Gradening

Essential Gardening Tool Set

Garden Tool Set
Garden Tool Set

Just as it is with most hobbies, the selection of proper gardening tools are very important to a successful outcome. This is especially true in gardening. Digging, raking, pruning, watering, and numerous other tasks are much easier, provided you have the right tools for the job.

First, and foremost, get a good pair of gardening gloves. I learned the hard way, the importance of gloves. Working at home around landscape timbers I jammed a long splinter into my finger, dirt and all. Bacteria in the soil caused a nasty infection, which took a long time to clear up.

Protecting the hands is especially important here in the desert with all of our barbed and thorny plants. A thick pair of leather gloves may be hot in the summer but their the only ones that will prevent thorns from penetrating through to your hands. Quality gloves aren’t cheap, but the protection they provide is well work the expense. And for pruning jobs, a pair of safety goggles is a must for protecting the eyes from dangerous thorns projecting from stems and branches.

When considering gardening tools, compare their design, the materials they are made from, and the way they are built. All these factors affect their ease of use and how well they last. For instance, fiberglass handles are stronger than wood. This may be important if you put a lot of strain on the tool. Garden Shovel, rakes, and hoes are also stronger if the working end of the tool is riveted onto the handle.

When choosing shovels, make sure that the garden shovel is designed for the use intended. Round-point shovels are best for digging. Flat-point shovels are best for cutting and scooping. Narrow shovels are best for trenching. And scoop-type shovels are best for moving large amounts of mulch and manure. A spade shovel and long handled shovel is also very helpful for gardening. If you have only one shovel, make it one with a round-point and long hand. You can dig, cut, and move smaller amounts of soil, stone and mulch with this type. The long handled shovel is easier on the back when it comes to digging. Some shovels even have a handle end, making them easier to hold. So, make sure to to include the specific shovels in your gardening tool set.

Hand pruners and garden loppers also come in many forms. Always select a bypass type of pruning tool. These have a scissors cutting action that cleanly cuts without damaging plant tissue, providing the blade is kept sharp. Do not use anvil-type pruners. Long handled pruners act by pushing the cutting blade against a flat anvil-like surface. In the process, plant tissue is crushed, rather than cleanly cut and healing is difficult. There are also ratchet pruners, pruning scissors, pruning saw, pruning shears and specific tree pruning tools which can be very helpful for gardeners.

Gardeners should possess a long handled pruners, long handled loppers, and a folding hand saw. The garden pruners can be used to cut stems up to one-quarter inch in diameter. Long handled loppers, or long handled pruners, are used on branches up to one-half inch in diameter. And a folding hand saw will effectively cut larger limbs. Bow saws are not recommended. Their blades have a tendency to twist and turn, making precision cutting difficult.

Raking gravel and things out of gravel is a major chore here in the desert. A good quality rake can make the job much easier. I like the adjustable rakes. These have a lever on the handle that can be released to allow the tines to slide up or down. In so doing, the distance between the tines can be varied from close to far apart. You can adjust the tine spacing to accommodate the job your doing. Thin but strong, rounded tines are also much more durable than the older flat metal tine type rakes.

Because gardening is considered one of the most popular hobbies, new products are always being offered. But many tried and true tools are still the best for gardening activities. Before you make your selection, find the gardening tool set that works best for the job at hand. Compare like tools for quality, durability and ease of use. Finally, get out there and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of gardening.

The Best Garden Tool Set

Water Features for Gardens

The cooling images of reflecting pools, and refreshing sounds of splashing water provide special appeal when used in desert gardens. Even small water features for gardens, such as barrel water gardens, can provide much needed psychological relief from our intense summer heat.

For gardeners, their’s something a little to sterile about plain fountains and pools. But add plants, and a water feature becomes a new and interesting form of gardening. Add fish, and a water garden becomes a miniature biological ecosystem.

Water gardens have become increasingly popular over the past decade, so much so that supplies and plants are now widely available. Many local garden centers, fountain shops and home supply stores stock pumps, liners, and the more common water plants. Their are also an abundance of mail order sources for water garden supplies, many with Internet sites.

The easiest way to create a water garden is to make one from a lined wooden half barrel, or a lined in-ground pool. Advances made in pool construction materials make it both inexpensive and easy for the gardener to install a water garden pool. Today, most pool liners are constructed of polyethylene, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or butyl rubber. These flexible liners can be used to create almost any pond shape.

