Garden Tools You Will Need: Garden Preparation

Our first garden was something of a miracle, really, considering the only tools we had were a shovel, 4 hands and 4 feet. Oh, and an old broom handle – helpful for drawing planting lines and digging planting holes. Yeah, we were that poor.

Gardening tools are your friends; not only will they spare your arms, back, and legs, they will also spare your crops. You will be far less likely to damage your crops when tending and harvesting if you have the proper garden tool for the job.

Here is what you will need to get your garden started.

Gardening Gloves

These will save you from countless cuts and scrapes (and the subsequent risk of infection), not to mention blisters. Even if you get a blister, you can put a bandage on it under your gloves and keep on working. Get a good, sturdy pair (or more) of garden gloves that will protect your hands. We recommend that you don’t buy these online for one simple reason – not all sizes are created equal. One brand’s x-large may be another brand’s large. One brand’s medium may be another brand’s small. You need to try them on in the store to make sure they properly fit. A garden glove that doesn’t properly fit is a worthless garden glove.

Wooden Stakes and String

Now, if you’re planning on having a wandering, edible landscape type of garden, these probably won’t be necessary. But if you’re planning a more traditional garden that is either in long rows or several squares, this will help you make sure you actually get those nice long rectangles or squares – or even triangles if you want to go a little crazy with it. You will remove the stakes and string once you have finished with the spade (see next section), and re-use them later on when planting. Visit Ace Hardware Superstore and type “wood stakes” and “cotton twine” into their search box to find the items you need. The wood stakes don’t need to be any more than 12 inches long for this purpose.

Garden Shovel vs. Garden Spade

No, they are not the same thing. A spade has a flat, rectangular blade and is useful for neatly delineating the space you will be digging up for your garden. This includes marking the sod off into manageable squares and removing the grass and roots from the underlying soil. A shovel has a somewhat arrow-shaped blade and rounded back, and is generally used for scooping – once you have delineated your garden space and removed the sod layer with the spade, get in there with the shovel for some serious digging and soil-turning. You could do it all with the spade, but the shovel will lessen the number of repetitions, as it will move more soil per bladeful. A D-handle on both your shovel and spade will make for much easier maneuvering.

Garden Fork

Basically a pitchfork, just shorter and sturdier. This tool is useful for loosening up compacted soil and assisting you if you are intending to deep-till your garden beyond the usual 10-12 inches. We cannot recommend deep-tilling enough. Most urban and suburban soil has been compacted and virtually ignored beneath the lawn, so waking it up by breaking it up deep down and adding any compost or soil amendments it might need (depending on your crumble and pH tests) will pay you back in bountiful harvests.

For a sturdy yet handsome set of all three – shovel, spade and fork – take a look at the Amazon.Com link below. Oak and stainless steel alloy, D-handles, and a lifetime warranty at a very reasonable price.

Garden Rake

Rectangular like a comb in shape, this tool will assist you in making raised beds and does actually “comb” through your soil and help you remove roots and rocks and other debris that you don’t want interfering with your plants’ ability to make contact with the garden soil. Excellent for helping to spread compost and other soil amendment materials. For a solid, wooden-handled rake with a 10-year warranty and a very nice price, click the Amazon.Com link below:

Garden Tiller

This will make the job of breaking up your garden soil much easier. If you have a larger garden space or you have lower back issues, this is a very nice tool to have on hand. It can even assist you with deep-tilling, though the blades are usually only 10 inches long. It will take a combination of spade, shovel, fork, and tiller to perform the deep-tilling, but it can be done! Taking into account how large your garden space will be and how much tilling you will need to do, pay Mantis a visit below and choose your tiller size carefully.

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