List Of Gardening Tools To Make Caring For Your Landscape A Lot Easier
A shovel is the number one tool in most gardeners' sheds, and it's probably the most versatile. An angled blade makes the shovel ideal for moving piles of soil, sand, and other materials. A good shovel also is typically the gardening tool of choice for digging plants out of the ground. And you can use it to wave dramatically about as you chase deer, rabbits, or other unwanted critters away.
Although many think of spades and shovels as interchangeable, they're not the same gardening tool. A spade features a flat, squared-off blade and often is short-handled. It is ideal for edging beds, slicing under sod, and working soil amendments into the garden. In a pinch you can even use a spade to chop ice on frozen sidewalks.
Different types of gloves protect hands from various injuries, so keep several pairs around. Choose leather or cotton gloves to avoid blisters from tasks such as sawing, pruning, and shoveling. Wide-cuffed or long gloves coated with nitrile or plastic protect your wrists and forearms when you're working with thorny plants, such as roses. Latex or rubber gloves keep your hands dry.
A must-have gardening tool, a trowel is perfect for planting bulbs, seedlings, and other small plants. Trowels are available with sturdy handles and cupped metal blades with tapered tips. Some have serrated edges along the side of the blade, making them useful for cutting through small roots or other debris. You also can use a trowel to dig out shallow-rooted weeds, such as plantain.
Kneeler and Kneepads
While one of the many attractions of gardening is the opportunity to play in the dirt, getting up gracefully can become a problem, even without knee or back problems. Kneelers of various kinds cushion the contact with the hard ground, and low gardening seats (on metal frames or on wheeled tool carts) also ease back and knee strain. Some kneepads strap over pants to protect your knees and keep your pants clean at the same time.
Also known as a spading or potato fork, this a perfect gardening tool for turning and aerating soil, especially clay. Use it to break up chunks of ground and to work organic matter, fertilizer, and other amendments into the soil. Forks are ideal gardening tools to cope with buried roots or rocks. It comes in handy for dividing clumps of perennials, too.
An old-fashioned gardening tool that never goes out of style, a hoe is perfect for cultivating soil and removing young weeds. It's also useful for breaking up soil clumps. Tilt it at an angle and the corner of the blade traces neat planting furrows in prepared soil. Like shovels, most hoes work best if you sharpen the blades as they become dull.
Use a garden rake to dress and smooth out mulch or soil in a planting bed. The tines of this gardening tool simultaneously break up small clods of soil and corral small stones and debris. Use a flathead style to level the soil for planting; just flip the rake over so its bridge scrapes along the surface of the soil.
This gardening tool is basically a miniature hoe. While it's harder on your back to bend down with it, a hand weeder gives you more control than a long-handled hoe for getting weeds in tight spots or close to desirable plants. There's a tremendous variety to choose from -- some have a single flat blade; others have a pointed, triangular blade; and yet others come to a single point or hook (like a finger).
As much an ornament as it is a gardening tool, the watering can retains its classic form to deliver moisture to your plants. Originally made from galvanized metal, watering cans now come in a variety of materials, including brass and lightweight plastic. When shopping, choose a can that feels balanced when it's full and holds a generous amount of water without straining your arms as you carry it.