Gardening Tools: The Basics, Plus a Few Extras

by Wendy Mills 0 Comments

pruning shearsEvery gardener has their set of go-to tools which they consider essential to the job. Tending your garden is a labor of love, and all forms of labor require the right devices.

What are your must-haves? Are you first starting out, or perhaps in the market to spruce up your toolbox? We took a look at what the pros think of as the basics, plus a few fun gadgets that are a bit more specialized.

The Basics

Gloves and Apron

That’s right- an apron! For gardeners of all shapes and sizes, a sturdy gardening apron is a practical way of keeping all your most common smaller tools on your person as you move along. And gardening gloves, of course, provide both grip and safety while keeping your hands clean.

Sharp Pruners

A quality set of pruning shears will not only produce cleaner work as you trim the shrubs, they also reduce fatigue. Just like a sharp razor shaves hair better with less pressure, sharp pruning blades require less elbow grease. Many find it wise to keep a set of sharpeners on-hand as well.

Trowels, Spades, and Shovels

So what’s the difference?  Trowels are typically curved with a pointed tip. They’re meant to penetrate the ground, like when you need to dig up a weed. Spades tend to have a flatter surface, meant for shallower jobs like scooping fresh topsoil into a flowerbed.

Shovels come in a range of sizes, with handles often as long as that of a rake or broom. They typically have a curved tip, meant for heavy-duty digging jobs. The terms “shovel” and “spade” are sometimes used interchangeably, like in this handy gardening tool kit that comes with a few other useful gadgets.


Of course every gardener knows the importance of a rake, but they’re not all created equal. Plastic teeth will do just fine for lighter jobs, but metal rakes are best if you need to scoop up heavy debris into the trash or compost heap.

Rain Gauge

For those who cultivate flowers and veggies that need a specific amount of watering to stay healthy, rain gauges provide important information. Knowing when to skip a day with your irrigation system can save on utility costs and prevent waterlogging.

A Few Fun Additions

A Hori Hori

…A what?? This double-edged gardening knife is like a tiny serrated sword, and people who own one rave about how useful they are. They’re designed to assist with pruning, digging, and weeding.

Plant Sensor

This handy tool is fantastic for those who are starting a new garden but aren’t sure which part(s) of the yard would be best for certain plants. Leave the sensor in the ground a few days, and it will collect data like sun exposure, average moisture, and soil pH.

Self-Watering Planter

These containers are great for those of us who forget to water as frequently as we should, or simply get too busy at times. The planter is designed to pull water up the wicks, from the reservoir, automatically watering your plants for several days.

Compost Tumbler

While not strictly necessary for composting, this tumbler can cut the timing of the process in half. There are DIY videos on how to make one yourself if you’re feeling crafty, but we like this one a lot.


Whether you’re a new gardener and needing to stock up on all the right tools, or a seasoned gardener who simply needs a couple of upgrades, we hope you found our suggestions helpful! As always, TLC Landscapes is here to help with all of your lawn and landscaping needs. Click here for an online quote! 


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