In the garden, a good job begins with the choice of a good gardening tool, solid, functional, and above all adequate. Unfortunately, when you walk through the “garden tools” shelves of garden centers, you sometimes find yourself a little lost.
So what is this tool with such an improbable name? Would I need this? How to use this? Do not panic! Here is a quick summary of the usefulness of these main garden tools as well as some tips for choosing them.
Gardening Tool #1: The spade
A spade consists of a flat iron large enough on the top to put the foot down and help the iron to sink into the ground. This iron is mounted on a handle, usually made of ash wood, and terminated with a “t” for ease of use (some older models still have a single handle).
Spades are used to dig planting holes, redo the borders of flower beds, cut roots, pull up vegetables or plants to be moved … but above all to prepare the ground by mixing layers of soil: the work of digging consists of loosening the earth by turning it over, this action also makes it possible to add manure to the soil.
When purchasing, take care to check that the handle is suitable for your body type, it should just exceed the height of your hip. A quality iron must be made of steel and have a flat piece on the top so that you can put your foot on it without damaging the shoes.
The handle must be strong and ” flexible “, that is to say, capable of withstanding twists and leverage. The best wood for this use is ash wood, but other modern composite materials now exist. Finally, weight is a factor to take into account: do not buy a tool that you can barely lift, on the contrary, a tool that is too light will have a harder time getting into heavy soil.
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The spade-fork: On this tool, the flat iron is replaced by 3, 4, or rarely five straight steel teeth. The fork-spade also loosens the soil but without turning over the layers of soil and without cutting the earthworms, essential to the life of your soil.
The garden fork is also used to get out of the ground and move certain plants, as well as to divide large clumps of perennials. It finds its use in heavy and sticky soil, like clay soils but also in very stony soils. You generally choose your spade fork (in Switzerland, it is also called “triandine”) with a slightly longer handle than for a conventional spade. Here too, you should choose your tool with a steel “iron” and a handle of ash wood or composite materials.
The spade looks like a simple spade, but its blade is longer, often thinner and sharper, and noticeably narrower. Initially used for digging trenches or extracting peat, this tool is very effective in heavy soils because it penetrates more easily.
The spade is also a “nurseryman’s spade” because this tool mkes it easier to move trees and shrubs by sinking deeper into the earth which allows them to pass under the roots. The ladle is made like a spade with the difference that it has a “feather” which serves as a sheath for the handle to stiffen it and protect it from the earth. The iron of the ladle is also often polished to prevent oily soil from sticking to it.
Gardening tool #2: The Grelinette
The grelinette looks more or less like a very wide fork-to-tail. This tool consists of a long iron with a series of curved and sharp teeth, and two wooden handles on the side allowing the manipulation of this one. Like its little sister the garden fork, the grelinette loosens and aerate the soil without turning the soil over.
Unfortunately, its use is limited to fairly light soils with only a few stones. However, this tool has another advantage: that of being able to work without damaging your back. Indeed, it is enough to drive the teeth into the ground then to bring back the handles towards you, thus preserving the back of the gardener.
Gardening tool #3: The Fork
A fork is a tool made up of a handle and long, fine and pointed teeth, widely separated: they vary in number and length depending on the use. The fork is used to lift and move loose materials like hay, dead leaves, branches, compost, manure… The best forks have a slightly curved handle and very sharp teeth for better penetration into the material.
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Gardening tool#4: The Shovel
A shovel is used to move material that cannot be transported by a fork: sand, dead leaves, gravel… but also compost, earth, manure… This tool consists of a flat head, more or less round and more or less dug. There are several types of shovel: the ” round-head ” shovel which allows better entry into the material to be shoveled, the ” flat-head ” shovel which allows scraping flat surfaces and the ” hollow-head ” shovel which allows to transport more materials without “sowing” them everywhere. Finally, be aware that long sleeves reduce fatigue on the user’s back, but a shorter handle will allow you to be more stable in moving the load.
