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Gardening tools uncovered
Garden path

Gardening tools uncovered

by Faye Peterson 4 min. 05.06.2022
Pop on a pair of glasses, grab your overalls and get going with the secateurs
How well do you know gardening equipment?
How well do you know gardening equipment?
Photo credit: Shutterstock

The promise of summer sunshine and longer days makes gardening a great idea. Find a list of practical and useful essentials below, designed to make your time in the garden as productive as it is enjoyable.    

Wear it

Gloves will help you avoid unnecessary bacterial skin infections or…everyone’s favourite…intestinal worms
Gloves will help you avoid unnecessary bacterial skin infections or…everyone’s favourite…intestinal worms
Shutterstock

Glasses 

They can help you look more intelligent or cool and protect your eyes too.  If you are working near a plant, especially a thorny one, like roses or brambles, it only takes one accidental head turn to injure an eye or scratch a retina. Pop on a pair and save your sight.  

Run the gauntlet 

Gloves are great. Thick leather gloves are even better if dealing with prickly plants and thorns. Ditch the gloves if you really need to but wash hands straight afterwards. It’s a simple measure, but one that should help you avoid unnecessary bacterial skin infections -- or intestinal worms.  

The overall

Go back to the 1950s and adopt a look your grandma and grandad would be proud of. Not only will using an apron or overall keep your clothes clean and save on unecological wash loads but, if you buy one with pockets, you will have somewhere to store all those handy items for little jobs in the garden. Hands-free gardening is here.  

Boot up 

A pair of three-quarter rubber boots and some rubber slip-on clogs should be enough for any working excursion into the garden. Leave the flip flops for the beach. That way you can be sure your toes are intact too.         

Work it

At some point you will need to carry or move something in your garden. You might consider a wheelbarrow.
At some point you will need to carry or move something in your garden. You might consider a wheelbarrow.
Shutterstock

Hand tools

A hand-held trowel and fork have served me well over the years. Add to the mix a decent pair of secateurs for small cutting tasks and a set of loppers to cut bigger branches from bushes and trees and - hey, presto - you are ready for most gardening jobs. Yes, you can buy fancy dibbers for seed sowing or expensive, high-end Japanese tools, but in general a decent knife and a little ingenuity will work just as well, if not better, for all other little jobs.    

Long-handled tools

A spade or shovel, a brush and a rake or hoe - that’s it! If space is at a premium, consider buying one pole with interchangeable heads to use as a rake, brush, etc.  When purchasing a spade, my preference is for one with a wooden D-shaped handle, a hybrid tapered head for cutting and removing material and a tread to support your feet when digging.  For the vertically challenged amongst us - such as myself - feel free to use short-handled, half-size or child-specific tools. Gardening gurus everywhere may gasp in horror at the thought of using children’s equipment, but hey, you’ll save yourself money and a bad back. 

Bucket, tub, bag or wheelbarrow

At some point you will need to carry or move something in your garden. What you need for the job depends on the size of your space. For small areas, a bucket, lightweight plastic tub or recycling bags like the ones available from food stores will work. Heavier items, such as bags of soil, and larger spaces require a wheelbarrow. Buy one with a solid tyre and say goodbye to punctures.    

Watering can

A decent watering can or hose is a necessity. Plastic watering cans are lighter to carry, but a galvanised metal one will stand the test of time. If you have a larger area to water, invest in a flexible hose with different nozzle attachments.     

Power it

If cutting the lawn sounds too much like hard work, go robotic
If cutting the lawn sounds too much like hard work, go robotic
Shutterstock

Lawnmower

With the end of “No Mow May”, many of us will be thinking of cutting our lawns again. A good lawnmower saves time and unwanted tick habitats forming in garden areas. Buy an all-wheel-drive model that can multi-task on different terrains with a rear bag for collecting clippings. Electric or petrol powered? The choice is yours, but I prefer petrol power. These models generally have more oomph, plus the added bonus of no electric leads or cables to contend with.    

If you are eco-conscious and only have a small area to maintain, consider a traditional hand-pushed pedestrian model. This way, you can get a workout at the same time. If this sounds too much like hard work, go robotic. Bonus points if you name your robot mower. However, if you have an area bigger than a football pitch, start thinking about a ride-on mower.  

Wood chipper or shredder

Buy bags of bark mulch no more. Once upon a time we had a lot of woody bushes and trees in our garden that required regular pruning. This, coupled with a child’s play area and an allotment to maintain, meant we had the perfect excuse to buy a chipper. All these wood chippings were put to use lining the play area or to make footpaths around the vegetable patch. Extra chippings were used as mulch. Win, Win. 

Hedge trimmer or lawn strimmer

Unless you are a topiary aficionado or into cloud-cutting your hedges and edges, no one wants to hand-cut large areas of foliage. Save time and invest in a tool for the job. Just remember to hold the line. Straight fringes and neat cuts are a must.

See you next month in the garden.   

Inspiration needed for this month? Check out the annual Rendez-Vous aux Jardins between the 3-6 June. With more than 66 gardens open, there is something for everyone to enjoy. 


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