Using hand tools

Gradually, you will build up a collection of hand tools Thai will serve you well for years. As with all tools, it is important to choose hand tools Thai suit you and your garden and to maintain them well, lake time to plan what tools you will need at the beginning and give some thought to storage, as your little collection of essential items will soon grow.

Hand tools are the most frequently used of all garden equipment and, in many ways, are the gardener’s best friend. With time, you will become very attached to certain tools and will look for a particular manufacturers version if it is light, comfortable, and efficient for you to use.

Unfortunately, small hand forks and trowels with brown handles blend beautifully into piles of leaves, and it is not uncommon for you to find them again months later when the tines have rusted and the handles have partially rolled. To avoid this, you can paint the handles or bind them with brightly colored tape, which will be much more visible amid the natural tones of the garden.

Hand forks and trowels

These should be robust and well-made, with a good feeling of balance when held in the hand. The quality of the tool lies not only in the materials from which it is made, but also the manner in which the handle and the blade are joined. Poorly made tools will often split or come apart at the shank, so it is always worth investing in good-quality equipment. The best-quality tools have a stainless steel blade or tines.

Maintaining hand tools

Like all gardening equipment, hand tools must be looked after. It is worth giving them a special place in the garden shed or tool cupboard so that you can find them quickly and they will not become damaged by other equipment. Remember to clean your tools alter use, and oil any non-stainless steel blades regularly.

Using a hand trowel (far right) Trowels are invaluable for planting containers or transplanting small plants. Always clean well after use.

Dibble A dibble is ideal for making boles for transplanting, particularly vegetables that have been raised in a seed bed.

Wire brush Excellent tool or cleaning your gardening equipment or, as shown here, the stone work a pond or water.

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