Having good quality gardening tools makes gardening so much easier and enjoyable. And, most good quality gardening tools will last years and some will never have to be replaced. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite gardening tools and some tips for taking care of gardening tools. If you’re just getting into gardening and aren’t sure what to buy, I have some advice for you too.
Gardening Tools – The Essentials
Garden Tools for Beginners
Gardening can be an expensive hobby – just ask me how I know. If you’re just starting to dabble in gardening and you’re not even sure if you’re going to like it, you can pick up some great tools at garage sales, or raid your parent’s garage. Sure I would love for you to click on my affiliate links and fill up your carts, but I really don’t want you to waste your money, if you aren’t going to fall in love with gardening. That being said, this post has lots of great tips for what to look for in gardening tools and how to take care of them.
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The Best Gardening Gloves
I don’t know about you all, but I go through the fingertips of garden gloves so fast. Also, I just hate gloves, they make my hands hot and sweaty and I feel like I lose dexterity when I have gloves on. That is until I found these – Wonder Grip Nearly Naked Gardening Gloves. They fit snug, but they breath so my hands don’t sweat in them. So far, I haven’t gone through the fingertips. I actually have a few pairs, because I tend to misplace my gardening gloves frequently. Can you relate?
For tougher gardening jobs, I really love these hydrahyde leather gloves. They’re soft, supple and they fit my hands… well, like a glove. I even wash mine in the washer (hanging them to dry), and so far they come out great.
Gardening Hand Tools
Having a good set of hand gardening tools is definitely an essential and this set is one of my go to favorites. When you’re shopping, look for ones that offer good ergonomic features, such as soft rubber, contoured handles that are easy to grip. I like everything to match, so I usually pick up a set. Because it’s so popular, sometimes this tool set pictured goes out of stock on Amazon. If that is the case, do a search for a 4-star plus rated tool set and read the reviews.
The Best Gardening Shovel
Every gardener needs a shovel that is tough, sharp and will cut through sod, weeds and compacted soil like a knife cutting through butter. I’ve had this spearhead spade shovel for a several seasons now and I love it. It is lightweight, yet very strong and it’s my go-to shovel for pretty much everything. I like using a sharp shovel for edging my garden beds, and this baby works wonderfully for edging. I also use it for transplanting and digging holes to plant perennials and bulbs. Are you clearing out a place for a new bed? If so, you really need a good, sharp shovel. P.S. it does come in colors beside pink… I just like the pink one. This shovel is a 5-star rated shovel and sells out fast, so if you’re thinking about it, don’t delay.
Hori Hori Knife
I have a confession to make, I’ve always used an old kitchen knife in the garden. I don’t think I even knew there was such a thing as a gardening knife. Then I kept seeing a hori hori knife mentioned in gardening forums as a favorite gardening tool. That started me thinking about the way I use my old kitchen knife and I decided I needed a Hori Hori Knife, so I got this one and it’s amazing. I use it for slicing through the roots and crowns of plants like hosta and daylilies when I’m dividing them, plus lots of other things. So far, no body parts have been lost.
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Best Garden Rake Ever
How can one love a rake… yet, I do. This telescopic rake is the best for cleaning out flower beds and raking around perennials. Or, between a fence and shrubs or plants. And, it works great for raking lawns too. It’s kind of an all-in-one rake.
A few years I read a blogger’s review on this weed whacker, and she totally sold me on it, so I bought one. When it arrived my husband took one look at it and scoffed and asked why I needed it when we already have a perfectly good trimmer. Yes we do, but the thing weighs 500 pounds, it’s nearly impossible to start and I’m convinced the beast would take off my foot if I tried to use it. Perhaps, I’m being a tad bit dramatic (ok, a lot), but it totally stinks and pollutes my lovely garden air. I’m pretty sure the mister used “girly” in his description of my new trimmer. A few weeks later, I was outside and I noticed the mister was using my “girly” trimmer. I just had to laugh. He finally admitted that he really liked it because it was easy to start, lightweight and did the job just as good as his big, gas powered, air polluting monster. I had fun using it in the fall to cut back perennials and I didn’t lose any body parts in the process. It also edges along sidewalks really well.
The Best Weeding Tools
Another gardening blogger sold me on this cool digger called CobraHead Original Weeder. Okay, I love this gadget. I’m not sure if we just have really rocky soil, or the previous owners just dumped lots of river rock in certain areas. This is the perfect tool for loosening up the soil and rock. It really makes the job so much easier. The other thing I use it for is dividing perennials. It just claws through and separates the roots without demolishing them. But, the best use of the CobraHead Weeder is weeding. It seriously gets to the root and makes weeds easy to pull, including devil weeds like quack grass, crabgrass and dandelions.
I recently read a review of this Stand-Up Weeding Tool on a Facebook gardening group, and there were many comments from others that had it and loved it too. It’s on my wish list.
