How to Garden With Gardening Tools


Using the correct gardening tool makes every task in the garden easier. Garden work includes weed removal, cultivating to stir up the soil and digging planting holes. A host of tools exist with both short and long handles to tackle various garden jobs. Learning how to garden with gardening tools requires knowledge of tool basics. Once you know the general function of the tool, you can choose which one works best for you.

Step 1

Locate an area of the garden with existing plants and weeds. The best way to learn how to use various tools involves on-the-job training.

Step 2

Use hand-held trowels for close-in work around existing plants. Grip the handle of the trowel firmly in your leading hand, with the scooped-out portion of the mini-shovel pointing upward. Press the pointed end into the soil to dig out weeds or to create small holes for planting seeds and annual flowers.

Step 3

Select the hand hoe for cultivating the top inch of soil. Hand-held hoes feature a flat, angled blade attached to a handle at a 90-degree angle. Grip the handle with the blade pointing downward. Place the blade into the soil, press down and pull toward your body. Hand-held hoes work for surface weed removal around all types of plants.

Step 4

Cultivate larger garden areas or at deeper levels of the soil using a shovel. Shovels feature a rounded or flat blade with a long handle for use while standing. Lean the shovel against your chest, with the blade in the soil. Place the hands palms upward at staggered positions on the handle and close your fingers around the handle. Place the shovel point into the soil and step down onto the shovel blade to dig deeply into the soil.

Step 5

Tackle heavy weeds with a long-handled hoe. The beauty of this tool lies in its ability to scrape the soil surface without bending. Long-handled hoes have a 90-degree-angled blade attached to a handle. Stand upright and extend the hoe forward to place the blade into the soil. Grasp the handle with stagger-hand placement and pull toward your body to scrape the soil surface.

Step 6

Remove leaves or accumulated plant debris from garden areas with a long-handled rake. Standard rakes feature a long handle with widely spaced tines on a metal frame. The tines point downward at a 90-degree angle from the support frame. Stretch forward with the rake head and place it against the ground. Pull back toward your body to collect plant debris.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand trowel
  • Hand hoe
  • Shovel
  • Long-handled hoe
  • Long-handled rake


  • University of Vermont: Garden Tools of the Trade
  • Louisiana State University: What Type of Digging Tool Is Best for You?
Keywords: gardening tools, using garden tools, using gardening tools

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.