Discover the different types of gardening tools essential for your gardening task. We include a variety of gardening tools for digging, edging, lawn care, planting, pruning, and spraying.
Unlike other hobbies, you don’t really need to spend a lot when it comes to gardening. You can start with just the sun, good soil, and seeds. But gardening can be a grueling task and that’s why we have tools to make things easier.
When you’re just new to gardening, however, the wide variety of gardening tools to choose from can be overwhelming. That’s why we have this list to help you sort out just the most essential ones you’ll need for your gardening task.
Table of Contents
- Lawn Care
These have much shorter handles than other kinds of shovels, making them ideal for using by hand when you are close to the ground. They are perfect for digging holes for planting, but their edge has to be kept sharp enough or they will be very frustrating to use. They can easily be sharpened using a bench grinder. Buying a trowel with an ergonomically designed handle will keep your hand from cramping and help ensure that you don’t get blisters when using this tool.
These shovels have flat tips that are very hard and straight, making them perfect for digging tightly packed dirt, as they will have more force and make it easier to penetrate the ground. They are also great for scooping up and moving the rock, mulch, sand, and soil. Square shovels can be used to edge a lawn, cut roots and sod, and easily divide perennials without causing too much trauma to the plants.
When you are going to be digging into tilled soil that is fairly loose and easy to move, you’ll want to use a pointed shovel, as they will make the job very easy. These shovels don’t have the driving force that square shovels do, but they are helpful to have when planting a garden.
Source: Home Depot
These giant forks have four very strong tines that make it easy to penetrate the soil. They are generally made from a single piece of steel, which ensures that the tines will not break. Use a garden fork when you need to break up soil, turn it over, or work some compost into your garden.
While you can use a garden fork to dig up potatoes, if you want to make sure that you don’t accidentally damage your crop, you will need to use a potato fork. They have multiple tines that are quite thin with blunted ends so that the potatoes aren’t damaged when you dig.
Also known as a “digging fork,” these are fairly lightweight and easy to use. They have tines that are flat on the face, making them perfect for aerating, turning in nutrients, and digging in soil that is loose or sandy.
While one of the smaller types of garden forks available, these still have a great use. They are perfect for digging in garden beds or between plants when you want to make sure that you don’t accidentally injure the plants that are already growing. They are perfect for someone who is a smaller in stature or who is elderly, as they don’t require as much strength or force to lift and use.
This is a fork that has two handles and can which quickly rework broken ground to ensure that it is ready for seeds. The two handles are connected with steel to long tines and will make the work go by very quickly when you are trying to work your ground a little more.
The long tines on this fork are bent slightly to make it very easy to scoop and relocate material from the ground without having to bend over. This is a great way to save your back, especially if you have to turn your compost on a regular basis. These tools are rather lightweight, so it’s important that you don’t turn compost that is too heavy or you will damage the fork. In that case, you will need to buy something that can stand up to a little more weight. While not perfect for digging on their own, they are great for moving clumps and clods of dirt and weeds that have been loosened by your shovel.
These tools are great for digging trenches in your garden to ensure that water can flow where you want it to. It has a pointed edge that is great for breaking through tough or rocky areas in your garden. The chiseled end of the pick can easily cut through roots that you encounter when trying to plant.
These tools are commonly used just to tear unwanted weeds and plants out of the garden, and they are also great for cultivating soil and breaking up larger clumps so that the garden is ready for planting. When the ground is soft enough, they can easily be used to dig trenches for your bulbs or seeds or to make furrows.
When you’re going to be planting shrubs or trees or simply need a hole for a fence post, you will want to grab an auger. These are devices that actually drill into the ground instead of relying on the user to force them into the ground. The end result is a hole that has the material inside removed and is ready for planting.
Designed specifically for clearing and digging trenches, trench shovels have a very sharp tip to cut through the ground. The sides are squared off, which creates a very clean wall on the trench and ensures that you don’t disturb too much of the soil around the trench.
Post Hole Pincer
Source: Home Depot
These digging tools actually consist of two shovels that are connected at their tops by a hinge. With two long handles connected to the hinge, it’s easy for the user to open and close the shovels by operating the handles. They are great for quickly digging holes for bulbs or making holes for a fence post. They aren’t ideal for use in very packed dirt and they work much better in soil that is a little loose.
This type of edger works by being pushed along the edge of the lawn that you are wanting to trim. Most of these edgers have a sharp blade that turns as you move the tool, and the blade works to carefully cut off the grass and keep it from growing out of the lawn. They are great for use along paths or garden beds, but since they are manually operated, they tend to take a lot longer to complete the task than other types of edgers.
