Common Gardening Tools and Their Uses

Common Gardening Tools and Their Uses

The sun is shining and the birds are chirping! Spring has sprung and it’s time to get those flower beds cleared out and the garden ready to plant! When it comes to gardening, every tool has a purpose. The amount of actual tools associated with gardening activities can be overwhelming, especially for beginner-level gardeners who are just getting started. Determining which tools are most essential for your personal garden and lawn will ensure that your plants and vegetation are well-maintained and are as healthy as can be. Get the scoop on which tools can make your gardening life easier!

Maintaining & Fertilizing Soil

Because the soil is the foundation of each and every one of your plants, it is single-handedly one of the most important tasks in gardening to ensure that your soil is tilled, nourished, and properly prepared for planting. While the specific fertilizer mixture is up to you, it is crucial to tend to your soil, no matter the mixture. Even if you don’t have a garden, these tools are still essential for getting the job done efficiently:

  • Gloves: Essential for most, if not all, gardening tasks; protect skin on hands from drawbacks such as blisters, calluses, cuts, and sun damage; keeps pre-existing wounds from becoming contaminated or infected
  • Garden Hoe: Great for moving and digging soil as well as uprooting unwanted weeds
  • Digging Fork: Useful for loosening up soil and mixing soil amendments
  • Ground Rake: Helps smooth new and existing soil surfaces and removes clumps
  • Rotary Blender: Highly useful for blending fertilizer mixtures
  • Sprayer: Applies liquid fertilizer easily and effectively in smaller areas such as residences

Planting

Interested in expanding the range of your garden with some new plants or vegetation? Take a moment to familiarize yourself with some of the best tools for planting new fruits, vegetables and flowers:

  • Garden Hoe: Great for hilling and drilling soil in preparation for planting
  • Hose: Essential for the watering of plants; also useful for cleaning, has numerous mounts, nozzles, lengths, and adapters pertinent to your specific needs
  • Watering Can: Useful for the watering of plants on a smaller scale
  • Trowel: Facilitates the digging of holes; useful for transplanting plants and vegetables whose roots are still intact
  • Spade: Essential for digging and moving soil for planting

Weeding

Weeds have a tendency to take over everything if not managed properly. If you are looking for an alternative to the traditional do-it-yourself weeding, there are a number of tools that can make your task easier and complete it more efficiently. Try these tools for your arduous weeding tasks:

  • Garden Hoe: Removes weeds by first agitating then grooming the surface of gardening soil
  • Scuffle Hoe: Cuts the roots of shallow weeds closer to the soil’s surface
  • Weeder: Removes weeds from lawns while preventing grass damage; effective for use in small places
  • Hand Cultivator: Removes weed roots that are in tight areas and close to the surface of soil without disturbing nearby plant roots

Pruning

To maximize plant growth, it is incredibly important to tend to your plants frequently and prune them. It’s also vital to trim stems, leaves, or branches that are either dead or overgrown. Not doing so will impact your plants in a negative way and stunt their continued growth. Prevent your plants from overgrowth with tools like:

  • Pruning Knife: Useful for delicate pruning based on various blade shapes and sizes, i.e. cutting flower stems and trimming small branches
  • Pruning Shears: Cut thin branches from small trees, bushes, and small plants
  • Loppers: Extend to cut thicker, higher branches on trees
  • Pruning Saw: Uses power and larger teeth on its blade to cut small branches

Maintaining Garden & Lawn

  • Shredder: Recycles gardening waste; helps to make waste easily containable; provides useful material from accumulated waste, such as compost
  • Round Point Shovel: One of many types that digs large holes; transports heavier materials like rocks
  • Leaf Rake: Removes light debris from lawns and gardens, such as leaves and sticks
  • Pressure Washer: Cleans objects and surfaces by adding power to the flow of water; removes layers of undesired buildup
  • Lawn Mower: Cuts grass to even lengths
  • Leaf Blower: Blows light debris, like leaves and dirt, from lawns and walkways

In short, your choice of gardening tools can make or break your plants’ growth! Therefore, it is very important that you choose the right vendor for your gardening necessities. Discover some essential tools you need to add to your gardening collection? Still have some questions about gardening dos and don’ts?  Head over to your nearest Big R location to ask one of our garden experts or view more gardening tips here.

About Big R

Bill and Pat Crabtree originated the Illinois Big R Stores in 1964. The first store opened in Watseka, Illinois. To date 18 stores have been opened in central Illinois and northern Indiana. We have 11 stores in Illinois including Watseka, Gibson City, Danville, Tilton, Pontiac, Morris, Washington, Rochelle, Pekin, Homer Glen and McHenry. Our 7 Indiana stores include Warsaw, Wabash, Crawfordsville, Michigan City, Elkhart, Marion and Rochester. We recently expanded to Northwest Ohio, adding stores in Lima and Findlay (Coming Soon). The offices and warehouses for Big R remain in Watseka, IL. Joining the company in 1973, Jerry Gibbs now provides family leadership for the company. New generations of the Crabtree family continue to participate in the business. Farm and Ranch store owners in the western states started the Big R brand name; they chose the name "Big R" to convey the "Ranch" identity. The Big R group is now comprised of 12 independent owners with a growing 75 + stores throughout the U.S. They all are members of Mid-States Distributing Company of St. Paul, MN. The Mid-States Coop has over 600 stores throughout the United States and Canada.