Chelsea Physic Garden
Chelsea Physic Garden

How To Choose A Riding Lawn Mower

If you have a larger garden and you would prefer to spend your weekends relaxing and enjoying your outdoor space instead of the interminable grind of pushing your mower up and down for hours on end, then consider purchasing a riding lawn mower or lawn tractor. With such choice out there, the features and accessories to decide upon may seem intimidating but ask yourself these few simple questions and you will narrow down your options to the right type of mower for the job within minutes. You’ll be sipping your iced tea on your sun lounger, admiring with satisfaction your beautifully manicured lawn before you know it.

How large is your lawn?

Over half an acre and you could go for a riding mower with a cutting width of around 25-32 inches. A large lawn tractor with its more powerful engine and wider cutting width of between 32-50 inches is more suitable for areas of one acre or more. However, there are other considerations to take into account such as whether you have any gates to get through or whether you require a high level of maneuverability.

Do you have lots of landscaping or obstacles on your lawn?

A zero turn mower turns where it stands, giving much greater maneuverability, although the steering might take a bit more getting used to. If your lawn slopes as well, an all terrain mower is better designed to cope with this and also with rougher ground.

What do you want to do with the grass clippings?

Lawn Mower
Riding Lawn Mower

Mulching your clippings is environmentally friendly. The blades chop the clippings until they are very small, eventually spraying them back onto the lawn. This avoids the need for disposal of the clippings and also acts as a compost for the lawn, removing the need for fertilizer. An alternative option is a rear collection feature for a more formal finish.

What kind of transmission do you prefer?

Most common is the manual transmission but there is also a hydro-static transmission, which is more expensive but easier to use and can give you greater torque. Less common and most expensive is electric transmission.

What accessories are right for you?

Consider this carefully as accessories can bump up the price alarmingly. These accessories can add massively usable functionality to your ride-on mower but remember you have to buy and store them when not in use. Options include:

  • Tow-behind aerators
  • Trailers
  • Leaf blowers
  • Rollers
  • Scarifiers
  • Spreaders
  • Waterers
What is your budget?

You can pay no more than around $1000 for the most basic models or more than $6,000 for top brand top of the range lawn tractors. In some cases, depending on brand and features, you could even pay up to $15,000. Consider your needs balanced with affordability before you splash the cash. A large number of riding mowers and lawn tractors come in at around the $3,000 to $4,500 mark, which seems more reasonable for the average Joe.

Other considerations

Other points you might want to think about could include where you are going to store the machinery and fueling the mower. Finally, on the subject of emissions, if you want to be environmentally friendly, go for a mower with low emissions. In fact, if you live in a place like California, only certain mowers can be used in order to comply with strict laws on levels of emissions.

Need A Post Hole Digger Or Auger? I’ve Featured The Best Of All Classes Below

There are many ways to dig post holes. You can do it by hand or with a tractor. The more expensive post hole diggers are overkill for the basic gardener or DIY landscaper but for professionals the large mechanical powered diggers and augers are irreplaceable.

There really is no “best post hole digger” because these tools come in so many different varieties. Instead of choosing just one digger to feature as the best in it’s class I’ve broken the product group down into segments and provided a short list of top products per segment.

As a consumer doing product research I believe this will be much more valuable than the latter.

Feel free to scroll through this page but be forewarned it is very long. I recommend reviewing the categories listed immediately below and choosing the type of post hole digger or auger you are looking for.

Also, if you are new to digging post holes I’ve added information at the bottom of this page to give you a good primer on using a hand held post hole digger and why you would use them versus digging and whatnot. Consider it a section of this page devoted to the novice landscaper or gardener.

There are a lot of different types of post hole diggers you can buy and it’s not possible to say just one is the best. Instead each category (and sub-category) has it’s own best in class options which I’ve identified below. Please choose a category link below to narrow down to the right post hole digger for your needs.

Hand Held Post Hole Diggers

I realize there are a wide array of hand held post hole diggers. In the interest of identifying the best digger for you needs please select the appropriate sub-category below.

