I wrote this article a little ways back >>The Ten Essential Tools for Homeowners. It ended up being our most commented post of all time, and it was fun. So together with friend Ginny Powell, we reached out for the next in the “series” — a post on “Essential Landscaping Tools.” And when we did, the first name that came to my mind — @DaveyTree, and the rest, well, as they say, is below. Enjoy! ~jb, editor – BuildingMoxie.com.
By Nicole Wisniewski, The Davey Tree Expert Company
This is the comedic catchphrase coupled with an iconic, manly grunt Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor made on the sitcom Home Improvement when he was wielding power tools to make enhancements around the house.
One could say when it comes to landscape improvements, a gloved gardener, armed with the right trowels and pruners, feels the same surge of energy about their favorite tools. Except the extra horsepower they are looking for comes from their own passion and gardening “muscle.”
In this case, the right tools give them the confidence to produce ripe heirloom tomatoes and breathtaking beds of blooms.
Roll up your sleeves and dig in to our top 10 list of gardening tools!
This short-handled tool with a wide or narrow blade (test them out to determine your preference) is the one that gets the plants in the ground. For long-lasting durability, choose a tool crafted in one piece of steel or cast aluminum with a strong handle since you’ll be applying pressure to it for leverage.
2) Round-point Shovel
For digging bigger planting holes and just transporting dirt from place to place, a round-point shovel is ideal. Again, look for a tool crafted as one solid piece for longevity. Fiberglass handles also seem to be more reliable.
Editor’s Note: For more on selecting the right shovel for a job, see our Guide – The Scoop on Shovels.
3) Long- and short-handled Rake Cultivators
Cultivators – both short and long – are great for getting under nasty weed roots to pull them up, loosening tough soil for planting and getting oxygen into the soil.
4) Garden Hoe
If soil tilled itself, we wouldn’t need this steel gardening staple for turning and refreshing dirt.
5) Steel Garden Rake
This tool is great for cleaning up leaves and other debris in between plants and moving around heavy mulch and soil.
6) Pruning Shears + ByPass Looper & a Bow Saw
No plant grows in perfect uniformity. A little pruning is always required, whether you’re removing dead or dying branches from trees, keeping shrubs in shape, cutting back ornamental grasses or perennials after initial blooms or even cutting roses for the dinner table. For larger jobs – branches larger than ½ inch in diameter – a lopper or hand saw may also be a good addition to the tool shed.
Since no gardening job requires just a handful of soil and a single plant or tool to transport from bed to bed in the yard, a wheelbarrow becomes a handy mode of easily moving light and heavy materials. It’s also a nice place to hold pesky weeds and other unsightly things removed from impeccable perennial beds – at least temporarily until you dispose of them.
Editor’s Note: For more on how to properly use a wheelbarrow, here’s a video from This Old House.
8) Garden Spade
This long-handled gem is perfect for digging large holes, particularly when getting through tough, clay soil when you need to use additional weight on the shovel to help break up the dirt or lift sod. It’s also a great tool for edging beds to keep them separate from lawn areas, providing definition in the landscape. Particularly with this tool, seek one solid piece of metal that can handle the wear-and-tear you put on it and look for a flat edge at the top of the blade for better foot leverage.
9) Watering Tool – Watering Car & Hoses
Every plant needs water to survive and thrive. Water appropriately whenever the soil is dry, being mindful of water use restrictions that may apply to your area during drought or dry summers. Tools to use here can include a watering can with a long spout for small jobs and a soaker hose or garden hose with a good sprayer for more intense watering – all can provide water at the base of plant roots where it’s most needed so you’re not wasting it.
10) Garden Accessories
Without a solid pair of garden gloves (rubber gloves when handling any pesticides, fertilizers or oils; cloth gloves with reinforced fingertips to prevent cuts; and hybrid gloves made of cloth or rubber and extra grips for leverage with hand tools and to protect your hands), painful blisters would result with every dig. Other essential body wear includes a wide-brimmed hat to shield the sun, a kneeling pad to provide a soft surface for tough digging in the dirt and, of course, sunscreen.
Now that you have the right tools to get any gardening job done quickly and efficiently, you’ll have more time for the best part of landscaping: Cultivating the garden within by enjoying the space you meticulously and lovingly maintain!
Note from the hosts: Solar panels Saturday with Cal Finder, green roofs yesterday with @theDecorGirl today though, original green — “nature’s green” with @MyBigGreenPen Nicole. (Hmmmm . . . Green Week on Building Moxie?) She put together a great resource for us here. Thanks again Nicole and for the rest of yas — your comments are welcome down below. Thanks for reading. ~jb ( . . . again)