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There are many kinds of garden tools. Several of these are fairly standard, but there are a few that are more specialized or have some kind of novelty aspect. Which ones you need depends on what you want to accomplish.
Garden tools for planting are mainly differentiated by their size. There are hand trowels for planting small flowers, spades for midsized plants, and full-sized shovels for the biggest garden specimens. Shovels are also good for turning the earth in preparation for a new growing season.
Cultivation of plants already in place is really a matter of loosening the soil around them and uprooting weeds that have sprouted in between the desired specimens. In an example of the obvious, this is done with a “cultivator.” The cultivator typically has three or four somewhat thin tines that are bent downwards at approximately a 90-degree angle. The tines should be thick enough that they don’t bend. These come in both short-handled and long-handled versions. Short-handled cultivators are easier to use for precise work close to plant stems, whilst long-handled ones are far easier on the back.
People often talk of hoeing up a garden or farmland, but hoes are actually of limited use on most small plots. They shear across the surface of the soil, which can make it look weed-free, but weeds usually just sprout back from the still-intact roots in a week or so. Therefore, it is best to eschew the hoe in favour of a cultivator that can actually uproot the unwanted plants.
Specialized weeders exist for deep-rooted plants like dandelions. The most useful, and most inexpensive, type of these is simply a long shaft with the business end being flattened and notched. The flatness makes it easy to push deep into the ground, whilst the notch is used to catch around the weed’s taproot. The tool is then levered upwards to yank out the entire weed.
Pruning shears and other types of snips are good for both pruning back the branches of woody plants and for cutting flowers. They come in a few designs, some of which are more comfortable to use than others. Since everyone’s hands are different, it is best to test out a few of these designs in the shop before buying.
The aforementioned tools make a good, inexpensive, basic gardening kit. As you get into more specialized gardening, you may need other tools. Fortunately, gardening sites and centres usually have a wide array of garden tools that can cover all of your needs.