By Georgette Porter. Hand Tools. Published at Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 - 06:32:28 AM.
Pruners - All-Purpose Pruners - There are a lot of choices and things to consider when selecting a pair of pruning shears. Look at the construction of your chosen pruning shears. Those that use nuts and bolts to secure parts in place are preferable to those that use rivets since it means you can replace the blades if they should get damaged or worn out. Consider pruning shear safety. Always opt for a pair of shears that have a locking mechanism to keep the blades shut when not in use. Set yourself a budget. While you can find some very inexpensive pruning shears, avid gardeners may want to spend a little more to get a pair that will last many years to come. Always clean the blades of your pruning shears after use. Certain substances, such as resinous sap, will damage the edges, so giving them a quick wipe down after each use will make them last longer. Most pruning shears have blades made of steel, but some are made of titanium or have a titanium coating to prevent rust and tarnishing. Shears with blades made from hardened steel or titanium are less likely to get nicks or to dull quickly. Remember that lightweight models may not be as sturdy and durable as heavy models, so you must find a pruner that is both a comfortable weight and well-built. If you have particularly small hands, you may require a compact pair of pruning shears. The only issue with extra-small pruning shears is that theyre not usually up to heavy-duty jobs. They’re better-suited for use with potted plants, herbs, flowering plants, and small shrubs or saplings. A snip here, a cut there, and slowly you regain control of those plants that are always fighting to take over your yard. Thats why a good pair of pruning shears are an essential part of any gardeners arsenal. But what makes one pair of pruning shears better than another, and how do you find the right ones to fit your needs? Information provided
Tools for Planting - Our spade heads the list yet again, cementing its lead as the tool to have. The spading fork can work here as well. Have a shovel or fork handle lying around? (I told you to use the pry bar to lever out those rocks…) Sharpen the point just below the D handle, and you now have a dibbler, or dibber, just the tool for planting bulbs! (If you don’t have the grasp, the pry bar does double-duty.) The trowel, that little hand spade, is the perfect tool for planting window boxes and containers or moving those little volunteer seedlings or any of those other small jobs that are so much of the joy of gardening.
Cultivator - The cultivator comes in two different flavors; long-handled and hand models. The long handled one is better on the back and the schedule, but the small one is the tool of choice around delicate plants and tight spaces, like containers and window boxes. If you are using a draw hoe, the long-handled cultivator is redundant, but if you prefer the faster hoes, it’s a good tool to loosen that baked-on surface layer in the depths of summer. I have both, and they both get a work-out. The hand model usually comes in a set with a trowel (we’ll cover in planting tools) and a long pointy spear with a fork on the end that you have wondered about, I’m sure. Well, it’s an asparagus fork, (for cutting the spears below the soil level) and before you throw it out (no, we don’t all grow asparagus) it does a famous job of digging dandelions and other tap-rooted weeds, so keep it! The other part of cultivating is cutting and pruning, and there is plenty to look at here. The spade may be Tool Numero Uno, but the pruners (or secateurs) run a very close second. There are a lot of different types out there but if you are only going to buy one pair of shears get a really good pair of by-pass cut shears. I have been a big fan of Felco #2’s since I started in the industry; they are the standard in the biz. Replaceable parts and blades mean you can bring these back to new in a few minutes (and we’re not talking about rebuilding a carburetor) so like your spade, you should have these for life.
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