Thursday, 24 July 2014

How to Choose Gardening Tools

Many homeowners make the mistake of buying too many gardening tools that they don’t need. When you head down to the local nursery or garden center, the choice of gardening tools on display can get confusing and bewildering. The fact is, you only need to buy the ones that are most important. Gardens can be well looked after with just a handful of tools. There is no necessity to spend a lot of money to fill your tool shed with every gardening gadget under the sun. There are basic tools that will benefit most gardeners like: a strongly made fork, a sturdy hand trowel, a square blade spade, a stirrup hoe, watering cans, a garden hose, a bow rake, a garden fork, a leaf rake, hand pruners, a hand cultivator and a wheelbarrow. Here are some basic tips to let you choose the right gardening tools that prove useful and are high-quality in nature to last a lifetime.
  • Firstly, make sure you have all the tools listed at the beginning of this article. If you have lots of shrubs, hedges and trees, you can invest in shears, hand saws and bypass loppers.
  • Make sure you buy only high quality tools. You can choose stainless steel tools because they are easy to clean, long lasting and don't rust. But they are a bit expensive. A good alternative to stainless steel ones are those that are made from carbon fiber steel. They are durable, sturdy and easy to sharpen.
  • Before you buy your gardening tools, thoroughly inspect them to see if the shaft is straight and the wood grain is even. Hold the tool to check if it’s too heavy or light for the job you intend to use it for. Don’t buy tools with painted handles, as the paint is used to disguise lower quality wood. Buy handsaws, loppers and pruners with replaceable blades.
  • Don’t buy tools that have no use for your garden. Make a list to determine which tools need to be replaced.
  • Many tools will do several jobs at the same time. In that case, put back tools that has only one use, for example a bulb planter. That’s because you will probably own a tool that will do that specific work and several jobs as well, for example a trowel. There may be tools that will work well with only one specific job, like a weeder. In this case, it is worth buying it because it makes weeding the lawn easier.
  • Buy ergonomic tools if you have physical limitations. They are innovatively designed to reduce stress on joints and muscles. Cutting tools with rubber bumpers will absorb shock when you make a cut. Tools with longer shafts and handles will increase leverage. They will also prevent you from stooping over as you use them with the exception of hand tools. If you have weak hands or arthritis buy shears, loppers and pruners with a ratcheting mechanism. They will multiply your strength and make cutting easy and efficient. 
Warnings and Tips
  • Soil tends to cause steel blades to rust over time. Make sure you clean your tools before storing them.
  • Oil and sand wooden handles with linseed oil at least once a year to remove rough spots, splinters and nourish the wood.
  • Steel blades need to be oiled with linseed oil a few times every year to prevent rust.
  • Use loppers and bypass pruners on live wood instead of anvil style ones. Anvil style tools should only be used on dead, dry wood as they crush branches and stems rather than make a proper, clean cut. 

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