Tips for Caring for Your Gardening Tools:
Cleaning and taking care of my gardening tools is an area where I’m slack and I need to get better at. It’s best to clean your tools in the fall before you store them for winter. It’s also a good idea to clean your tools like pruners immediately after you’ve trimmed a diseased plant. Here are some simple steps for cleaning your tools:
- To clean your gardening tools, simply wipe them down with a diluted bleach/water solution or rubbing alcohol.
- Apply a thin coat of oil to metal parts and let it soak for a few minutes and then wipe clean. This oil is made specifically for gardening tools and doesn’t cause dirt to stick to the tools.
Optional, But More Great Gardening Tools or Equipment:
I’ve always wanted a small, electric rototiller that I could handle and last year we got one. Perhaps, it’s not an essential gardening tool, but definitely was a huge help. We have an area along our back fence that was compacted soil as hard as a brick and my little rototiller tilled it right up. It would have taken me days and lots of aches and pains to do what a tiller did in a short amount of time. I also use it to mix compost into the soil. With the amount of work we’ve been doing in our fixer upper yard, having a lightweight tiller has been a blessing. It definitely isn’t heavy duty, but I wanted something lightweight enough that I could use.
I’ve been watching the price of galvanized raised garden beds for several months. The price dropped substantially in the middle of winter. Yes, you read that right, winter is the best time to get deals on gardening tools, supplies and equipment. I ordered 4 of these and can’t wait to add them to my gardens. They are available in several different sizes.
I’m absolutely love my little pop up greenhouse. It has zipper doors and screens on both ends for ventilation. We usually set the greenhouse up (easy process) by the end of March, beginning of April. I move my seedlings and bulbs that I started indoors into it when they are ready. My caladiums, begonias and my over-wintered geraniums also get a temporary home in the greenhouse. And, I pot up any new lily bulbs, dahlia tubers and anything else I can think of, to give them a head start.
Read more about pop-up greenhouses on this post. It includes information of using a temporary pop-up greenhouse to extend your growing season either in spring or fall. If you’d like to have a greenhouse, but can’t really afford a permanent structure, I would highly recommend reading up on the best pop up greenhouses.
It’s so awesome to have a Composter. I have this exact model and it works great. It has two separate compartments, so one side can be filled up first, and while it’s composting, you can start filling the other side. It doesn’t look that big, but it holds a surprising amount of rubbish. It is the perfect composter if you have a small yard, and it’s so convenient because it’s up off the ground. Just an added bonus that it does not attract critters.
Every gardener needs a kneeler/bench. I love mine and it gets tons of use. My hubs even uses it fairly often… and, not for gardening either.
Definitely not an essential, but the cutest gardening hat ever! I got one a few year’s ago for Mother’s Day and I love it. It’s a nice lightweight mesh, so it isn’t too hot and it keeps my hair out of my eyes and provides a bit of shade for my face when I’m gardening.
I received this super handy wheelbarrow organizer, called the Burro Buddy, for Christmas. I’m looking forward to using it this spring.
Favorite Gardening Supplies
I also have lots of favorite gardening supplies that are my go-to supplies and I’ve purchased them multiple times.
Best Fertilizers for the Garden
If you are looking for great fertilizers for vegetables, definitely go with organic. I like Espoma Garden-Tone for my veggies. I also use fish emulsion fertilizer for vegetables, but you have to be okay with the smell.
I’m not quite as picky about using organic for my flower gardens and I usually use Osmocote. It’s a slow release fertilizer that I sprinkle around plants in the spring. Espoma also makes a high rated organic fertilizer for flowers. For my flower container gardens, I use Miracle Gro Bloom Booster.
To Keep The Pests Away
There’s nothing quite as frustrating as having rabbits or deer eat your garden goods. I swear by Liquid Fence! You have to be diligent about re-applying it and it smells really bad, but it totally works. See my other recommendations in Dealing with Garden Pests.
Slugs can just ruin a hosta garden. Every spring as soon as I can see the hostas coming up, I apply Sluggo around the base of the plants. I try to get in a second application in June too. Try it, it just works!
Best Garden Stakes for Tall Flowers
If you grow tall flowers like lilies, delphinium or dahlias, to name a few, it’s a necessity to stake them. These garden stakes (they come in lots of lengths), along with this stretchy garden tape, are my go to’s for staking tall flowers.
Be sure to check out Gingham Gardens
Free Gardening Printables Resource Library.
Lots of awesome printables to help you
plan your best Garden ever.
Other articles on Gingham Gardens I think you’ll enjoy:
Practical Tips for Spring Garden Clean-up
14 Plants You Don’t Want In Your Garden – Even If They Are Free
Transplanting & Dividing Perennials
Flower Gardening 101
Vegetable Gardening 101
Tips for the Aging Gardener
Thanks a bunch for stopping by Gingham Gardens today! Do you have a favorite gardening tool that you’d be lost without? Or, do you have a question? I love hearing from my readers, so feel free to leave a comment below.
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