If your New Year’s resolution for 2015 had something to do with improving your garden, it’s time to make good on that promise. With spring barely a week away, it’s time to start planning the garden and what you want to do with it. Whether you’re doing it purely for a hobby or as part of an online gardening course, you’re going to need the right tools to mould your lawn, flower beds or crop patch into a little bit of paradise.
This can be especially difficult for beginners who may or may not have the tools they need to properly get to work in the garden. That’s why we’re presenting a list of the top 5 tools a gardener simply can’t do without.
An essential general purpose tool, a Spade is ideal for digging and breaking up soil, removing obstructions such as rocks and making holes for planting larger plants like trees and bushes. A gardener simply needs to have one of these in their arsenal if they are in any way serious about it.
Thirsty young plants need to drink and a watering can provides an effective way to bring water to them. However, you may find other methods of watering your plants more efficient, particularly if you have a lot of plants to water such as by using a hose or automatic sprinkler. Nevertheless, thought needs to be given to you about how your plants will get their water, especially during drier months or if you live in an area prone to hose pipe bans in summer.
Gardening is a hands on activity and you can expect to get your hands dirty while working. It’s not just soil, water and mud you need to worry about – thorns, insects and irritants on certain plants mean you need protection for your hands and fingers as you work. A sturdy pair of gardening gloves is an essential investment for any gardener.
A catch all phrase for something to kneel on – don’t underestimate the amount of time you will be spending on hands and knees especially working with young and naturally low growing plants. Your knees will be baring a lot of your weight so it’s important to make sure they’re comfortable. You might use something as simple as a piece of sufficiently large Styrofoam, but gardening stores offer a huge range of different pads, benches and other tools that can increase your comfort as you work.
While you might be able to get by with kitchen scissors to an extent, proper pruning tools bring the necessary amount of cutting power needed to prune thicker foliage. Many plants require proper trimming in order to ensure they grow properly and efficiently without spending their energy on excess branches you don’t want.
Honourable Mentions To
While this is a top five list, there’s a huge range of other tools a gardening student should consider acquiring as their gardening knowledge and ability increases. These include:
- Wheelbarrow – Essential for Larger Gardens, allowing the gardener to move heavy amounts of plants, soil and tools easily.
- Rake – There are two types – the solid metal one is ideal for preparing top soil. The second with the more flexible metal or plastic arms is perfect for keeping paths and soil beds clear of leaves and other detritus.
- Fork – A soil fork is the best tool for breaking up the soil prior to planting. While you can approximate the effect with a spade, a fork is really much better suited to this particular job.
- Hoe – Used for weeding from a standing position as well as an excellent tool for digging up root vegetables. Hoes can be a bit unwieldy to use at first, but a bit of practice will have anyone using one efficiently in no time.
- Hand Trowel – The little cousin of the spade narrowly misses out being on the top five list. It’s an essential tool for anyone working in soil beds for planting all sorts of crops and other plants as well as digging up weeds.
Did we miss an essential beginners gardening tool? Tell us about it in the comments!