When buying the necessary tools for your garden’s care and maintenance, it’s easy to go overboard thinking that you should have everything covered. However, and keeping in mind that the equipment can take up a lot of space and cost a significant sum of money, staying focused on the basics can keep your shed or storage area from becoming overcrowded. To get the most out of your gardening tool investment, we’ve compiled a list of the five essentials you will need.

1- Lawn Mowers

Maintaining a clean and orderly yard is the first step to good gardening; this means lots of weed control and trimming grass blades. A lawn mower, in this case, will be your best friend. While some people still use the self-propelled variant, it can be quite heavy, and even if it’s motorized, you will still have to exert a lot of effort pushing it around. You can now find mowers that are environmentally friendly, require less maintenance and offer peace and quiet. If you check out front rollers, in particular, you’ll find that they can be extremely effective. According to the experts at reelrollers.com, front rollers give great cuts as well as ‘a “stripe” to your yard, because it lays the grain of the grass in the same direction the mower is traveling.

2- Gloves

Gardening is a wonderful hobby, but it can quickly take its toll on your hands, turning into a thorny and splintery hassle. The right pair of protective gloves should be durable, yet not too bulky, especially if you are working with seeds or transplanting seedlings. When purchasing gloves, pay attention to the fit as well, for poorly fitting gloves can lead to slip off accidents or simply cause blisters. You will also want something made of water-resistant fabrics that are also breathable for your skin, and opt for longer cuffs to protect your wrists and forearms from scratches. Be sure to store your gloves away from sunlight, water, and insects.

3- Pruning Shears

Pruners help in the control of plants that are outgrowing and taking over. While anvil-style pruners (similar to a knife on a board) are best for dead wood, they can cause crush injuries to fresh, green stems and branches. On the other hand, bypass pruners are kind of like scissors and should be your choice for dealing with live plants and green wood. When buying pruners, make sure they fit easily in the palm of your hand. As for maintenance, always remember to sharpen them regularly for cleaner cuts, and to avoid injury to your plants.

4- Garden Forks

You will need to turn your soil every now and then, and garden forks are the most efficient way to accomplish that easily. Choose a fork with slightly curved design in the spines for scooping mulch or turning compost piles, and one with straight tines for digging, and for handling compacted, rocky, or clay soil. It’s also good to know that square tines are usually sturdier than flat ones, in case of hitting a rock or root.

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5- Rakes

Your sturdy rake will come in handy during the times when leaves and debris fall. And while they come in a myriad of styles and sizes, a good starter is your standard leaf rake. For bonus points, you can invest in an adjustable rake that can reach into narrow areas and help you gather large piles of leaves. Bear in mind that steel tines are stronger, which can make them rougher than their plastic counterparts when dealing with delicate lawns.

Invest Wisely

Although some think that bigger and more is better, less can be more if you’re buying the best quality tools that your budget allows, and maintaining them well. The type of your garden will mostly dictate the tools you will need, so do your research and ask your local hardware store about the best options that will suit your garden’s needs.