The proper garden tools can make gardening easier and more enjoyable. Whether you’re gearing up for seasonal clean-up or on-going yard maintenance, you’ll want to tackle the job efficiently. Here’s a quick guide on how to cultivate your greenspace and create a beautiful garden you’ll be proud to show off.
Essential Gardening Tools to Groom Your GreenspaceIs it time to purchase new gardening tools? Make sure you select tools that suit your specific gardening needs. Read on to learn about some must-have tools for digging, weeding, pruning and more.
Gear Up with Sturdy Digging ToolsA garden shovel or spade is an essential gardening tool. Featuring a flat top edge that allows for added foot pressure, a shovel’s primary function is scooping and moving material. It’s also ideal for digging, cutting edges around garden beds and other more detailed work. Shovels and spades come in various styles.
Round Point Shovel: The round point cuts into the soil. It is ideal for general-purpose digging, lifting and throwing soil.
Square Point Shovel: The square design can hold more material. It is ideal for scooping and transferring loose material and scraping soil spills.
Drain Spade: A drain spade allows for easier use in restricted spaces. The narrow, rounded head and curved sides are great for adding flowers to established beds, clearing trenches and transplanting shrubs.
Spear Head Spade: Designed to reduce the effort required to dig, a spear head spade features a sharp point and entry angle that easily breaks the surface of packed earth. Secondary angles serve to wedge and burrow through the ground.
Square Edge Spade: The square shape of this spade makes it ideal for digging soft earth, and for turning over loose materials like compost and peat moss.
Garden Trowel: A garden trowel is a great digging and planting hand tool. It has a narrow, slightly scooped blade ideal for digging smaller holes or moving small amounts of soil for transplanting. A trowel, with its short handle, is great for small spaces, getting around the roots of plants and removing weeds.
Pick & Mattock: This versatile tool offers plenty of digging power. Use the pick end to loosen up packed earth or clay, and the mattock end to dig it out.
Transplanter: A transplanter is similar to a trowel but with a longer and narrower blade. This makes for easier digging and transplanting of small plants and roots. A transplanter is ideal for use in tight spaces, making it a good choice for planting in pots.
Soil Clearing and Weeding ToolsSoil clearing and weed removal tools help with planting and make it easier to keep your garden free of unwanted weeds.
Weeder: A hand weeder (also known as a dandelion weeder) is a small tool with a notched end for easier removal of shallow-rooted weeds. It lets you get deeper into flower beds and vegetable gardens.
Garden Hoe: Hoes feature different head sizes and shapes. A standard gardening hoe features a blade at the end of a handle set at 90 degrees. It is used for removing weeds and shaping and clearing soil. A warren (or Dutch) hoe is shaped like a triangle or spade to get into tighter spaces and dig out difficult weeds.
Garden Forks: A garden fork features a long, spade-like handle and sturdy tines to break up and turn over soil for planting.
Cultivator: The long handle and strong, claw-shaped tines make a cultivator ideal for turning and aerating soil, mixing fertilizer and removing weeds. You can use it prior to planting, and while plants grow to help cultivate and maintain your garden.
Hand Cultivator: The handheld version of a cultivator is ideal for smaller jobs and more detailed gardening work. It allows you to get in close to the base of delicate plants for aeration and weed removal.
Pruning Saw: A pruning saw features sharp teeth intended for trimming shrubs and smaller branches. Wider teeth are best for thicker branches.
Pole Pruner: A pole pruner is great for overhead cuts on high branches that are harder to reach. A telescoping pole pruner offers even better reach.
Hand Pruner: A bypass pruner (or shears) provides close, clean cuts on live branches. An anvil pruner is intended for chopping dead shoots and branches.
Lopper: A lopper is essentially a bypass or anvil pruner with long handles for extra leverage.
Hedge Shears: Hedge shears are used for edging and trimming shrubs and hedges quickly and easily. They keep growth under control and can create a clean, straight line.
Grass Shears: Grass shears are ideal for cutting around trees, flower beds and along sheds and walls. They trim areas a mower can’t reach for a neat and tidy appearance.
Edger: A lawn edging tool offers another way to create great curb appeal. It has a half-moon blade that trims grass at the edge of lawns, flowerbeds, driveways and pathways for a clean, well-trimmed look.
Clear Up and Clean Up with Grass and Garden RakesRakes come in a variety of different sizes and styles to suit different tasks. Here’s a quick rundown.
Leaf Rake: A leaf rake (or lawn rake) is shaped like a fan. It is used for raking up lawn debris, grass clippings, weeds and leaves.
Bow Rake: A bow rake (or garden rake) has short, wide, rigid tines. It is used for loosening hard, compact soil and levelling earth.
Thatch Rake: Similar in appearance to a bow rake, a thatch rake is used for breaking up and removing thick thatch from grassed areas.
Grow Your Garden the Easy WayOnce you’ve decided which gardening tools are best for your home gardening project, give some thought on how to stay organized and productive.
Accessories that Help Get the Job DoneConsider these handy gardening accessories to keep you on track while you cultivate your green thumb.
Garden Kneeler: A garden kneeler, pad or knee pads allow you to enjoy greater comfort in a kneeling position. They can help to alleviate knee and back pain.
Garden Gloves: A good pair of garden gloves should both protect your hands and increase your gardening performance. A nitrile or latex palm offers a sure grip, especially in wet conditions. Spandex backing allows flexibility, and leather finger tips and knuckles will increase the gloves’ durability.
Wheelbarrow or Cart: A wheelbarrow or cart is a must-have for larger properties and/or hauling large loads. It makes transporting tools, plants and materials such as mulch and soil both faster and easier. It can also help protect your back during heavy work.
Garden Tool Organizer: A garden organizer offers a good way to keep all your tools organized and in one place. Consider a portable organizer or an organizer for installation in a shed or garage.
Garden Tool TipsFinally, consider each tool’s physical handling properties to ensure you can use it comfortably.
Tool Weight: Consider how heavy the tool will feel after extended use. Decide if it is the right size and weight for you, and how it feels in your hand.
Tool Handle Length:
- A longer handle allows for a more upright position and greater comfort while gardening
- A shorter handle is best in a tighter work area but can require more bending and leg strength
- A D-handle can provide greater control for precision work
- Solid forged steel tools are exceptional strong, light and long-lasting
- The lightest tools are made of plastic, carbon fiber and aluminum
- Flexible tines versus rigid tines are used for moving different materials
- Cushioned or padded handles can offer greater hand comfort