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Gardening tool #5: The hoe
A hoe consists of a long handle and a steelhead in a kind of cutting blade arranged at an acute angle to the handle. A hoe is a tool used for hoeing, i.e., breaking the surface crust of the earth. This action facilitates air exchange and the passage of water near the roots of plants. Don’t we say ” one hoeing is worth two waterings “? Because in fact, the action of hoeing makes it possible to limit the watering needs. Biner also warms the soil around the plants, which accelerates the process of mineralization of organic matter, allowing the release of nitrogen available to the plants.
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The hoe is the agricultural and gardening tool that the whole world uses on a daily basis except… some western countries. I’m exaggerating but it’s getting harder and harder to find a good hoe in some of the garden centers there. It is, however, a totally indispensable tool. A hoe consists of a flat blade more or less at 90 ° to the handle and mounted on a long, sturdy handle.
This steelhead can also be provided with teeth. There are different sizes to choose from depending on the use, user, and your land. A heavier tool will be more effective in hard soil but will tire you out faster. A narrow blade will be more useful for moving between plants. Up to you! The hoe is used to stir and crumble the earth after digging (or replacing it) hoeing, butter, digging furrows, trenches, or planting holes …
In truth, hoes can also be used for weeding when you cut the ground to remove “weeds” or weeds. But if you want a really adequate tool for this activity, then you will have to take a weeder.
Gardening #6: The weeder
A weeder is a tool used to weed, that is to say, to cut the weeds flush between the vegetables in the kitchen garden or the plants in the garden but without turning over the earth. A weeder consists of a long handle terminated by steelhead in the form of a triangular blade or three metal claws.
Gardening tool #7: The Garden Rake
“Rake” is a name that groups together several different tools. There are indeed different types of rakes whose usefulness is very specific. Some are used in leveling earth or gravel, while the others are more used for cleaning in the case of collecting cut grass or dead leaves for example.
The classic rake: This type of rake is useful for leveling an earth’s surface before sowing, for example. A classic rake consists of a long wooden handle and has a steelhead with a width ranging from 30 to 60 centimeters (sometimes narrower for precision work or wider for large areas) provided with a multitude of straight tines to level the ground while making it softer.
The gravel rake: It looks a lot like the classic rake but has more curved teeth more suited to moving gravel.
The leaf rake: It is a so-called ” fan ” rake because it is equipped with a head formed by several flexible, long, and thin blades. This tool collects dead leaves and collects dry grass that can accumulate on top of the grass.
The scarifier rake: Very close to the previous one, it is nevertheless equipped with blades which allow aeration of lawns by removing moss, hence the name “ scarifier rake ”.
The flower rake: This type of small hand rake allows you to clean flower pots or comb the roots just before repotting or when unloading your new acquisitions to eliminate a possible root bun.
Gardening tool #8: Garden Claw or the Fang
It is called “claw” or “hook” because, in the past, it was used as a ” manure hook “. Now, however, this gardening tool has many other uses. A garden claw helps aerate the soil and makes it lighter and softer when its passage follows digging. A simple ” scratch ” is useful for breaking up larger clods of soil and thus beginning to level the soil before sowing or planting. The claw or hook is made up of a long wooden handle fitted with a fork-shaped head with three or four teeth but totally curved. The best fangs have a forged steelhead.
Gardening tool #9: The Serfouettes
Even if its name is ridiculous, don’t miss a serfouette! There are some for all shapes or all uses. Sometimes with a long handle, sometimes a small hand tool, this gardening tool always has a head fitted with two different tools: a purlin, a flat blade which makes it possible to weed, dig small holes, hoe or butter certain plants; a tongue, a small pointed blade that allows you to break the crust of the earth and dig furrows; or two or three “U” shaped teeth which help to aerate the soil between the plants. The most common serfouettes in hand tools are the ” tip and claw ” combinations, while in long-handled tools, we will mainly find ” tip and tongue”. “. It’s up to you to choose your serfouettes according to your needs.
