Every gardener requires at least some tools/implements to help with they’re gardening needs. Depending on the size of your lot, your specific garden areas — do you have just flower beds or vegetable garden or both? — lawn area size, all these factors will come into play when looking for the tools that will meet your needs.
When purchasing tools, buy what you can afford, quality is very important and the higher grade tool will last much longer then a lesser quality tool. Before purchasing any tool, try it out. Make sure the tool fits you, the gardener. Does it suit your height, weight and strength? Long-handled shovels are difficult for short people and a tall person will surely have a backache if they are doubled over with a shovel that is too short. The tool should feel well balanced when you pick it up, the handle should fit your grip comfortably and the working end should not weigh too much. If you are just starting out with gardening you don’t have to purchase everything at once but having the “essentials” is a good start.
There are a wide variety of shovels and sometimes one does not know which to purchase. A square-ended shovel and a round-ended spade for digging in the vegetable “patch” are very beneficial. These shovels can also be used in and around your flower beds.
Garden Fork or Pitch Fork
These are a great tool for light digging and harvesting root crops/potatoes.
Used for weeding, cultivating and opening seed furrows.
Garden Hose with Sprinkler
Depending on your area, garden hoses come in different lengths and ply. They can range in lengths from 15 feet up to 100 feet. Once again the quality is important and purchase what you can afford. Soaker hoses are a great way to water deep around plants and vegetables as the water drips directly down into the soil and there is no evaporation. When you water try to water early in the morning as this will give the plants time to absorb the water throughout the day and will also give the leaves a chance to dry before nightfall. Watering at night can cause funguses to develop. Sprinklers come in a wide variety as well. Look at the way the sprinkler works, how the water is distributed and what the range or square foot coverage is. If one is lucky enough to have an under-water watering system, set your timer to come on in the early morning and remember a good deep soak is better than short waterings.
In todays market, there are different types of wonderful watering cans. They range from plastic to “fancy” metal/ceramic cans. It really is the gardeners choice as they all do the same job, water your flower pots and hanging baskets! Using a watering can on your flower pots and hanging baskets seem to help with less mess than by doing it with the hose as the dirt tends to stays in the container.
A good steel rake is great for breaking up and smoothing the soil. A large or small fan rake is ideal for cleaning up fall leaves.
There are three different types of pruners for different pruning. When pruning, your pruners should always be sharp to avoid damage to the plant, shrub or tree. Use the pruning shears for dead heading flowers, trimming up small branches and removing shoots. Long handled lopping shears for larger stems/branches. And the pruning saw for large branches. Some knowledge is required when pruning trees and shrubs and if you are unsure how to do it correctly you should consult with a knowledgeable arborist.
Hand held small tools
There are small hand held tools available to the gardener such as a small shovel, small cultivator/hoe, small trowel and weeder. These are handy for container gardening and small jobs in the flower beds.
There are gas powered, electric and push mowers, it is just a preference that you, the gardener may have. Depending on the size of your lawn area can determine what type of lawn mower is needed. A small area can be mowed with a hand pushed type whereas a very large area may require a ride on type of mower. If you do have a lawn area then having a mower is required to have a manicured yard.
Once again these tools come in a wide variety. There are long handle clippers, gas powered and electric. The trimmer helps clip the grass at the edges of sidewalks, edges of garden areas, and along fences and walls. Trimmers are not necessarily essential but they sure help with a “finished” look for your yard.
If you are planning on moving dirt, landscaping, patio or deck building, etc., than having a wheelbarrow will make the job easier. A couple of types are the usual 1 wheel type (these tend to move around obstacles easier and are easier to control on uneven surfaces) and the 2 wheel type are more stable but will require wider turns.
Remember you spent good money on your tools and they deserve to be taken care of also. Clean them off after using them, keep them stored properly, and keep sharp tools sharp. There are so many different tools available for the gardener so choose the tools that you feel you require to get started and as you progress you will find you will add new tools along you’re gardening journey.