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Must Have Tools for the Garden

2017-01-16

When spring comes, the thoughts about spring gardening come out. Working in a garden is a great way to relax and forget the troubles of the outside world while at the same time getting some much needed exercise. However, like any other job, having the right tools will make gardening more fun and less work. Fortunately, you don’t need a lot of tools to grow a great garden - a few inexpensive basics will be enough to get you going and you can decide if your want to add more later on. Here are some garden tools you must have for your garden.

Tools you need

Spading fork – this is a shorter handled version of the traditional farmer’s pitchfork. The tines are shorter and stronger, designed to dig into compacted soil so you can turn it over and break up lumps.

Rake – a strong bow rake (short metal tines attached to a metal frame or bow. It can be used to level the ground once you’ve turned it with your spading fork as well as gathering up leaves and rocks leveling the soil in preparation for planting.

Round point shovel – You can use this kind of garden tool to dig holes and make it possible for you to plant (or transplant) shrubs or trees.

Garden trowel – After you’ve turned and leveled you garden, you’ll need a trowel to plant the seeds or small plants.

Watering can or hose – A hose with a spray nozzle works well for watering your plants but if you want to give them a little more TLC, a long necked watering can provide gentle watering to seedlings.

Hoe – You can avoid the weeds growing close to the plants with this garden tool.

Garden shears (clippers) – allow you to trim plants as they grow as well as shape trees and bushes.

Garden tools can last years, even decades, if you take good care of them. The easiest way to keep the blades of shovels, spades, pruners and hand tools in good shape is to keep them clean and rust free. After every use, I take a few moments to run my tools through a simple tool cleaner. All you need to make the tool cleaner is sand, vegetable oil and a bucket! I learned this trick at a community garden that has a shed full of tools with gleaming, rust free blades, and it is simple to replicate at home. Here's how.

Pour the play sand into a wheelbarrow. Then, open up the containers of oil and drizzle the oil all over the sand.

Using the trowel, thoroughly combine the oil and the sand. Then, scoop the sand into the 5-gallon bucket, filling it to within 5 inches of the top.

Leaving damp soil on tools can cause them to rust. So, cleaning soil off your tools after each use is a simple way to prolong their life. To clean a tool, plunge it into the bucket of oily sand three or four times, making sure to completely immerse the blade in the sand. The blade should come out clean and with a light coating of oil. Use a soft cloth to rub off any sand and then put your tool away. The light coat of oil can avoid the blade rusting.

Select a stud on the inside of your garage or garden shed that doesn't have any shelves or other attachments to it.

Measure down from the ceiling 2 to 3 feet, then using a hammer and nails install a piece of 2-by-4 extending out a foot or so on each side of the stud. Offset the nails or screws on each side so they don't run into each other or potentially split the stud.

After installing the 2-by-4s, simply hang your Garden Bag with the working end up and the handles pointing down.