Happy 1st Day of Spring

It’s Gardening Tool Check-Up Time
In most areas of the country, gardeners take a break in winter, or at least have less to manage. Some people welcome this time of year as a pleasant reprieve, while others pine away for spring’s first blossom. Now is the perfect time to review your supplies and determine if you have a well-used tool or two that may need to be repaired or replaced. Or, maybe there’s a gardening gizmo you wished you had last season? Guess what? It may be on sale in winter! So get out there and check your stock.
Inspect Your Inventory
Wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves, goggles and steel-toed boots when taking your inventory! Even though you are not up to your elbows in dirt, you are still at risk of getting cut, scraped, pierced, or pinched. As you tally your tools, look them over closely to ensure all are in good condition. Inspect handles for cracks or cuts, or damage that might create a dangerous situation later. Shovel and rake heads should be securely attached to the handle and in good repair. Be sure cutting tools, like pruning shears, are oiled and sharpened once a year.
Can You Dig It?
We all agree you can’t do much serious gardening without a shovel. Ideally, you should have at least two different sizes on hand. First, a heavy-duty, long-handled spade shovel allows you to firmly step down on it for more difficult digs. Second, a long-handled shovel with a smaller, pointy tip lets you execute more precision-style digging. Of course, you must arm yourself with a good, sturdy hand trowel, too.
A Tale of Two Rakes
Make sure you have at least a couple rakes at the ready. You’ll need a garden rake for breaking up the soil and a lawn rake for leaves and debris. Did you know there are two types of lawn rakes? There’s a straight-edge style used for gathering up the heavy stuff, like sticks and stones. Then you have a sweep rake which works like a broom by getting smaller debris out of your way. It has been said that “a bad gardener quarrels with his rake’” so make nice with yours by keeping it in good condition.
Basic Garden Necessities
This list covers the most common tools for the average home gardener. If you’re planting a big vegetable garden or completely re-landscaping your home, you’ll need additional tools. Visit your local hardware or garden supply store and ask for assistance.
? Gardening gloves
? Goggles or other eye protection
? Steel-toed shoes or boots
? Lawnmower
? Hoe
? Pruning shears
? Edger
? Pruning saw
? Watering can
? Stakes
? Water hose

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