6 Basic Tools for Gardening That Every Beginner Gardener Needs

So you’ve started gardening and look to grow your own flowers, fruit, and/or vegetables? Brilliant! There is nothing like the feeling of growing a plant successfully from a tiny seed. But, do you have the basic tools needed for gardening?

Gardening tools don’t have to be the most expensive in order to get the job done. But you do need tools in order to sow, manage, and maintain your plants.

From gloves to watering cans, this list of basic tools for gardening will help beginner gardeners start a garden successfully.

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How to choose which gardening tools to buy?

There are so many tools for gardening available both online and in gardening stores, it can be overwhelming for the beginner gardener.

How do you know which gardening tools to choose?

1. Consider your Storage Space

Yes, that ride-on lawnmower does look fantastic and yes, it would make mowing the lawn an easy task. However, if you don’t have a garage or huge shed to store a ride-on lawnmower, then there is no point in purchasing one.

Assess the space you have for storing your gardening tools. Once you know how much storage space you realistically have, you will know what tools for gardening you need to prioritize purchasing.

Most gardening tools are made from metal. We all know metal rusts when covered in moisture from the rain or mud that hasn’t been cleaned off. So it is important to store your tools under cover away from the elements.

2. Size of your garden

For smaller gardens, it is likely you aren’t going to need larger tools or machinery to maintain your garden. You can easily manage with standard hand-held equipment to help you maintain your lawn, turn over the soil, and grow plants.

However, if you have a larger plot of land e.g. a couple of acres, you may consider larger machinery such as a tractor for getting around your land quicker and carrying your tools.

3. Gardening Budget

Budget is definitely an important consideration when purchasing tools for gardening. Gardening tools can add up quickly and some can be extremely pricey. 

Consider what it is you need in order to complete your gardening tasks. Then, take a look at the different price points for each item.

Remember, a higher price does not necessarily mean a higher quality product. Assess whether a tool is comfortable to grip, is it sturdy, and durable.

4. Gardening Needs

Similar to the point above, it is easy to get trapped in feeling as though you need xyz tools just because they are available, or are on special offer.

Focus on the tasks that you have to create the garden you desire and list the tools needed for each task. 

For beginner gardeners, you probably do not need too many tools for gardening. There might even be a beginner gardening kit available for you to purchase from your local garden center. 

It is a good idea to create a list with you whether you are buying online or in person so as to not get distracted and end up spending over your budget on tools you will never use.

6 Basic Tools for Gardening

Here is a list of 6 basic tools for gardening every beginner gardener needs:

Gardening Gloves

Gardening gloves are an important tool for every gardener whether you are gardening for the first time or have been gardening for the last 25 years.

Gloves do not just keep the mud from getting under your nails, they also help to protect your hands. 

When gardening, you are usually dealing with all sorts of different materials and coming across insects. Your gloves help to protect your hands from insect bites, along with cuts and scrapes from plants e.g. thorns on a rose.

Plus, by protecting your hands, you are also helping your skin to retain its moisture rather than dry out.

Watering Can

Now I know what you are thinking here, ‘can’t I just use a jug from the kitchen to water my plants?’

Well, yes you could, but:

  1. It wouldn’t be very hygienic and
  2. You wouldn’t be watering your plants evenly.

A watering can has been specifically designed with watering plants in mind. The handle makes it easy to hold whilst pouring water on your plants. It is also extremely handy if you do not have a hose, or you live in an apartment and you have plants on balconies, for example.

It is a good idea when buying a watering can choose one that has a detachable sprinkler.

The sprinkler is ideal for watering more delicate plants so as to not damage the leaves or flowers. 

However, for most plants, it is best to avoid watering the leaves and flowers altogether, as the moisture can encourage fungal growth.

You can use the sprinkler to water the soil around your plants directly so the water can easily reach the roots. By using a sprinkler, you are watering with a gentle amount of pressure. Whereas using the nozzle itself can cause the soil to displace around your plants.

HORTICAN 1 Gallon Galvanized Watering Can Modern Style Watering Pot with Handle for Outdoor and Indoor House Plants

I really like this 1 Gallon Galvanized Watering Can for watering both my garden and my houseplants

Hand Trowel

A hand trowel, also known as a garden trowel, is a really useful tool to have when gardening. It is almost flat with a round end and has a small handle to grip when in use. 

It acts as a hand-held shovel, able to dig and remove soil. They are the perfect size for digging a small hole in the soil to plant seeds or bulbs. For larger plants such as shrubs and trees, it’s best to use a spade.

DeWit Forged Transplant Trowel with Short handle

I highly recommend this DeWit Forged Transplant Trowel

Hand Fork

A hand fork is a similar size to a hand trowel. Often referred to as weeding forks, a hand fork has a handle for gripping and ends with a metal fork shape with three prongs. 

Hand forks are most commonly used for weeding. Due to its shape, it can easily push underneath the roots of the weeds and lift them out of the soil. 

They can also be used to level your soil, mix compost, and for planting.

Garden Knife

A garden knife does more than just cutting in your garden. This helpful garden tool with a serrated blade and soft handle for holding. They often have a ruler on one side too.

Garden knives can be used for:

  • Sawing through thick roots
  • Measuring depths of soil for planting bulbs
  • Mark rows where you will sow seeds
  • Digging out weeds e.g. between concrete blocks.

Nisaku NJP650 Hori-Hori Weeding & Digging Knife, Authentic Tomita (Est. 1960) Japanese Stainless Steel, 7.25" Blade, Wood Handle

This Hori-Hori Weeding & Digging Knife is my absolute favorite

Garden Spade

Garden spades are an essential tool for gardening. A garden spade has a triangular grip handle on the top, a 4feet long handle that ends in a flat rectangular piece of metal.

Spades are essential as they are able to dig deeper into the soil, lift, and turn your soil. For plants to grow well, they need good drainage. By digging and turning your soil with a spade, you are able to loosen the soil and help create good drainage for your plants.

A garden spade can also help you to mix in compost, providing nutrients to your plants, and digging larger holes than your hand trowel.

Bully Tools 82500 12-Gauge Edging and Planting Spade with Fiberglass D-Grip Handle

With an extra thick 12 gauge steel blade, this garden spade should last a long time.

These 6 tools for gardening are perfect for the beginner gardener. They will help you to mix, cut, water, and dig in your garden, all whilst protecting your hands.

Ensure to purchase these tools for gardening first, before you start working on your garden. They will save you time and effort, along with ensuring you protect your hands from cuts and irritation.

Now that you have your tools ready, let’s get on with the growing: