5 Essential Gardening Tools and What They Do

5 Essential Gardening Tools and What They Do 1 - Garden Tools

From the powerful electric hedge trimmer to the gas-powered tillers, there is no shortage of power tools you can use to maintain your garden. While all these tools are helpful, you don’t have to fill your shed with the most powerful, highest-end gear to grow an amazingly healthy lawn.

Instead, focus on the basics. There are specific and simple tools that you should have on hand – and master – before moving to the more expensive gardening tools available today.

Keep reading to learn what some of these essential gardening tools are.

Hand Rake and Trowel

Before you start to look into a quality seeder to buy, you have to prepare the ground. This includes a bit of digging and depending on the size of your garden, perhaps a lot of digging. Two essential tools you need for planting seedlings and for breaking up large clumps of dirt and even weeding between your plants once they begin to grow.

For a larger job, you need to have a garden fork and shovel, which are the larger cousins of the hand rake and trowel. These can be used for loosening larger patches of soil that are packed together, and for digging holes for any saplings you want to plant.

While it’s possible to find cheap garden forks, shovels, and trowels, it’s a good idea to spring for something that is made out of casting aluminum or stainless steel. These are going to be your go-to garden tools and you don’t want them to begin to rust. It’s also necessary to ensure you only buy sturdy tools. You aren’t going to save money if you purchase something that is going to bend in half the first time you hit a tough patch of dirt.

5 Essential Gardening Tools and What They Do 3 - Garden Tools

Bow Rake

Despite what you may think, the rake isn’t a gardening tool that’s just designed for gathering leaves. In fact, the bow rake can be used for a myriad of gardening tasks.

It can be used for gathering or clearing loose debris around your lawn and garden, and usually, the bow rake is made of a sturdier tool than the traditional leaf rake. This makes a bow rake the perfect tool for light tilling work, leveling soil, weeding, and spreading any type of loose material such as mulch or pine straw.

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Pruning Shears

After your garden has started to grow, a quality pair of pruning shears are going to become one of your most-used tools. These are essential for making sure that your green space doesn’t become a huge, overgrown mess.

You can also use your shears when it is time to trim any fruit-bearing plants or flowering plants that are growing in your garden, which helps to ensure a quality yield. With shears, you don’t have to purchase the most expensive option on the shelf.

You need to find something that is going to feel right when you are holding it. The last thing you want is to begin getting hand cramps as you are pruning your rose bushes. If this happens, you won’t be able to finish the job. Be sure you purchase shears that are able to be taken apart, which makes it possible to be sharpened with ease.

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Quality Gardening Gloves

Even though gardening offers a great way to relax and unwind, nature is often an enemy. A quality pair of gloves is going to help protect your hands from the thistles and thorns that may be gardening work an otherwise painful experience.

It’s a good idea to try and find a pair that isn’t too bulky. The better the gloves fit, the more easily you can work in the garden and remove prickly weeds or prune your rose bush.

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If you have a big backyard and you find that you need to move topsoil from point A to point B or haul away waste from debris in the yard or an old tree stump, a wheelbarrow is a must-have.

You can find a traditional hand-powered model for approximately $80. However, you can also get a motorized wheelbarrow that is capable of moving 500 pounds at a time (or more). While this is more convenient, it’s also going to come at a higher price tag.

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Tips to Ensure Your Garden Tools Last

Now that you have spent your hard-earned money on all these essential tools, you need to take steps to ensure they last as long as possible. Some tips to help ensure your tools last are found here.

Clean Them

Get all your tools together from time to time, a bucket of warm water, and a stiff or wire-bristle brush. Begin with the brush to remove any dirt left on the tools. After the dirt is removed, scrub the rest of it with the warm water. Make sure to rinse them off and let the tools air dry.


After your garden tools are dry, consider sanding the wood handles. Moisture, regardless of if it is from the water in the soil, rain, or dew, will raise the grain of the wood, which makes it feel rough. If you live in an area with high humidity, you may also see or feel this “grain raising.”

You can use almost any sandpaper for this; however, an 80-grit paper is recommended to start with, followed by a 120 to 150 grit sandpaper to provide a smooth handle.

It’s also a good idea to take care of any of the rust on your tools. You can use the same wire brush to remove this. However, 80-grit sandpaper is also going to do a good job.

Sharpen the Blades

It’s also a good idea to sharpen the tools regularly. While this can be done using several methods, most people find using a flat-file is going to take care of all their sharpening needs. Before you get started, make sure to wear eye protection. Even a seemingly insignificant sliver of metal in your eye can be extremely painful.

Achieve Gardening Success with These Tips

If you want to ensure that your gardening efforts are successful, make sure that you have all the tools on this list. It’s also necessary for you to maintain your tools to ensure they last as long as possible. In the long run, using the tips and information here is going to help ensure your garden is healthy and successful, regardless of what you choose to grow.

Updated on 2024-05-20 - Images from Amazon API. Logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. 1001Gardens is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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