Six Must-Have Gardening Tools

If you're thinking about using those gardening tools that you bought at a yard sale 10 years ago in order to "get down and dirty" in your garden this season, think again! It might seem like a major splurge when you purchase well-crafted gardening tools for the first time, but it will probably end up being the best investment you make this season.

My philosophy on tools is: go for quality, not quantity. The six tools listed below are the 'must have' tools for any earnest gardener.

  1. Trowel
    This small tool is used for digging holes for smaller plants such as perennials and annuals; as well as for transplanting plants.
  2. Spade
    A spade, which is usually flat with a rectangular blade, can be utilized for several jobs in the garden. You can edge, dig holes for plants, trees and bushes as well as digging up huge clumps of perennials and then dividing them. If I had to choose between buying a spade or a shovel, a spade would win out every time.
  3. Pruner
    A hand pruner is probably a gardener's best friend. It can be used to deadhead flowers, cutback bushes, roses and small branches. It is worth the extra money to get a really fine pair of pruners. Try before you buy and make sure it feels comfortable in your hand.
  4. Weeder
    There are weeders and then there are weeders. I am constantly surprised at the contraptions that gardeners call weeders. A good weeder will be able to uproot the root of the weed as well as its greenery. It will also allow you to do the job quickly and efficiently. My favorite weeder is one with a fairly, slim and long wooden handle and a triangular metal piece at the tip.
  5. Wheelbarrow
    A good, sturdy wheelbarrow will make your gardening tasks a lot easier. Make sure that whatever type you buy that you check out the dimensions in advance so that you are sure that the width of the wheelbarrow can fit through all of your walkways.
  6. Watering Can
    Watering cans are so pleasing to the eye that I use several antique ones in my garden as pieces of architecture. But when it comes to watering newly sown seeds, plants, bushes, trees and containers, nothing compares to an elegant metal watering can that allows the water to flow out gently. It is a tool you will never be sorry that you bought. You may start off with one, but eventually you'll discover that it is a real treat to have one in every planting area of your garden.

As you become more involved with gardening, obviously you will want to supplement with other tools. But for right now, buy those stupendous six tools and you'll be set take on any other green thumber in your neighborhood!

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