Love to garden? With gardening so popular these days, there aren't many backyards that don't have at least one patch, pot, or container with something growing in it. But most likely, you're paying a lot of attention to your plants and not so much to the tools you use to grow them. Trowels, hoes, spades, and shovels take a lot of abuse during the growing season, and if you take a little time to love them, they'll work better and last longer for you.
Before we talk about the garden gear you already have, remember when buying new gardening tools that spending more on high-quality tools will save you grief and money in the long run. Pay a little extra for a tool that will last, rather than cheap tools that will wear out and need to be replaced frequently. And then use them appropriately! As the saying goes, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail—but using a tool for something it isn't designed to do is a quick way to damage or break it (and even hurt yourself in the process). A long-handled shovel is not a crowbar, the back of an ax is not a sledge hammer, and a hand pruner is not designed to saw through a one-inch branch. If you need to do something your current stash of tools isn't up to, consider buying something suitable, borrowing from a friend, or renting one for a few hours (a good solution for specialty tools you won't need often).
Once you have a set of good gardening tools, here are 6 easy ways to maintain them, starting with storage!
(Whether you're starting your first garden or switching to organic, Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening has all the answers and advice you need—get your copy today!)