Source: Home Depot
If you want to be able to ensure that you have exact cuts when edging along a path, you will want to choose a step-on edger. These have a very sharp blade and a horizontal piece that is perfect for stepping on with your foot. Once you have placed the edger in position, you simply have to step on the ledge, using your weight as the force to push the edger down into the dirt. This takes a lot of the hard work off of you, as you rely on your bodyweight to do most of the work. These tools can cut straight down into the dirt or be rocked back and forth if you are having trouble getting the edger into the hard ground or through a tough root. They are great for installing edging or grooming around the shrubs in your garden.
This handheld tool makes it very easy to get close to what you are working on and really see the edging that needs to be done. The handle is usually curved so that you don’t get tired when using it, and it’s ideal for working in very small or skinny spaces where a traditional edger would not be able to fit. They are very light and easy to use, and the blade is incredibly sharp. Keeping the blade sharp is the best way to ensure that your edging knife will continue to work in the way that you need it to. This tool can be used to loosen soil, dig, remove weeds, and cut off grass and other plants to keep them from growing where you do not want them to.
Source: Home Depot
These shears are positioned at a right angle to the handle, making it very easy to use them without having to get down on your knees. While some people try to use them by operating both of the handles at the same time, the best way to operate them is by only moving the handle that controls the upper blade of the shears. This will ensure that you have a nice smooth motion and the tool will not jerk around as you are trying to use it. It’s important that you keep the shears level with the side of the lawn where you are cutting and cut at a swift pace, as this will help ensure that you get clean cuts on your grass. Make sure to wipe down the blades when you are finished using them, and if you notice that the grass is being bent instead of cut then you will need to sharpen them.
When choosing an electric edger, you will have to decide whether you want it to be cordless or corded. Both types are very lightweight and are thus ideal for people who aren’t strong enough to use a manual edger or to handle the strength, power, and weight of a gas edger. Make sure that you choose one that has a strong blade, as these edgers don’t tend to be as powerful as gas ones, and they can take longer to complete the same amount of work. They are very quiet and are perfect if you live close to your neighbors and want to make sure that you don’t disturb them with your yard work. They’re also ideal for smaller yards, as corded options have a limit to how far they can reach, and even a great battery won’t last long enough to easily edge a very large lawn.
A gas edger is the most powerful kind of edger tool that you can buy. While they weigh more than other available types, they are not so heavy that people are unable to lift them into a truck or onto the back of a trailer. They do tend to be rather noisy, so it’s important to consider how close your neighbors are before buying this type of edger, and whether the noise is going to disturb them.
They are perfect if you have a very large yard and need to do a lot of edging, as they will cut down on the amount of time that this work takes. You can choose between a smaller gas edger that has a two-cycle engine or a larger, more powerful one that has a four-cycle engine. The four-cycle engine machines tend to be cleaner when they run, making them better for the environment. In addition, look for a fourth wheel, as this will make it much easier to maneuver the edger and will help keep it from tipping over.
This is a machine that works by using revolving blades to cut the grass in your lawn to a pre-set height. With most machines, you can adjust how tall you want the grass to be, allowing you to personalize your lawn and how often you have to mow. There are many types of lawn mowers available, making it easy to find one that will meet your needs without breaking the bank. For most small mowers, an engine turns the blades and will either move the lawn mower as well or require the person using it to push it.
Larger mowers are usually self-propelled, which means the user only has to guide where the mower goes and not actually use much effort to move the mower. Finally, there are also ride-on lawn mowers that are much larger and ideal for mowing big lawns. While there are robotic lawn mowers that are remote-controlled and will work on their own, these are not very popular and are difficult to find.
You can buy lawn mowers that run on gasoline, are electric, or are push-powered and reel mowers. The kind that you choose will depend on the power that you need, the size of your lawn, and your budget.
Source: Home Depot
These popular tools work by forcing air out of a nozzle. The person using the leaf blower can direct the air where they want it to go, thereby easily moving piles of leaves or lawn clippings. You can buy either electric or gas-powered leaf blowers. They are available for purchase in a backpack format with the nozzle hanging down for easy use, or as completely handheld models. Of course, the backpack leaf blowers are easier to use for a long period of time and are often gasoline powered, as these types of blowers are usually heavier.
If you have a huge yard or will be helping neighbors clear their lawns in addition to your own, then you may want to look into buying a larger leaf blower that has wheels or even a motor that will allow it to self-propel. These are much stronger but also more expensive.
These tools are known by many names, including “line trimmer,” “weed-whacker,” and “weed eater.” They are tools that have long shafts and a line in place of a blade at the end that is used to cut grass and other soft objects. The monofilament line spins around Source: Houzzquickly, creating a cutting surface that can easily cut grasses and even some small woody plants. This line will naturally be worn down during use, and as such will have to be released from time to time, either by knocking a release mechanism on the string trimmer or by using an auto-feed function on the tool. Some trimmers have adjustable heads to allow the user to cut at various angles. These tools are great for cleaning out smaller areas that you can’t easily mow or for performing precision work around garden plants. While some people do try to use them to edge around paths, this is not ideal, as it will leave deep grooves where water will collect.
