Sprucing Up the Yard for Spring?
When winter melts away and flowers and greenery begin to emerge the time has come to start preparing gardening tools for the oncoming gardening season. Gardening jobs in the spring cover a wide range of activities, from preparing the soil to cultivating and planting and, of course, watering.
Spring gardening equipment needs
The variety of different equipment pieces that are needed to tend a garden or yard in the springtime generally fit into one of four categories: tilling, cultivating, planting or watering.
Tilling tools include any tools used to prepare or move the soil. The most important tool that fits into this category is a good quality shovel or spade. A shovel or spade is a very versatile tool that can be used to do almost anything in the garden, even assisting with cultivating jobs such as weeding and planting seeds, bulbs and small plants. Select durable pieces that, while more expensive, will last longer with regular use.
Other tools in the tilling category include: the mattock, a cross between a hoe and a pick, that works well to break up the soil in hard areas; a spading fork, excellent for aerating the soil, sorting through mulch or hay, and splitting plants quickly and easily; and the wheelbarrow or garden cart.
One of the most invaluable cultivating tools is the hoe, a must-have to rid the garden of weeds and keep the soil aerated and healthy. The cultivator, which is available in both hand and long-handled versions, also moves and aerates the soil as it pulls weeds out by the roots. Cultivating tools also include other tools for pruning or cleaning out large areas of the garden, such as pruners, loppers, handsaws, and the multi-functional garden rake or lawn rake.
Planting tools are generally hand tools with a few exceptions. The hand spade, trowel and dibber, which is a small pointed stick used to create spaces in the soil for seeds, bulbs or small plants, are the primary tools in this category. Other tools that may fit into this category include seed distributors and hole diggers.
Finally there are the watering tools. The most basic and familiar of these is the watering can, which may be small in size for use in the greenhouse on small plants or quite large and able to hold several gallons of water for watering established plants. A good quality garden hose is a necessary tool, as is a means to wrap or store the hose to keep it neat and prevent it from being damaged. A multi-functional spray head or watering wand is a useful addition for watering a variety of plants and green spaces.
Maintaining your gardening equipment
Keeping garden tools clean and well-maintained not only ensures that they will perform properly when used, but also helps to prevent accidents from taking place. Spading forks, spades and shovels all work more efficiently if their edges are sharp and the handles tightly fastened. Pruning shears, loppers and handsaws should also be kept sharp and well oiled to prevent sticking. A variety of tips and tricks for maintaining garden equipment can be found on websites such as Psep.biz.