The quest to begin a food garden at home began two years ago for us. While our first garden wasn’t a huge success, we did see an improvement last year. I’m hoping that this will continue to be an upward trend. And in the meantime, I am happy to share what I learn along the way. Keep in mind, I am not a gardening expert by any stretch. Just sharing gardening tips for beginners that have helped me or that I have put into practice. Today, I want to talk about my must have gardening tools for the beginning gardener.
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Gardening doesn’t have to be expensive. Buying high-end tools isn’t practical, especially for beginners. When starting out, all you really need are the basic tools.
Gardening Tools for the Beginning Gardener
Buy a strong spade, a digging fork, and a rake.
These three simple tools are already enough to start gardening. You may also add some extra tools if you want; such as a Dutch hoe, a trowel, a hand fork, a pair of shears, some pruning clippers, and a garden line. With all of the tools mentioned, you can do so much in the garden.
Gardening requires serious maintenance. Additional gardening tools are needed as time progresses; especially when your garden is increasing in size and new varieties of plants are introduced. The need to upgrade gardening tools is also inevitable. A time will come when heavy duty equipment, like a decent lawn mower, is a must.
Always think before you buy. And don’t buy for novelty’s sake; such tools often gather rust. Don’t be one of those owners who discover that old-fashioned basic tools do the same job just as well.
Be wary of expensive, motorized cultivators. You might lose as much time in maintenance as you gain on the ground. Also, though these machines can dig, they won’t give you a better tilth than you can get with a good spade, a good fork, a rake, and some steady exercise.
What about handles? Does it make a big of a difference? – Definitely yes.
Tools come with a variety of handles. Spades and forks have closed Y-shaped, D-shaped or T-shaped heads to their handles. The older style D-shaped wooden handles were inclined to be weak at the junction of the D and the stem. Now, in wooden-handled tools at least, Y-shaped handles replaced them. The new handles have a bolt or strengthening rod at the point where the Y divides. Well maintained, these tools will last a lifetime.
The T-shaped handle has no split, but a cross-piece at the top. Many gardeners find it awkward to use, because it can scratch in your clothes as you dig. It seems to be a regional design though, being much more popular in some parts of the world.
As to which handle is best, go simply for the handle that feels most comfortable. Beyond that personal choice, pain-free gardening – particularly digging – is more a matter of how you work rather than what you work with.
Gardening Tool Sets for the Beginning Gardener
If you are a more experienced gardener, what tools would you include on your must have tool list?