One of the most fun things for a gardener is going shopping for new tools. In fact, it is right behind plant shopping, which is saying something. There’s just something about the brand new, unblemished metal, pristine wood, and sharp edges that make me look forward even more to getting out in the garden and putting my shiny new tools to work. However, if you don’t have any gardening tools, figuring out what you actually need can be difficult, especially if you are a gardening novice. This list is a great place to start. These are the tools that you’ll actually use and keep in your shed for years to come. Happy shopping!
Yes, I did say it was going to be a basic toolkit. It doesn’t get much more basic and a good, old fashioned shovel. If you have absolutely no garden tools and you are looking to start from the ground up, or if you just want to upgrade and have a nice set of tools of the coming season, you’ll want to invest in a quality shovel. Choose one with a comfortable handle and a rounded head with a sharp point at the end. If you prefer a spade for a little more slicing power, add that to your kit as well, but it’s always good to have a shovel on hand.
Though it may not be something you think about right away, once you get out into the garden, you’ll want to have a pair of flexible, durable gloves to keep your hands protected from drying soil and thorny bushes. Choose a pair of nitrile-coated gloves for a good grip, and get the kind with a mesh back to let them breathe.
Though it is one of the lesser-known garden tools, the soil knife may end up becoming one of the most valuable assets in your tool kit. It is a short knife-like tool that usually has one serrated edge and often has measurements marked along its surface that can be used to asses the depth of a hole. It is excellent for seed planting, bulb planting, perennial division, opening bags of soil, cutting twine, removing rocks and so, so much more. Add a soil knife to your garden kit today. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.
Shears and lopers
Pruning shears come in handy when you need to remove suckers from your fruit trees, do a little maintenance on your rose bushes, deadhead flowers, or even harvest certain vegetables. Keep a sharp pair with a comfortable grip in your gardening tool kit. While hand shears are great for small tasks, lopers serve the same purpose for larger branches. They give great leverage and can deliver a powerful slice that cuts through most garden issues.
The wide, fanned rakes with flexible plastic or metal tines aren’t just useful for gathering dead leaves in the fall. They can help remove weed debris from the garden, smooth out mulch, and keep your yard looking tidy. You will also want to get a hard, metal rake as it is more suited for smoothing soil, distributing dirt, and gathering larger debris like sticks.
Watering is likely going to be one of the garden chores you spend the most time on (especially if you like container gardening), so it is crucial to have the tools you need to get the job done. Invest in a watering can, a long, sturdy hose, and a nozzle with adjustable settings.
The aptly named garden fork looks exactly like a massive fork and is prized for its ability to break through tough soil, dig around plants without harming them, and catch weeds in its tines without bringing along a ton of dirt. You can also use it for mulch or compost distribution.
Wheelbarrow or garden cart
Whether you need it for delivering mulch, soil, compost, hauling tools, or carting weeds away from the garden, you’ll love having a solid, well-constructed wheelbarrow or cart in the garden with you. Choose one that works best for your terrain that can be used for many tasks.
Great for digging small holes, the hand trowel is also excellent for helping dig out stubborn weeds and turn the soil in a small garden space. Use it for bulb planting in the fall or for incorporating small annuals into your garden in the spring. Choose a high-quality trowel that is one piece of metal from the handle to the tip with a comfortable rubber grip.