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The best place to find all your allotment supplies

Garden Tools

Garden Tools

Garden Tools is a term applied to a wide range of tools used in to prepare, cultivate and weed ground in the garden of a house. These same garden tools are used on almost all allotment plots in one form or another.
We have broken up this wide range of tools into the function they perform the key tools are highlighted in BOLD

Weed Slasher
Weed Slasher

Ground Clearing - Pruning and undergrowth clearance
The acquisition of an allotment plot after a long wait can be great news when you are told your plot number.
The first visit can lead to joy or despair depending on the state of the plot, even a new plot can be just a marked out plot of long established grass meadow, a previously owned plot can be covered in weeds and brambles.
If you have inherited a plot that has been well cared for and is dug over and fertile you are very, very lucky.
How to go about clearing the plot and the best tools to do it are one of the asked questions on our web site and the answer is generally simple. Cover 2/3rds, clear and dig 1/3rd.
A full guide on how to do this can be found in Ask Ted? our advice section of the site.

Clearing tall weeds and most soft stemmed plants can easily be done with a WEED SLASHER, a tool that is used standing up and will quickly cut through stems.
For thicker stems such as brambles, a pair of SECATEURS is the tool, as a guide if the stems are dry and woody, use ANVIL SECATEURS, if they are softer and green use BYPASS SECATEURS.

Anvil Secateurs
Anvil Secateurs
By Secateurs
ByPass Secateurs

Once this is done, cover the 2/3 that is not being dug with black plastic or weed suppression membrane.
If you soil is well draining the weed suppression membrane is best, it will let water through and stop weeds growing.
If you soil has clay and is wet the black plastic is best as it will not let water tough and stop weeds.
This will help dry out waterlogged soils.
Peg the covering down with bricks or other heavy objects or use plastic pegs or steel staples along the edges.

Explore the full range of ground clearance tools HERE

Soil Cultivation
For the 1/3 to be dug the choice of tools will depend on the surface. If you can remove the weeds easily, i.e. the soil is not compacted and rock hard, then you have two choices.

GARDEN SPADE

The phrase garden spade covers two types of spade known as border or digging.
A garden border spade is a smaller tool with a narrower blade designed for plant borders. These are very popular with lady plot holders as they are lighter and easier to handle on the plot.
The garden digging spade is wider and heavier and is designed for medium to heavy digging on the plot.
These and the garden forks come in either stainless steel or forged steel, a guide to choosing which is best for you can be found in Ask Ted?
Explore the full range of garden spades HERE

GARDEN FORK

Garden forks are just like the garden spades, they come in the same two varieties and materials, border and digging in stainless steel or forged steel.

How to choose between a Spade and a Fork?
A garden fork is constructed with pointed spikes called 'tines' and these are best for turning over soil and removing weeds. A garden spade is designed to move soil rather than turn it over, digging trenches and generally moving soil around the plot.
Both tools are desirable when starting work on your plot.
Explore the full range of garden forks HERE

Soil Cultivation - Hoeing and Raking

GARDEN HOE

The garden hoe is a tool for removing weeds growing within crops.
A tool with a long handle and blade at the end that is used to cut the weed roots so they die.
Garden hoes come in several varieties, each has a different orientation of the blade.
Dutch Hoe
Dutch Hoe
Draw Hoe
Draw Hoe

Dutch Garden Hoe

The blade is laid flat on the soil or just below the surface and pushed backwards and forwards severing the weed tops from the roots. The roots are left in the soil and the weed tops removed or left to rot.

Draw Garden Hoe

The blade is set at right angles to the shaft and is used in a 'chopping' action to remove all or a portion of the weed. The soil and weed are pulled forward. The weed can be collected or left to rot.
Explore the full range of garden hoes HERE

DIGGING HOES
Larger size hoes are called digging hoes, and perform similar tasks to spades being used to clear and turn over ground.
Explore the full range of digging hoes HERE

GARDEN RAKES

The garden rake is a basic tool for spreading soil and removing stones, this is called creating a fine 'tilth'.
Seeds and seedlings will thrive in soil with small soil particles closely packed, this enables the roots to grow quickly downwards to find water and nutrients without encountering stones or air pockets which slow growth.
A rake is used to remove the larger particles and stones to get a good planting bed.
Explore the full range of garden rakes HERE

Summary
As you can see the term Garden Tools covers all the basic tools required to manage any allotment plot.
With a long history of farming and cultivation many tools have been re-invented and local derivatives have sprung up. However over the years the basic spade, fork, rake and how have retained the purpose they were designed for and remained a firm favourite whatever and wherever the cultivation you do.