Sunday, April 10, 2011

Gardening Tools – Part 1 Basics

Gardening tools, whether you garden for pleasure, as a hobby or a way of life will make the activity more enjoyable. This list of tools is a list I have found to be most helpful in my personal adventure trials and errors of gardening. Make sure you purchase gardening tools that fit your hand as well as your need. While budget is something to consider, I have personally found that I have had to spend more in the long run by purchasing inexpensive tools. Take the time to find the right fit and the best quality you can afford based on your own gardening needs and expectations.

1.) Gloves ---

I cannot stress enough the importance of gloves. Don’t get me wrong I love playing in the dirt and there are jobs that I skip the gloves altogether because I want to feel the dirt under my fingers. But I cannot fathom doing my gardening and enjoying it as much as I do without my gardening gloves. In my opinion they are the single most important gardening tool you can have in your arsenal.

a.) Soft cotton gloves --- You would use these for basic gardening chores, like transplanting, light weeding, and so forth.

b.) Leather gloves --- Imperative when working with anything that has thorns. Like blackberries bushes, some types of trees, and roses, etc…

c.) Medium weight gloves --- these are for all those other chores that leather gloves are overkill, but more protection is needed than what you would get with soft cotton gloves.

d.) Plastic gloves --- eco friendly readers are probably cringing as they read this. However if you are working with any type of chemical be it organic and eco friendly, or the harsher like round up, protecting your hands must come first. I recommend a heavy weight garden type that covers the forearm. If you do any type of water gardening these gloves are a plus and they save my hands when cleaning the gutters.

2.) Hoses ---

There are so many types of hoses on the market it can seem a bit daunting. I mean really we need it to get water from the spigot to where we are working in the yard. It shouldn’t be that difficult, but we demand choices and the result is a daunting amount of choices. Really there are three types of hoses that are most beneficial.

a.) Plain garden hose – this is your basic run of the mill hose, length is going to depend on the size of your yard.

b.) Soaker hose --- this is a great way to water flower beds and garden beds without a lot of water waist to evaporation. Another option is to install a watering system that is on a timer.

c.) Springy coil hose --- I have found that a 25 foot spingy coil hose is great for decks, patios, and even in the house if you have a lot of potted plants in one location.

d.) A widget to place on the end of hose to turn water on and off while working. This is an essential piece of equipment that prevents water waste and keeps you from working in a muddy mess.

3.) Sprayer Nozzle ---

A good sprayer nozzle to attach to the end of your hose is essential, preferably one with an adjustable spray flow to handle different jobs. Or you can have a selection of them, me I prefer to keep it simple and have only one high powered one. But this is a personal preference.

4.) Trowel ---

It is a hand tool with either a wide or narrow metal blade with a wooden handle. Ok yes, they have other types of materials now, but I really like my wooden handle ones. It is a personal preference. This will be one of your most used tools, so make sure you purchase one that fits your hand comfortably. I use mine for everything, but they are specifically designed to be used for planting seedlings, bulbs, and transplanting small plants.

5.) Pruning shears /By pass pruning shears/Anvil pruning shears---

Handheld spring action tool, used to remove small twigs, stems and branches from small shrubs, flowers. Is an essential piece of equipment for most gardeners whom have perennial plants that will need to be maintained and tamed each season or at least annually.

There are all sorts of tools on the market for gardening. It really is going to depend on the level of gardening that you enjoy in going to be the determining factor in the amount you will be investing in gardening tools. This list is just a basic starter set of tools for every gardener.

Gardening Tools --- Part Two, Gardening Tools --- Part Three

edited 5/11/11 to add links.

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