Garden Tools, The Basics
I haven't written much about hand garden tools, so I wanted to give a basic overview of some of the common tools and their uses. Also, if you are on a budget, I will show you which tools are an absolute necessity.
The above is a picture of some of my rakes and forks. Starting from left to right, the pitchfork is good for moving mulch and compost, but if the mulch or compost is too thick it can get stuck in between the tines which is annoying. The leaf rake is good for, well, leaves. The fork, with only four tines is good for loosening soil. The rigid metal rake is great for raking mulch and soil.
The above tools, I would classify as my cutting tools. Starting from left to right, clustered together, you see three small hand-held pruners, and one pair of hedge clippers. I use at least one of the hand-held pruners everyday for harvesting, or pruning as I go through and harvest. I would recommend that you buy at least one really expensive pair, and take good care of it. The hedge clippers are used for trimming hedges and or shrubs. I occasionally use the hedge clippers to cut down my chives in the early spring to allow new growth. Next you see two pairs of loppers, one blue, and one black. Loppers are used to cut thicker branches than your hand-held pruners can handle. Do not try to cut branches that are too big with hand-held pruners, this is how you ruin them. Next I have an axe, which is self-explanatory. Finally, on the end is a scythe. A scythe is used to cut tall grass, hay, or grain.
The above pictures contain weeding and cultivating tools. From left to right, I have a weed popper. This is used to remove deep tap rooted weeds. Next is the pointed hoe. This is good for weeding close to your plants or making shallow trenches for planting. The next tool is a long handled hoe. This hoe is very heavy duty, and can be used to cultivate, prepare a garden bed, and also weed large areas. The final tool is also a long handled hoe, but it would not be great for cultivation, but it can be very good for weeding large areas.
The above picture contains some of my digging tools. Starting from left to right are two pick axes, or mattocks. These tools are great for digging in hard clay or rocky compacted soil. They can also be used to loosen soil, dig narrow trenches, remove weeds, and prepare a new garden bed. Next I have a short handled edging shovel, and a short handled spade. Both of these can be used for digging, but I prefer to use the edging shovel for loose material, and edging my garden beds, and the spade for digging. Next is a digging bar, which is great for incredibly compacted soil, or prying up rocks. To the right of the digging bar is a long-handled spade, which is my favorite shovel for planting, the long handle really saves your back. Next to that is my trenching shovel, which is good for trenches of course. Next is a post hole digger. This is great for digging post holes, or planting deep tap rooted trees. Finally, I have two small garden trowels, which are basically hand-held shovels, which are great for planting small transplants, or digging up small amounts of potatoes.
The above picture is a display of the tools that I think are a necessity if you are a gardener.
1. Wheelbarrow (Get a good one, with a tire that cannot do flat)
2. Hand pruners (Again, spend the money for a quality pair, at least $30)
4. Garden scissors (Get a good sturdy pair)
5. Hand trowel
6. Long handled spade
7. Pointed hoe
8. Metal rake