The proper tools for the garden are just as important as the ones you would use in the garage to work on your car. If you don’t have the right size of wrench or socket, it would make it very difficult. So think of the tools for your garden in the same way.
No matter what tools you choose to buy, make sure they are user friendly. What I mean is, they have good grips on them, makes it much easier on your hands.
Since tools can be expensive, be sure to check your local thrift stores and pawn shops. You can usually pick them up for little money, so why spend it if you don’t have to.
Be sure and keep your tools clean. After every use is the best tip I can give. Otherwise you are going to be going out every year to buy new ones, what a waste.
A good shovel or two, if you are removing a grassy area to put in either a vegetable garden or a rose garden; the right tool for the job is a flat shovel. You can get a much straighter line and be able to dig a little deeper to remove the roots. A pointed shovel is also good to really get down to the (no pun intended) root of things.
A hoe is very useful to make your furrows with and to help weed around existing plants.
Hand held cutters to prune your plants. Make sure they are of good quality and will last you for several years.
A trowel will make it easy to turn the soil around your plants once they are established. Also to dig into the soil to put in small plants or to transplant if plants are too close together.
Don’t go out and buy a tiller unless you are putting in a very large garden. They are expensive and perhaps you could borrow one from a friend or a neighbor. If you do buy one, make sure it is not too heavy for you to use. Some of the smaller lightweight ones you see can do just as good a job as the big heavy ones. Make sure it suits you. It is also possible to rent one.
A couple different kinds of rakes are very useful. Light weight for raking up leaves or debris. Heavyweight for removing the excess thatch in your lawn. This one will really dig down into the grass and remove the thatch. It is a lot of work, but worth it for your lawn to be able to get the nutrients it needs.
The most important tool, if you want to call them that is a really good pair of work gloves. That is unless you really want to mess up that new manicure. Make sure they fit and are comfortable. You could actually use two pair, one light pair for everyday gardening. But get a heavy pair for the other stuff. If you have long nails like I do, a tip is to put a cotton ball into each of the fingers before you put your gloves on. Especially in the lightweight gloves. This will prevent the dirt that works its way through the seams getting under your fingernails. Just as good a tip for a man as a woman.
A good wheel barrow can come in handy also.
PENNY PINCHING TOOL TIPS
Store your garden tools in the sectioned liquor boxes. One is enough for small tools. To make them tall enough for longer tools, rakes etc. cut off the bottom and top of one and place it on top of one with just the top cut off. Secure the two together with duct tape.
Keep your garden tools clean using sand with a little motor oil mixed in. This will help to keep them lubricated and prevent rust. For big tools, use a 5 gallon bucket. Smaller tools, a coffee can is good.
Use steel wool to keep your garden tools in good shape. Use fine grade steel wool; saturate it with ordinary household oil that you would use on squeaky door hinges. Rub rust off your tools, then wipe clean with a dry rag. To store for the winter, clean well with this method and reapply a little oil to protect them.
If your garden hose springs a small leak, use an ordinary toothpick. Simply insert the toothpick into the hole, cut off excess. The water will make the wood swell and close off the leak. Why buy a new hose?
If the hole in your hose is a bit bigger than above, wrap it tightly with a piece of duct tape. Doesn’t look so pretty, but it will save you money.