Gardening tool #10: The Pickaxe
One of the oldest tools in the history of mankind is nonetheless extremely useful in earthworks or soil preparation, in heavy or stony soil. The pickaxe is made of a piece of steel attached via an eye to a hardwood handle. This steel piece is actually on one side, a point to break solid elements and on the other side, a small blade of rectangular section, a tongue ending in a sharp edge that is used as a mini hoe in the loosened land.
Gardening tool#11: The transplanter or planter
The transplanter is a kind of tiny shovel on a short handle. A transplanter is used to break up the earth’s crust on the surface, to dig planting holes, to mix the substrates or amendments, to open the soil to place bulbs or seeds, or to transplant (hence the name) plants. small plants passing under the roots of these. Do not choose your transplanter lightly: it must be resistant (avoid plastic), “ fall ” perfectly in the hand thanks to an ergonomic handle and, if possible, have a non-slip handle. Models with a ” narrow shovel ” are more suitable for container plantings and clay soils.
Gardening tools #12: Transplanter
More specific planters. There are simple dibbles, kinds of cone spikes of hardwood, steel, or composite materials. They allow you to dig more or less large holes in the ground to plant small plants, vegetable plants, large seeds, bulbs …
Bulb planters are more elaborate. These are kinds of metal cylinders surrounded by a handle. It is enough to drive the tool into the earth to dig a hole of an adequate depth (this type of tool is often graduated). Once the hole has been made, we throw in one or more bulbs (or potatoes) then we press on the handle which allows to open the dibble and release the extracted soil. There is now this type of dibble with a long handle that prevents you from bending down. Mixed planters look like simple planters but are hollow, which allows seeds or bulbs to slide directly into the hole. They are more effective in clay soils than bulb planters.
Gardening tool #13: THE Weed Killer knife
This tool only has a knife in name, but it is nevertheless beneficial for… weeding. The weedkiller knife is actually made of a long ” blade ” of about fifteen centimeters fixed on a solid handle of the same length. The action is to drive this knife into the earth just at the base of the ” weeds“, especially those that have a taproot like the dandelion for example. You then leverage and… hop! the root comes out of the ground. The only downside is that this type of tool can only be used occasionally in your lawn or in your vegetable garden, at the risk of only doing that in your garden! Choose your weed killer wisely: it must be solid and made of materials that withstand high pressure. A steel blade with a thickness of at least 2 mm will be perfect.
Gardening tool #14: The Garden knife
A real knife this time! To pick your vegetables, your flowers, mushrooms, weed … but also open packages, cut ties … In short, if your pruning shears remain in your left pocket all the time you spend in the garden, your garden knife will end up in it. your right pocket to be prepared for any eventuality. Pick it as strong as possible with a sharp, pointed stainless steel blade. It must also be easy to maintain (sharpening and cleaning) and able to withstand almost everything: dirt, cold, humidity… Take quality but don’t take too expensive one either. It’s just a simple garden knife and it’s more of a tool than a ceremonial blade …
Gardening tool #15: The Gardening Cloves
Image by Anja from Pixabay
This gardening tool comes in ha handy when you have sensitive skin or when you are dealing with thorns and splinters. Thorns and splinters can cause sore and irritations. And these effects can be prevented when you put in hand gloves. Hand gloves are different materials, shapes sizes made purposely to offer to comport to gardeners who have sensitive skin and to offer preventions against thorns.
Gardening tool #16: The Wheelbarrow
This is especially important for gardeners with a large gardening yard. A wheelbarrow can help you move heavy loads from one place to another much easier. You can load and move plant seedlings, gardening tools, compost, and your harvest across your garden and home.
Gardening tool #17: The Garden Hose
Garden hose is one of the must-have 20 gardening tools for gardeners that garden in a yard. This is because you need to water your plants and can only be done much easier when you used a garden hose. There are different types ranging from traditional to modern.
In this article, I looked at the most-have gardening tools (and their uses) every gardener is expected to have and discussed them in a step-by-step guide. I hope you will find the article helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.