Tooling For Organic Garden


A gardener is only too happy to get their hands dirty but that doesn’t mean you want to tear your hands to shreds to shift mountains of soil bare-handed. You need tools and the tools you choose will become your friends and allies so choose them wisely.

The key with your tools is to buy them with the intent of passing them on to your grandchildren. You plant a tree for the long term so it makes sense to buy your garden implements for the long term too. There is no such thing as a cheap tool. You may not pay a lot of dollars for it but someone else makes up for the true price for your bargain through cheap labor and cheap manufacture standards, and of course terrible environmental consequences.
Tools are an extension of your hands, legs, and mind in the garden. They extend your reach, increase your strength, improve your efficiency and above all else provide assistance for specific tasks, particularly the repetitive ones. Tools do not make the gardener, rattier the gardener makes the tools work for them. If you keep these simple few thoughts in mind, you won’t be needing to build a shed to house every tool known to humankind before you harvest your very first lettuce or tomato or flower.

A Spade
Which comes first, the spade or the secateurs? Probably your spade because you need to work soil and compost before you actually start cutting too much (aside from if you are clearing of course). A good spade is multi-purpose... good for digging, cutting grass and roots, turning soil and mixing compost or potting mix. Buy a good spade and you will have it for many years and that little extra investment will pay for itself hundreds of times over.

Like your spade, go for a top quality brand of secateurs with a replaceable blade. You won’t go out in the garden without them as there is always something to nip. Trim, cut or prune wherever the eye is cast. There are many different types of secateurs but a pair that cuts right through the stem is the best multi-use option to begin with. 

A fork
A good Fork is a must in the garden. Ensure that the teeth/tynes are all pressed from one piece as individually welded on teeth will invariably break off in time. Forks are great for loading and shifting materials like woodchip, mulch, straw green waste etc. You can use them to aerate the ground as well as mark lines to sow seeds. There's nothing better than moving a good Fork-load of mulch in one turn, something that a shovel or spade could not do. 

A Square-Mouthed Shovel
This is ideal for loading from one area to a barrow and then for pushing it around at your destination. They are also great for sliding along concrete or asphalt/hard surfaces so that you can work from the edge of a pile inwards quite easily and methodically.

A Rake
Rakes come in handy for the dean-up side of your work. A good plastic rake is great for collecting leaves and raking clean grass and pavement areas where there are lots of leaves, grass clippings or debris. A metal rake is great for working the soil. Start with a plastic rake and work up from there as time goes on.

A Wheelbarrow
Depending on the scale of your garden to start with, you can always start with buckets if it is just a raised garden bed and some pots. However, for a bigger backyard, a wheelbarrow is a worthy investment. Lighter weight wheelbarrows can be useful in some instances as they are easy to
maneuver. Be careful about getting one with a super-wide front wheel as they are harder to push around and more suited for construction sites and when doing the heavy work of establishing the garden.
Overall, as you tool up For your organic garden remember the simple motto, you don’t need many tools but make sure the ones you have are good quality ones.

Tools Favorite
I have a landscape tool that I can’t live without when working which I call a “wonder level”. For a landscaper's kit bag it is a must and I use it to get soil or gravel areas leveled off as well as leveling sand prior to paving. I love this tool. For gardeners on the early part of their journey it is not really necessary but think about it For when you are ready.