Please keep in mind that manual post hole digger will be much less expensive than powered diggers but they will require a lot more muscle and time to get your holes in place. If you need a good tool on hand for the occasional hole then one of these will do just fine.

For a bigger or more frequent job you may need something powered to save your back.

Manual Post Hole Diggers or a General Purpose Post Hole Diggers

Manual post hole diggers are the simplest tools in the product category. They require manual labor but make the work much easier than if only using a shovel. The biggest perk about manual hole diggers is that that they are the cheapest tool designed for specifically for digging holes. Please review this quick list of top products in this category below. I hope it helps.

 post hole diggers

A good manual post hole digger doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. When you have to dig a lot of holes for a fence or some other outdoor project a post hole…

A good manual post hole digger doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. When you have to dig a lot of holes for a fence or some other outdoor project a post hole..

Powered One Man Post Hole Diggers

The first step up from a manual hand-held digger is a hand-held powered auger. These have motors making them string but they are small enough for a single person to manage. If you need more power then a two man digger or tractor post hole digger attachment may be necessary.

The Cheapest Powered Augers For Sale

Powered 2 Man Post Hole Diggers
Powered post hole diggers that run on electricity or gas can be heavy. These units are great and are designed for two people controlling them. They take some muscle but far less that a manual hand held digger.

The 3 Best Two Person Post Hole Diggers

The Top 2-Person Post Hole Diggers Based On Popularity & Reviews

A good post hole digger can make the back-breaking work of digging hole after hole for fence work much faster. Below I’ve featured the most popular and best selling two-man post hole diggers as found on Amazon.com.

These diggers still require more labor than a mechanical digger attached to a tractor or backhoe but they make your life much easier than if you were even using a simple one-man, hand operated digger.

1. Hexagon Connection Drive Two Man Hole Digger by General Equipment

This Is The Top Two Man Post Hole Digger!

With a two person post hole digger you need power and ease of use more than anything else. Mechanical diggers are supposed to make your life easier as you dig holes for posts, fences, landscaping, etc. This hole digger is best in class because it actually does everything you want it to and makes the hole digging process as easy as possible and as fast as possible. These diggers save your back and body and they are ultra portable.

Hexagon Connection Drive Two Man Hole Digger with Augur Choices

Hexagon Connection Drive Two Man Hole Digger with Augur ChoicesThis post hole digger is more expensive than the others on this page but it is the best. You don’t have to worry about EPA regulations running this digger and the engine is automatically throttled making it far easier to operate. If you and a partner or team of workers need a post hold digger that is easy to operate, durable, and extremely portable then this is a sound investment.

 

 

2. Tanaka Commercial Grade Gas Powered Two-Person Post Hole Digger
With no electric cords to contend with and a slightly smaller price tag the the digger featured above it’s hard to not like this Tanaka gas powered 2-person hole digger. At 37 pounds this isn’t a very heavy two man digger so consider your back saved.

Tanaka Commercial Grade Gas Powered Two-Person Post Hole Digger

This is a great 2-man digger. It is gas post hole digger and commercial grade. What I like about it is it’s safety features and it’s ability to reverse out a bit quickly and easily. If you want electric post hole digger or manual this isn’t the hole digger for you but for those looking for a two person gas powered post hole digger this should be at the top of your list.

 

 

3. Ardisam Earthquake 9800b Two Man Earth Power Auger

This 2-person post hole digger is a lot like the post hole digger auger featured above. It is gas powered post hole digger meaning there are no power cords to contend with but the motor, although smaller than the larger Tanaka, makes is difficult for a single person to use. The price tag is considerably lower too making this a good candidate for someone to buy rather than to rent post hole digger.

 

Mechanical Post Hole Diggers

The mechanical augers range in price by quite a bit. If you want something inexpensive then make sure to buy an electric or gas powered post hole digger otherwise the tractor and tractor attachment options will be much more expensive.

How To Use A Manual Post Hole Digger

Please Watch This Quick Post Hole Digger Video Demonstration

Post Hole Digger Vs Shovel

The post hole digger is going to be much faster than using a shovel. You’ll save your back and shoulders from wear and tear over the course of a long job.

Post Hole Digger Vs Auger

A post hole digger is a bit different from an auger. It is basically a tool that actually digs the hole in the ground. The auger is the bit that is used on a mechanical digger.

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