Forget about a green thumb, a good gardener needs a quality set of tools. Check out our handy list of the most helpful gardening tools for the backyard landscaper.
Shopping List of Essential Gardening Tools
- Gloves are a must, especially if gardening is a weekend-only activity and blisters are a likely result. Gloves can also prevent insect bites, cuts and bruises. Gloves range in size, thickness and material. Heavy leather gloves are best for tougher jobs while smaller cloth gloves are good for lighter jobs, such as planting flowers. Other good accessories include a hat to keep the sun off your face and neck, boots to keep your feet dry and kneeling pads to help with back and knee pain.
- Pruning shears are vital to ensure that shrubs and small tree branches grow in the right direction and with full foliage. Use them often to keep plants looking manicured and robust.
- Limb shears or a saw are handy when you need to trim limbs too stout for hand shears. Long-handled branch shears give you more leverage and bigger jaws for cutting.
- Spades and shovels are great for moving dirt, gravel and mulch, and for digging and breaking up soil. Spades have a flat blade with a straight edge while shovels are rounded. Learn more about benefits of mulch to the maintenance of your landscape here.
- A garden fork is indispensable for turning dirt to soften, aerate and till by hand. Picture a big four-pronged fork.
- A hoe is one of the oldest yet most useful outdoor gardening tools. It is great for turning mulch, and chopping up weeds and dirt clods.
- A hand trowel is the smallest of shovels. Use it for small digging jobs when you are on hands and knees, such as planting flowers and other small plants.
- Rakes are essential for gathering or spreading soil, mulch, grass clippings and anything else on the top soil. There are two types: One is heavy duty for working soil while the other is lightweight and has wide-spread tines for gathering leaves.
- A wheel barrow is necessary for moving soil, mulch, rocks and other things around the property.
- A watering hose is essential. Be sure to get one reinforced with internal strands that keep it from cracking as it ages. Pro tip: Make sure the hose is long enough to reach most spots on your property and don’t forget a good nozzle that adjusts to different spray patterns. For hard-to-reach areas, a watering can may come in handy.