Special Tools for Working in a Vegetable Garden

Horticulture started during the Neolithic Revolution around 12,000 B.C. with simple subsistence gardens. The people who worked these gardens used what materials they had at hand: dibbers (used to push seeds into the earth), rakes, spades and whatever other tools could be made from simple lengths of wood. Modern-day gardeners use tools that are a little more specialized to help make the work easier and less tiring.

Hand Tools

Hand trowels are designed for digging small holes, planting bulbs and transplanting seedlings. Garden shears or pruners cut away dead leaves and plant stalks. By shortening the stalks of a vegetable plant, one gets fewer vegetables, but each one is greater in size thanks to the concentrated effort of the parent plant. Hand rakes are a series of simple angled metal prongs that drag small weeds from the soil or turn small patches of earth for aeration. Hand seeders consist of a reservoir filled with vegetable plant seeds and a funnel that plants seeds directly beneath the earth, eliminating the need to dig a hole first. Hand dusters apply powdered pesticides and fungicides directly to leaves and stalks. With care, you can avoid accidentally dusting the vegetables themselves, making their consumption safer.

Larger Tools

Shovels work well for digging around large plants so they can be transplanted, removing vegetable plants that have already yielded a harvest and cutting through deep roots. Rakes smooth the topsoil in your garden. Augurs aerate the soil. Post-diggers create holes prior to planting full-grown plants. Wheelbarrows are an essential for moving earth, carrying tools, bearing off weeds and carrying away harvested vegetables. Hoes are used to break up hard earth and chop through weed roots so they can be removed more easily.


Gloves should always be worn to protect from barbs and burrs on weeds and some vegetable plants. Hats and sunglasses protect the head and eyes from the sun. As much of the body's heat passes out through the head, direct prolonged sunlight on the scalp and face can result in overheating or even heatstroke, so it must be avoided. Because gardening requires spending a lot of time either bent over or on your knees, it is important to have either strap-on knee guards or a soft durable pad on which you can kneel when working. This results in fewer aches and pains and makes the gardening experience something to be enjoyed.

Keywords: gardening tools, vegetable gardening, garden tools

About this Author

John Albers is a 25 year old freelance writer with dual degrees from the University of Central Florida in English literature and psychology, and a goodly amount of experience in most fields besides. He's successfully published 800 online and printed articles of a technical nature, and fictional works with Bewildering Stories and Mindflights Magazine, though he's currently working on a debut novel.