Top tips for selecting the best garden tools

Gardening is one of the most popular and calming activities. As you putter around in the garden, your lungs get fresh air while your mind relaxes. For a truly pleasant experience, it’s important to have the right tools.

A Shovel or Spade

Whether you’re planning on planting trees, shrubs, flowers or veggies, you’re going to need a shovel. This tool is perfect for digging holes, moving soil, cutting edges and dividing what’s already planted. A spade is similar to a shovel, but instead of a pointed blade, it has a flat blade.

A Fork

A fork is used to break up clumps of soil and to turn soil or compost for airing. As with all tools, it’s important to go for quality. There are cheap forks available, but they might break easily. So it’s better to spend a little more but get a tool that will do the job. Along with a big fork, you might also want to select a miniature version for flower beds.

A Rake

A metal rake has a flat top and sharp metal teeth and is used for smoothing out soil and getting rid of weeds. You can also get a rake to gather grass clippings and leaves. For this purpose, a plastic rake will do.

A Hoe

A straight hoe or a pointy hoe is used to keep a flower bed or vegetable patch weed free. If you have neck, shoulder or lower back issues, you might want to give preference to a push hoe versus a chipping hoe.

A Secateur

When buying secateurs, there are a few things to pay attention to. Pick up the secateurs and try cutting something with it. The tool should fit comfortably in your hand, and the tension control should not be too tight or too flexible. Select a model that will allow you to have the blades sharpened. Sharp blades are necessary to avoid damage to shrubs and flowers.

Secateurs are available with either curved or straight blade. Many people give preference to the curved blades as stems don’t get a chance to slide while being cut. Keep this sharp tool safely locked up at all times as in little hands a secateurs is extremely dangerous.

Hedge Trimmer

Only get a hedge trimmer if you have a hedge or are planning on growing one. A manual hedge trimmer resembles a big pair of scissors. The tool is held in both hands to snip off branches from a hedge. An electrical hedge trimmer makes the job easier to do but does take some practice. A hedge trimmer comes in handy when creating a topiary.

A Wheelbarrow

A wheelbarrow is like a food processor – you can do without, but ones you have it, you find all kinds of uses for it. Wheelbarrows come in different shapes and sizes and before buying one, handle it, especially if you’re a woman. Some wheelbarrows are made of solid steel, and while durable they may be a little too heavy for a female to handle.

A Garden Hose

A garden hose isn’t considered a garden tool, but unless you have a tiny garden, or don’t mind lugging around buckets of water, a hose is a must have. With a hose, you can quickly and easily water the grass, trees and anything else that grows. Flowers and seedlings should be watered with care. Don’t use too much water pressure and spray the roots rather than the flower. This will prevent breakage of petals and stems.

A Watering Can

Even if you have a garden hose, a watering can always come in handy to water small areas. With a can, you can accurately measure how much water is needed for containers, pots and hanging baskets.

If you’re not sure which garden tools you need, or you get confused with the wide range of products, talk to a professional. Advice is free and might save you time, money and frustration.