When it comes to garden tools, you get what you pay for. Buy the best tools you can afford. Poor quality tools bend, twist and break. Spending a little more on quality means you will have your tools for a lifetime instead of a season.
Here is our list of essentials:
Spade or Shovel
A spade has a narrow, long, sharp-edged blade. It’s a good choice for working the soil in flower and vegetable beds. A round-edged shovel is a necessity for digging holes to plant trees and shrubs. Look for long, fully welded shank joining the head to the handle.
Pruners and Loppers
Hand-held bypass pruners are best for shaping shrubs and deadheading spent blooms. Their blades work like scissors and give close, clean cuts on live wood. Try Fiskar’s Power Gear Bypass pruner (www.fiskars.com). Anvil pruners crush branches between a sharp blade and a flat "anvil.” This design allows the pruner to cut through larger objects with ease.
Loppers are essentially long-handled pruners used to trim tall shrubs or to tidy short trees while you stand on the ground. The longer handles give you more leverage to cut thicker branches.
Hand trowels are probably one of the most frequently-used garden tools for small jobs such as planting bulbs and bedding plants. A solid, stainless steel version is best because the blade stays cleaner. Fiskars has several models, well made and affordable.
This hand-held tool has a circular blade and weeds without damaging the roots of desirable plants. The soil flows through the opening as you move it through the soil for almost effortless weeding.
The Japanese Hori Hori knife (available at www.gardenscape.com) is a traditional Japanese tool that can be used for just about every kind of gardening, digging, cutting or weeding activity. Solid and tough it stands up to most jobs with ease.
No more stooping with this new, easy to use tool by Fiskars. You can stand while the tool’s stainless steel “grabbers” tightly wrap around the roots. With a little yank the dandelions and weeds are pulled from the soil.
You’ll need a stiff tined soil rake to level soil and remove small stones. A fan-style rake makes the job of cleaning up fallen leaves easier. Rake tines are made of bamboo, steel, or plastic. Look for closely spaced tines. Some rakes have an adjustable fan that can be widened for raking large areas and narrowed for getting between closely spaced plants or shrubs.
A watering wand is the ideal way to shower your plants. Dramm’s colourful Touch ‘N Flow Rain Wand™ has an ergonomic cushion grip with a built-in lever activated valve. Just squeeze the easy-to-use trigger and you’re watering your plants! Let go of the trigger and the water is instantly shut-off. It has all-metal fittings and lasts for years.
You’ll spend more time on your knees than you ever imagined. Get a comfortable pad to kneel on.
Go for light cotton gloves for non-messy work. But, get a quality pair of rubberized gloves for wet, muddy jobs on damp days.