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17 September 2014
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how to be a gardener - The complete online guide

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5 - Tools
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Basic tools
A spade is your basic digging implement; use it to make holes and to dig sandy or loamy soil.
Perfect for digging soil that’s stodgy, such as clay, or full of stones; moving and spreading organic matter; and breaking down clods of soil.
Hoes are for weeding - skimming just below the soil surface and cutting weeds in half. This will kill annual weeds and weaken perennial ones. To kill perennial weeds, you need to dig out their roots.
Use a garden rake - short, parallel metal tines (teeth) - for final soil levelling, and making a ‘tilth’ – a fine, even soil surface for sowing/planting into.

Use a rake – a wide fan of springy wire or rubber tines - for raking leaves/clippings off the lawn, and gravel paths.
Perfect for weeding, planting small plants and tinkering with pots on the patio. Stainless steel trowels are best, and choose one that feels comfortable.
Watering canWatering can
For watering and applying liquid fertilisers - make sure it's easy to fill and comfortable to hold. And if you’re going to apply weedkiller, buy a second, different coloured can and write the word 'weedkiller' on it to avoid confusion!

Remember, an outdoor tap is a great time saver, and if you’ve lots of plants to water get a hosepipe.
Your basic tool for pruning, cutting back, and trimming stems 1.5cm to 2cm (0.6in to 0.8in) thick.

There are two types: ‘bypass’ - two sharp blades cross each other like scissors; and ‘anvil’ - one sharp blade cuts on to a flattened base. I prefer the former, but it’s a personal choice.
5. Caring for your garden

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