Basic Garden Tools

Gardening is great fun but you need a fair bit of tools. Nowadays you have a wide variety of garden tools, from the good old manual tools to very expensive sophisticated equipment. For most garden tasks, cheap basic tools will be good enough. But some power tools can save you a lot of time and effort, making tedious back-breaking tasks easy tasks that are quickly done.

A shovel or spade is needed for digging. The difference between a shovel and a spade is the shape of the digging edges. Shovels have rounded edges while spades have square edges. Shovels are very good at penetrating the soil whereas spades are better for lifting, moving and throwing soils and materials. Forged shovels and spades are the best, they are made of one single piece of metal. If you have compost or stodgy soil, a garden fork is much better than a spade.

For weeding and smaller digging tasks, a trowel is the best tool. You will most likely be using trowels a lot so it is well worth investing in a high quality trowel. Stainless steel trowels are the best. Another basic tool that is very often used is the rake, despite being so simple it is a very versatile tool.

You also need some cutting tools. A hand pruner or a secateur is the best tool for pruning. Good hand pruners are lightweight but strong and have replaceable blades. A telescopic pruner allows you to prune trees without having to use a ladder.

Hand pruners can be too small for some tasks, you can use a lopper instead. If you have a hedge, you need hedge shears to keep it under control. For big branches, you should use a pruning saw, don’t use a carpenter’s saw for pruning.

A watering can be used for both watering and applying liquid fertilisers. Using a garden hose is quicker and more comfortable than using a watering can. Multi-layered hoses are expensive but in most cases they are worth paying extra for. If you need to do a lot of watering, then sprinklers can be worth having a closer look at. The easiest solution is a hose-end sprinkler. It screws into the garden hose and you move it around until everything has got enough with water.

Many of the manual tools can be replaced with electric or gas-powered power tools. They are more expensive but can save you a lot of time and are much more comfortable to use. The gas-powered tools are typically effective but noisy. Generally, they are heavier than electric tools. Corded electric tools are relatively powerful and quiet. But you are limited by the cord. Cordless, battery-powered, tools have become very popular. They are the least powerful but battery technology is improving all the time.

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