Must Have Gardening Tools

When it comes to gardening, there are an endless supply of gadgets to make the job easier. You could conceivably buy them all, but really only a few are necessary. Get a few good quality tools to start with, and add to your collection later if you wish. Choose tools that are comfortable for you to use: for example, if you are not very strong physically, use lighter-weight tools. If you are tall, look for tools with longer than average handles. The following is a list of your must-have gardening tools.


A spade is similar to a shovel, but the blade's angle is straighter. The shaft may be made of metal or wood; metal is stronger but wood is generally sufficient. You will use the spade to dig and turn the soil. Some people like a garden fork for digging, and it's especially valuable for transplanting larger plants such as shrubs, but if you only get one or the other, go with the spade.

Hand trowel

You will use the hand trowel to dig small holes for planting flowers, bulb and other small plants. Since it's so easy to misplace a hand trowel in the yard, choose one with a brightly-colored handle.


A garden rake is not the same as the tool you use to rake leaves in the fall. A garden rake has shorter, sturdier prongs and is used to level the soil and remove loose weeds and rocks from the garden.


You will need pruners or pruning shears to trim plants. Make sure you buy a pruner with a safety latch so the sharp edges are not exposed unless you are using it.

Hose with nozzle

While it is conceivable you could water with a watering can, using a hose with a nozzle will make the job much easier. You will want the hose to extend far enough to reach all the plants in your garden. The nozzle should be adjustable, so you can spray more gently on the delicate plants and get a good spray to clean off your garden tools.

Keywords: garden tools, gardening, spade, yard work

About this Author

Janet Clark has worked as a professional writer for nine years. She has had more than 400 articles published. Her work has appeared in The Iowan, Iowa Gardening, Friends Journal,The Des Moines Register, Today Magazine, Fort Dodge Business Review,The Messenger, and She has also written a novel, Blind Faith. Clark has received several awards from the Iowa Press Women for her work.