What are the most useful garden tools in the tomato patch? There are a few pieces of equipment you simply must have.
Use a garden rake (also called a rock rake or metal rake) to rake clods out of rows before planting seeds. Flip over garden rake to drag soil over planted rows to smooth dirt.
A garden trowel makes it easy to mix in compost, fertilizer, and other soil amendments to tomato holes. It’s worth a few extra dollars to buy a quality trowel. A strong, durable trowel penetrates compact soil and will last years and years. (Cheap trowels can bend and break.)
Use a pump sprayer (also called a garden sprayer) to apply fungicides and pesticides.
When you choose a sprayer, beware that bigger may not be better – you need to be able to carry it from plant to plant to apply spray.
A smaller version (1 -2 gallons) is portable, making it easy to carry through the tomato patch.
Look for a sprayer that holds its pressure (which means you won’t have to pump it each time you spray) and that’s easy to clean.
See more tips about choosing a garden sprayer.
The pros for staking tomatoes with cages are numerous, including the fact that cages make it easy to manage sprawling tomato plants. (Learn more about staking options here.) Get tomato cages that are reusable year-to-year. The best are sturdy and long-lasting.
Planting tomatoes, weeding, spreading mulch – there’s a lot of dirt to cover your hands and get stuck under your nails. A good pair of garden gloves has coated palms and fingers (durability) and is washable (convenience.)
(This page helps you choose garden gloves that will work for you.)
A tiller cultivator eliminates heavy hoeing by breaking up dirt clods each spring. Fine soil means easier planting. Tilling or cultivating the soil also allows air pockets into previously compacted soil, which lets roots breathe. Water can get to roots more easily in loosened soil, too.
(Here is a good selection of garden tillers.)
More Garden Tools for Growing Tomatoes
By Kathy Widenhouse, award-winning writer and owner of Tomato Dirt, a leading online source for growing tomatoes and using them.
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