Whether you’re new to gardening or already have the landscape of your dreams, it’s important to have the right garden tools to maintain your yard and keep your plants healthy. Every garden tool has a different use, whether it’s pruning your shrubs or keeping your soil moist.
Having the right tools at the ready can be the difference between a show-stopping garden and one that isn’t. However, you don’t have to break the bank to get some good quality garden tools. From planting to maintaining, we’ve put together a list of the essential gardening tools you’ll need to care for your yard with ease. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What Are Garden Tools?
A garden tool is that thing you have on your belt or in your apron that helps you garden! Garden tools help with watering, planting, and even landscaping. Essential gardening tools make it easier to maintain your garden, which is why we have put together a list of the quality tools you need to make your vibrant visions come true!
Gloves are garments that cover your hand. Unlike mittens, gloves have separate sheaths for each finger, allowing full movement of all of your fingers (and your thumb). Gardening gloves will often go up to your elbow, protecting your hands and lower arm from dirt, thorns, and more. Some will even be nitrile-coated, which creates a second layer of protection.
Hand forks come in handy when digging up weeds. You’ll sometimes hear them referred to as “weeding forks.” But this versatile tool is also used for digging holes, aerating, leveling around border edges, and tidying up your garden in general.
Look for a hand fork made from durable materials and make sure the handle is comfortable to grip. This is a small tool that you should be able to completely control without discomfort. Hand forks with a curved spine are better for scooping mulch, while straight tines are better for digging heavier soil.
Pruners and Scissors
Pruners, also known as shears or scissors, make clean cuts and trim delicate stems. You want to look for sharp pruners — the sharper the pruner, the cleaner, and the straighter the cut. You shouldn’t have to use much force to cut through stems and stubborn roots since most pruners are ergonomically designed specifically for comfort and easy use.
Are you looking to cut thicker branches? Then you definitely need a lopper. Thanks to its long handles, this is an important garden tool for hard-to-trim and hard-to-reach areas. The longer handles are usually 16 to 26 inches. Look for loppers with a lightweight material since it can be hard to keep holding loppers that are heavier.
A soil knife is one of the most versatile gardening tools to have in your arsenal. Evolved from the hori hori knife in Japan, the soil knife has a strong steel blade with a serrated edge on one side and a flat blade on the other. With one side allowing you to saw and the other allowing for clean cuts, the soil knife can dig, cut roots, prune, or used to aerate your lawn. Many soil knives have depth markers to measure planting depth with ease.
When looking for essential, all-purpose garden tools, consider the spade. Whether you’re digging holes for bedding plants, edging, lifting sod, or moving small mounds of dirt and loose material around, this pricey tool is the one to get it done.
Spades have treads on top of the blade to make them sturdier. Look for durable handles that can absorb shock and vibration a bit more, especially if you’re dealing with rocky soil and other stubborn materials. Stainless steel heads are also desirable since they won’t rust.
The trowel is a durable, heavy-duty, yet small shovel-like tool that helps you dig holes. But unlike a shovel, the trowel creates precise holes thanks to its size and shape. Whether you’re moving soil or turning soil, this is the perfect tool for you. Like most garden hand tools, trowels are typically made with durable materials and have an easy-to-hold handle.
Also called a “watering can,” this is one of the most basic tools you need to start gardening. Watering pots hold water, allowing you to move from plant to plant, providing water for your entire garden with ease. Watering pots come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and designs. You’ll find watering cans for just about every specific need and aesthetic — and all will allow you to garden easier.
Often confused with a water pot, a plant mister is a spray bottle filled with water. Plant misters provide very light drops to help increase humidity. This is an important garden tool for tropical plants that require higher humidity levels to thrive.
Can you even garden without water? The garden hose is one of those garden tools often overlooked because it’s just a given! But some garden hoses are more superior thanks to their reach, hose diameters, and adjustable nozzles.
You want a garden hose with an adjustable nozzle. These hoses allow you to choose the spray radius and the exact water pressure for each plant. Vinyl hoses may kink easier and won’t last as long as a rubber hose.
How Do I Take Care Of My Tools?
In general, you want to clean garden tools after each usage. Soak them in warm water and then wipe them off, removing all moisture. This will keep them from rusting. You should also keep most tools stored in a tool bag or other container.
New tools are always fun to use, but sometimes we can forget how to properly store them when we finish gardening. Each gardening tool needs proper care in order for it to last longer and work its best.
Here are some care tips for standard garden tools:
- Store gloves away from sunlight and away from water. You can also wash most gloves, although some may require hand washing depending on the material.
- Sharpen pruners regularly. This ensures that they won’t injure plants as often. Sharpening also keeps the blade in good condition.
- Coil up garden hoses and keep them out of direct sunlight. Don’t store them with kinks, which can create weak spots and eventually cause leaks. Consider a hose hanger or hose reel.
Final Thoughts – Garden Tools
Garden tools are more than just a shovel and a hose. You’ll want a plant mister to provide proper humidity, a trowel to dig precise holes for planting, a soil knife to prune and cut roots, and gloves to protect yourself from scratches, pests, and dirt.
Once you have all of the basic garden tools you need in your arsenal, you’ll be gardening with the best of them. Whether your goal is to have a beautiful garden in the front yard, grow your own delicious vegetables, or create an outdoor getaway, having the proper garden tools can help make a simple garden into your personal Eden.