Starting a garden can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but it does require some initial investment in the best garden tools and equipment. If you are like me then you may own more tools than you know what to do with them (I consider myself a collector). However, to really get started all you need is your hands and maybe a stick to break up the ground (Let’s call that your first spade). But that will only be fun for so long so let’s go over some of the best gardening tools you’ll want to acquire to make gardening easy and fun.
I do not have a green thumb. I am not one of those people that seem to magically make everything around the grow. I don’t have the secret to perfect gardening season yet. So for me I have to be diligent, follow the rules, and leverage all the tools I have for success.
Gardening without the right tools is like trying to bake a cake with a hammer and chisel, it’s not pretty, it’s not efficient, and the end result is questionable at best! Invest in a good set of garden tools and make gardening enjoyable again, because let’s be real, the only thing better than a beautifully manicured vegetable garden is the satisfaction of having done it yourself with ease.
How to Choose the Best Garden Tools
Choosing the right gardening tools can be overwhelming, with so many options available in the market. Here are some of the features to consider while selecting tools for your gardening needs:
Metal tools made of stainless steel or high-quality carbon steel are durable, rust-resistant, and long-lasting.
Look for tools with ergonomic handles that provide a comfortable grip and reduce hand fatigue during extended use.
Choose tools that are appropriately sized for your body and the tasks you plan to perform.
Multi-functional tools, such as a pruner that can also cut small branches, can save you time and money in the long run.
Remember, choose tools that suit your needs and budget. A basic set of high-quality gardening tools will serve you well for many years, making your gardening experience enjoyable and efficient.
What Tools Are Needed To Get Started?
Before you break out your credit cards and go on a spending spree, you should start with the basics. A shovel, gardening gloves, pruning shears and garden trowel. This will be most of what is needed and prevent you from buying a new shed to go with it.
Whether you are building raised garden beds, container garden, or row planting, you can get away with these basics. I will list out what I believe are the best garden tools, but starting with the basics you will learn quickly what works for you and what does not.
Necessary Garden Tools
Shovel (Bully Tools Shovel ):
The Bully Tools 14-guage shovel is easy to sharpen and holds a sharp blade for a decent amount of time. It has a fiber glass handle that will not warp or splinter when left outside. There is not much this thing can’t dig through.
A shovel is a must-have tool for any gardener. It’s great for digging holes for plants, turning over soil, and moving compost or mulch. Look for a shovel with a sturdy handle and a pointed or rounded steel blades, depending on your needs.
American Made: Solid construction and durable
Solid Materials: True 14-gauge steel
Easy Use: Closed back head design
Won’t splinter: Fiberglass handle
Get a shovel that has strong metal that can keep a sharp edge. The difference between a dull and sharp edge is very noticeable when digging through tough soil.
2. Hoe (Rogue Hoe):
The Rogue Hoe is a durable and powerful hoe that will make simple work of tough ground or removing weeds. It can be a bit large for small raised garden beds but if you have a lot of work ahead preparing your soil for those summer crops, this is the hoe for you.
A hoe is another essential metal gardening tool for any gardener. It’s great for cultivating soil, removing weeds, and breaking up clumps of dirt. Look for a hoe with a comfortable handle and a sharp blade.
Long lasting sharp edges – Cut through hard dirt and weeds
Durable construction – no light weight connectors between the handle and blade.
Wide blade for easy clearing and turning soil.
Built form recycled agricultural disc blades.
Keep it sharp. Hoes, like Shovels work a lot easier with a blade. Compacted soil is much easier to work when your blades are sharp Durable metal hoes that can be sharpened and don’t bend with heavy use are the way to go.
3. Garden Trowel (Workpro garden set):
No matter how you work the soil or what type of gardening you are doing a garden trowel is essential to digging those little holes in the dirt to stick your beautiful young plants and seedlings. This part is my personal favorite. When you have planted all your plants in perfect rows, at the right depth, with the proper amount of fertilizer, it is a magnificent sight. and it starts with a little hole.
