Tools And Equipment For The Gardener To Buy.

By: Rick Skew

Stroll around a large garden centre or DIY superstore in spring and you are going to be confronted by a huge assortment of gardening tools and equipment. You could possibly be excused for thinking that the number of various kinds of gardening tools must have increased lately - but you in fact you would be wrong. In a text book written more than 300 years ago there is a list of well over a hundred tools for the keen 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 improved. However, there is also a sizable quantity of different brands of each item, which means you need to choose with great care. A widely known name on the handle is a safeguard, however it may also mean a larger cost. With tools you nearly always get what you pay for (but not always), so it is wise to avoid low-priced offers of unknown source for tools which you intend to use frequently. Stainless-steel certainly looks attractive, but ordinary steel is much cheaper and is quite satisfactory if maintained properly.

Your first job is to consider which type of tool or tools you plan to buy. Obtaining the right equipment for gardening will always make the work easier. For the elderly as well as the handicapped choosing wisely is even more important, it sometimes means the difference between having the ability to do a task or not.

Now you know what to watch for, you must select a suitable example from the supplier. By all means be guided by the maker's name, the shopkeeper's advice and the manufacturer's advertising campaign, but for many tools it is necessary for you to ensure that 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 this is 'right' for a strong youth would be quite wrong for a medium sized elderly lady or gentleman.

For the keen gardener with money to spare, probably the most difficult task will be to determine just the number of tools to buy. Below is a general basic list for a small garden, but the exact list that would be right for you is something that only you can decide. However, any item on the basic list below which you donot buy will undoubtedly increase the task of gardening.

What people should buy.

Basic List:
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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I have been involved with the Do-It-Yourself and Gardening industry for over 30 years. So I think now is the time to spread the word a bit about Home Improvement contractors within the companies operating in the UK.

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