Garden & Greenhouse


12 Tools for Beginning Gardeners

Posted April 5th, 2019 by Garden & Greenhouse in

When it comes to purchasing tools, it’s best for beginning gardeners to focus on the basics. This saves money and keeps your garage or storage shed from being overrun with tools you don’t need. These 12 tools are the only things most beginning gardeners need.


While gardening can give you happiness, it can also give your hands thorns and splinters along the way. Gloves protect your hands not only from dirt but also from scratches.

Follow these guidelines to choose the correct gloves:

  • Gloves must be durable but not too heavy
  • They must fit your hands perfectly to avoid slipping off
  • Should be waterproof
  • Longer cuffs are helpful in preventing blisters on wrists and forearms and to help prevent soil from getting inside the gloves

Pruning Shears

There are different pruning shears for different purposes.

Hand Pruners

Also called secateurs, they are used for plants that are becoming unmanageable and starting to take over the garden.

Anvil-Style Pruners

These are similar to a knife board with sharp blades that meet in a flat surface. They are ideal for using on dead woods.

Bypass Pruners

These pruners work well on live plants and other green woods. They have sharp blades that pass a sharp-edge and flat surface, like scissors.

Things to Know About Pruners

  • Pruners should easily fit in your palm.
  • Ratcheting your pruners increases cutting strength.
  • Sharpen your pruners regularly.


Loppers are a cutting tool with long handles from 16 to 36 inches long and are designed for pruning hard-to-reach areas and thicker branches.

Garden Fork

The garden fork is an efficient and effective tool for turning the soil because it can dig deeper than a regular spade. There are different types; the forks with a curved spine are good for picking up mulch and turning compost. Straight tines are good for digging compacted, rocky and clay soil while the square forks are the sturdiest and least likely to bend if they hit a rock or root.

Hand Trowel

This tool is essential in relocating bedding plants and herbs, planting containers, and even taking out weeds. Choose a trowel made from stainless steel for durability and longer life. Select one with a broad blade that allows you to move more soil that has a handle that comfortably fits your hands for an easy grip.


This tool is the workhorse of the garden. It helps in:

  • Edging
  • Digging holes for plants
  • Moving small dirt in places
  • Raising sod

These tools might be pricey but a good quality spade can last for a long time. Choose a spade made from stainless steel for durability and longer usage.


A rake helps whisk away falling leaves and debris. There are many different styles and sizes available but you can start with a basic leaf rake.


The type of garden you have defines the type of hoe you need. For example, a vegetable garden requires a sturdy and wide hoe. While if you have a perennial garden, a thinner and delicate hoe can be used. Hoes are handy in preparing beddings and cutting out weeds. A weeding hoe with an open square head is best for cutting down growth while a flat hoe is great for turning soils in a vegetable garden.

Garden Hose with Adjustable Nozzle

A garden hose that can reach all corners of your garden makes your gardening life a lot easier. There are three basic hose diameters:

  • ½ inch (gives an avg. of 9 gallons per min.)
  • ⅝ inch (gives an avg. of 15 gallons per min.)
  • ¾ inch (gives an avg .of 25 gallons per min.)

Choose one with an adjustable nozzle to give you control on the water pressure and the spray radius that you use.

Watering Wand

You can give your plants a gentle shower by using a water-breaking wand. The watering wand’s extended reach helps you reach out of the way of containers, hanging plants and the back edges of the borders.

Watering Can

You have two choices for a watering can; plastic or metal. Consider these:

  • Plastic cans are lighter but aren’t as durable and won’t last as long
  • Metal watering cans should be galvanized to prevent rusting
  • Take the size of the can into consideration; a larger can holds more water is harder to lift
  • The handle must allow you to carry the can when it is full
  • Two-handled watering can is more stable


Wheelbarrows help move heavy loads like rocks, soil and compost.

  • A traditional wheelbarrow with dual-handles and a single wheel is harder to balance with a heavy or uneven load
  • A single handle wheelbarrow with two wheels is easier to balance and is better for people with limited strength and can be pushed or pulled with one hand

Make sure to store your wheelbarrow in a clean and dry area to avoid rust and make sure the wheels are properly inflated before using it.

Background information for this article was provided by MCG BioComposites

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