If you want to be able to suck up leaves and twigs in your yard and mulch them right away, you need a mulcher. These are very powerful and have an attached bag that collects the mulch that you make.
Also known as “broadcast spreader,” these tools are important for maintaining a great-looking lawn. They can be used to quickly and evenly spread seed, sand, fertilizer, and even ice melt on your driveway. There are a number of different kinds available, with the smallest being the handheld hopper. This operates by the user turning a crank and spreads out even amounts of the product as the person walks with it. A hand-pushed spreader is a little easier to use if you have a large space to be fertilized or seeded, and will turn its own crank as it is pushed along the ground. Finally, for very large applications, ATV two spreaders and tractor spreaders are available, although these are not generally something that the average homeowner needs.
If you like the way that your lawn looks when the grass is green and you want to keep your garden growing without having to spend hours each day watering it, then you will want to invest in a sprinkler. These tools are used to irrigate your yard or garden without you having to be there for the job. They vary in their design, but the most common type of sprinkler is the oscillating sprinkler. It works by spraying water into the air and automatically moving it back and forth. As you want to water different areas of your yard, you will have to go out and move the sprinkler to a new location. Underground sprinklers can be permanently installed by a professional. These can either be turned on when you need them or programmed to operate at a set time.
Being able to get your leaves and lawn debris into a pile is important, and during the fall especially you will want a tool to help with this process. Rakes are indispensable for this. There are a number of different kinds of rakes available, each best suited to different jobs. Leaf rakes are plastic and have a little give to them, making them ideal for raking up large piles of leaves, pine needles, and even cut grass. Another kind of rake that is important for lawn care is the bow rake, which has shorter, stronger tines. These rakes are perfect for moving gravel, sand, or rocks around and for landscaping your garden and lawn.
Source: Home Depot
If you are having problems getting your grass to grow, then you may need to aerate your lawn. This involves creating holes in the ground that make it easier for the roots of your grass to grow. This also encourages the work of worms and improves soil drainage so you won’t have any wet puddles standing in your yard after a rain. Spike aerators work to create holes by pushing the dirt away when the spikes are pushed into the ground. Core aerators actually remove bits of soil from the ground. This allows the holes to stay open for a much longer period of time and ensures that you enjoy the benefits of aeration for longer. When buying an aerator, you’ll also have to decide whether you want one that is manual, where you have to push the tool into the ground, or powered, where the work is done for you, the aerator moves quickly over the lawn, and you don’t have to exert as much effort.
Also called a “dethatcher,” these tools are important if you have any problems with thatch on the surface of your lawn. They work by ripping the thatch, which can consist of grassroots, dead leaves and grass, and even weeds, thereby allowing the grass to grow. Manual scarifiers do take longer to use and require a lot more effort than tow-behind ones which can be attached to a tractor.
This long, flexible tube is the best way to move water from one location to another and by which to water your garden and your lawn. It can be attached to the spigot on the side of your home and then the other end left free to allow the water to flow, attached to a sprinkler, or used with a sprayer so you can easily control where the water goes. There are also hoses that have small holes in them, and these “soaker hoses” make it easy to run an irrigation system through your garden or lawn at very little cost.
When buying a hose, you will want to make sure that it is long enough to reach where you need it to reach. While you can connect multiple hoses to each other, it’s often easier to simply use one longer one. Other factors to consider include how heavy duty or light the hose is and whether or not it can hold hot water if that is needed for your yard work.
Planting bulbs in the fall can be very difficult if using a trowel, as it’s hard to make a hole that is deep enough without also making one that is very large. When you use a bulb planter, this process is much easier and faster than digging individual holes with a trowel. Bulb planters are either handheld or come with a long handle and a footrest so you can use your body weight to shove them into the ground. They work by removing a large core of the earth, making it easy to simply drop the bulb into the ground and cover it back up. Buying one with an ergonomic handle ensures that you don’t blister or cramp when using this tool.
This is a tool that is perfectly designed for weeding and removing smaller roots that get in your way when you are trying to plant. The strong head is forced into the ground and easily cuts through roots. The shaft of the tool has a slight bend to it, which makes it easy to lever this tool back and forth and to pull up anything that is in your way when planting.
Seeding individual pots for starting plants doesn’t have to be a hassle. Instead of pinching and trying to hold onto individual seeds, using a hand seeder makes the process easy. These tools have a compartment for the seeds and a long shaft which the seeds slide down. This generally narrows so that you can control how quickly they drop out of the seeder and into the pot. One feature that you can buy is a vibrating hand seeder, which makes the process even easier, as the tool quickly vibrates to shake out individual seeds without any problems.
