Tools That Rule!

Tools That Rule!

It is possible to produce a garden without store bought tools. You could use a stick to dig I suppose. I’m guessing the majority of us do not do this.

Having the proper tool makes our garden toils less…toilsome. Proper care of our tools can keep us from having to replace them.

I live on a budget. At times, that budget is confining. When I have money to spend in the garden, I like to buy seeds, or plants or trees. I don’t want to have to replace a hoe, or put a new handle on a spade. However, as a so called adult, I realize that this is what needs to be done, so I do it.

In order to be able to use my gardening dollars on the much more paisley purchases that I prefer, I try to take steps to avoid the tool shed replacements entirely.

  1. Buy the best (not necessarily most expensive) tools my budget will allow. I talk to other gardeners, read loads of articles, investigate reviews, all with the idea I will be finding the “best”.
  2. Maintain and store my tools properly. Even inexpensive Wal-Market tools will last a long time if properly maintained and stored.
  3. Get tools that serve more than one purpose. This is not only economical, but also keeps you from having to lug extra things out of the shed.


I also try to prioritize my tool purchases. There are tools that are essential to realistically be able to tend a garden. Back to our stick analogy, it would be possible, but not very realistic to effectively garden without some basic tools.

These include:

  • Two shovels, a sharp nosed and a blunt head
  • A hoe
  • At least one rake
  • Hedge trimmer or shears
  • A hose
  • A watering can (or something to effectively distribute water soluble fertilizer)
  • Good, sturdy gloves, I use goat skin gloves. They need to be sturdy you don’t want pokies getting through.

These are the work horses of my garden. I use them, if not every day, at least several times each week. I am also very careful with them as far as keeping them sharpened, clean and stored properly. I keep my wood handles oiled to avoid splitting. I don’t do all of this because I am particularly fond of shovels. I just don’t want to have to buy another one. Ever. Well at least not for a good long time.

The next category is what I like to call the “cardigan” tools. They’re not as essential as your woolen overcoat, but you don’t really want to have go through winter without at least one or two cardigans.

These tools include:

  • A Wheelbarrow
  • Limb Trimmer
  • Post hole digger
  • Trowel
  • Spade
  • Fork

I list these as non essentials but they really do make things much easier. When I have not had a wheelbarrow, I have used a child’s wagon or a wheeled garbage can in a pinch. I’ve trimmed limbs with a hack saw when necessary. Not having the proper tools is cumbersome and makes even the most menial chores seem laborious. This is where the cardigan tools come in quite handy.

Finally, we have the “hairbow” tools. Not really essential, you could garden a hundred years without them, but aren’t they nice.

  • A bulb digger
  • Hose keeper/winder
  • Hand Fork
  • Watering wand
  • Garden stool
  • Leaf shredder
  • Garden Weasel cultivator
  • Tiller
  • Cobra Head Hand Hoe (If you haven’t tried this, you really ought to)

Some of these are fancier than others, just as some hairbows are fancier than others. I would love to try the bulb bopper that you put on your electric drill. If I were wanting to plant many bulbs the $34.95 seems like it might be worth the investment. Without getting too personal, I have severe back issues. I am thinking about retiring my $2.00 plastic stool I currently use for gardening and replacing it with a more expensive, but hopefully back friendly garden stool. Now that I’m thinking about it, that would be a great Mother’s Day gift…hmmmm.

Whatever your garden tool needs, shop carefully, check reviews, ask your forum buddies, all that fun stuff. Take care to keep the maintenance current on your existing tools. This is a great time to do that little chore since we’re all itching to do something, anything, garden related. And finally, make sure your tools are properly stored. There are few things more frustrating than finding your tools in poor condition because they’ve left in the weather, or as was the case at our house in Lake Jackson, nicked from the garage that was not properly locked. Ugh!

When we think about it, tools rule! I wouldn’t want to garden without them that’s for certain. I hope you have a paisley tooled week. ~KeriAnne

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