Home & Garden

8 essential garden tools

Author: Canadian Living

Home & Garden

8 essential garden tools

This story was originally titled "The Essential Garden Tool Kit" in the May 2008 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

What is it?
Folding pruning saw

What is it used for?

It cuts through branches up to 10 centimetres in diameter.

Why do I like this model?
The blade cuts cleanly (even through green wood), which promotes quick healing, then folds safely away in a bright red handle that’s hard to lose in the underbrush.

How much does it cost?
About $30

Where can you buy it?
Gardenscape


Page 1 of 8What is it?
Telescoping leaf rake

What is it used for?
You can use it to rake leaves and cuttings, spread mulch and smooth soil in flowerbeds or the veggie patch.

Why do I like this model?
You can adjust the aluminum handle to suit your height and change the width of the head to suit the job at hand.
 
How much does it cost?
About $15

Where can you buy it?
Canadian Tire

Page 2 of 8What is it?
Stainless-steel Japanese farmer's knife

What is it used for?
An indispensable cross between a knife and a trowel, it's the perfect tool for planting bulbs and weeding beds and containers, as well as dividing perennials and cutting back tough perennial stems and roots.

Why do I like this model?
Wide enough to use as a trowel, the curved blade has one straight and one serrated edge, and the measurement markings help when planting. Since both edges are extremely sharp, it comes in a leather sheath for safety.

How much does it cost?
About $30

Where can you buy it?
Lee Valley Tools


Page 3 of 8What are they?
Stainless-steel soil scoops

What are they used for?
These sturdy scoops are great for mixing small quantities of soil and compost as well as filling flowerpots, window boxes and bird feeders, and transferring soil amendments, such as bonemeal and coco fibre, to planting holes.

Why do I like these models?
Since they're stainless steel, these lightweight scoops won’t rust.

How much do they cost?
About $8 to $10

Where can you buy them?
Lee Valley Tools

Page 4 of 8What is it?
Garden spade (also called a border spade)

What is it used for?
Its straight, square-edged blade is great for digging, preparing beds for planting, combining soil mixtures, edging beds and slicing through sod.

Why do I like this model?
The comfortable treads, small blade and lightweight fibreglass handle help prevent arch and muscle fatigue.

How much does it cost?
About $30

Where can you buy it?
Home Hardware

Page 5 of 8What is it?
Transplanting spade (a.k.a. rabbiting, drain or trench spade)

What is it used for?
Use it for digging planting holes, transplanting and uprooting large, nasty weeds such as thistles.

Why do I like this model?
The long and narrow curved blade lets you dig among established plants without damaging their roots. The fibreglass handle is strong and lightweight while the rolled treads are flat and comfortable.

How much does it cost?
About $45

Where can you buy it?
Home Hardware

Page 6 of 8What are they?
Bypass secateurs

What are they used for?
Use these for pruning rosebushes, shrubs and trees, and for trimming and deadheading herbs and flowering plants.

Why do I like this pair?
With a rotating handle, these require less force to cut than conventional models, and help prevent blisters and fatigue. The bypass blades also create cleaner, faster-healing cuts than anvil blades, which crush as they cut. Various sizes for both right- and left-handers, replacement parts and a handy holster are available.

How much do they cost?
About $55

Where can you buy them?
Lee Valley Tools

Page 7 of 8What is it?
Garden fork

What is it used for?
With four steel tines, this is ideal for turning and breaking up soil or compost as well as digging out and dividing perennials.

Why do I like this model?
Widely spaced tines minimize root damage when you dig, lift or divide plants and help you gently pry apart tangled roots.

How much does it cost?
About $25

Where can you buy it?
Home Hardware

Buying tips
• Take a good look before you buy - always choose lightweight but strong and well-made tools that feel comfortable in your hands.
• Pick spades and forks with working ends of durable tempered steel.
• For ease and efficiency as you're gardening, keep cutting edges sharp.

For more tips on gardening check out:
10 ways to pest-proof your garden organically
12 pest repelling herbs
5-step bird feeder

Page 8 of 8
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8 essential garden tools

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