When starting a garden you NEED the right tools. This saves you countless hours of work and leads to better results. It’s a worthwhile investment if you’re serious about gardening.
But if you’re new to this, how do you know what tools to get? Most amateaur gardeners don’t have the resources to purchase every tool you might need, so where should you start?
#1 The Pointed Shovel
If I was stuck on a desert island and could only have a single tool, it’d be a good classic pointed shovel. Shovels allow you to dig holes, move materials, and reshape the terrestrial landscapes. They can be well sharpened and also serve for cutting.
● Pointed Shovels are particularly practical for their ability to cut. They allow you to cut into the earth and dig with ease.
● Flat Headed Shovels on the other hand are practical for moving large quantities of material. They allow you to “scoop” dirt, compost, sawdust, or manure in larger quantities. They are particularly helpful for light materials. The extreme of Flat Shovels are Snow Shovels which can only be used on light materials.
● Trench Shovels are flat and thin. This is practical for digging small deep holes or digging trenches.
#2 The WheelBarrow
If you live in a small property then this may not be as relevant, but for most gardeners Wheel Barrows are indispensable tools. Their purpose is pretty simple. They help move materials. Compost, Dirt, Wood Mulch, Weeds, Manure, and other forms of biomass. They can also be extremely useful during construction. A good alternative to a wheelbarrow is using old plastic or burlap sacks.
Metal vs Plastic
The main thing to consider when buying a wheelbarrow is whether to go for a plastic or metal one. In most cases I like plastic since they tend to last longer and you don’t need to worry about maintenance as much. Metal wheelbarrows are great if you need to move lots of stones or other heavy materials. Just make sure to always keep metal wheelbarrows out of the rain and well cleaned to avoid rusting!
Pros: Light weight, durable, doesn’t rust, and usually capable of carrying large volumes.
Cons: Not ideal for heavy items like stones, gravel, and other construction materials.
Pros: Good for heavy materials and construction.
Cons:Heavy, Rusts, and most models are smaller than plastic ones
#3 The Hori Hori
This is a multi use tool that originates from Japan. It’s essentially a small hand shovel combined with a serrated knife. This makes it excellent for weeding, digging, cutting, and tons of other garden activities. Many gardeners SWEAR by their Hori Hori as their ultimate side-kick. Aficionados of the Hori Hori usually have holsters they can wear on their belt.
#4 Garden Clippers
Garden Clippers are crucial for a variety of garden activities. This includes harvesting, pruning, and the general management of plants. Garden Clippers not only make this work easier but they can also be better for the plant’s health than using other tools. Garden Clippers allow you to make clean cuts that ensure you won’t be compromising the health of a plant. Even though they’re a small tool, expect to pay upwards of $50 for a good pair.
#5 Other Essential Tools
Gardening happens in all sorts of context and scales. You may or may not need any of the tools mentioned depending on your goals. Heck, if you’re gardening in containers you don’t even need a shovel! But if you’re wondering what else completes the set for the complete gardeners tool shed, read on.
● Pick-Axe – This is essential if you have tough, rocky, or compacted soil. This will help open the earth for digging or collection.
● Rake – This is great if you have large leaf producing trees. Otherwise it can be great for cleaning lawns, moving wood chips, and managing other forms of biomass. It’s also great for flattening soil and cleaning up weeds after pulling them.
● Hoe – This one competes as one of the most essential tools. If you have a lot of earth to move, don’t ignore this tool!
● Machete – If you live in a tropical or subtropical climate then Machetes are essential. They allow you to clean and manage the quick growing plant life of the region.
● Pruning Saw – This is essential if you have medium to large trees. This will allow you to make the cuts necessary to properly manage and prune. Otherwise it’s also great for cutting bamboo, posts, and other materials.
● Garden Fork – Garden Forks are great for low impact gardening. They can be used to lightly aerate garden spaces without damaging the soil structure.
● Sprayer – Great for applying foliar fertilizers, natural pesticides, and microorganisms.
Caring For Your Garden Tools
- Keep Tools Out Of The Rain
- Keep Tools Well Oiled
- Clean Off Dirt and Other Materials After Use
- Disinfect If Handling Infected Plants Or Soils
- Do Not Use For Tasks They Are Not Intended For
- Sharpen and Give The Maintenance Necessary
- Do Not Use In Manners Not Intended
- Painting Handles Bright Colors Makes Them Harder To Lose