2014-06-11 / Columnists

Quality counts

by Tresa Erickson

If you have been gardening for years, you probably have a shed or garage full of all the right tools. If you are just starting, you may need some tools, and to get your money’s worth, you should shop smart.

Before you go shopping, determinefirst what tools you need the most. Basic gardening requirements include a trowel, rake, hoe, hedge shears and pruners. You might also want to invest in a quality pair of garden gloves, a hose and a wheelbarrow.

When shopping for gardening tools, a budget is a must. Figure out what you can afford to spend and stick to it. However, don’t skimp. Buy the best you can afford.That way, you won’t have to purchase a tool over and over. Look for tools with sharp blades, strong handles and good safety catches to avoid accidents. Pick up the tools youfind and make sure you are comfortable handling them.They need to be lightweight enough for you to carry and use for a long period of time. If you have limited hand strength, look for tools with a ratchet mechanism that will make cutting easier.

Once you have found some quality tools and brought them home, you must care for them properly to ensure their longevity. Clean them after every use and dry them off completely to prevent rust. Apply a light coat of oil to any metal parts—wiping them down with a lightly oiled cloth will suffice. Store your tools in a safe, dry space, either in a tool rack or hung on the wall of a garden shed or garage. Have the blades sharpened periodically to prevent damage to plants and needless accidents.

As you continue to garden, you will no doubt collect more tools. Remember, buy the best you can afford and take the time to care for them properly afterwards.

Return to top