If you are new to gardening, you may be wondering what type of tools you need to get the job done. Even if you aren't new to gardening, you may not be aware of how much easier your life could be if you acquired a couple more tools to help with some of the more specific or tedious tasks in your garden or throughout your landscaping. We are going to quickly review some of our favorite tools and why they are items that should be added to every gardener's collection!
What Type of Gardening Supplies are Essential for Beginners?
Most jobs around the garden can be completed without an extensive collection of tools. However, having the right tools can make a tedious job simple and easy. So, while some may argue that there really aren't that many tools that are truly necessary for gardening, here are a few that we cannot live without!
1. Shovel, Spade, and Trowel
Whether you are growing a vegetable garden, tending to flower beds, or adding some new plants to your landscaping, something to dig with is truly a necessity! To help you figure out which digging device will be most helpful to you, we are going to highlight the features of each and talk about what they are best used for.
Shovel: A shovel is defined as a tool with a broad blade and upturned sides typically for moving materials such as dirt. Shovels are generally the largest manual digging tools. The blade can come in different shapes, though the defining feature of shovels is the slightly scoop-shaped end which makes it ideal for scooping up and moving materials. If you only have a container garden or something of a similar scale, you may never find a need for a larger shovel such as this, though they can be seriously helpful in any situations where you are having to move a large amount of dirt or dig a large hole. (Shovel pictured on the right)
Spade: A spade is very similar to a shovel, except that it is generally flat with a square edge (pictured on the left). They are often a similar size to a shovel, though some can be smaller or have a shorter handle. Their purpose is more for chopping, digging, or cutting through earth, turf, etc., rather than scooping up and moving materials. If you are working with a lot of hard, compacted soil around your home or in your garden, this type of tool can be very helpful. It is also perfect for removing grass from your lawn and other such activities where the scoop shape of a shovel is not helpful.
Trowel: Trowels are smaller handheld tools meant for digging small holes, lifting small plants, and other smaller gardening tasks. Gardening trowels generally have upturned edges allowing them to contain whatever plant or soil they are being used to dig or transport. There are also trowels that are completely flat, though these are more commonly used for masonry and laying bricks. (On the left is a gardening trowel and on the right is a masonry trowel.) Gardening trowels are a definite must-have for any gardening or landscaping endeavors, allowing you to easily dig small holes for planting any new garden vegetables, flowers, and the like.
While you may think a rake is a rake, there are actually a lot of different styles that are suited for different purposes. Three different types of rakes that we find particularly helpful in the garden are leaf rakes and garden rakes. Leaf rakes (pictured on the left) are generally large with plastic fingers that spread out from the center in a fan shape. Garden rakes (pictured on the right) are generally made of metal and have more of a rectangular shape with little metal fingers coming off the end. Leaf rakes are generally helpful for raking leaves out of your grass or landscaping, can be useful for spreading mulch and such, and are much more gentle on your turf than a steel garden rake. Garden rakes are much more sturdy than leaf rakes, making them great for breaking up or smoothing out the dirt in your garden. A hand rake (generally these are close to the size of a trowel) can also be very helpful with many different gardening tasks!
3. Hose and Hose-End Sprayer
When talking about gardening essentials, a hose and hose-end sprayer are a must-have! If you do any gardening whatsoever, whether it's flower gardening, container gardening, or anything having to do with your landscaping, you will have pots, trees, and other plants that will need watering as well as tools that need cleaning. Having a hose is a game-changer when it comes to gardening supplies, and a hose-end sprayer just adds to the ease and helps avoid wasting water. You can get basic hose-end sprayers that just have one adjustable spray pattern, or you can get a more versatile sprayer that has multiple spray patterns for a variety of different uses!
4. Gardening Gloves
Gardening gloves are another item included in our list of gardening essentials! Even if you don't mind some dirt on your hands or under your nails, gloves are essential for protecting your skin. Whether it's rocks, splinters, pokey objects, or sharp edges, gardening gloves protect your hands and ensure that they will be in good shape to do the work that needs to be done. And if you are squeamish about spiders, earwigs, or other crawling critters that might be found in your garden, gloves also make sure you don't come in direct contact with them and make their presence just a bit more bearable! Depending on the type of work you are doing, we have all sorts of gloves from lightweight gardening gloves to rubber gloves to heavy-duty leather gloves to make sure you are prepared for every task. Shop limited selections online or come see everything we have in stock in our store!
5. Pruning Shears and Loppers
There are certain situations where the pair of scissors from your kitchen just won't cut it. Sure, your kitchen scissors may be suitable for harvesting herbs, but if you try to use them to harvest larger produce, cut flowers for your dinner table, prune back bushes, or any other task that requires cutting a thick or woody stem, you will no doubt just damage your scissors and your plants and cause yourself more frustration than it's worth. In any situation where you have to cut a plant, this causes damage to the plant which is able to heal quicker and more effectively if it is a sharp, clean cut. While pruning shears are usually adequate for most gardening activities, it could be very useful to have a larger pair of loppers for any thicker branches that need trimming. Loppers generally have larger blades and longer handles, giving you greater leverage and a more effective tool for larger tasks.
6. Weeding Tool
Weeding is probably every gardener's least favorite part of having a garden. However, putting off weeding even for a week can allow more weeds than you knew were possible to pop up everywhere in your garden and landscaping. Having a weeding tool can help you keep up with the weeds by making the task a little easier! A weeding tool can be extremely helpful when it comes to stubborn weeds with deep roots, prickly foliage, or weeds that are in hard-to-reach spaces. There are so many different kinds of weeding tools out there, but what we find most useful is this two-pronged hand weeder. It is simple and easy to use and proves to be very effective at dealing with stubborn, unwelcome weeds.
7. Garden Fork
This tool is very similar to a pitchfork, and while it may not be one of the most important gardening supplies to own, it can make tilling up your soil or breaking through compacted ground dramatically easier! Use it to turn your compost, mix compost into your garden beds before planting, loosen compacted soil, and more! Garden forks with straight tines are better for digging, while garden forks with slightly curved tines are great for scooping mulch or turning compost piles, though either one can work fine for many different tasks.
Find the Right Gardening Supplies for You!
With all the different types of gardening tools that are available, we hope we've narrowed it down a bit and provided you with a helpful list of gardening essentials! While there are still a number of ways to do one job with or without specialized tools, keep in mind that the right tool can make a world of a difference! If you have any questions or need help finding the right tool for a certain gardening task or project, let us know or come into the Garden Center to shop our great selection of gardening tools and supplies.