Basic Hand Tools

Hand tools are essential for many garden jobs. Every gardener needs at least one trowel, and some form of weeding tool is also important. Many variations of weeders are available, so look around for the one that fits your hand and best suits your needs. If you're on a limited budget, ask to try out friends' weeding tools before buying your own.

Different tools come in handy for different tasks. Use a trowel to dig holes for small transplants or bulbs. Hand cultivators are great for mixing in phosphorus or limestone around perennials and for digging up weeds, roots and all. To remove a large patch of chickweed, though, a sharp hand hoe is much faster. You can slice off chickweed just below die surface with only a couple of swipes. Wide hand hoes cover larger areas quickly; small or narrow blades let you get between closely spaced plants, to being all-purpose is the Asian hand cultivator — it can dig small holes,

Before You Buy

When shopping for hand tools, pick each one up to make sure it feels comfortable. Single-piece, cast-aluminum construction Ls very durable. Avoid single-piece, pressed-metal tools, as they bend and break much more easily.

The one hand tool that comes closest scratch soil, and remove weeds.

Aluminum Hand Cultivator

Wooden-handled tools are very durable if well made. Their blades should be forged steel rather than pressed metal. Look for a blade whose socket wraps all the way around the handle and is secured by a pin through the shaft. Or look for strips of metal that are bolted to the handle. Avoid tools whose blades are simply pressed into the handles.

Scale Fertilizer Plant
Trowel. Available in various widths and lengths. wilh shallow •o deep scoops, same have inches "KKfeed on blades. Used for general smal-scale digging, transplanting Panting bulbs *
Scale Fertilizer Plant
Hand cultivator. Used with a poiiing motion. Spring-tioed models ore less opt to break on rocks. Good for weeding around plants, oosen.ng soil, scratching in fertilizer.

OllAT SOIL

Scale Fertilizer Plant
Hand fork. Used wilf o digging motion (it's awkward lo use with o pulling motion). Good for tronsptar.' ing. weeding, loosening crusted mixing in fertilizer.

Asian hand cultivator/Ho-Mi. Very versatile, ancient design; used with a pulling motion. Good for general digging and cultivating, weeding, opening and closing furrows, transplanting.

Dandelion weeder/Asparagus knife. Good for digging out weeds with deep taproots or any weeds ;n narrow spots; also used to harvest asparagus by cutting spears just below soil levei.

Asian hand cultivator/Ho-Mi. Very versatile, ancient design; used with a pulling motion. Good for general digging and cultivating, weeding, opening and closing furrows, transplanting.

Hand hoe/Dutch weeder* Blade is puiled below the soil surface to slice weeds off their roots. Also used for loosening soil.

Hand hoe/Dutch weeder* Blade is puiled below the soil surface to slice weeds off their roots. Also used for loosening soil.

Dandelion weeder/Asparagus knife. Good for digging out weeds with deep taproots or any weeds ;n narrow spots; also used to harvest asparagus by cutting spears just below soil levei.

Cape Cod Weeder

Cape Cod weeder. Used for loosening soil and weeding; blade is pulled below soil surface to slice weeds off at their roots. Pointed end digs out tough, deep-rooted weeds; narrow blade allows weeding in tight spots.

Cape Cod weeder. Used for loosening soil and weeding; blade is pulled below soil surface to slice weeds off at their roots. Pointed end digs out tough, deep-rooted weeds; narrow blade allows weeding in tight spots.

Hoses

Most people don't think of hoses when they think of tools, but they're essential for soil building as well as for watering plants. Invest in a quality hose. Cheap hoses have to be replaced or repaired too often.

If the hose doesn't come with a plastic collar at its faucet end, install a hose saver (a short piece of hose inside a heavy metal spring) or brass gooseneck coupling at the faucet to extend your hose's useful life. If your hose gets cut or springs a leak, it's simple to repair with a kit available at any garden center or hardware store. Be sure to buy one that's the same diameter as your hose.

If you're trying to water a large area, you'll need some form of watering device at the end of your hose. These range from simple soaker hoses, nozzles, and sprinklers to elaborate drip irrigation systems. Although more expensive, drip systems can pay for themselves where water use is restricted or water rates are high.

A good hose has a diameter of to inch with ot least 3-ply, preferably 4-ply, construction. ¡Ply refers to the layers of mesh reinforcing.) It should tolerate at least 500 pounds of pressure per square inch (psi). Cast-brass couplings are best for resisting dents and crushing.

brass coupling

Inch Brass Coupling

brass coupling

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Responses

  • PROCOPIO
    How to make HOMI the Asian Hand Cultivator?
    8 years ago
  • raakel
    What tool is used to harvest asparagus?
    8 years ago

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