Garden tools are extremely valuable. In gardening, I really want to use just the right tool, when possible. The right tool makes the job go quicker, and it makes it much easier. Imagine the frustration when one misplaces “just the right tool,” and wastes a significant amount of time, just trying to find it! I hate to admit it, but this happens to me all too often. I get busy and set something down, thinking I’ll get right back to it. Something comes up, and by the time I do “get back to it,” I’m not sure “where it is.” Do you ever have that happen?
If your garden(s) are as large as mine, that can be a real problem. I once had to ask a friend with a metal detector to help me find a tool I had misplaced and couldn’t find for weeks. You got it, it was buried in weeds. This can happen in two manners.
- You set down a tool, as seen in the feature photo for this post, and accidentally cover it with weeds, as you are working.
- You set a tool down and leave it more than a day or two, during the fast growth of the summer, that tool can literally get swallowed by the weeds, in only a couple of days!
If left laying on the ground, garden tools can literally be swallowed up by growing weeds.
Here are some tips to help you avoid losing garden tools:
- Carry a 5 gallon bucket with you to place unused hand tools while you move around the garden.
- Hang unused tools on trellis’ or fences, when temporarily not in use. I keep at least one Asian hand hoe on a trellis or tomato cage, all summer, for quick access, and I know where to look, when I need it.
- If you must set a tool on the ground, set it ON TOP of something: a high pile of freshly pulled weeds, a tarp or weedless mulched area.
- Have a designated place to store tools, and, at the end of the day, make sure they are placed there. (No overnight stays in novel places.) I once left one of my Asian hand hoes on the bumper of Jerreth’s pickup truck, thinking I’d be right back for it. Nope. Something came up and the next day that tool rode over 11 miles on the bumper. She found it when she got to work!
- Wrap some fluorescent tape around the handle of tools which might easily get lost in weeds or mulch.
- Have a “tool locker” right in your garden. This is something I really want to try.
Oh, and if you’re like me, one more tip:
- Have a back up on hand, for really important tools!
In spite of having developed some strategies for being careful with my tools, I still lose one, now and then. So, I keep an extra hand hoe, hand sickle and long handled hoe on hand. Not only might I misplace one, I might break one, or my wife’s Tacoma might carry one off and fail to return it….
Related article: The Advantage of Buying Quality Tools