Seeder Row Planter
Planting long, straight, even rows of seeds used to be a hassle, but not with this tool. It’s a push tool that you slowly push through the garden. As you do, it creates a small furrow and drops seeds into it. There are different attachments which you can choose for different types of seeds so you can be sure that they are spaced evenly and correctly. These tools also come with an “arm” that will drop down to the side so you can make sure that your rows are spaced evenly.
Source: Home Depot
Before you can plant in your garden, you need to make sure that the ground is tilled. While you can buy handheld tillers that are operated by hand, relying on your strength, if you have a large garden or yard to till then you will benefit from buying one that is gas-powered. These are usually walk-behind and will quickly till and turn up the dirt for planting. Other tillers available include ones that can be attached to the back of a tractor.
Source: Home Depot
These tools are perfect for starting seeds or planting seeds in your garden at exact measurements. You can buy these tools that have large boards with pegs which are used to push holes into the soil at exact locations, or smaller handheld varieties that are used to plant individual seeds. Dibbles are great for quickly making holes in a garden to ensure that all of the plants will be the correct distance from each other.
These handheld tools till the soil and are operated by the user pushing them into the ground and then twisting. They have twisted tines that can rip through dirt to quickly break it up. Make sure that the tiller you buy has a step on it so that it can be pushed into very hard ground without problem. While these aren’t ideal for breaking up ground in large areas, they are perfect for working around existing plants in a yard or garden and for working in tight areas where a traditional tiller won’t easily fit.
Source: Home Depot
Used after a tiller to ensure that the ground is very soft and ready for planting, these tools are generally walked behind or pushed. They are great for use in vegetable gardens or if you are going to redo your lawn and want to make sure that the ground is soft and prepared for the grass seed.
If you are repotting or starting seeds, then you will need to be able to get a little bit of soil out of the bag without it spilling everywhere. These scoops make that task easy and have an area that will hold the soil so that it does not fall off the scoop when being transported from bag to pot.
Depending on how much gardening you are going to be doing, you may want to invest in a few different sizes of pruners. These “clippers” work well to cut through small branches and briars, and even to trim individual bits of your shrubs. They are great for cutting back flowers and other plants in the fall, and they come in three types—ratchet, anvil, and bypass. Rachet pruners cut in stages and are much easier to use if you have weak hands. Anvil prunes cut in a smooth motion, but aren’t useful for cutting anything much larger than half an inch in diameter. They will begin to shred the item you are trying to cut, which will damage the plant. Bypass pruners are very strong, and have curved blades that work together to cut. They work well on both dead and growing plants.
These tools are like oversized scissors with very long blades that are sharp and can easily cut through shrub branches. You can easily find ones that are either electric or manual and which allow the user to quickly shape and trim back shrubs without having to cut each individual branch. They do a great job of making straight lines on hedges, which is important if you want to have a formal look to your garden, as other tools will round off the edges of the shrub, making it appear much more informal.
These saws are great for cutting through larger shrub branches. They do a great job of cutting through green wood if they have a straight blade, while you will want to use a curved blade to cut though larger branches. Make sure you get one with a curved handle, as this will make the tool much easier to use.
If you want to make sure that your grass is always level and neat but have space in your yard where you can’t use a lawn mower or weed eater, then you will need grass shears. These tools have long blades and are effectively a pair of powerful outdoor scissors. They can be used to trim around trees or shrubs without causing any damage, and are best used after you have tried to mow or weed-eat, as they are manual and will take a very long time to use.
When you need to prune items above your head and don’t want to put yourself in danger by standing on a ladder to get the work done, you need to buy a lopper. These have long handles and strong blades that can cut through trees and vines that are under 2.5 inches in diameter. Their long handles make them easy to use over your head, but you do have to be careful that you don’t drop any branches on yourself. Sharp blades are key, so keep the blades oiled and cleaned or you will be frustrated when trying to use your loppers.
Being able to reach branches up to eight feet in the air will allow you to cut back branches that are blocking the sun from your yard and garden. Pole pruners are great for removing dead branches from trees to keep them from falling, as well as for cutting smaller living branches. It is possible to buy ones that telescope over eight feet, but most people do not need a tool that is this long. Make sure that it is stored out of the elements when not in use so it does not get damaged or rusted, which will keep it from being as efficient and easy to use. These tools are generally electric or gas-powered, although you can find some that are manually operated.
Source: Home Depot
Even more heavy-duty than a pole pruner, these are manual tools that have a small serrated blade at the end of a very long pole. The serration of the blade ensures that your tree pruner won’t accidentally slip off of the branch that you re cutting. