The realm of gardening tools is vast, which is overwhelming and prone to make you go overboard when buying. If you’re a beginner, let only focus on the basics. Stick to the list below and your gardening life will be much easier!
Aside from a hand trowel is a small fork to break clumps in soil, harvest root crops, or break the firm surface of the soil. It’s called digging fork.
This tool should be well fitted to your palm while featuring a sturdy, firm, and reasonably wide blade. Prefer slightly heavier digging fork would be helpful in breaking soil clumps effortlessly.
Another type is compost fork.
It is a bit larger in dimensions compared to the previous sibling, which is used for moving straw, manure, mulches, composts and other organic manure in your garden. In contrast to the digging fork, this type should be light-weighted to easily lift and throw stuff.
Together with trowel and digging fork, a high-quality spade is the best workhorse in your garden.
It is good at moving tiny mounds of dirt from here to there, digging holes for flowers and plants, lifting sod, and edging. Whether it’s small or large garden, having this tool in your arsenal is a must.
Though compared to gardening forks and trowels, this is a little bit pricier, it can last a lifetime if you know how to opt for a high-quality one.
Short-handled square shovels are the most ergonomic shape to choose. It would be better if the head is stainless steel and there are treads on top of the blade.
If you’re gardening in a raised bed or backyard, a shovel is a practical hand tool for digging, lifting, and shifting sand, soil, gravel, coal, and snow.
Many gardeners also use it for mixing compost piles, potting soil, or transferring soil and dirt from/to a wheelbarrow with no needs to dump the whole load.
Two things to consider when selecting a gardening shovel are:
- Handle: As it’s now a long-handed design, weight contribution is paramount.
- Blade: There are three different shapes of shovel blade – the flat straight edge, the curved shovel, and the round one.
While most people just go for a traditional round-edged shovel, it has some limitations, especially in edging work. That’s why you should consider adding a flat straight edge shovel or a curved one.
Also known as an irrigation sprinkler – a gardening tool used for cooling, irrigating plants, lawn, and landscapes, or controlling the airborne dust.
It is particularly useful on raised gardening beds where there is no sufficient water available. There is a wide range of sizes to opt for:
- Portable sprinklers
- Underground sprinkler systems
- Drip sprinklers
- Oscillating sprinklers
- Impact sprinklers
The permanent installation of water sprinklers usually goes with a timer so that it will automatically turn on during a set time and day per week.
Metal and plastic are two basic types of a watering can.
Metal cans with galvanized finish can efficiently resist rusting while high-quality hard plastic cans are praised for lighter weight.
Two other things to consider when choosing a watering can are:
- Size: It should be a small, long-necked watering can for indoor garden and a larger one with sprinkler head for outdoors.
- Handle: 2 handles give better stability, especially when tipping it to pour the water
It’s better to go for a longer hose (so that you can reach other ends of your garden) rather than a shorter.
When choosing, focus on its diameter. There are three common size options:
- ¾ inches = 25 gallons/minute
- 5/8 inches = 15 gallons/minute
- ½ inches = 9 gallons/minute
It would be better to opt for a garden hose with an adjustable nozzle as it puts you in control of the spray radius and water pressure.
This hand tool is of Japanese origin, called Hori Hori garden knife, that any beginners should have.
It can trim and cut on different materials, such as strings, vegetable plants, and fruits. Furthermore, it can act as a measuring device for planting bulbs, a weeder, a perfect hand trowel alternative, or digging equipment saw.
It, in short, can handle all gardening asks involving cutting and digging. However, parents should keep this tool out of reach of small kids as its both sharp ends might accidentally hurt them.
Or garden secateurs.
They are suitable for gardens requiring constant maintenance, like trimming the long grass in lawns or reining in plants that are out of control and take over.
Two types: bypass pruners and anvil pruners. The bypass style is excellent for green wood and live plants while the other is for dead wood.
For people suffering arthritis or with reduced hand strength, ratcheting pruners would be the best bet.
