It’s interesting how many of us keen gardeners struggle on for years with the same old garden tools. Spades and forks with broken handles, lawn rakes with broken or missing tines and hand forks and trowels with loose heads. I think many of us hang on to our old faithful garden tools because we know that they were originally built to last and they are probably more reliable than many of the poor quality, cheap garden tools that are sold today. I am always disappointed when a new gardener buys one of these cheap tools that are not really fit for purpose and will certainly never become one of your most cherished possessions. Therefore it’s really good to find a new range of top quality garden tools built to last and endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society. These are tools that will make gardening a pleasure and they will be your gardening companions for years to come.
They are all built from top quality stainless steel, have FSC quality ash hardwood handles and carry a ten year guarantee. Apart from the practicalities they are good looking and a delight to handle. They also have handles to suit your height and build; taller gardeners need no longer bend down to dig. Shorter gardeners will love the border forks and spades and the balanced construction of the cultivating range.
The first item I acquired in this range was the Transplanting Spade. This is a different type of spade with a longer head; I have used similar tools when working on a nursery in Germany. The curved and shaped head of the spade make it so easy to dig a hole for planting, especially when you are trying to manoeuvre between other plants. All spades and forks are of a strapped construction; this means that the socket of the head has extensions that extend up the front and back of the handle. This is much stronger and avoids the tool head breaking off where the two join.
The digging spades and forks are made with taller handles for extra reach and leverage and taller gardeners will find them less back breaking. They offer exceptional strength from the strapped sockets and double riveted handles. They are very comfortable to handle, whilst being light and easy to use. For general gardening I do recommend you take a look at the border spade and fork which are lovely tools that make light work of digging.
If you find digging with a spade hard work on your back then swap over to a border spade, you lift less soil weight. The border fork is great for cultivating between plants and light digging. I think this is one of the most essential garden tools. Both the digging and border spade come with treads to prevent foot stress.
The Burgon and Ball stainless steel lawn edging iron is the nicest I have seen and used. Its best feature without a doubt is the extra-long handle; most other edging irons have very short handles. This makes them difficult and uncomfortable to use for any length of time. This edging iron is the perfect tool for keeping your lawn edges trim and in top condition; it is also ideal for marking out new beds and borders.
Both the lawn and soil rakes are beautifully crafted and very well balanced. The lawn rake is easy to use and will not tire your arms as quickly. It has strong, sprung tines to scarify and remove moss and thatch from your lawn without bending or snapping the tines, however hard you work at it. Now’s a great time to invest in this lawn rake as this is the perfect time to rake out the moss and thatch and apply an autumn lawn fertiliser and mosskiller. I use it as a back-up leaf rake too.
I am a great one for hoeing as the main method of annual weed control. I think many gardeners are too quick to reach for the ready-to-use weedkiller when a hoe would do the job better. The Burgon and Ball Dutch hoe is a superb cultivating tool. A lot of Dutch hoe heads are not at the correct angle for efficient and ergonomic use. This means they can be quite wearing on your lower back; the last thing you need when gardening. This Dutch hoe is set at an angle that allows the user to stand upright and skim through the soil to remove weeds in beds and borders.
I’ve used Burgon and Ball hand tools for many years; I love their weeding knife which is so handy for extracting the roots of dandelions and docks which have those long tap roots. The weeding fork is an advanced version of the traditional daisy grubber; great for getting under the leaves of those weeds with a rosette of leaves; they are easily levered out of the ground.
When I first saw it I thought the mini hand shrub rake was an item I would never use. I imagined it was a decorative rather than practical item. Having spent last weekend cleaning up under my rhododendrons and other shrubs I’ve changed my mind. It’s great for raking out leaf litter, spreading mulch across the roots and for working a little fertiliser into the soil surface. I think this could be one of my favourite pieces of garden kit for years to come.
Now of course its bulb planting time here and this is the one time when I use a hand trowel. Personally I don’t like bulb planters and I don’t think they work unless you have really well cultivated soil. The cheap pressed steel ones really are a waste of money. However a quality stainless steel bulb planter slips through the soil more easily, it’s stronger and far more successful. In beds and borders it works well and is easy to use.
Do take a look at the Burgon and Ball Royal Horticultural Society range of stainless steel garden tools. They cost a little more but will last and give you many years of gardening pleasure; much better value in the long run. Happy Gardening!