6 essential tools for every edible garden

Many aspects of edible gardening require nothing more than a little time, keeping an eye out for pests, watering and harvesting to name a few. However, a few simple tools are needed for carrying out many tasks in the garden. Taking a trip to your local home and garden store will reveal the wide variety of garden tools available. Through my experience with many of these tools I have drilled down to a small list of edible garden tools that are functional and that will enable you to take care of nearly every typical task in the garden.

1. Round nose shovel
Round Nose ShovelWhen it comes to working with soil no other tool is as useful as a round nose shovel. Whether it be turning soil or preparing holes for transplanting a round nose shovel wil do the job. There is no need to buy the most expensive one you can find, in fact you should be able to find one for less than $30 new, like the round nose shovel here.  Wood handled shovels have a classic look and will last for many years if taken care of, just be sure to rinse off frequently.

2. Hand trowel
Fiskars Big Grip TrowelHand trowels are very useful for many gardening tasks. They can be used to make furrows for planting and smoothing soil over seeds. Setting out transplants in the garden would be ten times slower without a hand trowel. They are useful for harvesting edible plants such as garlic, onions and potatoes. Choose one of good quality like the Fiskars Big Grip hand trowel.

3. Garden rake

Garden RakeThere are several options when it comes to garden rakes. The most versatile however are the bow type rakes. These can pull and push heavy loads such as river rock. They also work very well with the tines pointed up to smooth out more delicate substrates like freshly added compost.

4. D-loop weeder / cultivator
D loop weeder cultivatorThis is by far the best tool for the dreaded task of weeding. Ideally all edible gardens would be organic since we feed our families with the bounty. The D-loop weeder makes weeding a snap. No more picking out individual weeds. Simply run this tool back and forth over the soil every few weeks and weeds will not have enough time to overtake your edibles. Note that this tool will require occasional sharpening depending on how many rocks are in your soil.

Felco F2 hand pruners5. Hand pruners
Hand pruners are a versatile garden tool that can be used nearly year round for pruning and/or harvesting. Since pruning is a very repetitive task it is important to use pruners that fit your hand well. The Felco F-2 Classic Manual Hand Pruners are one of the best quality out there, you will not be disappointed with them. Also try the Felco F-6 if you have small hands.                                                                                  

6. Loppers
Similar to hand pruners, loppers are used to cut plant material. Loppers are larger and require the use of two hands and as a result can handle branches of a larger diameter than hand pruners. As with hand pruners, it is important to purchase good quality loppers that will stay sharp. Again, Felco makes great quality garden cutting tools and their F-21 Classic Manual Pruning Shears are a must.

Felco F21 loppers

Some of the items above you may already have. If not, try looking at garage sales for for the first three tools. The loop weeder, hand pruners and loppers you will want to purchase new since the sharpness and overall quality are very important.


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