An efficient garden that’s fun to work in requires the correct tools. It is not necessary to have a lot of tools, but they should be good quality. All gardeners will require the following:
1. A shovel or a spade .
Shovels are long-handled and have wide, rounded blades. Spades are shorter and usually have narrow blades. Sharpshooter shovels are spades. I prefer a long-handled shovel for nearly every gardening task from spading soil to planting and transplanting shrubs. The shorter spade is stronger but harder to use. The spade works well to dig a raised bed or a post hole. It is also a good tool for prying, cutting larger roots and even spading. All gardeners should have one or the other, and both would be a good investment.
2. A hoe.
The hoe is a universal gardening tool. There are dozens of kinds, sizes and shapes. The standard square-bladed gooseneck hoe is the one to begin with. It is suitable for removing weeds as well as opening and closing furrows for seeding. Other hoes can be added if and when you need them.
3. A rake.
The bow rake is essential for smoothing and leveling seed beds. It may also be used to cover planting furrows, move mulches, clean up debris and kill emerging weeds.
4. A trowel.
Buy a good trowel, 3 or 4 inches wide. Use it to transplant small plants, open short rows, dig small holes and even to weed and cultivate around small plants.
5. Small supplies .
Use twine and stakes for marking rows, maintaining straight rows and supporting plants. A bucket for carrying fertilizer and water to the garden and vegetables to the house is very helpful. A hose is essential for irrigation. Perhaps the most essential small tool is a good-quality file. Carry it with you when you work in the garden and use it frequently to keep tools sharp.
Care must taken:
Store all tools away from sun and rain. Weather will deteriorate and roughen handles, as well as rust metal parts. Rust can be prevented by wiping a light coating of oil on metal after use. Rough handles can be smoothed with sandpaper. Well-cared for tools are easier to use and last much longer. You will want to add additional tools and equipment as your needs grow and finances permit. The following items will prove useful:
2. A spading fork for soil preparation and harvesting root crops.
3. A manure fork for turning compost and moving garden residues.