Guest Post by gardening expert, Tim Graham
Experienced gardeners rely on a few important tools to make life in the garden much easier.
All of these can be used both in and outside the growing season. Even when all the crops have withered and it’s time to prep for the season ahead.
Here are six of the most important garden tools a regular gardener would be grateful for in their arsenal.
A Sturdy Wheelbarrow
If you have manure or compost to move around the garden, or even wood to make another raised bed, a wheelbarrow is a necessity as it can save countless trips back and forth.
They’re also ideal when weeding or moving plants which can be composted. Why make ten trips when you can do it all in one?
A Digging Spade
When you have a significant amount of soil to move, or if you’re filling your raised bed, there’s nothing better than a spade.
Due to the strength of the spade head, these can be great for cutting through small roots or soil which is still slightly frozen from a spring frost.
These digging spades shouldn’t be confused with a shovel. They have a larger, curved face, and are better served as a means of moving large amounts of earth.
These come in two varieties and are intended for different purposes. A fork hoe can break up already dug soil quicker than a regular garden fork.
A heavy duty hoe is ideal when you are trying to break new soil that the digging spade can’t handle. These give a more extended reach so you can cover most of your growing bed while standing on the pathway.
As with a garden fork, the fork hoe can be used as a small garden rake if you need to gather weeds or dead leaves. Just be sure not to mix the two and put the weeds on your compost heap.
When on your knees planting seedlings or transplanting plants, trowels are the best tool for digging the small holes required.
Even in hanging baskets, they can move the potting soil to the side so the plant’s roots can be placed into the soil without damaging them.
These can also come with a hand-fork style which can be ideal for breaking up soil around a plant without risk of damaging roots.
Good quality trowels constructed from cast are best as cheaper ones can bend when small rocks under the ground are hit.
It might seem too expensive to buy a pressure washer, but the amount of time and work they can save is well worth it.
Homes which have shaded patio areas might be susceptible to growing moss or lichen. This looks unsightly and can become slippery and dangerous. A good pressure washer can remove these traces with hardly any effort.
A patio can look as good as new after half an hour. There are other uses for a pressure washer, and all the mud stuck to your tools or boots can be blasted off in a matter of seconds.
These may seem like a luxury, but find the right one, and you’ll wonder how you lived without one!
When you’re in the midst of soil preparation, garden forks do what a spade or a hoe can’t.
Soil which appears to be impossible to break up will quickly be lightened and turned over. Compost or manure can easily be mixed into your freshly dug earth and spread level.
If you have your own compost heap, these are invaluable and the only tool which is suited to turn your compost.
The tines of the fork break up the clumps and allow air inside. Your plants will thank you for the investment in a good quality garden fork.
Choosing Your Tools
These 6 tools are just the basics for serious gardeners and a great place for beginners to start!
If you have limited space and only have raised beds or a container garden you can leave out the digging spade and garden fork.
No matter what tools you opt for, better quality ones are essential as they take a lot of abuse while digging, moving and clearing.
Choose wisely, and on many occasions, it might be worth spending a few extra dollars to make sure your tools will last many seasons.
Get more expert advice from Tim, the Yard and Garden Guru, at yardandgardenguru.com