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Camp Internet's Global Gardening Studies are open to all Camp Expedition Teams. RAIN's Youth Technology Corps members are Expedition Team Leaders for Communities taking part.

How to Choose Your First Tools





As with most things, garden tools are available at a range of prices.

It's wise to choose good-quality, budget-price tools, until you are sure of your specific requirements and interests.

Any garden tool should be: the most suitable type for the job; the right size and model for the job you need it for; comfortable for you to use.

Make sure you go for tools that are most comfortable for you to use depending on your height.

Spade or fork shafts should suit your height to minimise back strain. Standard shaft length is 70-73 cm. Longer shafts are available up to 98cm.

If you're over 1.7m tall and plan to use garden spades and forks a lot, you'll find the extra length more comfortable. You'll find various types of handles on tools shaped like 'D', 'Y', and 'T'. Handle tools before buying to make sure they suit the size of your hands. If you wear gardening gloves, take these with you to make sure that tool handles will feel good in your garden.

see below

Spade

Uses: shifting soil, digging, planting. Sizes: available in standard size and border which is smaller and lighter.

Standard spade blade: 28 x 19cm approx, border spade blade: 23 x 13cm. Features to look for: Handle: 'D' type moulded to plastic hilt for good grip. Plastic hilt - comfortable even in cold weather. Shaft - wood fitting into long socket on head, can be replaced.

Blade - coated for easy cleaning, tread on top edge makes digging easier on the feet.

Fork

Uses: general cultivation, lifting root vegetables, shifting compost and manure. Sizes: available in standard size and border which is smaller and lighter. Standard fork head 30 x 20cm approx, border fork 23 x 14cm. Features to look for: Handle: 'D' type moulded to plastic hilt for good grip. Shaft - wood fitting into long socket on head, can be replaced. Head: formed from single piece of metal with head for strength.

Garden Rake

Uses: levelling and breaking up soil surface, gathering garden rubbish. Size: shaft length should allow you to stand upright whilst raking to reduce back strain. 1.5m shaft is comfortable for most. Features to look for: Head: one piece is stronger than a riveted one; 12 teeth are adequate, 16 or more is better for larger areas.

Hand Tools

uses of a trowel include: small scale work such as container gardening, digging holes for small plants and bulbs. The blade sizes vary from narrow to wide blades, choose wider blade for all-purpose. Features to look for include : Handle: usually 10-15cm, but can get extra long handles; wooden, plastic, plastic-coated all preferable to cold metal and a blade that is strong metal such as coated steel. The uses of a Hand Fork include: lifting small-scale plants, weeding and preparing small areas of soil. You can get two-pronged specialist forks but choose regular wide fork with three or four prongs for all-purpose use. The handle is usually 10-15cm, but you can get extra long handles about 1.2m. Wooden, plastic or plastic-coated handles are best.