A garden trowel is a small hand gardening tool that’s great for transplanting young plants, plant seeds, bulbs, and small plants. Also very useful to divide perennial plants when the time comes. And when it is time for digging up weeds and cultivating soil, these will be an essential tool. Look for a trowel with a comfortable handle, solid construction and a sturdy blade.
Easy Gardening Set: The trowel can be purchased independently, but this set comes with some variety that makes life easier. The weed puller alone is amazing for your yard chores.
Ergonomic Handle – Save some pain by picking a handle that is a bit easier to hold.
Convenient Storage – Lifting rope for each handle, convenient to hang up.
Sturdy & Durable – This garden tools are made of high hardness carbon steel, which enables the tools to withstand higher forces without buckling and breaking.
Measurements: This is a very helpful tool when determining soil depth for each of your plants.
Perfect Gardening Gift – Seriously, spread the word that you love gardening and this is a wonderful starting pack.
When digging holes for planting, try to use the trowel in a rocking motion rather than just pushing straight down. This helps to loosen the soil and make the hole easier to dig, while also avoiding compacting the soil around the hole. This can help to promote root growth and overall plant health. Additionally, make sure to clean your trowel after each use to prevent the transfer of disease or pests from one area of your garden to another.
4. Pruning Shears (Fiskars Pruning Shears):
Probably one of the most used tools in your tool bag. Pruning sheers are used for clipping seedlings, cutting back trees, shaping bushes, cleaning dead limbs, etc. Be careful not to get over zealous with your plants. And don’t make the mistake of cutting the wrong limb (Anyone that has cut their tomato plant in half knows what I am talking about.
Pruning shears are essential for trimming and shaping plants. Look for a pair with sharp blades and comfortable handles.
100% Made in the USA
Extra thick 7 gauge steel
16 tine steel head
Clean them with every use with alcohol or something that disinfects. This will prevent you from carrying diseases from one plant to another
5. Garden Gloves (Mechanix Wear: Utility Work Gloves):
While I have been known to work far to much outside without gloves, my sore hands at the end of the day will tell me that I should have put some on. Mechanic gloves are my go to for almost all my farm chores including the best gardening gloves I have. They are durable, comfortable, and versatile. I know they are not cute and colorful garden gloves. But I need something to pick up wood, protect from thorns, and to last in dirty/wet soil.
Gardening can be tough on your hands, so it’s a good idea to invest in a pair of durable gloves. Look for gloves with thick padding and a snug fit to protect your hands from thorns, dirt, and other hazards.
Increased Dexterity – Hours of gardening will have you begging for gloves that move with you, not against.
Breathable – Remember that a lot of gardening happens in the sun
Durability – Even these will wear out over time but I have abused them thoroughly
Secure fit – too many gardening gloves slide around and fall off. These will stay put.
Machine washable – Remember you are playing in the dirt, so don’t worry about getting dirty.
It’s a good idea to keep a few extra pairs of gardening gloves on hand so that you always have a clean, dry pair when you need them. (Especially in the winter)
6. Rake (Bully Rake):
The Bully Rake is solid metal construction with fiberglass handle. It can withstand the elements and won’t bend under heavy loads. A hard garden rake is used to move heavy material and rocks, as well as smoothing over soil. Be careful of bendable thin metal that connects the rake to the handle.
A garden rake is a useful tool for breaking up clumps of dirt and preparing the soil for planting. It’s also great for cleaning up leaves and debris from your garden. Look for a garden rake with sturdy tines and a comfortable handle.
100% Made in the USA
Extra thick 7 gauge steel
16 tine steel head
When using a heavy rake, it’s important to use proper posture and body mechanics to avoid strain or injury. Keep your back straight, bend at the knees, and use your legs to support the weight of the rake. Avoid twisting your back and use your whole body to make sweeping motions, rather than just your arms. Additionally, make sure to switch hands frequently to avoid overusing one side of your body.
7. Pump Pressure Sprayer (Vivosun Pressure Sprayer):
Everyone buys a watering can when they get started. It seems like a logical choice and who doesn’t like the surreal nature of hand watering a garden. However, if you have more than 20 sq ft of gardening you will find that it doesn’t really cut it. A pressure sprayer is a good way to do a lot of fertilizing quickly for maximum growth and pest protection of your plants. This sprayer has a bent nozzle for under and above foliage spray. Its even got a strap, cause even even the biggest guy will get tired of carrying around over a gal of liquid
Multi-Functional: You will end up with multiple sprayers so you are not mixing your fertilizers with your pest controls.
