The first tool, and perhaps the most important tool for any project, is a solid plan of action. The list of tools needed for a garden makeover or for building a garden from scratch will change slightly depending on your plan. The term garden encompasses many different outcomes.
This article focuses on the tools needed to build a vegetable garden. Plan your garden in accords with what you consume and with ideas that suite plants that grow in your area. Consider seasonal changes and whether or not your garden will need a greenhouse or a hoop house for extending your gardens growing season.
Giving your garden shape:
The second set of tools that are important are a ball of twine and marking stakes. These two tools allow your garden to move from one dimensional planning into a three dimensional form. Stake out the area that will become your garden and then stake out any features that you might consider putting into the garden. These may include raised beds, pathways, irrigation/hose bibs, a greenhouse, and a planting table. Using twine and stakes allows the gardener to see exactly how space is going to be used, and it breaks up a large project into manageable pieces.
Implementing Garden Elements:
The third set of tools that you will need to focus on are the tools that will actually help you begin to create the elements that make up your garden plan.
If you are creating raised beds than you will need a saw, a drill, and wrenches/hammer for fastening the wood pieces together. You might also consider buying a raised garden bed kit.
If your garden plan calls for an in-ground garden, then you will need a sturdy shovel and perhaps a tiller for turning the earth. It is also recommended that you use a soil screen and a wheelbarrow for sifting the soil. Most experts agree that an in-ground garden needs to be dug down to a minimum of 18 inches. Expert gardens may dig down to 2 feet and replace the bottom six inches of soil with compost/manure.
Sifting the soil helps to promote root growth from plants, especially root crops such as carrots and potatoes. Note: Even with a tiller, a shovel is still needed to dig down deep enough to create a productive in-ground garden. For raised beds do not forget to factor in the cost of soil, to fill them. Long term projects can recycle aged compost in to new beds to help build up soil levels over time. This is not only free it improves soil composition for plants. If your garden plan calls for yearly expansion, then consider building the raised beds first, planting a cover crop and using garden produced compost to fill them over time.
Standard Garden tools:
A sturdy wheelbarrow, shovel, hoe, a bow rake, and hand tools for weeding amid your vegetables are all that are necessary for maintaining a garden. This means that the cost of buying tools to start a garden is a relatively low cost investment. Even the creation of a compost-system can be done free of charge. It is a wonder that more people do not take up gardening as both a means of producing food and as a hobby.
After all, nothing is a better return on your time investment than a vegetable garden. It continues to produce regardless of the economy, and when recession hits, its value outshines even the best investment.
About the Author: Thad works with O’Connor’s Lawn—Your source for riding lawn mowers . Thad is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys writing about landscaping and lawn care.
For true garden lovers, taking care of their yard is more than just an everyday task. Hard-working garden owners take pride in their yards, and with the necessary tools in their garage, they find it easier to make their yard look fantastic. Here is a list of the latest gardening tools that help to keep your yard in tiptop shape.
Hoes help you to make rows, dig furrows, loosen the soil and kill weeds. This tool is also known as stirrup hoe that makes weeding an easy job. The stirrup hoe is a long-handled tool that makes you work easily without too much bending. Its blade oscillates to and fro like the hips of a hula dancer. This oscillating blade also helps to slice weed roots below the soil surface. Since the blade swivels to and fro it cuts on both pull and push stroke, making it easy to handle in closed spaces between plants and along the edge of flower beds. When the blade starts losing its sharpness you have to replace it with a new one.
A good long-handled shovel is used for mixing large quantities of dirt, compost, soil and other related materials. The long handles of the shovel minimize strain on your back and shoulders. The handle is slightly tilted so that your hand remains in a natural position thereby reducing the pressure on hand and wrist. You can also use the shovel for planting trees and shrubs.
You no longer need to waste time cleaning up hedge trimmings than trimming them. Garden groom is a wonderful invention that is ergonomically designed to trim your hedge. The groom uses its big rotary blade for trimming and collects all the cuttings in its built-in-cavity bag to keep your yard free from debris. Thus the tool makes disposal easy without requiring you to sweep up afterwards which is the most labor intensive part.
Ideal for smaller garden, the compact design is easy to handle in closed spaces and features three-in-one cutting system that includes side discharge option, mulching and a rear bag collection. Simply fold the handle and keep it aside when not in use. Its mulching option returns the essential nutrients back into the soil resulting in a healthier and greener lawn. You can adjust the height of the handle for more comfortable pushing. Overall the Lawn mower is designed to be an user-friendly tool.
This machine powered with electricity makes quick work out of leaves, pruned branches and plant debris. Converts your garden’s rubbish into beautiful munch or compost material thus saving your job of reduce, reuse and recycle. Its lightweight design makes you comfortable in moving it around the yard. The machine is also provided with a safety hopper lock that stops the motor from operating when opened. So there are no more smoky fumes in your garden.
Trowels are ideal for digging holes in garden beds; planting small annuals, herbs and vegetables; planting container gardens and mixing soil with compost, fertilizer and other potting mixes. Look for the latest one piece design where the handle will always stay firmly with the head as you take it deep into tough soil. The latest versions have an easy-to-grasp handle. Overall it offers a hassle free performance.
