Garden tools: the essentials

Garden tools: the essentials

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There choice of gardening tools it is an important moment for the horticulturist and the hobbyist gardener. Because if it is true that passion cannot be lacking when working in the vegetable garden and in the garden, with the right tools it is less difficult and the results will also be better.

The gardening tools there are many but it is not necessary to have them all at once. To start working the land, a few 'essentials' are enough. We will buy the others as we understand what we need or like best: vegetable garden or garden, tree care or lawn care.

In the meantime we will not neglect the maintenance of gardening tools purchased. Because the tools do not always stay new and are not 'disposable' tools. Efficiency and cleanliness are essential and when neglected for a long time they become difficult to recover.

Garden tools: the essentials

1. Spade. It is used to work (dig) and turn the clods of earth. If yours is a synergistic vegetable garden, this tool becomes less important but remains at the top of the must-have list. The tip must be of hardened steel and the handle of wood (excellent ash) because it is more comfortable. Pointed blade or square blade? The pointed spade is indispensable for the first tillage, compact soils and annual digging; the square blade is good as a second tool for already worked, sandy soils and planting of plants. The handle should be long enough to allow digging without bending the back. The short handle with ring grip is also good for the square blade spade. The blade must be re-threaded every year and when there are burrs.

Pointed spade with wooden handle (long)

Square tip garden spade with short handle

2. Shovel. Necessary to move the earth, spread fertilizer and much more. The (wooden) handle must be curved to facilitate lifting of the earth. The tip must be round on the sides to increase the loading surface but a bit pointed at the end to improve penetration.

Pointed shovel with wooden handle

3. Rake. There is one for leveling the soil before sowing and one for collecting the leaves (also called a leaf picker). Both are needed because they are not interchangeable. Straight wooden handle The soil rake must have at least 12 teeth, the broom picks up at least 22.

14-tooth rake with handle

Leaf rake 22 teeth, adjustable (without handle)

Wooden handle for rake

4. Gallows. A straight fork can be used as an alternative to the spade to loosen the soil and to aerate it. 4 teeth and a good wooden handle are enough. If there is already a long-handled spade, the fork can be chosen with a short handle and a ring handle; also useful for composting.

Straight fork with short handle

5. Shredder. It is the only non-manual tool, also the only expensive one. But it is really very useful in the garden. With an electric shredder the problem of where to put the pruning waste is solved and you can prepare good compost.

Electric shredder

6. Saw. In the garden you cannot miss at least a hacksaw to cut the thickest branches. The hacksaw must be light in order to be used even with one hand and not bulky in order to penetrate the tangle of the branches. If you're serious about using it, it has to be sturdy and of good quality

Garden hacksaw

7. Scissors. They are used for a lot of things and especially for cutting small stems and branches. Better to spend a little more for a pair of high quality pruning shears, sturdy and with an ergonomic handle.

Garden scissors

Garden tools: maintenance

Apart from the shredder, these garden tools require a few simple maintenance rules. Cleaning the tips after each use is essential to avoid rust and the formation of parasites. The wooden handles must be checked, if they show cracks they must be replaced while for chipping just a wipe of sandpaper. The blades must be kept sharp and brushed with diesel oil; great to immerse them in a container with sand and machine waste oil.