Garden Tools: What Every Gardener Should Have In Their Tool Shed

IMG_1521Garden tools are essential to making any gardening job easy and in some cases painless.  But what are the best tools to have in your garden shed?  Take some time before you head out to the garden center this weekend to make sure you have all the tools you need to tackle any garden project.  Here are five tools in my garden shed that I cannot live without.

1. A good pair of pruners. Pruners are essential if you want to deadhead or cut back any type of plant material, like perennials and shrubs, etc. Choose a pair that are comfortable to grip, such as a ratchet style, which offer more leverage and ease of use for smaller hands. This will save you from any discomfort and fatigue in your hands, wrist and fingers. If you are looking for pruners that provide a quick and accurate cut comfortably use the traditional bypass pruner. It provides a universal fit and is the most popular for both men and woman. I personally use a bypass pruner and have for the past 20 years. I find it easy to handle most garden pruning tasks.

2. Loppers are another essential tool. Loppers are long-handled pruners and are a must for pruning hard to reach tree branches.

3. Digging Spade, has a flat rectangular narrow head made of stainless steel, with a mid size handle. This type of spade is the perfect tool for edging flower beds, digging in the earth, dividing perennials and shrubs. Its razor semi rounded edge allows you to form clean edges and sharp cuts for the toughest of gardening tasks.

4. Hand trowel is an essential tool for gardening with small annuals in flower beds and container gardening. I prefer to use a trowel with curved stainless steel scoop with a serrated edge, perfect for light weeding as well.

5. Long handled cultivator/hoe. A cultivator is great for weeding in-between annual and perennial beds, but most importantly in the vegetable garden. The long handle is easy on the back for large weeds in hard to reach places.

Don’t forget routine maintenance for your tools.  Mid- winter is the perfect time of year to clean and sharpen your tools.  It is important to oil and sharpen pruner and lopper blades so they are ready to go in the spring.  Shovels and spades should be cleaned with steel wool to remove any rust and hard dirt build up.  A great tip is to keep a bucket of sand and mineral oil in the shed.  When you are finished working in the garden place your tools in the bucket.  With an old rag you can wipe off any excess dirt and grime easily.  This keeps tools looking like new.

Let me know what tools are in your garden shed?