Having the right tools is essential if you want to properly maintain your garden. For those who are just starting out, the sheer amount of gardening tools available may seem overwhelming. For most gardeners, however, there are only five essential tools necessary for taking care of a home garden:
The first thing any gardener should purchase is a durable pair of gloves. Gloves help protect your hands from cuts that can come from thorns, bug bites, or any kind of sharp object that finds its way into your garden. You’ll want to ensure that the gloves you buy are not too bulky, as they need to be flexible and thin enough to work with seeds. If you are working with plants that have long limbs, you will want to invest in gloves with longer cuffs to protect your forearms from thorns. When storing your gloves, make sure that you keep them out of direct sunlight, away from water, and safe from insects.
Your gloves should be water-resistant so that your hands stay nice and dry. You also want them to be made of a breathable material, which will allow air to pass through and keep your hands from getting too hot and sweaty. Also, make sure that you have properly fitting gloves, as a glove that is too tight can lead to cramping muscles in your fingers, as well as blisters. And if the gloves are too loose, you run the risk of them slipping off.
2. Pruning Shears
Pruning shears come in different sizes and types to make sure you have the right kind for the type of garden and plants that you are working with. Shears help you cut away excess plant growth or dead sections without harming the rest of the plant. These are the three main types of pruners:
Hand pruners – also known as secateurs – are great for cutting back excess plant growth. This task is essential for keeping plants from creeping into another plant’s space.
Anvil pruners have a sharp blade and a flat surface on the other side. This type of pruner is made to cut away dead wood from small trees or shrubs. It is not recommended to use this type of pruner on more delicate plants like flowers or on young trees whose branches are just starting to grow; these pruners could cause serious harm to these plants and restrict their growth.
Bypass pruners are built much like giant scissors, with two very sharp blades. These pruners are made specifically to work with live plants and green wood since they give a clean cut without causing damage to the plant. These pruners are good for cutting off weakened sections of plants or trimming back overgrowth.
Ratcheting pruners are made to give a stronger cut without the physical exertion of the other types of pruners. These pruners were made for gardeners who have weaker hand strength or for those who are suffering from arthritis.
For all of the pruners, it should be noted that you want to buy a size that fits easily in your hand. You will also want to have the blades sharpened routinely to ensure that the cuts are clean, which reduces the chance of damage to your plants.
3. Hand Trowel
Hand trowels are used to transplant plants and herbs, plant containers, and get rid of pesky weeds. The broad blades are perfect for moving large amounts of soil, making it easier to dig deep enough to get out the roots of weeds. Make sure when you are purchasing a hand trowel that you find a handle size that fits comfortably in your hand to avoid cramping during use.
Spades are perfect for digging holes for seeds and plants, edging, lifting sod, and moving around small mounds of dirt. Spades can come with either a long or a short handle. The longer handles provide more leverage when lifting up dirt, but it should be noted that they are a bit heavier.
5. Watering Can
Plants rely on water for life, and without it, they will shrivel up. A watering can is perfect for maintaining proper moisture levels for your plants by allowing you to control how much water they get to drink. A watering can helps you prevent overwatering, which is a common problem for those who rely solely on a garden hose or a sprinkler system. When you are purchasing your watering can, remember to get one with a spray head – a component that allows the water to be evenly distributed among the plants. Also, you will want to make sure the handle is in a comfortable position that makes it easy to pour.
Gardening is a rewarding hobby for any homeowner, as a garden not only looks beautiful but also adds curb appeal to your home. If you are wanting to start a garden or already have one but are looking for a new design, contact Landscape by Design. Our experts can help you create the garden of your dreams by matching the aesthetic of your home and using the landscape around your home to compliment the garden. For more information and a free consultation, call us today!