For bigger branches on trees, a pruning saw – with more cutting power – is useful to give you better control to cut on pull stroke.
The saw should be constructed with a sharp blade, grippy handle, and stability in use.
To plant small bulbs, seeds, and seedlings, you might need a dibber. They help poke holes in the soil more quickly and precisely but take note that this tool is just workable on light soils.
If you push dibbers into heavy soils, the soil surrounding that hole will be too compacted for plants to root.
Dibbers are categorized - based on their widths - into three common groups:
- Straight handles
While the thicker units are suitable for smaller bulbs and bigger seedlings, the thinner is perfect for small seedlings and seeds.
A good hand trowel comes in handy in a lot of work, such as:
- Planting containers
- Transplanting bedding herbs and plants
- Digging out weeds on the garden plots
- Digging out areas for flowers or plants
- After you’re finished, it helps to refill the holes
The blade width is something you should take into consideration. It has multiple size options for specific needs. For example, a narrow blade is for rocky soil or digging up weeds while a broader one is to move more soil in or out a container.
Materials and handle design are two other things to consider. In short, your hand trowel should be comfortable in hand-feel and durable to last as long as possible.
When dried leaves fall and debris is built up over months, you might need something to whisk them away. That’s when a rake comes into place.
Like other gardening tools, this provides a wide range of sizes and shapes for different purposes of use. But in short, you’ll need a small handle rake for container gardening while a longer one is best for lawn.
If you don’t know which to start with yet, a standard leaf rake is the safest choice ever.
Aside from raking up all the leaves and debris, a rake is also used for removing pebbles to level the ground.
You should opt for a rake with a reasonably long, grippy handle to ensure it is comfy to use. And with the bristles, choose either a plastic material or soft flexible metal as they’re tough enough to rake the whole surface but not overly to get away all soil.
Gardening Gloves & Boots
A right pair of gardening gloves make you free from splintery and thorny hassle while keeping your hands always clean and dry.
Gloves should give a good fit to avoid slipping off and be not as bulky as you’ll working regularly with seeds or transplanting seedlings.
Prefer using of gardening gloves which is crafted from durable, water-resistant yet breathable material to keep hands comfy and cool.
To save you from falling or stripping in the garden, choose boots with heavy soles to help you press the shovel or spade better when digging the soil. They should be water-resistant, high-ankle, and breathable as well.
Lots of male gardeners deny using knee pads, assuming they are too girly for men.
But don’t you know that kneeling down to work gardening will take its toll on your kneecaps from time to time? It is not purely about aesthetics but also the pain on your knees.
If you’re suffering arthritis or simply can’t stand that pain any longer, equip yourself with a good pair of knee pads. Or at least, parents should prepare these for their children before gardening.
A good pair of knee pads should be protective against rocky terrains and scrapes while delivering comfort to the user. Durable foam padding and soft gel core are two noteworthy features to keep in mind when looking for this item.
Perfect for outdoor garden when you need to move something heavy from here to there with less effort.
It comes in two basic types of material – plastic and metal like watering cans. Besides, there are three styles:
- Single-handed wheelbarrows: Can conveniently pull or push it by one hand
- Single-handed two-wheel: Keep balance well to pull over uneven terrains with ease. Ideal for people with limited strength
- Traditional dual-handle, single-wheel: The cheapest and only recommended for strong guys
Composting is quite popular nowadays to limit the amount of greenhouse methane and carbon dioxide released in comparison to landfill. It’s also a good “food” source for trees, flowers, and plants due to the rich nutrients.
And a compost bin will make or break the result of your composting.
There are three different types of compost bins to choose from:
- Indoor composters: For people who grow an indoor garden and don’t have outdoor space
- Batch composters: Suit for gardeners who want to speed up the composting process
- Continuous composters: Best for people who want to take advantage of garden weeds, kitchen scraps, and other organic waste to make compost.
This power tool provides a world of benefits to gardeners, especially during autumn.
