larger spade will mean you aren't doing a lot of bending or sitting.
This gardening tools list should meet most of your needs. The pleasure of gardening increases when you have the proper tools for the job.