Basic Tools Required for Gardening

Selection of Garden ToolsThere are many important tasks which must be performed in the garden such as weeding, pruning, digging, planting and watering. Careful selection of the right tools can help to complete these tasks more effectively.

Garden tools can be expensive, so it is obviously wise to keep expenditure to a minimum. However, it can be false economy just to buy the cheapest tools, as these will not last and may not be easy to use. This is especially important when selecting spades and forks, which can cause back problems if they are not chosen correctly to suit your personal requirements (e.g. height, weight).

What Garden Tools do You Really Needed?

The beginner can start off with a very basic set of tools, to which further equipment can be added, as and when required. The bare minimum of garden tools needed to perform the majority of garden tasks are a spade, fork, rake, hand trowel, hoe, pruners and a watering can.

Our Top Ten Essential Tools for Gardening

For basic garden work the main tools you will need are:

  1. Digging Spade  Garden Spade: Essential for digging, planting and shoveling soil.
  2. Garden Fork  Fork: For digging and turning over heavy clay or digging in hard stony ground.
  3. Garden Rake  Rake: Used for leveling soil and tamping down.
  4. Garden Trowel  Hand Trowel: Used mainly for planting small plants and bulbs.
  5. Secateurs  Secateurs: Used for light punning and cutting.
  6. Garden Loppers  Loppers: Heavy duty pruning and cutting thick stems.
  7. Gardening Sheers  Hand Shears: For clipping plants, shrubs and hedges.
  8. Long Handled Hoe  Long Handled Hoe: Handy for weeding over large areas.
  9. Hand Push Lawnmower  Lawnmower: Essential if you have a lawn.
  10. Watering Can  Watering Can: Plants can't live without water!

Always but the best tools you can afford. Cheap flimsy products can be false economy, as they won't last, especially for regular usage. Its always better to buy less tools of higher quality than lots of cheap tools you don't really need. Better quality tools should last much longer, especially if you look after them well.

Choose the right tool for the job and ask for advice if you are not sure. Test before buying and select for comfort, balance, size and weight. For example, a tool that is too heavy can become very tiring to use over long periods.

If you are on a tight budget then good quality second hand tools can often be better than cheap new ones. A visit to a car boot sale, second-hand store, online auction site or a look through the classified ads in the local paper could be worth trying. You won't want anything that is heavily worn, loose, broken or damaged, so check carefully before you buy.

Other Useful Garden Tools

Other basic tools that may be needed include:

  • Gardening Gloves: tough and hardwearing they will protect your hands and keep them clean.
  • Bucket or Tubtrug: useful for carrying compost or for collecting prunings, spent plants and weeds.
  • Wheelbarrow: ideal for moving large volumes of soil and compost and for collecting waste & prunings.
  • Watering Hose: hoses and spray/sprinkler attachments are useful for watering large areas of the garden.
  • Pen Knife: ideal for taking cuttings or slitting open compost bags and grow bags.
  • Garden Scissors: good for cutting string and twine or for light trimming and pruning of delicate stems.
  • Garden Sieve: available in various sizes and grades. Useful for sieving compost or removing lumps and stones from the soil.
  • Kneelers: useful to protect your knees on low-to-the-ground tasks such as planting and weeding.
  • Sprayer: even if you garden organically you will still need to mist plants or spray away greenfly with an organic soapy solution.