Invest in Good Garden Tools

So this weekend I became the proud owner of a new pair of garden pruners. My old pruners were purchased in August of 2009. I believe I bought the cheapest pair they had. And that’s why they only lasted eight months. Of course, it didn’t help that my husband left them outside in the rain, but the rust wasn’t actually the problem. My new pair was only $10 (on sale, I think. You can’t always tell at Home Depot), but already I can tell they are vastly superior to my original pruners. I already knew this, but this little adventure reinforced the notion that it pays to invest in good garden tools.

Why It Pays to Invest in Quality Garden Tools
The blades of my pruners were slightly dulled by rust, but they still cut. The reason they broke was the spring. The pruners had a flimsy spring between the handles. After one afternoon of heavy cutting, it fell off. I reattached it a couple times, but I quickly realized this would get frustrating. When I went to Home Depot, I looked for a sturdy pair that didn’t have a visible spring. The new pruners are titanium. I don’t really know if that means they’ll lost longer, but titanium is a pretty strong metal.

When I was at Home Depot about three months ago, I grabbed a pair of gardening gloves that were only $1. They lasted precisely one day and made my hands pruney. So, this weekend I was at Costco and spotted a five-pack of gloves in different styles and materials for $17. Now I can test them all and see which I like best. I’ve already tried two of the pairs and they did a great job. Sure, they cost more, but if a $1 pair only last 1 day, I’d quickly spend far more buying replacing gloves every weekend.

Keep All Your Tools Together
This will be my next project: organizing my tools. Right now my shed is a mess and half-full of empty moving boxes. I also didn’t bring all the new tools and supplies I bought directly outside when I returned from the store. Instead, I spent a lot of time running back into the house every time I needed another tool. Not a very effective use of my time, let me tell you. I also mounted a new sprinkler box this weekend, and that required three different trips into the house to get the necessary tools because I didn’t inspect it when I read the directions.

Once I get the shed cleaned out and organized, finding my tools will be quick work. Now I just need something to carry them down from the shed when it’s time to garden. I think one of the many baskets I’ve accumulated will be just the thing. Best of all – it will be free.

Accumulate Slowly
Since we bought a foreclosure with a dying yard, we took our 20% Lowe’s coupon on a shopping spree soon after we moved in. We spent a lot of money, but also bought a whole lot of tools that we actually needed right then. That trip involved several calls to my dad for input. We bought pruners, loppers, an extendable trimmer, and a few other garden essentials. As time has gone on and we’ve started to work in the garden (as opposed to clearing it), we’ve slowly built up our tool collection to include new items, like a hose and gloves. Now I’m thinking I need a wheelbarrow. I expect to buy a compost bin this month.

I’m glad we took our time to figure out what we really needed, because we could have spent a fortune on stuff we thought we’d need. For example, we never got around to buying a lawn mower. The lawn was mostly dead and then it was dormant. Just when it was time to buy one, we hired a gardener instead. No need to buy a mower now!

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