Any time you start a new venture, you need to build a tool kit that contains all the most vital tools for the job. The same is true for a beginning gardener. You can go out and buy fancy “canned” tool kits in neat little cases, but the ideal way to buy a tool kit is by carefully selecting and buying each tool separately. That way you will ensure that the tools in your kit are comfortable, easy to use, and well built.
The Items in a Garden Tool Kit
By definition, a garden tool kit is a group of tools you’ll need to perform basic gardening tasks. A kit can be made up of hand tools, pruning tools, lawn care tools, or power tools. Although you’re eventually going to want to acquire tools in all of these categories, for starters you should concentrate on hand tools. They are the mainstays of gardening and include items like spades, trowels, hand-held rakes, garden forks, and hoes.
Many people think of shovels and spades as being the same thing, but they aren’t. Both are designed to perform specific tasks. You will find that a spade has a shorter handle attached to a flat, square-shaped blade. Its primary functions include edging garden beds, digging holes for planting, slicing sod, and adding fertilizer to soil. A shovel has a longer handle and a concave blade with a rounded tip. It is used to load or unload piles of sand, soil, or other materials so that they can be moved..
Garden trowels are important parts of your garden tool kit that are used for digging. They are ideal when planting bulbs and small plants. A trowel will consist of a short, sturdy handle which is attached to a cupped metal blade. You can get them with narrow or wide blades which serve different purposes. When you put your garden tool kit together, you should include both types of trowels.
Any good garden tool kit will include two types of rakes: a garden rake and a leaf rake. A garden rake is made of a steel bridge with either 12 or 14 tines attached to a long handle. You use it to break up dirt clods and remove debris from the soil before smoothing the ground in preparation for planting. The second type of rake is a leaf rake which, as its name says, is primarily used for raking leaves. Made of metal, bamboo, plastic, or rubber, a leaf rake can be used when gathering all sorts of lawn debris.
Two more items which are mainstays in any garden tool kit are a garden fork and a hoe. A garden fork is a very sturdy piece of equipment meant for hard work. With a heavy-duty handle and four strong, straight steel tines, it is ideal for turning and aerating soil as well and breaking up soil chunks and working fertilizer into the soil. A garden hoe is a simple tool consisting of a straight-edged square blade on a long wooden handle. It can be used to dig up weeds as well as for chopping up clumps of hard soil.
Over the years your collection of tools will grow, but the basic garden tool kit outlined above will be enough to give you a good start. The right tools will make all the difference in the speed and efficiency with which you perform tasks in your garden. Its hard work, but they can make you enjoy every minute of it.