Hi, and Happy New Year.
I want to start a post about hand tools. Because I don't have ANY.. I'm
feeling pretty good about last years endeavor. I'm really want to get
going. There's so many hoes and , Well, tools, I don't know what to get.
But I have weed issues. I thought the best thing to do was to pull them and
as much of the root as possible. And I see in a couple catalogs there's
Swiss hoes and weed removers that cut weeds.
So what do you consider indispensable tools. That just make things much
easier. And what works really well on weeds.
My favorite weeding tool is the D-Hoe or some call it the Stirrup hoe. It
cuts the weed and can be done standing up. This tool does require soft soil
to begin with. If you cut a weed many times before it gets large it will
die. Some times I rake them up after cutting them with the D-Hoe, sometimes
I don't. The D-Hoe slices weeds in two directions, back and forth.
The standard hoe is also good for getting rid of tougher weeds because I
can use it in a chopping manner as well as slicing the weed. The standard
hoe can only slice in one direction, but it can be used to chop. Get a good
hoe, cheap ones will break quickly if used in a chopping manner.
Invest in a file for sharpening the tools. A luxury item is to use a rotary
dremel drill to sharpen the edges in the garage.
There are four MUST have tools for gardening: Pointed Shovel, Hoe, Rake and
a Wheel Barrel. Other tools just make life easier.
Not a tool but a MUST have in gardening is a pair of good gardening gloves,
with mesh back with leather like finger tips. Dirt under one finger nails
is a common fungal problem that is ugly and can cause permanent discoloring
of your finger nails. Do not use those crummy cheap brown gloves. If
working with roses you will need thorn proof gloves. Those thorns can also
cause health infection problems.
Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)
For small hand tools like trowels, weeding forks etc I am quite a fan of
cast aluminium. These are cheap but effective and much better than the mild
steel sort which bend, break and rust very easily.
Specifically for weeds it depends on the weed. If the weed will re-shoot
from the base chopping of the top with a hoe is not very effective.
It depends on your weed and how you like to work. I like to get up close
and personal with my weeds. I odnt' likelong handled implements.
For really BIG weeds such as phalaris clumps, I use a very strong, good
quality gardening fork.
For smaller weeds in say the veggie or flower beds, I use the following
depending on the weed and the situation:
a) a 'mattock' like device made form a leaf spring from a car - wide at one
eand and about 1 inch at the other. A brilliant 'ladies' sized tool hand
made by a friend.
b) a small hand fork.
c) a kama - THE most used tool in my garden kit box. It can be used to get
under the roots of a weed, it can be used to cut off the top of a weed, it
can be used to hand cultivate
1. Get a decent grinder and learn how to sharpen your garden tools. This
means spades, hoes and anything else that needs a good edge.
2. Keep a file nearby to maintain the edge on those tools while you are
I have a dremel. Im pretty adept with it. I dont have a grinder though.
Well, I did, I gave it to somebody starting a shop. Maybe I will get
I dont have a wheel barrow, or any hoes. I do have a pointed shovel. I was
just out looking around, I think somebody heisted my sprinkler. But i found
a basket with a hand trowel gloves, and a knife. I think they were my moms
I saw a Swiss D how in territorial or Johnies catalog. They aint cheap,
but Home Depot and Loews dont have one.
Could try wallymart or a garden center for the D-Hoe. However if you have
no hoes at all the standard angle hoe would be a better choice. I should
have also stated not just "Rake" i should have stated "Garden Rake" one
side good for raking and loosening the soil, the other side should be flat
not curved, which is good for leveling the soil.
For small gardens, the shovel is good for turning the soil or double
digging the soil. The shovel is better than a tiller. Most tillers only go
about six inches and leaves a hard bottom. A shovel can go at least a foot
deep for loosening the soil.
For small gardens a wagon would work or two five gallon buckets, one for
small tools and the other for soil or cuttings for the compost pile. A
compost pile should be part of any garden. Will save you money in the long
term. I use chicken wire with a few poles to hold up the wire.
I find that my favorite hand trowel is a one dollar cheap brand new plastic
The metal ones pit and rust quickly and cost more.
The dremel is one of my favorite tools. Do you have the lawn mower blade
sharpener attachment for it? A nice item, but I often just add a stone and
sharpen the tools. Also great for pumpkin carving.
If some one heisted your sprinkler system. A thirty eight snub nosed chiefs
special may or may not be your best garden tool :)
Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)
At minimum buy good quality tools. If you can, go for excellent quality
tools. IMO stainless steel isn't strong enough for hard use.
You want a good digging spade.
For weeding, a stirrup or colinear hoe beats a draw hoe hands down.
A short handled hoe (we have 3 of different sizes) is good for weeding
and cultivating in tight spaces. These see more use than the larger
You'll need a couple of trowels.
I carry five tools with me constantly during growing season.
A bypass pruner
A carbon steel hori hori knife (tougher than stainless steel)
A file to keep the hori hori sharp
A swiss army pocket knife
A key chain diamond hone to sharpen the pruner and pocket knife
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