Essential Gardening Tools & Why

It's essential to have the right tools for different jobs around the garden, and here's David Hall's list of the tools he finds most useful.

Created by David Hall on Thursday, 20th of August, 2015.
Updated on Thursday, 23rd of February, 2017.


These are the tools I use practically every day in the garden and on the allotment.

Spade

You can't get anything more simpler than a rectangular piece of metal on the end of a pole. It's personal choice what type of handle you have, but a strong wooden shaft with a good quality stainless steel blade is the best combination. Smaller, lighter versions are useful for borders and can be preferable if you have a large amount of work.

Fork

Essential for many digging and aerating the lawn, this might be the most useful garden tool especially on the allotment. Forks designed for borders are narrower and lighter but they can be preferable for general use as well. Make sure the tines are good quality forged steel and if you are growing potatoes, flat tines are preferred so that you don't spear the tubers.

Rake

Those with metal heads with about 12 teeth are the most versatile and easy to use, levelling the soil and creating a fine 'tilth' for sowing. Make sure the handle is long enough to be comfortable. A lawn rake is useful for clearing leaves in the autumn and removing dead material.

Trowel and Hand Fork

Very useful hand tools, the fork for digging small holes and planting out, while a trowel can be used for weeding, turning over the soil and planting.

Draw and Dutch Hoe

The former is good at cutting through weeds, marking out seed drills and earthing up potatoes. The latter is invaluable to slice the tops from weeds, always remember to walk backwards so that the weeds aren't trodden back into the soil. As with the rake, choose a handle that is long enough for you to reach the whole of the border or plot.

Secateurs

Used constantly for many garden cutting jobs, make sure they are kept good and sharp. One of the biggest mistakes is using them for jobs that they are not designed for, if you need to cut large branches employ a lopper.

Loppers

Good loppers will cut through about 1½ ins, any thicker and it is wise to invest in a pruning saw. Telescopic handles are particularly useful for versatility and easy storage.

Shears

Long handled to edge the lawn, short handled for trimming hedges and unruly shrubs.

Pocket Knife

Ensure it is sharp and will fit into your pocket. Specialist budding knives have a notch on the blade.

Watering Can

The humble watering can is perhaps not accurately defined as a tool but its usefulness cannot be denied. Make sure it isn't too heavy when full and is well balanced. Different types of roses will be used including a fine one for watering seeds. Long necks are also desirable for a good reach.

Outside of the top ten there are many other tools that have specialist uses such as a ridger or a dibber, but the 'must haves' can generally handle any situation and if they are a good quality, kept clean and sharp, will last for many years. 

Related Articles

HTA Plant Show 2016

HTA Plant Show 2016

As GardenSIte's plant specialist I always keenly anticipate the HTA National Plant Show. This is my chance to visit nurseries, find out what's trending in the horticultural world and source new stock, all from under one roof.

Author: David Hall

Written by David Hall.
Published on Friday, 24th of June, 2016.

What To See At This Year's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

What To See At This Year's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show takes place next month and Nathan James Dodd looks forward to what you'll discover at the largest annual show of its kind.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Monday, 20th of June, 2016.

How Thrive's Accessible Gardening Changes Lives

How Thrive's Accessible Gardening Changes Lives

The Society for Horticultural Therapy is an organisation generally known as Thrive, and David Coton recently learnt more about their projects, training and consultancy.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Thursday, 16th of June, 2016.

New Report Wants NHS To Prescribe Gardening

New Report Wants NHS To Prescribe Gardening

Once again a report has been published linking the benefits of gardening with healthy minds and bodies. The King's Fund findings are outlined by Nathan James Dodd, and they include recommendations that gardening should be promoted as a way of improving health.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Monday, 30th of May, 2016.

comments powered by Disqus

RSS

View RSS Feed

Author

David Hall David Hall

View Profile

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

Robert Hall Elected on the GIMA Judging Panel

Robert Hall Elected on the GIMA Judging Panel

Robert Hall, senior partner at GardenSite.co.uk has been elected to sit on the Garden Industry Manufacturers Association (GIMA) Judging Panel for 2017. The news was announced on 31st March 2017 on the GIMA website.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Friday, 31st of March, 2017.

April Gardening Jobs

April Gardening Jobs

April, particularly if you are on holiday over Easter, is the time when gardeners, whatever their level of enthusiasm and skill, want to get into the garden. Andy Taylor looks at the gardening jobs that can be achieved this month.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Thursday, 30th of March, 2017.

April Pond Maintenance

April Pond Maintenance

With rising water temperature and kinder weather, April is a good month for pond maintenance and Dan Everton takes a look at the jobs that need to be done this month.

Author: Dan Everton

Written by Dan Everton.
Published on Thursday, 30th of March, 2017.

How To Care For Your Spring Lawn

How To Care For Your Spring Lawn

Pay attention to your lawn in the spring and Andy Taylor reckons you will receive dividends later in the year.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Wednesday, 9th of March, 2016.