Basic Gardening Tools: The Right Tool Makes It Easier

Hand tools are necessary for every garden project from planting in pots to maintaining larger garden beds. Start with good quality basic tools that match the type of gardening. Stainless steel tools with good ergonomic grip designs are best, but the gardener should choose what fits his needs. Every gardener will have a different kind of tool taste, for example, my wife as a basic garden tool has an impact wrench. For most of the gardeners, it would be useless, but she uses it daily.

Tips Basic Gardening Tools

Knee Pads

Using hand tools requires spending time on the knees. A good firm foam pad or a set of strap-on pads saves on aches and pains. The choices are plentiful and range from the very simple pad to ones that also unfold to take a seat, saving back pain too.

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Hand Trowels

Pick a trowel that is made of good quality. The handle should fit nicely in the hand to reduce hand and wrist strain. Several blade styles are best; a narrow blade is good for digging in hard soil and for planting small plants and bulbs. A blade that is marked with depths is best for planting. When digging or turning a larger soil area a wide blade trowel is the gardener’s best choice.

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Plants require trimming on a regular basis. Pruners or hand clippers are used for deadheading blooms and shaping plants. Making a clean, smooth cut will protect the plant and make easy work of the trimming job. There are two types of basic hand pruners, anvil, and bypass. Anvil pruners have a cutting blade that meets a flat metal edge; this is much the same as taking a knife and cutting against a flat surface. These pruners tend to be bulkier than bypass pruners but are best for cutting away dead branches and tough woody limbs. Bypass pruners are made like a pair of scissors where the blades “bypass” each other. These pruners will ensure smooth tear-free cuts. The curved blades and the smaller or thinner size allow for closer cuts at branch crotch areas than anvil pruners. If you are just starting out and only choose one style of the pruner, pick the bypass style.

See also  A Gardening Guide For Every Gardener

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With a compact finger-like claw design, this tool is great for getting out weeds and breaking up and loosening the soil. There are combination cultivators that have a small flat hoe-like side as well as cultivator prongs on the other side.

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Standard, Full-Size Garden Tools

are also necessary for the backyard gardener. Depending on the type of gardening that is being done, the basic shovel, hoe, and rake are all that are needed to get started. As different projects are tackled other tools or different sizes will be needed.


For digging holes choose a rounded shovel with a slight point. A narrow or broad blade is up to the gardener and the size of the digging area. Handle styles will be either the “D” style short handle or the full-length style.

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A must-have tool for working the soil and removing weeds. Choose a standard hoe with the flat blade head or the newer favorite of gardeners, the “D” blade. This hoe lets the gardener use a pull and push action for fast weeding work.

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No way around it, the gardener needs both a yard/leaf rake and a garden rake. Flexible tines on yard rakes minimize damage to plants when raking and removing debris. A garden rake is needed for breaking up and smoothing soil in garden beds. You can use a backpack leaf blower also, but a rake is a must-have tool anyway!

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