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.
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.
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.