Hand pruners are of two types: the anvil type with a deep sap groove and the bypass type which functions like scissors. Anvil pruners do not require much of hand pressure and is easy to cut. Bypass pruners functions well in tighter spaces. Both the models can be used to cut branches up to 1 inch in diameter. The sap groove prevents the blade from sticking when used to cut sappy wood. Hand pruners reduce pressure and impact on wrists. If you take proper care then these pruners will last longer.
This tool can be used to make a perfect hole for planting bulbs and other bedding plants. Its long handle saves your back and makes planting easy. For easy operation, simply moisten the soil before planting. Take the planter to the position where the bulb has to be placed and twist the tool to dig hole to the desired depth, then take out the tool from the hole. Now all you need to do is simply drop in seeds or bulbs without straining your back.
These carts are not only used to transport heavy and bulky materials such as soil, garden debris, plants and compost but also to carry concrete mixing containers. Its light weight makes lifting and managing extremely easy. The latest carts have cushioned loop handle for comfort and powder coated steel frame for extra durability.
Poly leaf scoops can be used to pick up leaves, thorny or poisonous plant trimmings, pine needles, weeds and gum balls without harming your hands. It is also used for bedding mulch and peat moss. Poly leaf scoops are ideal for all seasons.
Cultivators are generally used to open up and aerate the soil. The tines of this tool help in mixing of materials and loosening weed roots. If you have smaller rocks on your garden soil, no worry, the tiller kicks them out of the soil and to the top where they can be easily removed. Because of its light weight it digs very well without requiring much of man handling or intense arm and back workouts. The only thing you have to do is remove the tines after each use and clean them, which is quite an easy job.
Visit your favorite store and grab these latest tools to make gardening even more enjoyable.
About The Author: Alia is a writer blogger. She loves writing, travelling and reading books. She contributes to Joshia Pastore
This weekend I decided to clean up the yard a bit and do some of my later in the season chores a little early. One of these on the list was trimming my new (second year) raspberry bushes. The first step was getting these bushes under control, if I had a larger space I probably would build a more stable construction for better airflow and make picking easier…but given my small space I simply took a couple nails and a couple of lengths of twine and loosely supported the stems to keep them from falling over into our lawn. Finish by tying the twine around the nails and task number one is done.
The production of raspberries goes in a two year cycle. The first year you get vegetative stalks (all green no flowers or berries) and the second year these previous vegetative stalks become flowering stalks and produce nice delicious berries. During this time more vegetative stalks develop and the process repeats itself. Once a flowering stalk completes delivering all of its berries it will turn brown and die off. Taking care of these was my first task. All this requires is finding the flowing stalks and cut them at their base, easy way to go is to cut anything brown and then pull them out (using gloves is advised)
This part was pretty easy since I only have a few flowering stalks the first year but you can see from the picture above I should get a decent crop of raspberries now the plant is becoming more established.
Now I simply let the plants do their thing and when the leaves fall off I will trim them to a height of about 5 feet, next spring given them a healthy scoop of alfalfa pellets and wait for the bounty of sweetness to come in next summer.
Above is unfortunately what my vegetable garden looks like, still have some cilantro, bunching onions, bulb onions, garlic, broccoli, and spinach growing but obviously I have a blanket of tiny weeds emerging with large amount of rain we have been getting. This gives me a few options:
- A. Painfully pull every weed from the garden bed…repeat
- B. Give up on my plants and just lay down some black plastic or cardboard to smother the weeds
- C. None of the above
I am going to opt for “C” on this one and go with an alternate method of applying a mulch that I am sure many of you have an abundance of at the moment…leaves.
We have seen MIT students making robots to tend on their plants. Now Fuji Heavy Industries has created a robot that can completely take care of your fruits and vegetables in your fields (or greenhouse) for a modest fee of only $100,000. You can pick up your own by the next fiscal year.
It uses lasers with reflective panels to orient itself and is 6.5 feet long, unfortunately there are not too many additional geeky details which probably would be helpful before putting down the $100K for this bad boy.
Given this is the cheap vegetable gardener, I will be sticking with my hands and trowel next fiscal year though can’t wait to see a video if this in action.
I must say gardening and robotics are a couple of non relating interests, well at least until now. Fortunately some smart students at MIT have joined these two areas into one. I am a little skeptical about the real world implementation of this, I guess if production cost was low enough and you had a large enough green house; a little army of plant tending robots would be a cool site to see.
Either way, this a really cool academic project. See the video below for the robots watering and harvesting some tomatoes.
“The idea for the project came from work done by Nikolaus Correll, a postdoctoral assistant working in Professor Daniela Rus’ Distributed Robotics Lab. Correll, who came to CSAIL in 2007, saw the possible applications of swarm robotics to an agricultural environment. In the long view, the researchers hope to develop a fully autonomous greenhouse, complete with robots, pots and plants connected via computation, sensing and communication. Each robot is outfitted with a robotic arm and a watering pump, while the plants themselves are equipped with local soil sensing, networking, and computation. This affords them the ability to communicate: plants can request water or nutrients and keep track of their conditions, including fruit produced; robots are able to minister to their charges, locate and pick a specific tomato, and even pollinate the plants.”