Adjustable Rod: Essential for targeted spraying vs broad coverage
Translucent Bottle: Check your fluid levels before you begin.
Portable & Convenient: 1 gal+ gets heavy. The strap is valuable.
After use, thoroughly clean the sprayer to prevent clogging and chemical buildup. Nothing is more frustrating than a clogged sprayer when you are limited on time to get through your to do list.
8. Wheelbarrow (Gorilla Carts):
I move a lot by hand to my compost piles. But when its the beginning or end of season when a lot of heavy materials need to be moved, you will not want to skimp on a wheel barrow. In all honesty most big box store wheel barrows work for what is needed. However, as a seasoned gardener, I hate having to blow up tires, fix bent frames, and board up broken buckets. I work my wheel barrows hard.
A wheelbarrow is a handy tool for moving dirt, compost, and other materials around your garden. Look for one with sturdy wheels and a durable frame. These wheelbarrows really work hard for me and are able to take a beating. Single wheels are nice for maneuvering through tight areas but the stability of 4 wheels is far more valuable to me.
Never go flat wheels: Blowing up wheels is not part of my daily garden routine.
Patented dump feature: This is great for getting your materials up into a compost pile
Easy to use: Simple pull behind and dump capabilities will save a lot of back pain
Tough and Durable: You will ask a lot of this wheelbarrow, and it will take it.
Hassle-free: I admit I have broken the bucket of one of these moving large rocks from the yard. I called and they sent me a new bucket quickly.
Distribute the weight evenly, with the heaviest material closest to the wheel. Avoid overloading the wheelbarrow, as this can make it difficult to maneuver and increase the risk of tipping over.
9. Garden Hose (and Nozzle) (Pri Garden Watering Wand):
Spraying the tops of plants is bad. Especially in warmer regions. A watering wand can help you water beneath the plants to where the water belongs, in the soil. This will save your back and money reducing evaporation and saving your plants lives.
A garden hose is essential for watering larger areas of your garden. Look for one with a sturdy construction and a good nozzle for adjusting the water flow. A watering wand is best when it has a flexible head and a good length for your height.
High quality zinc alloy handle and stainless steel rust proof tube.
Thumb control valve – No need to strain yourself while watering.
Adjustable length – I am 6’5″ so this is very important to me. If you are more average height, don’t forget about all those hanging baskets you will have.
Eight nozzle options – Not as important in my opinion but its nice to have the options
Soft comfortable handle – Plastic will slip and cause blistering. Soft handles is a must have if you are still watering by hand.
Water from below the plant. Watering the leaves can cause wilt in the hot sun. The plant takes in water from the roots so that is where you should water with a watering wand. Drip irrigation is a better option.
The garden fork is a workhorse of your gardening tools. It is not just for tossing some hay around. This is the tool you use to turn dirt, move mulch, lift heavy materials, and turn your burn piles. Due to the distance distance between the tines, the garden fork makes easy work out of hard jobs. If you find you are fighting your mulch pile with a shovel, its because you are using the wrong tool.
A garden fork is a useful tool for turning over soil and aerating the soil. It’s especially helpful for working in clay soil. Look for a garden fork with sturdy tines and a comfortable handle.
Strong Steel Construction: Make sure the garden fork you purchase is solid construction, meaning its not a compression sleeve where the fork meets the handle.
Comfortable D grip: Very handy when using as a lever such as turning dirt or airation jobs.
Digging fork size: Like other tools make sure you have the size on the fork that allows for leverage. Compressed soil in the spring is more compact than you think.
The work with a garden fork can be grueling. Don’t think its going to be a few minutes of moving a mulch to your freshly planted flower bed. Avoid the blisters and wear your gardening gloves. You will thank me later.
Closing Notes – The Best Gardening Tools
By investing in these essential gardening tools, you’ll be well-equipped to start your own garden and enjoy the benefits of growing your own plants. Happy gardening!