Walk around a substantialy large garden centre or DIY superstore in spring and you will be confronted by a huge assortment of gardening tools and equipment. You can actually be excused for thinking that the quantity of different types of gardening tools have to have increased in recent times – but you in fact you are wrong. In a text book written over 300 years ago there is a list of well over one hundred tools for the enthusiastic gardener, and Victorian catalogues offered hundreds of different types of hoes, forks, spades etc.
The basic armoury has declined, but the average cost and complexity have greatly increased. There is also a sizable amount of different brands of each item, which means you need to choose with great care. A well known name on the handle is a safeguard, however it can also mean a higher cost. With tools you normally get what you pay for (but not always), so it is wise avoiding low-priced offers of unknown origin for tools which you intend to use regularly. Stainless-steel certainly looks appealing, but ordinary steel is very much cheaper and is quite satisfactory if maintained properly.
Your first job is to decide which kind of tool or tools you intend to buy. Obtaining the right equipment for gardening will always make the work a lot easier. For the elderly and the handicapped choosing wisely is even more important, it occasionally means the difference between being able to do a task or not.
Now you know very well what to look for, you should select an appropriate example from your supplier. By all means be guided by the maker’s name, the shopkeeper’s advice and the manufacturer’s advertisement, but for most tools it will be necessary for you to check the item suits the user. With spades, forks, hoes, secateurs and so forth you have to see that both the weight and balance are suitable. A spade which is ‘right’ for a strong youth will be quite wrong for a medium sized elderly lady or gentleman.
For the keen gardener with money to spare, the most difficult task will be to determine just the number of tools to buy. Below is a general basic list for a medium sized garden, but the precise list which would be right for you is something that only you can determine. Nonetheless, any item on the basic list below which you fail to buy will undoubtedly increase the task of gardening.
What people should buy.
Spade, Fork, Hoe, Rake, Trowel, Lawn Mower, Watering can. Plus, Secateurs if roses and/or shrubs are grown. Shears, if hedges are grown. Sprayer, if roses,vegetables and/or fruit is grown. Hose pipe, if the lawn is feature. Lawn edger, also for the lawn. Garden line, if vegetables are grown. Gloves, if prickly plants are grown. Wheelbarrow, if plants or manure have to be moved. Motor mower, if the lawn is over 70 sq. yards.
What people do buy.
Spade, Fork, Rake, Trowel, Mower, Secateurs.
Hoe, Watering can, Shears, Hose pipe, Fork, Mower.
Wheel barrow, Sprayer, Gardening gloves, Lawn edger, Sprinkler.
Power tools, Roller, Cloches, Lawn spreader, Long-handled pruner.
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