15 Must-Have Gardening Tools and Equipment for Every Keen Gardener

a garden with a firepit and seating around it

Gardening is more than just a hobby; it is an activity that comes with numerous benefits, both for the individual and the environment. For many, gardening serves as a peaceful escape, a sanctuary of sorts, from the chaos of daily life.

It allows one to connect with nature, practice mindfulness, and contribute positively to the environment, and having these must-have gardening tools can make it all that little bit easier!

Gardening tools and equipment are not just about making the work easier and more efficient, although they certainly do that. They’re also about enabling gardeners to express their creativity and explore the full potential of their gardens.

Proper gardening tools help reduce manual effort, making it easier to perform various gardening tasks, from planting and pruning to watering and weeding.

Moreover, these tools can help to prevent damage to the plants and ensure their healthy growth. They also contribute to safety, preventing unnecessary strain or injury that could result from using inappropriate or substandard equipment. 

If you are looking for must-haves for gardeners, you’ve come to the right place!

15 Must-Have Gardening Tools

a black fence and plants along a gravel path

Choosing the right gardening tools and equipment is crucial if you want to cultivate a healthy, beautiful garden. In this blog post, I will delve into the 15 must-have gardening tools that every gardener needs in their arsenal. 

  1. Gardening gloves
  2. Trowel
  3. Watering Can
  4. Pesticide Sprayer
  5. Shovel
  6. Spade
  7. Tubtrug
  8. Kneeler
  9. Oscillating Hoe
  10. Fork Hoe
  11. Garden Knife
  12. Rake
  13. Pruning Shears
  14. Weed Puller
  15. Wheelbarrow

1. Gardening Gloves

a man wearing gloves to dig up mud

A pair of gloves is the most basic tool that you need while gardening and an essential garden must-have for any gardener.

There is more to gardening than watering the plants, and at some point, you will need to handle plants and thorny stems, so one of the primary reasons to wear gardening gloves is to protect your hands from injuries. 

Sharp tools, thorny plants, and hard landscaping materials can all potentially harm your hands. Gloves offer a protective layer that reduces your risk of cuts, scrapes, and punctures.

They can also help maintain the cleanliness of your hands by preventing dirt and soil from accumulating in your fingernails which can be extremely unhygienic. 

Garden soil is often full of bacteria, fungi, and other organisms. While many of these are beneficial for your plants, they can sometimes cause infections if they enter through cuts or abrasions on your hands. Wearing gloves helps keep your hands clean, reducing the likelihood of such infections. 

If you do gardening regularly, then your hands may get rough and dry if you don’t use gloves properly. Using gloves will help keep your hands’ natural moisture and prevent them from getting rough and dry. Make sure to choose a pair that is the right size for your hands so that you have freedom of movement.

You can find many types of gloves that will be good for gardening. You get plenty of options for materials, including nitrile, leather, rubber, and cotton gloves. However, choose something that can protect you from the thorns.

2. Trowel

a garden trowel
Photo by gryffyn m

A garden trowel is a small hand gardening tool that resembles a spade in miniature. It has a pointed, scoop-shaped metal blade and a handle. The handle can be made from a variety of materials including wood, plastic, or rubber. Some garden trowels also have gradation marks on their blades for depth measurement.

The primary use of a garden trowel is for planting. Its small size and pointed shape make it perfect for digging small holes in the soil to plant seeds, bulbs, or small plants. It can help transplant small plants or seedlings without disturbing their root systems too much.

Garden trowels can also be used for weeding. The sharp, pointed edge can be used to dig out stubborn weeds from the soil. It can also be handy when you need to mix soil amendments into a small area as it allows you to target specific areas without disturbing the surrounding plants.

3. Watering Can

a watering can in the garden

A watering can is a portable container, often with a handle and a spout, used to water plants by hand and an essential garden must-have. It’s particularly beneficial for indoor plants, small outdoor gardens, or plants that require careful, direct watering.

Watering cans come in a variety of designs and materials, including plastic, metal, and ceramic.

Some have a long spout for delivering water directly to the base of the plant, and some have a “rose” – a cap with small holes that delivers water in a gentle, shower-like manner, perfect for delicate plants and seedlings.

For kids and older gardeners, two-handled designs offer improved stability. It is always a good idea to have two types of cans, one suitable for indoor plants and another larger one for the garden.

4. Pesticide Sprayer

Whether you have a small flower garden or one so large that it can be considered a mini forest, you need a pesticide sprayer! For smaller gardens, you can opt for small hand-held pressure sprayers that help the product reach difficult areas.

However, if you have a large garden, consider getting a battery backpack sprayer. These bad boys are easy to use and super convenient, helping you cover a larger area quickly.

5. Shovel

a man with a shovel

People frequently mistake a shovel for a spade. Despite the fact that they look similar, spades come with a sharpened, flat surface for digging through dirt, while a shovel has a wider, curvier blade for handling loose objects.

However, both can be utilized interchangeably to remove soil and plants, create holes, and even remove and replant small trees.

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6. Spade

A spade is generally used for soil preparation and digging. It often has a long handle and an elongated blade with a sharp edge and is an essential gardening tool.

The blunt upper section of the blade spreads on both sides like a wide, reverse V, providing you with ample space to support your foot. This is so that you can use your foot to apply pressure to the spade, enabling it to cut and push through the ground soil.

Spades are commonly used for edging garden beds, sidewalks, or lawns, thanks to their straight, sharp blades. They create a clean, precise edge that not only looks neat but also prevents the spread of grass and other plants into unwanted areas.

7. Tubtrug

Tubtrugs are multipurpose containers that may be used as planting stations or gardening tool carriers. They are also used to mix soil, collect veggies and plants as you harvest them, and pile up weeds too.

