10 Essential Gardening Tools List and How to Use Them

Sejla H

Whether you’ve been growing flowers and vegetables for some time now, or you’re planning to plant your first garden, there are some tools that will make your life easier. Sure, you probably have all the tools you think you need. However, there may be some tools you feel are unnecessary, but they turn out to be a game-changer. That is why we prepared this essential gardening tools list for you. It contains ten tools as well as tips on how to use them.

Keep in mind that your tools will take care of your garden as long as you take care of them. That is why we also prepared a tool maintenance guide for you at the end of this article that will ensure your gardening tools last as long as possible.

10 Essential Gardening Tools List

A beautiful garden turns into a safe haven; a place where you can spend time with your friends and family and escape the stress of life. But, to be able to enjoy your garden, you have to cultivate it. And that requires having the right tools for the job. Our essential gardening tools list will remind you of all the tools you need for a perfect garden and also teach you what these tools should be used for!

1. Weeding Tool

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Weeds are a common occurrence in gardens. And, if you want to tackle weeds while staying away from harmful chemicals, then you must get yourself a weeder. This is a small hand tool that has a forked end. This end is ideal for digging up weeds one by one and removing them by the root.

The reason why a weeder is on our essential gardening tools list is because it will allow you to get rid of weeds for good. However, keep in mind that getting used to this tool might take some time and that removing weeds one at a time is a time-consuming process. But, look at it from the bright side – you’ll get to spend plenty of time outdoors.

2. Garden Scissors

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Garden scissors are on our essential gardening tools list because many gardeners tend to overlook this tool. But, having the scissors is very useful since they are a highly versatile piece of equipment that can be used to do a lot of simple chores.

For example, you can use garden scissors for delicate pruning jobs, opening seed packets, and maybe even digging out weeds if you don’t have any other tools available. A lot of gardening tools are versatile, and you don’t need to get absolutely every single item from our list. With a little creativity, you can accomplish anything in the garden with just a few tools.

3. Soil Knife

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A soil knife will be on every essential gardening tools list, but, surprisingly enough, it is not the tool a gardener has in their toolbox. Sometimes called Hori-Hori, a soil knife is of Japanese origin. It is everything you need for all kinds of jobs that involve digging and cutting. The serrated blade is very sharp on both ends, so it is recommended to keep this tool out of reach of children.

If this is the first time you’ve heard of a soil knife, then you’re lucky you came across our list! Now, make sure to order one as it will transform your gardening experience.

4. Pruning Shears

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All those who have trees in their gardens enjoy the shade or the fruits the trees make. But, in spring, every tree turns into an unholy mess to behold. After the winter, the branches usually tend to sprout all over the place. That is where pruning shears step in to save you from all the mess.

Just make sure that the shears are sharp enough, especially if you plan to use them on small trees. Pruning with a dull pair of shears turns into a frustrating task in no time.

5. Water Hose or Sprinkler System

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Once you’re finally done laying out your garden, you can stand back and admire all the work you’ve done. But that doesn’t mean you’re free for the rest of the year. A garden requires regular maintenance to stay looking fresh and nice.

Besides sunshine, there is just one more thing flowers and plants need – regular watering. That is why you should get a quality hose or maybe even a sprinkler system that will do all the work for you.

6. Curved Blade Shovel and Flat Shovel

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There are different types of shovels, and each has its purpose. We believe that curved blade shovel and flat shovel are on every essential gardening tools list.

A full-length curved blade shovel is used for heavy-duty digging jobs such as planting trees and large shrubs. These are also useful when you need to work over a lot of soil in a short period of time. However, this shovel has its limitations.

For example, a round shovel is not a great choice when you need to do edging work. If you’re trying to move a section of grass to make a new garden plot, a curved shovel will only get you so far. Once you dig out your plot, you will have to trim the edges. A full-length flat shovel does an excellent job here.

With a flat shovel, you can finish plotting out the perfect garden section and make your yard look exactly how you’d imagined it.

7. Leaf Rakes and Garden Rakes

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If you have trees in your garden, then you probably don’t like seeing all the leaves on the ground when fall comes. Leaf rakes will help you get rid of leaves as well as any other debris that builds up over the winter months. This tool features bristles made from a soft, flexible metal or plastic material that allows you to lightly rake the whole surface of all the debris, but still leaves the soil in place.

However, leaf rakes will not do a great job if you try to use them as a finishing tool on your soil. For that, you need something sturdier, such as a garden rake. This tool is made for cultivation precisely and features a solid flat blade set at an angle at the end of a long pole with several solid “tines” sticking out from the edge of the blade. It will be much easier to break down the surface of the soil with this tool and give it that neat, raked-over, and well-cared-for look.

8. Leaf Blower

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Even though rakes are an excellent tool for collecting leaves, doing this task manually will take some time and effort. To get rid of leaves quickly, just grab a leaf blower. Many people believe that this tool is the best invention since sliced bread, so we decided that it must have its spot on our essential gardening tools list.

9. Weed Trimmer

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So, you can try using a weeding tool to clear all the weeds from your garden. But, this task will undoubtedly consume a lot of your time. Much easier method would be getting a quality weed trimmer or a strimmer as it is sometimes called.

This tool is great for larger tasks, but it is also an excellent choice if you’re pressed for time.

10. Lawn Mower

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And, the item that ends our essential gardening tools list is a lawn mower. Even though it seems like an obvious tool to have, many homeowners forget about it, and they end up with a messy lawn. There are different types of mowers, such as manual push mowers, gas mowers, and electric mowers. Each type comes with different benefits as well as different price tags.

