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You don’t need to have a huge collection, but having the right garden tools can make taking care of your outdoor space so much easier. Here are 10 tools that it’s hard to do without.
If you’ve ever tried pulling up nettles or cutting back thorny shrubs without them, you’ll understand why gloves are at the top of this list. Even handling fairly harmless looking plants can leave your hands sore and irritated if they’re unprotected. Prolonged use of hand tools can also do surprising damage to bare hands through pressure and friction. Invest in a pair of gloves that are tough enough to defend you from the prickliest of brambles and you’ll find gardening a lot more enjoyable.
When it comes to planting, a hand trowel is indispensable. When you’re choosing one, imagine digging up tough weeds with it and ask yourself whether it would be up to the job. As with all garden tools, keep it clean and store it in a dry place to prevent rusting.
Another small but essential garden tool, a hand fork allows you to break up hard, lumpy soil and mix in crumbly compost to achieve a consistency that your plants can grow roots in.
If you’ve got some serious digging to do, using a hand trowel will take all day. Get a long-handled, pointed digging shovel to do the work in a fraction of the time. This is a garden tool that really has to be well-made and tough, because the handle will be under a lot of pressure.
A digging fork is just a larger, long-handled version of the hand fork, though with straight rather than angled prongs. Use it for loosening soil over larger areas or to break up hard soil before digging.
Rakes have more uses than you might think. As well as being the best way to clear leaves or twigs from your lawn, they can also be used for breaking up soil and levelling out beds. You can choose from straight-headed rakes or leaf rakes with longer, lighter prongs.
Secateurs are one of the garden tools you’ll find yourself using the most. No matter what you’re doing in the garden, you are likely to come across plants that need cutting back. A good quality, sharp pair have amazing cutting power and can chop through stems or branches of up to ¾ of an inch. Don’t try to force them to cut anything thicker though, or you could blunt or break them. If you have roses, use secateurs to cut off dead flowers once the blooms are spent. This is known as ‘deadheading’ and encourages the regrowth of healthy blooms.
These are a long-handled version of secateurs that are very handy for reaching up into trees or hedges. The blades are also larger and stronger and so can handle thicker branches of up to 2 inches in diameter, depending on the model.
Rather than individually chopping through thicker stems, sheers are used for cutting back a number of thinner stems at once. They’re particularly effective for cutting back hedges and long grasses, or deadheading flowering plants with thinner stems.
If you have a lawn of any size, it’s difficult to do without a lawnmower. These come in all shapes and sizes, from entirely manual mowers to high-tech electrical models. If you want to make life easy for yourself, cutting edge solutions like GARDENA'S Robotic Lawnmower SILENO will even do all the hard work for you.
Whichever garden tools you are buying, invest in high-quality items that are effective and comfortable to use. Look after them and store them carefully, and they should serve you for years to come.