They have two handles, which provide you with something to hold onto if you need to move it around the garden when it gets heavy.

You can choose a Tubtrug that best suits your requirements and style because they come in a variety of sizes and colors. Some tub trugs come with a garden cart function, with added wheels and handles. These provide the same functions for smaller gardens as wheelbarrows do for larger ones.

8. Kneeler

Even the healthiest joints and spine can become fatigued after hours of kneeling. That’s when a kneeler comes to the rescue. A kneeler gives you something to kneel or sit on whilst you go about your gardening. 

If your kneeler comes with a thick kneeling pad along with support on both sides that assists you in getting down and back up, it is known as a two-in-one garden kneeler.

You can turn these around and use them as padded seats! Look for garden kneelers with side pockets to help store your gardening tools. 

For extra support when you stand up, search for a rust-resistant frame that locks into place. If you have weak joints, opt for extra thick foam that offers more comfort. Make sure you choose one that supports your weight.

9. Oscillating Hoe

An oscillating hoe is a long-handled gardening tool which is also known as a looped hoe. These are excellent for cultivating sandy soil, weeding, and aerating the ground.

Thanks to its long handle, you can swiftly excavate an entire elevated bed from a single position. Additionally, because of its swivel motion head, it can cut while moving and sharpen itself.

10. Fork Hoe

A fork hoe, also known as a garden fork, is a long-handled gardening tool with a forked head that is used for various tasks in gardening. It is a versatile and efficient tool used for breaking up hard soil, turning compost, harvesting crops, and more.

Digging blades on a fork hoe are at an equal angle with the handle. Unlike a spade or shovel, a fork hoe is ideal for loosening and aerating soil without turning it over completely, preserving the structure of the soil, and maintaining the beneficial organisms that live in it.

The sturdy tines of a forkhoe can penetrate and break up hard, compacted soil or clay, making it easier for plants’ roots to spread.

The design of a fork hoe can vary, with different numbers and sizes of tines for different tasks. A “broadfork” or “U-fork” is a type of fork hoe with two handles and a wide head, used for deeply loosening soil in a way that preserves its layers.

11. Garden Knife

Removing sticks, flowers, or roots requires a garden knife and is another must-have yard tool. Along with several other modest tasks, it can be used to trim plants that produce vegetables and fruits.

A garden knife becomes a crucial gardening tool, especially when you want to create a vegetable garden. It is perfect for pruning softer stems as it easily snips, slices, and trims through stems, knots, and leaves with surgical accuracy.

Garden knives are small enough to fit in a pocket when you work and can be used to remove obstinate weeds from their underground lairs carefully, dig tiny planting holes, or transfer fragile seedlings.

12. Rake

a man using a rake in the garden

Your reliable rake is available to remove rubbish and falling leaves. Rakes are available in various sizes and shapes, but a basic leaf rake is an excellent place to start.

Adjustable rakes can reach into tight spaces and gather enormous amounts of leaves, performing the functions of multiple gardening tools. Steel tines are more powerful than plastic ones, but they could be tougher on sensitive lawns.

However, this gardening tool doesn’t stop at the edges of the garden. It’s a useful tool that goes beyond plants.

Rakes are indispensable for lawn care. Do you need to apply soil amendments or mulch? The rake is the ideal garden must-have for evenly dispersing these nourishing materials because of its wide reach.

13. Pruning Shears

a man using pruning shears in the garden

Pruning shears, also known as pruners, clippers, or secateurs, are a type of scissors that are used in gardening and horticulture. They are designed to trim, shape, and prune plants and small branches.

Anvil-style pruners make cuts by bringing a sharp blade into contact with a flat surface, similar to how knives work on a board.  Bypass pruners cut more like scissors with sharp blades and an edged surface.

Anvil pruners work best on dead wood but can damage young branches and fresh stems by crushing them. For fresh vegetation and green timber, bypass pruners are preferable.

Pruners should comfortably fit in your hand’s palm. Ratcheting pruners have more cutting power, making them ideal for people with weak hands or arthritis. Pruners must be sharpened frequently for more precise cuts and less damage to plants.

14. Garden Hand Weeder

A garden hand weeder is a small, handy gardening tool that’s essential for gardeners aiming to maintain a weed-free garden. It’s specifically designed to remove weeds, including their roots, from the soil.

The typical design of a hand weeder includes a handle on one end and a forked metal blade on the other. The handle is often made of wood, metal, or plastic, sometimes with a rubber grip for comfortable use.

The forked metal blade is designed to penetrate the soil and remove weeds from the root up, which prevents them from quickly regrowing.

While its main purpose is weeding, a garden hand weeder can also be used to aerate the soil around plants. By inserting it into the soil and moving it around, you can create small holes that allow water and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil, benefiting the plants’ roots.

15. Wheelbarrow

a wheelbarrow in the garden

The wheelbarrow is one of the most practical pieces of gardening equipment and a garden must-have! This can be used to transport items like compost, manure, dirt, plants, etc, from one location to another.

You can also carry your gardening tools in them, and if a wheelbarrow is large enough, it can carry bigger tools like shovels, rakes, etc.

A wheelbarrow featuring a knobby pneumatic wheel is preferable over those with no-flat varieties; they have a better grip on loose soil. A longer handle offers good leverage, making lifting heavy objects simpler with less effort.

These must-haves for gardeners should set you off on the right foot. Gardening can be overwhelming and often people don’t know where to start.

Chances are, you won’t need all of these gardening tools to begin with. So, start with a trowel, gloves, and a watering can if you are a newbie to gardening. As you continue to learn, you will see which tools work best for you.

Happy Gardening!

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a very small commission if you click through and make a purchase. These links help to pay the editorial costs of writing a blog. For more information, read my full affiliate disclosure here.

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