Gardening offers the homeowner a chance to work to beautify the landscape. Motor-driven gardening tools exist to help dig, till and chop the soil for successful planting. Maintenance tasks often require the traditional gardening tools used for hundreds of years by gardeners and farmers. Basic hand tools help complete a wide array of gardening jobs using tools designed long ago.
The trusty shovel provides the perfect tool for a variety of gardening tasks. The shovel features a long handle for comfortable use when standing upright. Blades differ depending on the type of shovel. A round blade shovel works for cultivating and planting new landscape plants. Square blade shovels make a straight cut for edging. This shovel doesn't have the digging power of a pointed-blade shovel, but square blade shovels work well for lifting loose dirt and mulch. Some shovels feature the traditional long handle while others have a D-shaped handle to allow a firm grip during difficult jobs.
Pitchforks are typically used to move hay around a barn. This useful tool can perform a variety of functions well beyond traditional hay baling. Pitchforks feature a long handle capped by a three-prong fork about 10 to 12 inches long. Pitchforks work for moving mulch and turning compost and straw to cover grass seed or garden beds. The D-shaped handle version of a pitchfork is called a spading fork.
The hoe serves as the primary tool against invasive weeds. Hoes feature a long handle with a 90-degree curved blade. Standard hoes have a flat blade for wedging under the top few inches of the soil layer. The traditional hoe isn't the only type of cultivation tool in the hoe arsenal. Blades differ depending on the type of cultivation needs. Stirrup hoes feature a square, open blade for reaching tight spots in the garden. Diamond hoes have a sharp pointed blade. The key to the hoe as a cultivation tool lies in the gardener's ability to stand upright during weed removal.
Standard rakes feature a long handle and widely spaced tines. Gardeners use rakes to spread mulch, remove weeds and level soil. Tine spacing differs depending on the type of rake. Bow rakes feature wide tines while leaf rakes have closed tines of flexible metal for gathering leaves between plants. Large plastic-blade leaf rakes work perfectly for dethatching the lawn and gathering leaves from grassy surfaces.
The hand trowel offers the gardener the benefit of a shovel in a hand-held tool. Trowels feature a rounded or pointed shovel blade with a sturdy handle. It works as a hand-held scoop for planting individual small garden plants. Trowels also help with close-in weeding around the garden bed.