Gardens are one home project where you can measure success by answering the question, do you want to work harder or smarter. The work is often very repetitive, which means that the key isn’t a willingness to break your back getting it done, but knowing how to let your tools do the bulk of the work and spare your joints.
The tools that work best will be different depending on what kind of garden you have. A vegetable garden has different requirements than a bed of flowers, and a patch you’re using to grow potatoes in will require different maintenance than a backyard full of edging, shrubs, and trees.
For our purposes here, we’re going to assume that you’ve gone full English garden, with a backyard sculpted and manicured with towering grasses and patches of flowers. What kinds of tools are vital to maintaining it? We have some ideas.
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1. The rake
There are two different kinds of rakes you’ll use to maintain your garden, and both of them have important uses.
Anyone who’s ever raked leaves in fall is familiar with the lawn rake. It has stiff metal bristles designed for clearing lawns of twigs and small branches. This is purely for light maintenance.
A garden rake, on the other hand, has teeth instead of thin metal bristles. It will help you spread mulch or even out soil prior to planting.
2. Trowel power
No kind of garden took kit is worthy of the name without the trowel. This will allow you to dig out tough-to-get weeds while also permitting you to create space to plant bulbs and plugs of annuals. For work close into existing plants, you have to work by hand, and that means using a garden trowel.
As we said, we’re assuming that you’ve gone full English garden in your backyard, which means weekly weeding. That could mean hours of backbreaking labor pulling weeds, or you could just go bed to bed with a weedeater and knock the weeds down in a few minutes. It won’t eliminate weeds, but nothing ever really does that, now does it.
4. Pruning shears
Once your plants are established, you’re going to want to shape them so they don’t look haggard and wild. A good set of pruning shears will help you do that. These aren’t just important for maintaining the appearance of your plants, but their health. These tools will help you cut away dead or diseased limbs and branches so your plant to put more energy into the parts of it that are vital and strong.
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5. Garden forks
Garden forks aren’t plant-care tools, but they are vital for a proper garden. These will help you move mulch and fertilizer and lay down hay for winter insulation. Plus if you rake up a giant pile of leaves and branches in the fall, these are the most effective tools to get it off the ground and to your compost piles.
Each kind of garden has its own maintenance needs, depending on size and purpose. This will really determine what kinds of tools you really need. In general, however, if you’ve got rakes, trowels, a good weedeater, shears, and a garden fork, you’re probably pretty set.
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