It works as a rake – getting rid dry leaves off your garden – but in double shorter amount of time. Furthermore, it can gather effortlessly and quickly a big mess of leaves into manageable piles.
Aside from blowing, some models even can vacuum leaves, spray trees, and clean gutters, dependent on your extra needs.
Though 90% of leaf blowers are designed to be lightweight and packable, it’s important to consider the right type for you. There are three on the market:
- Walk-behind leaf blower
- Backpack leaf blower
- Handheld leaf blower
Besides, be wise to choose between blowing power and sound volume. As the more powerful the machine, the noisier – your neighbors might be not happy about that.
Lawn mower is a convenient tool that helps you to cut down grass and take care of your lawn within the shortest time possible. It’s the best choice for big gardens and backyards with little to none obstacles as well as people with certain physical limitations.
When you’re into the market for a new lawn mower, look for the right type which can meet nicely your needs, budget, and mowing style.
The corded is bulky while the battery-powered is limited in runtime
Small to medium obstacle-free lawns
Help the user to exercise but not overly fatigue after the task is finished
Require more control when running it, not suit for big lawns
Can meet different chores from simple to heavy-duty
Super-fast and highly maneuverable
Bulky for storage
Medium to big lawns with obstacles
In case of a garden with too many tight spots and obstacles, a string trimmer would be a better choice.
It is built for the ridding of grass and weeds with more precise trimming on many awkward spots, such as around trees, fences, sidewalks, and driveways.
Depending on the user’s skills, it can make a backyard from look neat to well-manicured. A string trimmer with a rotating head, on the other hand, is able to work as an edger.
To pick the right one for you, pay attention to its power and runtime. A unit that is drained out too quickly before you even can trim a thing should be a no-no. Same with an underpowered product.
You should also check if it provides various settings. This addition offers customizable adjustment to let you work on different tasks with good control and ease.
Pole saws feature the same functions as the pruning saw but in this case, it’s for high vine and branch that you can’t reach from the ground.
Of course, you can use a ladder but if it’s seemingly risky and unsafe (while calling in a professional is so costly), why not invest on a good pole saw?
This gardening tool is commonly powered by either electricity or gas to work on heavy pruning of thicker branches.
While the electric pole saws are best for small-sized gardens with small trees, the gas-powered models prevail for more operating power to work on heavier pruning of medium to large branches.
There are also manual pole saws with an emphasis on lightness, longer reach, and low maintenance but with them, you will have to spend more effort than the other two.
Aside from pole saws, there are chainsaws to help you cut small to large branches within your reach from the ground.
Compared to a pruning saw, this is significantly more powerful to finish all wood cutting tasks in much shorter time. This is a tool for people who want to save more time and effort on gardening jobs.
Chainsaws are powered mostly by gas or electricity.
Opt for the gas if you want a more powerful product with superior stability to cut medium to large branches. Conversely, an electric unit will be more lightweight, eco-friendly, minimal maintenance, and affordable to suit for budget-minded gardeners on smaller cutting tasks.
Some guys prefer to use a power tool to trim their hedges rather than a manual tool. For them, a hedge trimmer is a great companion.
It is powered by either gasoline or electricity and categorized into two groups – the single-sided and the double-sided. To determine which is the right for you, think about the gardening tasks you want it to do.
For example, if you want to shape the hedge, a double-sided hedge trimmer is ideal. For cutting straight sections of hedge, choose the other.
A good hedge trimmer should also be lightweight and comfortable so that you don’t feel fatigue to struggling to hold it for duration of trimming the hedge. Besides, it must be well-balanced.
Last but not least, is a tiller.
It’s used for preparing the soil for planting or cultivating. In detail, the tool will break up the soil, mulch organic compost and blend them with fertilizer.
Although there are still manual tillers for small gardens, most people choose to use a motorized one to save more time and effort.
Above are all essential tools that no gardeners should be without. This list is apparently a reference source; you still need to customize your own arsenal based on your garden’s nature. Let consider carefully your needs and budgets. Good luck with your garden!