DIY Network

Gardening Tool Tips

There are many cutting and trimming tools you can use in the garden. Use these tips to find just the right tool for the job.

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loppers are good for cutting hard to reach limbs

Thinning new plants is an important part of vegetable gardening. To get the best results you need something that can cut the plants at soil level and you need something thin enough to get between the small plants. The best tool for this is a pair of small sharp scissors. You can use a specialty garden scissor or you can use basic household scissors. The scissors must by heavy duty enough to hold up to outside garden work and small enough to fit in your tool belt or basket.

Once your garden gets really growing you need to keep a close eye on how tall or wide some of the plants are getting. There are a lot of plants like tomatoes and cucumbers that do well when their growth is managed. The best tool for this is a hand pruner. It’s compact and strong and the clasp keeps the blades safely covered when you’re not using it. It’s easy to reach into a plant and to snip off any overgrowth with this tool.

Another handy tool is the lopper. It’s basically a pruner with longer handles. This tool works well when you need to cut something that’s hard to reach, like tree limbs. The benefit of loppers is that you can cut thicker stems because you get more leverage from the long handles.

You can do the most exciting cutting in the garden, harvesting, with any of the tools I’ve talked about, but one of the handiest tools can be found in your kitchen: a knife. A knife can quickly cut through something like a cabbage head or just about any small vegetable stem. With any sharp tool, use it carefully and keep all knives away from children.

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