Sunday, 28 November 2010

Gardening ~ tips about tools

There are many gardening tools available, some of which I've found more useful than others.  The ones I find indispensable are: a spade, a pair of secateurs, gardening gloves, and a long, fairly blunt knife.

Of these, the knife and the gardening gloves are my special allies.
I don't know what I'd do without this knife.  I'm very careful with it as it's potentially dangerous, so when I put it down I always push it into the ground, and when I come inside it comes in with me and is put away in a cupboard out of sight!  The shape of the tip makes it quite as sharp as need be.  Its fairly blunt blade makes it less likely to damage roots when I'm scratching around or digging with it.  I see other gardeners working with little hand forks and such-like and feel sorry for them.  They need a knife like mine!


A good quality pair of secateurs is a must:
For me these are definitely worth the higher price tag.  A good pair should last for many years.  This pair is German, produced by Wolfgarten.  They're made in different sizes to suit the user's hand, and even come in left and right hand versions.  I couldn't work out which was which, but found this pair suited my grip! 


A decent spade is also essential.
When buying one make sure it feels good to you, and ask the sales person for advice if at all unsure.  You can expect to have it sharpened before it's used as properly sharpened edges are considered unsafe in shops.  Thereafter mind your toes!  I always wear closed shoes or boots when gardening.
Note: I have since written an article about spades entitled A new spade ~ shopping carefully to get the best

Other tools such as rakes, forks, edge cutters and a wheelbarrow are valuable but less essential.

Thinking of buying a lawn mower?
You may be interested to read my article about hand mowers.

I have one other garden tool which is a special treasure - my grubber!
I was most fortunate to be gifted this by an elderly friend.  I'm very careful with  it as it's heavy and when in use is swung with force.  One lifts it upward with both hands, even above the head, and the sheer weight of it then sends it crashing to earth where it works wonders getting into heavy ground.  Look at that beautiful handle:
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And look at the size of it!  Just so that we're clear about the scale, my feet are of average size to match my average height.  If you consider buying one don't be fobbed off with a smaller, light-weight model as it's likely to be close to useless.  And if anyone is good enough to give you one, I suggest you accept it with alacrity!


One last thing I have to have is a good hose:
Mine has modern click-on links and an adjustable spray nozzle which makes it easy and effective to use.
     Hoses have a second use for landscaping projects which I find marvellous: laid on the ground they can be used to describe nice, even, graceful curves which greatly simplifies the exacting work of figuring out and cutting a new edge to any garden. 

In my next gardening article I'll look at getting started, and in particular the challenge of gardening in rental situations which may or may not be short term, which has been my situation in recent years.

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