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The Best Organic Gardening Tools for a Beginner

Organic gardening has many marvelous benefits, but are you well prepared to plant and harvest? What tools do you need to utilize? Luckily, this article has you on covered, as far as the best tools for gardening are concerned, all you have to do is to be open to learning. Organic gardening is based on a set of principles, the most important of them being to disrupt nature as little as possible and instead seek for a perfect balance. It includes the no use of chemicals principle, instead utilize biological predators or traps such as a wasp trap for pest control and the use of weed control methods such as crop rotations and mulching. Any ensuing weeds can be used as food for pets such as rabbits or human consumption; consider building an outdoor pen for your pet for easy access to the weeds; you can begin with getting great rabbit hutch plans. Therefore, you need tools that will help you maintain your garden within those exact principles. Of course, there are some variations of farmers with many practicing normal organic farming, but others opt for the other deviations including; permaculture, synergistic gardening, hydroponics, & aquaponic farming. The type of tools utilized has to match the form of organic farming one practicing and the crop grown in the garden. Organic gardening emphasizes on the fact that even some of the annoying weeds or pests may have some benefits, that is why control is encouraged, like in the case of insects, some farmers are keeping beneficial insects in a bug hotel in their garden so as to enjoy all the benefits of insects.

The following is a comprehensive list of necessary tools for your organic gardening, with the use of each tool well explained; It is so easy to go overboard when purchasing tools for your garden. There are so many types of pruners, shovels, hoes and other gadgets out there, and each of them promises ease of use and less time doing hard labor in the garden. Buying these specialized tools can be fun (not to mention expensive) but there are really only a few tools you need to have in your garden shed

1. Spade

These are the square-headed shovels that have short handles. They are perfect for digging planting holes, beds, removing, and moving small amounts of soil or amendments. Look for a spade with a steel head, a strong wood or fiberglass handle, and fairly beefy footrests. This is a tool you can easily invest some serious cash in, and every cent would be worth it: a good spade will last the rest of your gardening life.

2. Hand Trowel

Trowels are perfect for planting small annuals, herbs, and vegetables; planting container gardens, digging out weeds, and mixing potting mixes. If your budget will allow it, look for a trowel that is one piece of forged stainless steel. These are incredibly durable, and usually have a rubberized grip for comfort. If you cannot find a forged trowel, look for a trowel with a stainless steel head and a strong connection to the handle.

3. Digging Fork

Digging forks are indispensable for lifting and dividing perennials, loosening compacted soil, and turning compost piles. Be careful in your purchase here: you want a digging fork, which typically has foursquare tines and foot rests for comfortable digging. You do not want a pitchfork. Though these are wonderful for turning compost and spreading mulches, the tines are just too weak for heavy-duty digging and dividing. A good digging fork will have a forged or cast stainless steel head and a fiberglass or hardwood handle. Also, look for a D-shaped handle: these are the most comfortable for getting real leverage when digging.

4. Hoe

There are several different types of hoes, from the standard garden hoe, to stirrup “action” hoes and super-thin models designed to get into tight spaces. The type of hoe, or hoes, you select will depend on your garden. Vegetable gardeners would do well to have a standard or stirrup hoe, either of which is perfect for weeding between rows of vegetables. If you have perennial gardens, a more delicate touch may be required, especially if your garden is fairly full.

5. Dandelion Digger

What would we do without the dandelion digger? These unassuming tools are perfect for digging out any weed that has a long taproot, including plantains, Queen Anne's lace, and, of course, dandelions.

6. Rake

For raking autumn leaves and cleaning out beds in the spring, a good, sturdy rake is a must. Plastic rakes are inexpensive and fairly sturdy. Bamboo and steel rakes are very good for cleaning out perennial gardens without harming emerging plants.

7. Hand Cultivator

These hand tools are very useful for removing small weeds and roughing up.

Sourced from: http://organicgardening.about.com/od/bookproductreviews/tp/musthavegardentools.htm

8. Scissors

Karen Converse, a master gardener in DeKalb County, Ga., says plain household scissors, nothing fancy, are her first choice of garden tools. She just sticks them in a pocket and uses them to deadhead flowers, snip herbs, harvest small vegetables such as peppers, open a bag of potting soil or a seed packet or cut string. She still remembers the day a professional nurseryman saw her using them in her community garden plot and remarked that any real gardener always carries a pair of scissors. Robert Wyatt, a retired professor of botany at the University of Georgia, uses a pair of heavy-duty garden scissors with plastic-coated handles to harvest vegetables.

9. Weeders

Manufacturers give them different names, but one that is at the top of several lists goes by the common name of “dandelion digger.” That is appropriate because these little tools are perfect for prying up weeds with taproots (like dandelions!) and crabgrass. They work well because they have a long, slender business end that looks like a cross between a notched screwdriver and a two-tine fork and are made to penetrate easily into the soil and remove weed roots from deep in the ground. The fork points are narrow and sharp enough to surgically coax out wood sorrel, spurge and annual bluegrass that like to hide in ground covers.

10. Pruning shears.

Andy Sessions of Sunlight Gardens Nursery in Andersonville, Tenn., loves her Saboten Model 1210 from Japan for one simple reason: the blades are sharp. How sharp? At the local farmer’s co-op, where she buys her pruners, they are called sheep toe trimmers. She also likes them because of their small size and lightweight. She uses them to prune woody perennials and finds them so effective that she gives them as Christmas gifts to gardening friends. Other brands that drew praise were Felco and Corona.

11. Water hoses and water wands

What could be more important as much of the country suffers through record-breaking heat and drought? Amanda Campbell, manager of display gardens at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, says these are a staple. Her favorite brands are Gilmour hoses and Dramm wands with a shut-off valve. The shut off is the little brass piece that lets you turn the water on and off without constantly going back and forth to the spigo

Sourced from: http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/10-essential-garden-tools

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