Whether a beginner or seasoned gardener the right tools make the job much easier. I recommend that you purchase the best quality tools that you can afford. While some tools may be considered a bit pricey, good quality is worth the price. I still have most of my best quality tools and most are over 25 years old, including the tools I have listed below. Some other good quality tools were purchased from yard and estate sales over the years because of the quality and the fact they are hard to find or not manufactured any more. These include a few different spades and shovels but also my 6-tine cultivator tool. This is the best tool for working up any garden soil. So if you come across one in good shape at an yard sale, snap it up. If I had to guess my three, probably date back to the 1960’s or 70’s.
Good gardening tools are a must in the garden. A few basic good quality tools are all that you need. My favorites and what I consider must haves are as follows:
- A good garden hoe. Mine is stainless steel and will last a life time but good quality steel is also acceptable. My hoe has a 12-centimetre (5- inch) wide head which is much better at weeding between the plants than a larger hoe.
- A hand-held garden trowel. This tool gets a great deal of work so look for one that is cast and constructed in one piece. Ones with the handle welded to the trowel usually break after one season. I have two, one that is long and about 5 centimetres (2 inches) wide for getting down around the roots of weeds and a 10 centimetre (4 inches) wide one for digging planting holes.
- A must have for the perennial and vegetable gardener is what is termed a planting shovel. This is a shovel about 90 – 100 centimetres (36-40 inches) tall with a long narrow blade that is about 30 centimetres (12 inches) long. I have one of these and it is the second most used tool in my garden. I use it for planting perennials, shrubs, trees and vegetables, for separating and dividing perennials, digging holes and trenches, mixing my composter, just to name a few jobs it can do. I love my planting shovel and have become very accustomed to having it readily available for any digging job.
- The most used garden tool is what is called the Hi Mo Digger. It is a tool used for weeding around plants. It was designed in Asia and has been around for centuries. I have both a hand version and one on a long pole. It has angled but triangular blade about 20 centimetres (8 inches) long. This tool is the best for loosening up soil, especially clay, and pulling at the roots of weeds. I even plant small perennials and annuals in the holes I have made with this tool. This tool is sold under other names as well, but look for a funny looking elongated triangular blade with a slight twist in it. The design of the blade makes it easy to use for those with weak wrists or arms and the long pole version is good for those with back problems. The gardener on your list will think this is the best gift they have ever received.
Well now that I have given you some great ideas for the gardener in your life, you better get shopping. If all else fails there are always gift certificates from your local nursery that can be used for plants in the spring. I know as an avid gardener I would love to receive any of the suggestions. HINT HINT!!!