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The rundown on the hand gardening tools you'll need and why

Whether your garden requires you to use spreaders to sow seed or wheelbarrows to haul materials, Sears has all the tools gardeners need. To help you out, we have all the tools you'll need most often in one easy place. Stock up early and you'll have everything you need as soon as the ground thaws.

Let's get start with the shovel. We carry a number of brands, including Craftsman, America's most trusted brand. The D-handle shovel has a heavy-duty blade. Since the ground can be hard, especially in the spring, you'll appreciate its patented power-step feature. Its secure foot placement provides you with increased digging leverage. The pointed blade is serrated to slice through compacted soil. The handle is steel-reinforced fiberglass.

Need a garden hoe? We offer models that feature a steel blade that will come in handy as you chop, weed and cut through soil. Another necessity is the bow rake. Its short, wide tines to spread and level soil and mulch. Then there's the four-tine cultivator. Gardeners use this tool for aerating and cultivating soil.

On a smaller scale, you'll need the handheld gardening tools, starting with a trowel. It looks like a miniature hybrid of a shovel and hoe. When you're working in small places, such as around vegetable plants in your garden, use a trowel to dig. Its narrow blade also makes it the tool of choice when preparing a hole for planting. The transplanter is like the trowel's skinnier cousin. Just as its name suggests, gardeners often use it when transplanting. You can do some precision digging, and precision is key when working around roots to transplant. Shortly after planting season, you'll need a weeder. It's also called a dandelion digger. That's a perfect name for this handy gardening tool, because with its pointy end (which is a cross between a two-tine fork and a notched screwdriver) it will pry up even stubborn weeds in no time flat. Not only can you use the hand tools for working in the garden, but you can also use them when tending to household plants. For example, a transplanter will come in handy when a philodendron has grown so much you need to divide it into two planters.

A hand-held cultivator is a gardener's friend. You can use it to claw through the soil and break up clumps of dirt so you have a smooth bed for planting seed or plants. If you love to see daffodils, tulips, croci and irises sprout up in the spring, purchase a bulb planter. It'll get a workout come fall bulb planting time. Models that have inch gradients will help you dig the perfect hole depth based on the bulb planted. Hand shears will help you prune and shape plants. Look for well-made shears to get a clean cut. You'll be thankful later if your choose pair of shears that has grips (they'll be more comfortable to use) and blades you can sharpen or replace (you won't have to hack away at tough plants). Gardeners will also find a simple pair of scissors helpful. You can deadhead flowers, open potting soil bags, cut string, snip herbs and more. Sears provides the tools you need to do the gardening you love.

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