Small hand tools make the gardener’s work easier in flower beds and vegetable patches, but they also serve to populate garden boxes and pot arrangements on terraces, balconies and decks.
Let us review these essential gardening tools.
Hand tool lexicon
- The planter
The tip of this tool resembles a cone, and it helps dig holes in the ground to plant young sprouts. No way to do without this, it is a basic tool for every gardener, even in urban settings. For bulbs, a variant is the “automatic planter”, which actually lifts a core of earth to put it back atop the bulb later.
- The transplanter
This small shovel is a multi-purpose tool. It can serve to make holes for planting, to break up the soil surface, and to fill in or mix up the substrate destined to garden boxes and pot arrangements.
- The knife
This multi-use garden knife is used to snip off flowers and thin twigs, to collect cuttings and to cut bits of string. Its blade can have various shapes. For example, the billhook shape is most often used to collect cuttings. There are also weeding knives that host a curved blade designed to unearth the roots of weeds.
- Hand hula hoe
Usually a variant of a metal hoop, the hand hula hoe can wiggle through plants in the vegetable patch and in flower beds, to clean and break up the soil.
- The hand hoe
With its rectangular blade, the hand hoe can work on the soil to aerate it and remove weeds.
- The cultivator
With its three teeth, the cultivator helps weed and break the soil up along the surface of flower beds.
- The drill hoe or triangle hoe
This a kind of double-purpose tool: its blade weeds and its fork loosens up the soil and breaks the crust of earth. It also can be used to trace furrows. A must-have for any gardener!
- The screw root puller
This surprising tool that looks like a corkscrew helps pull out weeds by twisting around their taproots. A good tool for the organic gardener.
- The asparagus knife
Thanks to its very long handle, this asparagus knife makes it possible to harvest asparagus. It can also be used against weeds.
Choosing quality tools
The best tools are those… that last a long time! When purchasing, prefer quality tools that are produced as close as possible to where you live. Strong, heavy-duty tools that are well designed aren’t among the cheapest, but you’ll be saving on the long term. If you must select only a few, start with a good transplanter, a good cultivator and a weeding knife.
Image credits: Fiskars