Garden Tool Sets
Tool Sets for Gardening
Garden tool sets are a great gift for the gardener in your life. Whether a gardener is a novice and looking to grow a few tomatoes or whether they are experienced and expanding an established garden, the proper tools are necessary and will be appreciated.
Garden tools come in a wide range of costs and sizes with a large variety of function and purpose. As with any task, the proper tool for the job, makes that job much easier. Here are some of the different things to look for in terms of cost and quality in your garden tools.
Garden Tool Choices
Handles Are Important
Garden tool sets can be a great gift for the gardener in your life, or just an easy way to get started gardening on your own. There is a wide variety of garden tool sets to consider, so with that in mind here are some tool types that you might want to ensure are part of your garden tool collection.
Features To Look For In A Sturdy Garden Tool
Some simple starter garden tool sets have the bare minimum of three tools, while the high end offering is often a set of more than twelve to fifteen different tools. You'll find that the price will vary some with the number of tools, but if you start with a goal or target price in mind it will help you narrow the selection quickly.
Look at the handles of the tools, this will give some sense of the quality of the set you are looking at. Tools that come with plastic handles often come with other cheaply made features, the use of stamped tines on a fork is another example. One popular style include wooden handle tools, as they feel good in your hands and will usually last quite a while. Some of these tools come with modern foams and other sculpted handles which can feel like they are shaped to the hand and are great for older gardeners or those who have chronic joint pains.
The tools that come with a garden set vary, but there are a few included in almost all sets. One is the garden trowel. This resembles a small spade or shovel, and is used for many chores like transplanting a small vegetable, adding fertilizer to the area, or harvesting onions and garlic. Check that this is not made from thin stamped steel, as it will easily bend and break if used under a decent amount of pressure.
A bulb planter looks like a narrow trowel, and is used in much the same way as a trowel, but is used to plant items that are smaller but still need a deep hole like flower bulbs.
A garden fork, sometimes known as a cultivator, it has hooked tines on it and is used to work the surface of the soil. Handy for weeding a small area, it can also be used to prepare a garden bed for smaller seeds like radishes or carrots.
Pruners are popular in garden tool sets. Most often the pruner included in a garden tool set is a bypass pruner, as these are better suited for smaller jobs like cutting flowers and pruning vegetables. We have one of these in our garden shed and in our garage since we use it very often on other items than just the garden.
A garden tool set will come with a variety of holders. Some are simple plastic holders, others included a leather holster, and some included a carrying case. Cases sometimes have plastic molded inserts for the tools, or the very high end cases will be made of wood themselves.
Another alternative is an all-in-one tool like the Leatherman garden tool. These include several tools in one and fold up nicely and store in a belt holster.
Finally, a lawn garden cart can be a good gift. Often these are a blessing for some older gardeners, who find they can't do as much bending and stooping as they once could. Some come with a seat on the top that's ideal for sitting on and working on the garden.
Keeping Your Garden Properly Watered
Methods of Watering
OK, so now you've planted with your new tools and you have to chose the best way to keep your garden watered. Your home may have a sprinkler system that is in the ground and programmed to come on automatically on a cadence you set. If you don't have that luxury, you will have to find a watering method that works for you. The good old-fashioned way of watering by hand can be a form of therapy. Setting out the sprinkler and moving it around your yard is the traditional way to water (before watering systems!). In either of the latter two cases, you will need a good hose and watering wand. We also recommend a nice storage container for the hose, or reel. Much better than coiling the hose up on the ground somewhere, because - and we've had this happen - some other living creature may like to "coil up" near your coiled up hose!!
Advice from "The Lawn Whisperer"
The experts say that watering twice a week for a longer period, is much better than watering every day or every other day for say 10-15 minutes a day. The longer method gives the roots a good soaking and they grow deeper into the soil where it is more moist. If you surface water, your grass is always searching for more and tends to have a shallow root system.
We experienced this first hand in the summer of 2011 when North Central Texas had a record drought and 71 days of 100 degree days or higher. We had our system on two days a week. About mid-July it went to mandatory two days a week watering between certain hours of the day. Our lawn suffered no ill effects because we were already watering on this schedule but it was very sad to see other's bushes, trees, and lawns decline and then die out because of changing the frequency of watering.
Make sure you follow the water restrictions for your town or area. Especially if you live in a drought prone part of the country. We are currently in Stage 1 restriction but some of the surrounding areas are in Stage 3. It's important to comply to these rules for the sake of one of our most precious resources - water.
WATER IS LIFE
While a hose and reel cart are standard fare, I have found that a watering wand is perfect for hand watering. They come with a variety of water release methods (i.e., angle, shower, spray, etc.) and are perfect for watering hanging baskets. You can even use them to fill up your bird bath!