Quality equipment makes job easier

The essential  garden tool kit for the home garden. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
The essential garden tool kit for the home garden. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
Having the right tool for the job is essential and this applies to horticulture as much it does for any other trade.

The selection and assortment of good, bad, or otherwise indifferent tools and equipment in terms of their design, function and construction has never been more diverse than it is now.

For the professional horticulturist quality counts especially when it comes to personal equipment such as secateurs and pruning saws, similarly for frequently used tools such as long-handled pruners, spades and rakes.

Prices of tools vary from the very cheap to rather expensive, but be wary, like most things the most expensive are not always the best.

There are two major factors to bear in mind when buying.

Quality always pays dividends in the long run.

With quality comes cost, but consider it as more of an investment that will save you time, frustration and possibly injury that might otherwise be a result of tools less fit for purpose.

A carefully chosen quality garden tool will provide superior handling performance, make the job easier to accomplish and if properly looked after can last a lifetime. Poorly made and/or constructed items are rarely capable of providing lasting service you should expect irrespective of the treatment they receive.

The essential garden tool kit for any home garden generally consists of a spade, hoe and edging shears, a fork and rake, and the two most important tools are a pair of secateurs and a small folding pruning saw that can be easily carried with you while out and about in the garden.

Look after your gardening tools and treat them with respect.

• Garden Life is produced by Dunedin Botanic Garden. For further information contact David Askin