Beginner or connoisseur, one unanimous truth about gardening is that it requires unwavering diligence to make our green friends thrive. But the numerous benefits it comes with, makes gardening more than worth the time and effort. Gardening is not only strenuous, but also a delicate job. Although love for plants is what will get you started on this journey, you will have to prove your allegiance to the beloved hobby through meeting its consistent demand for care.
WHY PICK UP GARDENING AS A HOBBY?
If you are a fitness freak, it will please you to know that gardening is the undercover work out. Not only is it an enjoyable aerobic exercise, but regular exposure to greens also strengthens our body’s immune system. Gardening can help revive the world’s failing climate. Even at the minimum level, increased absorption of carbon dioxide by the plants can play a vital role in preventing the issue of global warming from escalating. As part of their own metabolic process, trees emit oxygen, something critical to nearly all life on earth, along with the fruits and flowers, aka the bounties of nature. Be it the blooming flowers, or fruits and vegetables, or simply abundant growth of leaves, a garden full of thriving plants is spectacularly beautiful, which emanates a sense of serenity that can thrill even the most indifferent of individuals.
Open space with adequate exposure to sunlight, fresh air, and water sit on top of the list. Gardening also requires you to possess your own set of specialised tools. Without these, the much-beloved hobby of gardening can turn into a daunting chore and this may result in you losing interest over it sooner than later. Now, you do not necessarily need to buy a truckload of them, but when starting out, there are some basic ones that are must-haves. So, here comes a list of the six most essential tools that you need for your garden without fail. These tools will make seeding, fertilising, and weeding a whole lot easier.
Preferably, the materials in your tools should include wood, or any coated metal variant, to prevent early rusting from frequent exposure to moisture.
Trowel: This is one of the most commonly used tools in gardening. This tool is necessary to dig and loosen up soil before planting seeds or plants. Besides, trowels are required to mix fertilisers, turn and mix lumpy soil. Softening up the earth is of prime importance to ensure proper irrigation to the plant roots. Look for one that has a well fitted strong blade and a comfortable handle.
Fork hoe: Compared to their single blade counterpart i.e. digging spade, fork hoes have multiple blades placed at right angles to the handle, akin to a fork. The fork-like blades give a fork hoe better grip for soil and make soil lifting easier.
Hand rake: They have shorter handles compared to typical lawn rakes, and hence, prove to be easier to use. These should be used for removing dead leaves and generic garden trash from under and around plants, without causing damage to their roots
Pruning Shears: The youthful glint of young leaves in sunlight means the plants are growing, and this signals the arrival of the added task of pruning. To keep your garden in pristine order, pruning will become a regular job once your plants start growing.
Moreover, if there are fruit and flower-bearing plants in your garden, regular pruning will be needed to keep up a steady yield. Buy one that is neither too large nor inadequately small and fits right in your hand, preferably one with detachable blades for easy sharpening.
Garden hose pipe/ watering can/ sprinklers: The all-time cliché thumb rule of gardening is that one must water the plants regularly. If your garden is a small indoor one, then a 5 to 6-litre capacity watering can should suffice for the daily job. But for large outdoor ones, a sturdy hose pipe or a sprinkler arrangement has to be made. There should also be the facility of water supply nearby.
Gardening gloves: Although this is optional, a good pair of gardening gloves of any colour of your choice should really ease things up for you and save you from all the dirt and accidental scrapes, and pruning scratches. Choose ones that fit you well and are water-resistant.
Bonus Tool (Golden Gark): This tool is a rake, shovel, and soil sifter — a true all-in-one. It is multipurpose, and hence, can serve for a lot of the jobs alone.
Constant use wears out the most resilient of tools and hence, all of them require cleaning, polishing and sharpening every once in a while. Make sure to clean metal tools with kerosene to prevent rusting. All the tools must also be stored in a dry area, away from excessive moisture.
Gardening is a great stress buster, and once it grows into a habit, nothing can take away from the joy of tending to plants. Happy gardening!
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed