Precautions while using Garden Tools

Precautions while using Garden Tools

1 . What is Garden tool

A garden tool is any one of many tools made for gardens and gardening and overlaps with the range of tools made for agriculture and horticulture. Garden tools can also be hand tools and power tools.

2 . Hand safety

Many gardening injuries involve hands and fingers. You should wear a sturdy pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands against cuts, insect bites, soil and skin irritants. Gloves will also protect you from injuries from thorns. You should choose hand tools that suit you. Where possible, get a feel of the tools before you buy because handle size, weight and length are all crucial when it comes to using a tool safely. Blisters and muscle pain can result if the finger grips on the handle are too small or too large for your hand. Don t use tools that are in bad condition. It s better to buy a brand new tool than to risk unnecessary injury.

3 . Tool Maintenance and Good Practice

Keeping your tools well maintained makes them last longer and makes them safer to use. For example, close the blades on secateurs shut with the safety catch when the job s done and keep the blades of your shears and sharp by using a sharpening stone. You can also take them to a garden centre for sharpening if you prefer. Working with blunt tools takes up more time and energy and can put unnecessary pressure on joints and muscles as well as being dangerous.

4 . Digging

Digging is usually the gardener s first port of call and a digging tool should really be your first buy. There are 3 main choices a shovel, a spade and a garden fork. It s OK to start with just one but you ll soon find that you ll want one of each. Each of these 3 implements is made with either a long or short handle. Long handles give you more leverage but they can break more easily when you re putting a lot of force into what you re digging. A shorter handled version tends to be a bit stronger and easier to control but the size of the handle may be determined by your height. If you opt for a short handle, make sure that the top of the handle comes up to your waist when the blade is sunk into the ground. If it s any lower, you ll end up getting filthy and it could also create back problems.
Whether it s a fork, spade or shovel you choose, it should have a flat lip or tread on the top of the blade to protect your feet and the head should be made from tempered high carbon steel not stainless steel. The blade should also be attached to the handle with a solid socket or solid strap connection. A hardwood handle is adequate and you shouldn t be persuaded into buying tools such as those with more expensive blades made of fibreglass or solid steel unless you re going to be digging all day.

5 . Shovels

When describing shovels here, it doesn t mean the type you associate with coal and the fireplace. A shovel, in gardening terms, looks very similar to a spade but has a slightly concave blade with a rounded bottom edge. You often see these used when road workers are digging up roads to lay tarmac. They re ideal as a multi purpose tool and can be used for scooping, turning, digging and moving soil, gravel, sand, compost and other materials without destroying your back.

6 . Spades

The garden spade is the quintessential British digging tool. It has an almost flat, rectangular blade and is ideal for digging, removing clinging sods between paving flags, cutting through roots, edging your borders and trenching. It s not as good as a shovel, however, for turning soil or for scooping things up.

7 . Forks

A garden fork is a much larger version of an eating fork to look at. It is, in effect, a spade with tines rather than a blade and is used for tilling the soil, aerating it and for digging perennials and root crops but is useless for digging holes. To keep your soil turned and in good condition however, a fork is vital.

8 . Rakes

A garden rake is the perfect tool for breaking up small clumps of mud and earth and for smoothing, drawing up and mounding soil. It s used to level out flower beds and for pulling out stones. There are a few varieties of rake but the second most common is the fan shaped thatching or lawn rake whose tines aren t quite as supple as the garden rake nor should they be as it is only used on the lawn itself to gather up dead leaves during the autumn months. Because its tines are more flexible than a garden rake s, it enables you to pull it along the lawn without ragging and tearing the turf and, fairly recently, they have started to be manufactured using wicker to make them even more gentle on the lawn.

9 . Hoe

There are also a vast range of hoes and the one you choose will depend on the job you have in mind you might want to plant vegetables in wide, straight rows, or your garden might contain a tight, narrow planted perennial bed. Also, the way you like to use a hoe might determine your choice, i.e. do you want to push it away from you or draw it towards you.There are oscillating hoes, tined hoes and many other varieties but the one you ll most recognise is the common or garden hoe which has a short, flat head or blade which is much narrower than a spade or shovel. If you are cultivating vegetables, especially, you ll not be able to live without your hoe and many keen gardeners have more than one type.

10 . General barbecue safety tips

If you haven t got a built in brick barbecue, the first thing you should do is to make sure the site where you re going to put the barbecue is suitable. It should be stable, level, sheltered and away from people, fences, sheds, trees and other areas which could catch fire. If there s a wind blowing, make sure that it s blowing away from you when you light the fire, just in case it flares up. Don t wear any loose clothing which could flap about in the wind and could be set alight by the flames and never move the barbecue once it s lit. In addition, make sure it s situated within a reasonable distance of an available water supply which you can use to extinguish it if things do get out of control.

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