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Gardening Tools and Uses

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Gardening is an easy way to spruce up your new or current home. If you've recently taken up gardening as a hobby, buying gardening tools when you're unsure what they are can be expensive. Save yourself some money and time by choosing ones that will work in multiple situations and with different types of gardens.

There is no magical list of tools that gets handed to you when you decide you want to start gardening. However, knowing the differences among the tools is helpful. Keep reading for information about various gardening tools and their uses.

General gardening tools

Whether you've got a 100-acre farm to tend to or a window box full of herbs, you'll need some general garden tools in your toolkit. Start with these staples:

  • Pruners - Buy yourself a sturdy pair of pruning shears or scissors and they'll last you a lifetime if they're well-maintained. You'll be able to clip stray leaves and branches in a flash.
  • Trowel - This small shovel has a long and curved surface with a pointed end used for digging earth, lifting plants and smoothing soil.
  • Garden cultivator or fork - Looks like a fork with bent edges and is used for breaking up soil clumps and aerating the soil.
  • Soil scoop - Also a small shovel, it does exactly what its name suggests -- scoop soil. They're useful for transferring soil from the bag to the container.
  • Hori Hori knife (or a Garden knife) - This knife (while not essential) is handy for planting because it also acts as a ruler when you need to know the planting depth.
  • Watering can - If you don't have access to a garden hose, a watering can will work well, especially in an apartment.
  • Knee pads or kneeling pad - Investing in a cushioned kneeling pad will help you be more comfortable while you're cultivating your green thumb.

Large gardens, garden beds and lawns

For a larger garden, you'll likely need larger and longer-handled tools to reach the far corners. You'll save time and spare your back a lot of pain and soreness. There's no point using a hand trowel to turn the soil in a 20-square-foot garden plot. For larger gardens, think of investing in some of these tools:

  • Digging fork - Often referred to as a gardener's best friend, in reality, it's the soil's best friend. It's used for turning the soil, aeration and mixing nutrients into the soil.
  • Digging spade - The spade's straight edges make it useful for edging as well as aerating and turning the soil.
  • Garden hoe - These come in different shapes and sizes to help you battle weeds. Shapes include: diamond, half-moon and heart.
  • Rake - Used for leveling and clearing debris from the yard especially when creating a new garden plot.
  • Wheelbarrow - You'll be able to transport large amounts of soil as well as your tools in fewer trips safely and efficiently.
  • Garden hose - Invest in multiple sizes to make sure you get enough water to your precious plants.

Raised garden beds

Because of their low-maintenance characteristics and ability to grow more in smaller spaces, this kind of gardening has become more popular. Many raised garden beds are often no more than four feet across so it's easy to reach the center without the use of a long handled tool. Consider these tools for your raised garden bed:

  • Garden spade and/or fork - Both tools can be used for turning the soil, aerating and mixing nutrients into the soil.
  • Long handle hoe - Even if you have a narrower garden bed, the longer handles can still be useful for weeding.
  • Medium length tools - They'll allow you to reach the other side of the garden bed without as much effort or strain on your back.

Apartment and townhouse gardens

If you live in an apartment or townhouse, you may already have a dedicated landscaping or gardening company that trims the hedges and makes sure the flowers are properly cared for. If you have a personal garden, window box or a few indoor container gardens, you can still invest in your own tools. Consider the following:

  • Trowel
  • Soil scoop
  • Garden knife
  • Pruners
  • Watering can

Ana M. Ferrer  Posted by Ana M. Ferrer on July 30, 2014

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