Garden For Beginners What to Do.
Now you have an idea what basis gardening tools you require it’s time to think about your next steps.
A Check List For Beginners
OK, so you’re eager and ready to start. But you’re not sure where to start. Well welcome to my Gardening for beginners what to do post. Let’s begin by writing out a checklist and give it the title ‘gardening tips for beginners’. First and foremost a check of the tools you’ll require.
A spade. Sounds silly, but you will need to be able to dig with the spade you purchase. Make sure it’s a basic model that has a variety of uses.
Have you heard of the old saying ‘call a spade a spade’, well forget it, remove any thoughts of that saying from your mind. Nothing could be further from the truth. Choosing a spade can be a nightmare.
Not only are there multiple sizes and types. You can get anything from your normal steel types, plastic (yes, crazy isn’t it) through to stainless steel. For your every day use, stick to the basic tool that is comfortable for you. It must be sharp, strong and of a reasonable length.
Obviously the length is important if you want to save your back. Don’t buy one like the ancient English version depicted in the attached picture. It’s fine as a collectors piece to hang up on a wall somewhere, but extremely bad for the back muscles.
A garden fork. Just like the spade if you simply try to purchase a garden fork, and have no idea of what your looking for, you could end up with something that is totally inappropriate for your use. Once again these come in a numerous amount of types and sizes.
You want the basic garden fork. One that, like the spade, is comfortable to use for basic jobs such as turning soil or loosening weed clumps. Eventually you might like to purchase the long handled pitch fork that is used for spreading manure or tossing hay.
These also come in various types and lengths, with anything from two to ten tynes. For the beginner it’s best to stick to the basics.
The Mattock. By now, you probably realize that that very few garden tools exist with just the bare minimum of types. Once again the humble mattock is not as simple as it seems.
The choices are endless. Personally I prefer the one with a handle about the same length as your average spade, and a combination of an axe and an adze. An adze is a cutter blade, used for cutting into turf or hard ground.
The axe part works wonders when you are trying to cut smaller tree roots that you will often find in the soil.
Rakes. Again rakes come in many sizes and shapes. For the average beginner gardener I would suggest a leaf rake and a metal rake.
The leaf rake is fairly obvious and describes itself, it’s great for raking up leaves during autumn and after a wind storm. The metal rake and the leaf rake both come with long handles.
The metal rake is a tool that can have many uses. It’s excellent for smoothing out soil, removing dirt clods or stones and for spreading manure. If you purchase a good quality rake, rather than a cheap and nasty one, it will last you many years.
Shovels. Some people like to put shovels and spades in the same basket. I like to differentiate between them as I consider them very different tools with different usages.
Again there are many types of shovels available. For the beginner gardener I’d just start with a basic model that has a variety of uses. If you are constructing your first garden you will probably need two types. One for digging holes and one for spreading soil and or manures.
Both will need long handles, but can come with short handles. Once again long handles are better for your back. The post hole shovel I prefer comes with a slightly rounded blade and looks much like a spade with a long handle.
The Spreading shovel has a wider blade, or scoop. This makes it easier to pick up soil, manure, leaves and other spreadable items.
Hoes. Yes, there are numerous, different types of hoes. So Let’s stick to the basic hoe types for turning soil in either the flower or vegetable garden. And for weed removal.
These are the tried and tested dutch hoe for weeding and draw hoe for pulling and turning small quantities of soil.
You will find a picture of these hoe types attached. Stick to these and you can’t go wrong.
Wheel barrows. Everyone needs a wheel barrow. You will need to purchase one that is both sturdy and of good quality but also easy to use.
You can get Wheel barrows in many sizes, and it depends on your own size and strength as to which one you should purchase, The average wheel barrow ranges from about two to six cubic feet (60 to 180 litres or liters).
The average garden wheelbarrow is approximately three cubic feet (usually coming in 80 to 100 litres or liters). Stick to one that you feel comfortable with.
You will need the wheelbarrow to carry anything from soil to stone, gravel, manure or plants. The list of its potential use is huge.
Secateurs or pruners. You said it. Help. Which should I choose? You will find ratchet pruners, bypass pruners, soft grip pruners, parrot beak secateurs. This list goes for ever, and is possibly the most confusing purchase of the lot.
For the beginner gardener I would stick to a good quality bypass pruner. Like all tools, if you try to skimp on price you will most likely purchase a low quality, difficult to use and easy to break pruner. Go for a known quality brand that will end up saving you a great deal of money by lasting many years.
My secateurs have done an incredible amount of work, I’ve had them many for years and they are still going strong.
String line and chalk or chalk spray. Now that’s different isn’t it? Why would I need these items. Well, you will eventually begin planning your garden, or redesigning your existing one if you’ve just purchased your first home.
But we’ll look at this in more detail in a future post. No need to go into these items with too much detail They are really fairly basic.
So There You Have It.
We have come to he end of my blog ‘Gardening for beginners what to do’.
Now you have your basic list there’s nothing stopping you. You have a list of all the tools you require, so go out and purchase, hire or lend what you need. Good luck and don’t forget to have lots of fun when you garden.
Happy Gardening. Jim