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Gardening tools and equipment

Keeping a garden looking its best throughout the year it means it needs a certain amount of maintenance. Even the smallest or the lowest maintenance garden needs a bit of attention. Any job you do in your garden, from routine tasks such as watering your plants or mowing the lawn to occasional procedures such as deep-soil cultivation, they all need tools or equipment in order to be done properly.
It is not necessary and is expensive to invest in an entire catalogue’s worth of garden equipment, but having the correct tool for the job makes the work easier and produces a more professional result. Beside basic tools that will be in almost constant use, like: a spade, a fork or a pair of secateurs, there will be other items that you cannot do without, like: a wheelbarrow for moving garden refuse or a sprinkler system for watering.
Assessing the type of work you do in your garden makes it easier to decide which tools you need. Choose them with care making sure that they are comfortable for you to use them without making your work being painful or unpleasant as well as that they are durable and functional.

Watering Aids

If you are going to grow plants that require more water than is provided by the rainfall or to grow plants indoors and in the greenhouse, you need to irrigate these plants. Simple equipment such as hoses and sprinklers makes watering routine easier and faster.

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Growing Media

There are different types of growing media, each one of them suitable for a special job. You will achieve a higher success rate if you will use the right compost for each job. There are three major types of growing media that you can find on the market: standard seed compost, standard cuttings compost and inert growing media.

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Pots and Trays

There are two types of pots: round and square, and they are available in a wide range of sizes. The round pots are the traditional ones, but the square pots hold more compost for the same diameter. To save space you can use square pots and pack them neatly together. The size of the pots are classified according to the inside diameter at the rim for the round pots and by the length of the rim along one side for the square ones.

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Ties and Supports

In our garden we usually use ties to secure a climbing, scrambling or fragile plant and we use supports to protect some plants from wind or rain. When using ties we must make sure that the ties are secure without constricting the stem of the plant. There are different types of ties that suit differ plants. For soft-stemmed plants it is best to use a light material such as twine or raffia. Ties must be checked annually.

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Planting and Sowing Tools

We are often using general garden tools or household items for planting and sowing but specialized tools do make some tedious and repetitive jobs simpler and quicker. If you are only doing these operations for fun and the volume of work is not too big you can still use a stick or pencil instead of a dibber to make a planting hole.

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Lawncare tools

For maintaining a healthy and attractive lawn you will need a number of other tools beside the lawnmowers. There are manual tools, adequate for most lawns and powered tools that are suitable for large areas because they are faster and less tiring to use.

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Lawnmowers

If you have lawn in your garden then you should probably need a lawnmower. When you buy a lawnmower you should take into account the size of your lawn and what kind of cut it requires. If you have a small area of lawn then a manual lawnmower will be enough but if you have a larger area of lawn you should buy a powered one.

Powered mowers can be cylinder, rotary or hover. Cylinder mowers are good for the finest cut, rotary ones are good for long and over-grown grass and hover mowers are best for irregular lawns. As grass need to be cut more closely in summer than in winter you should check that the height of cut is easily adjustable.

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Pruning and cutting tools

Pruning is one of the tasks that you have to do in your garden in order to keep it tidy. When pruning it is important to use the appropriate tool for the task and to make sure your pruning tools are sharp so that the cuts will be cleanly, easily and safely. If you are using a blunt blade this can leave a plant with a ragged wound that is prone to infection or that can cause die-back. If you are working with powered tools, such as hedge-trimmers or brushwood cutters you must take extra care.

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Cultivation tools

The type of cultivation tools that you will need depends on the nature of your garden. If your garden is a well established one, with lawns and perennial borders, then the most important tools that you need in your garden are surface cultivation tools such as hoes. On the other hand, if you grow mainly vegetables or you are starting to cultivate a new garden, then the tools you need first are the digging tools.

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