Just like a successful garden has the right plant in the right place, the right tool for the job makes gardening easier. There is a multitude of garden tools available and it would be easy to spend a fortune on getting all of them. Each gardener probably has a list of tools most loved and recommended.
I spend a lot of time trimming and weeding so the top tools on my list are pruners, loppers and a unique weeder/cultivator. My pruner is for small hands. I love it and it fits my grip perfectly. The pruners are put to use on small branches (roses, medium bushes) while the loppers (long handled pruners) are used for large branches (large bushes, trees).
My weeder/cultivator has comfortable grip handle and a single gently curved stainless steel business end with a flattened snakes head shaped tip. It’s great for mixing in compost before planting, digging out taproots or gently nudging out weeds in small places.
When purchasing tools, the Travis County Master Gardeners Association recommends buying good quality tools that will last and tools that match your physical size. Stay away from the ‘wonder tools’ – if its claims sound too good to be true, well, you know…. To keep garden tools in great condition, follow these steps:
- Take a container (an old pot will do, but cover the drain hole) and fill with sand.
- Mix sand with a lubricating oil, like WD-40 or vegetable oil until damp.
- Remove large clumps of dirt from tools with steel wool or other scraper and place the tools into the sand up to the handles.
- At this point, the tools can spend the winter in the sand or can be removed, wiped down with a coarse cloth and put away until Spring. Use the sandy mixture as needed to keep the tools in top shape.
As we prepare for Spring, I'm taking an inventory of my tools and seeing what is new goodies I might need for my garden tool box.