The size of your garden can help you decide what type of lawn mower you need. For example, gas lawn mowers are excellent for large gardens. And, an electric lawn mower will do wonders for all those who have a small patch to look after. Push mowers also do their job well, but only if your garden is flat.

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Other Garden Tools You May Need

essential gardening tools list

Image Courtesy of Pinch of Seeds

Our essential gardening tools list features all the tools that will make gardening an easy and enjoyable experience. But, besides these tools, there are also a few optional ones that can make a big difference.

  • Gardening gloves. Getting dirt on your hands makes you feel proud of all the work you do. But, even though you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, it is still recommended to get gardening gloves. Digging for a few hours is quite likely to result in some unwanted blisters and perhaps even cuts.
  • Whenever you dig out new gardens or decide to take care of a weed infestation, you will end up with lots of waste material. A wheelbarrow will save you a lot of time and help you get rid of all that debris.
  • Garden hoe. This tool will make planting seeds easier than ever before. They allow you to quickly dig a shallow trench in the soil that’s ideal for planting seeds just below the surface. If you’re planning on having a vegetable garden, a good garden hoe is a must-have.
  • Pruning saw. You can use pruning shears on plants and small tree branches. But, if you need to cut off large, thick branches, then you need something more powerful. A pruning saw is perfect for this because it is designed to cut on the pull stroke, which gives you greater control when sawing branches.
  • Garden stool. Even though it may not be considered technically as a tool, a small stool can make your gardening tasks easier. If you tend to spend several hours every week working on your garden, you’ll be glad you invested in a garden stool. It will undoubtedly save you from joint and knee pain.
  • Knee pads. If you don’t see yourself sitting on a stool while gardening, then you can at least invest in a pair of quality knee pads. You may feel fine now, but kneeling down to dig in a garden will take its toll on your knees over time. So, it’s better to start preventing knee pain on time.

How to Take Care of Your Gardening Tools

As promised, we end our essential gardening tools list with some maintenance tips. Taking care of your gardening tools is not complicated, nor does it require much time. There are just five simple things you need to do to keep your tools in a top-notch shape.

essential gardening tools list

Image Courtesy of Garden Simply

1. Gather Your Tools and Supplies in One Place

The first step for garden tools maintenance is gathering everything in one place. Take a look at your tools and carefully inspect them. If any are too far gone, make sure to put them on the replacement list. Then, grab the following supplies:

  • A metal file (a single cut file will do the trick);
  • A wire brush (take one with a handle and a small to medium head so you can get in the crevices);
  • A multi-purpose oil (this oil will get anything made of metal look and work great again);
  • Rags (cotton and terry absorb the best);
  • Soapy water (for cleaning the dirt off your tools);
  • Nail brush (this is optional, but it does a great job of cleaning small tools such as pruners).

2. Start Cleaning

It is recommended to clean your tools every now and then. But, sometimes we just forget to do this. So, before doing anything, make sure to give your tools a good cleaning.

  • Use soapy water and wire brush to clean small hand tools;
  • Large digging tools can be cleaned with a use a strong spray of water from a hose. Scrape off excess with the wire brush, if needed.
  • Use the rags to dry your tools thoroughly.

Moisture makes all your tools rust, so make sure to remove any excess water from your tools after every cleaning.

3. Sharpen Your Tools

Sharpening your tools is easy. Here is what you need to do:

  • Use a metal file on the edges of your tools to sharpen them. Remember to file the blade at a 20-degree angle.
  • You can also use a whetstone or a motorized sharpener. This depends on the tool that needs sharpening and on the equipment that you have.

4. Protect Your Tools

This is where the multi-purpose oil comes in. Apply a small amount of oil with a clean cloth rub along the edges. This will seal and protect all your garden tools from moisture and rust.

For large digging tools, grab a rag, and apply the oil across the entire metal surface. So, if you have a digging fork, apply the oil all over the tines. And, when it comes to shovels, rub the oil in the front and back of the scooping part of the shovel. Not only will this keep your tools protected, but it will also keep dirt and roots from sticking to your shovel as you work, making your job easier.

5. Store the Tools Properly

It is recommended to keep all your gardening tools indoors and hang them up if possible. You can keep your small hand-held tools inside a pot that is filled with sand and oil mixture. This will help clean and condition the metal between uses.

Additional Tips for Maintaining Pruners

Every experienced gardener knows that pruners are the workhorse of the garden. Between winter clean up and harvesting, the pruners are the ones that get the most work done out of all gardening tools, during the entire gardening season. That is why people tend to invest more money into quality pruners.

To make sure you get your money’s worth, here are some tips that will help you take care of your pruners:

  • Keep a nail brush or a scrubby near an outdoor hose so you could wash the pruners after each use. Make sure to always dry the pruners after cleaning them. If you don’t have proper storage for this tool, you can use your mailbox.
  • Replenish the lubrication on the pivot point a few times a year – at the beginning of the season, once or twice in the middle, and then at the end before storing for winter. Just a few drops of the multi-purpose oil will do the trick.

Found a pair of pruners that look as if they can no longer be used? Well, don’t give up on them just yet! Even if your pruners are rusted, or they can’t open and close properly, they can still be saved. Just give them a good wash, sharpen them, and coat them with some oil. It’s quite likely that this will bring your pruners back to life.

And, this would be the end of our essential gardening tools list. In this article, we listed the tools every gardener needs, as well as some tips on how to maintain all your tools properly. Do you have all the tools from our list? If not, which ones do you plan on buying after reading this article? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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