Landscaping holds the potential to transform outdoor spaces; it can turn your property into a relaxing oasis, a family-friendly space, or a perfect setting for gatherings with family and friends. But a beautifully landscaped yard requires maintenance. The right tools can make upkeep not only easy, but even an enjoyable task. From rakes to watering hoses, here’s what every homeowner should keep in his or her outdoor tool shed.
A good hand trowel is essential for any gardener. The small, handheld shovels are used for anything from scooping up soil to planting bulbs and small plants. Go for a light-weight stainless steel model with a hardwood handle, which is both sturdy and durable.
A watering can is helpful if you have a lot of potted plants, small plants, or seedlings that need gentle care. There aren’t many factors that go into a watering can, but it’s wise to consider size (of both container and neck), handle, and sprinkle heads (known to gardeners as “roses.”) For a mid-sized garden, why not go for a sturdy plastic can with a 4” opening, long neck, and removable rose?
The word “rake” comes from the root meaning “to scrape together.” In gardening, it’s useful for loosening the soil, light weeding, removing dead grass and leaves from lawns, and much more. A leaf rake is appropriate for small yards and basic gardens, but those with soil and rocks to consider should spring for a bow rake.
A round-point steel bladed shovel with a wooden handle is perfect for general digging, planting large plants, and turning soil. Keep short and long handled shovels in your shed for the different tasks your yard might require — from prying rocks to digging holes.
Plants are healthier when they’re properly trimmed in the right places. With sharp blades, spring mechanisms, and comfortable short handles that fit in your palm, hand pruners are essential for cutting stems and branches up to 1” thick. Keep both a bypass and anvil style hand pruner in your outdoor shed. The former is used on living plants, as the curved, scissor-like blades make clean cuts. The latter is used on dead plants and bushes, with a single blade and a ratcheting mechanism that enables you to cut through a thick branch in several hand pumps instead of one strained squeeze.
Keep your lawn looking lush with a high-quality hose that limits kinking, leaking, and contaminating the water. A 50 ft. hose is appropriate for most lawns — if you need a longer hose, consider buying multiple 50 ft. lines and combining them when necessary. Experts recommend heavy rubber hoses with connectors of nickel-plated brass; these are long-lasting, sturdy, and the plating will prohibit any lead in the brass from getting into the water.
Stock your outdoor tool shed with these essentials and you’ll be on your way to a cleaner, greener garden in no time.