Apr 112012
 
Long handled shovel, Digging fork and D handled spade

Tools I can't live without - Not every woman's idea of a great thing to have, but it is mine

by Avis Licht
Although gardening can be a very simple and straightforward event, there are some basic tools that are necessary for success and a few that just plainly make it easier and better. Here are some of my favorites:

1. A strong digging spade and fork for loosening up the soil. I’ve had my English digging tools for 40 years. Take care of your tools and they last a lifetime.  It is worth the extra money for a strong tool.  They are made so that you can leverage the D handle for moving the soil without hurting your back.

A strong tool won’t bend, break or give up on you.  You can count on it to do the work for a lifetime.  I use my digging for for breaking up hard pan, dividing plants, loosening soil and digging beds. Though it’s hard to fork over the dough for a good tool, you’ll realize it more than pays its own way when it lasts 40 years.

D handled spade

This handle allows for leverage in moving soil without hurting your back.

D handle garden fork

Excellent for digging and loosening up the soil


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2. Small hand tools: A planting trowel should fit comfortably in your hand and be strong.  Cheap trowels bend easily at their neck and break in no time.  I know, I’ve tried them. A small hand fork works to loosen up soil as it becomes compacted over the season.  We hate compacted soil.

Ergonomic hand fork

To loosen up the soil around plants, this tool is essential.

Ergonomic hand trowel

Strong and angled correctly. You will use this tool a lot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bamboo poles for staking tomatoes

Start early for staking tall plants so they can grow tall and straight

 

 

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3.Plants grow quickly and many of them need support.  One of the biggest mistakes gardeners make is to  wait too long before staking up plants like peas, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and flowers.  Once a plant falls over it is hard to train it  up without hurting the stems.  Have a look at these growing supports. Sometimes you can make your own, but sometimes you can buy what works best for a reasonable cost.

Expandable and lovely willow trellis

Use them in the summer, then put away in the winter for next year.

tomato cage

It is important to hold up your tomatoes, or they will rot on the ground

pea fences

Peas and beans grow faster and better when staked early

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