Browsing the hand tool section of a garden center can be intimidating for a new gardener. Trying to pick out what you need, without buying a lot of stuff you’ll never use, can be a bit of a challenge, even for more seasoned gardeners. There are a lot of options for garden hand tools, and it’s difficult to pick out what you need when you don’t really know what you’re looking for.
A trowel is one of the most common garden hand tools. Trowels resemble little shovels, and are used to turn the earth and dig small holes. They come in various widths and lengths. For gardens with tight spaces, like in a rock garden, a trowel with a long, narrow blade will be best. A transplanting trowel is specially designed to assist in digging up and moving already established plants.
Hand hoes are another common tool. Hoes come in a few different shapes, but they all do approximately the same thing. They can be used to make trenches for planting, dig weeds out between plants, and break up soil. Cultivators do a similar job. They have three prongs, and can pull weeds out of the soil, along with any large rocks or clumps of soil. These garden hand tools are essential for a well-maintained garden.
It is sometimes difficult to easily clean between plants without damaging them. A hand rake, a smaller version of what is commonly used to rake leaves, can be very helpful for this. Because the tongs are flexible, they are able to work around plant stalks, pulling out debris without harming the stalks of the plants.
There are many garden hand tools meant to assist with planting. A bulb planter makes a hole and then places the bulb into it in one movement. A dibber pokes holes into the soil for planting seeds or small seedlings. A widger digs a hole, and then seeds can be slid down the widger and deep into the soil. A widger can also help with transplanting seedlings.
There are a few different types of weeding garden hand tools. A Cape Cod weeder has one single prong, and is meant to weed between cracks and other tight areas. A fishtail weeder has a small V at the end, which can pry out weeds and stones. A taproot weeder has two sharp prongs at the end, and works well for removing dandelions and other stubborn weeds.
There are a lot of options when buying garden hand tools. Knowing what each tool is capable of doing is essential to choosing which tools will be best for your garden.