Gardening is beautiful, relaxing and fun
Welcome to Clarks Garden!
I love having beautiful plants around my dwelling and so does the family. It requires a little work, a few tools, and some planning as well. We love the beauty, the fresh veggies, and the wildlife it attracts.
Right now we are going to talk about some of the very basic tools we have which make gardening more fun and easier. Invest in quality tools is my advice, but don’t go overboard. Buy just what you need and take good care of your tools. What you need will grow over time, but that is OK.
A wheel barrel is essential for all but the smallest gardens. We could get away without one, but have a yellow plastic one we love. It’s not only for moving materials like plants and soil but also for mixing. It lives in the garage when not in use, but it gets a surprising amount of use especially in the spring and fall.We like plastic as it doesn't rust.
A pitchfork is great for digging up soil and more. Some people like to have a separate spading fork which has much thicker tines and a pitchfork which has longer and thinner tines. A spading fork is better at digging up material and a pitch fork is better at moving (or “pitching”) materials. We get by with just one as our gardens are not enormous. Technically ours is a spading fork, but colloquially we call it a "pitchfork."
We have a traditional hoe which is primarily used for weeding but also good for scraping the surface and shallow digging. Actually we have two of these and sometimes both are in use. Plus it is amazing how often one gets temporarily lost!
We actually have three garden hoses: one in front and one in back, and a short coiled one on the side porch. The hoses are probably used more than any other tools. More about hoses can be found here: http://bestgardenhoses.com
One round nosed and one square nosed shovel are also very useful and ours get a lot of use. The round nose shovel is better at digging holes and mixing, while the square nosed one is much better at cutting straight lines and and scooping up stuff.
We have a garden rake, sometimes called a bow rake, and also a leaf rake. The garden rake is a very heavy rake with very short and inflexible tines and works well for smoothing soil, raking heavy materials, digging rocks out of the surface of the soil and more. The leaf rake is much lighter with long flexibly spines and great for racking up leaves and other light materials. More on rakes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rake_tool
A pair of long handled pruners, garden shears, and a watering bucked and that’s about it right now, although every season we seem to find another indispensible tool!
eHow has a pretty good writeup of basic garden tools also.