Garden tools for the beginning gardener

A stroll through the garden tools section of the local home and garden center can be a daunting task for the novice gardener. What should you buy for your first garden experience? Start with a few basic garden tools suitable for use in a flower garden or vegetable garden. 

Shovel

Preparing soil for gardening requires turning the soil, and a shovel is good for that task. The design of a shovel includes a narrow ridge at the top of shovel blade. Wearing hard sole shoes, press your foot against the ridge to force the shovel into the ground. Turn the scooped soil over with the shovel and then stab the soil clump with the blade of the shovel to break the clump into smaller portions.

Garden rake
A garden rake, also called a box rake, has non-flexing metal tines. Use a garden rake to level turned soil. Use a garden rake to pull grass or weeds from the turned soil. 
Rainfall may not provide enough water to nourish flowers and vegetables. Choose a garden hose and an adjustable nozzle. The nozzle should switch from a light mist to moisten soil before planting seeds, to a rain-like setting to water established plants. Include a large plastic water can as part of the watering scheme for those times when only a few plants are in need of water.

Hand trowel

After working the soil with a shovel, grab a hand trowel to dig a small hole for potted plants, including flowers and vegetables. A hand trowel is less than 12 inches long. Push the hand trowel into the ground and push forward to create a V-shaped opening. Drop the root portion of small starter plants, often called plugs, into the opening. For larger potted plants, use the hand trowel to scoop out soil equal to the size of the plant’s container.

Hand pruners

Use hand pruners to clip small stems like when pruning plants or clipping flowers for a floral bouquet. Use pruners in the vegetable garden at harvest time to snip the stems of plants like tomatoes or peppers.

Niceties
A garden kneeler cushion, using made of sturdy foam, may prevent sore knees when pulling leaves or planting flowers or vegetables. Hat and sunscreen will help to protect your hair and skin from the damaging effects of sun. Wear gloves to avoid blisters when using hand tools. Leather gloves are particularly sturdy to handle rough tasks, like pulling thistle plants.

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