Whether you have been gardening for years or are new to the hobby, it’s easy to go overboard when purchasing tools for your garden. There are so many options available for pruners, hoes, shovels and other gardening gadgets, it’s difficult to know which is best and will actually ease your labors in the garden. The reality is, there are only a few basic tools you need.
Spade. This square-headed shovel has short handles and is perfect for digging small holes for planting, edging flower beds, removing sod, and moving small amounts of soil. It’s important to find a spade with a strong head, a strong handle, and relatively beefy foot rests. If you’re going to push any significant amount of money into a tool, this would be the one to invest in, as a high-quality spade can last the rest of your life.
Hand Trowel. This tool is perfect for planting herbs, vegetables or small annuals. While more expensive, it is best to look for a trowel that is one piece of forged stainless steel, since they are more durable and have a rubberized trip for comfort. If you cannot afford one, look for a trowel with a stainless steel head and strong connection to the handle.
Digging Fork. Digging forks are indispensible if you need to lift and divide perennials, loosen soil that has become compacted, or turn compost piles.
Hoe. There are a number of different options for hoes, and which you select will depend on your type of garden. If you have a vegetable garden, you will need a standard or stirrup hoe to weed in between rows of vegetables. A lighter touch is required for anyone with perennial gardens.
Dandelion Digger. It may be named for its ability to dig out dandelions, but this tool is perfectly suited for digging out any weeks with a long taproom, including plantains and Queen Anne’s lace.
Rake. This vital tool will come in handy in the fall when you need to rid your yard of all the fallen leaves as well as the spring when you are ready to clean flower beds. While you do have options with regards to the material the rake is made of, even the inexpensive, plastic rakes are relatively sturdy and will accomplish the desired tasks.
Hand cultivator. The hand cultivator is useful for removing small weeds and cultivating the soil for planting, both in containers and flower beds.
Pruning shears. Pruning shears are useful for many jobs and will be a tool you will use regularly around the yard and garden.
Loppers. If you have trees or shrubs around your home, you will absolutely need a pair of loppers. Look for a pair with thick, sharp blades and a strong connection between the blades.
Hose with Rain Wand. Owning a long hose that will reach your entire yard will save you time and aggravation in watering plants during dry seasons. Rubber hoses are best because they stay fairly pliable, versus the plastic, less expensive hoses that become brittle and difficult to manage. The rain wand is useful if you have hanging baskets, containers, or if you need to gently mist seeds or seedlings.