Three Essential Gardening Tools

Although I am a journalist I am also a keen amateur gardener. I consistently find that although much like the majority of the UK who enjoy purchasing almost every garden gadget around, there are in fact only 3, that I would term as essential garden tools. Irrespective of the gardening task at hand, the same old faithful’s are always required. Although in terms of styling and design these garden tools may have changed over the years, the same principle behind why they are used is ever present. So what are these three essential tools, read on and find out….

Garden spade

garden-spadeThe perennial garden favourite and essential piece of gardener’s toolkit, the humble spade has been a force to be reckoned with for eons. Over the years ergonomic design has superseded functionality to a certain degree with a variety of different shapes, colours and sizes now available to satisfy the whim and requirements of a discerning public.

When it comes to the spade itself, there are two key things to remember, ensure that the spade comes with a good grip and handle. This may sound like I am teaching you to suck eggs, but it’s surprising how many people will sacrifice grip for looks. Its important that the spade is easy to grip and rugged. Additionally the most effective and strongest types of spades are single spindle, metal fastened options as these will be far more durable and not succumb to the stresses and strains of heavy gardening use.

Garden Fork

A good quality fork is a godsend. For situations where a spade will simply not work, a fork can make light work of much of these tasks. Digging out particularly difficult areas, clay based soils and areas where plants need to be separated.

Things to look out for include, making sure that the fork is manufactured from just one piece of steel. There are some available where the shaft spindle is clamped onto the fork, but these tend not to fair too well when put under load.

Pruning shears or secateurs

secateursNow pruning shears or secateurs as they are commonly known as are one of my three top tools for gardening. Primarily used to prune plants such as flowers and fruit trees, they are affectionately known as “garden scissors” by many.

In terms of design, one of the key things to look out for is that when using them your hand feels comfortable and you are able to apply sufficient pressure to use them. The quality of the blades needs to excellent, as the sharpness and their durability are important points.  Its sharpness will determine how much pressure you will need to exert to cut the relevant item, so regular sharpening is important.

Choose an ergonomic design with quality blades made from sturdy and durable materials. Additionally try to find a pair, which are brightly coloured so it makes it easy to find them when they will invariably be lost at some point in the garden.

Although budget may be a consideration when choosing these three essential garden tools, try to choose on quality and durability rather than style.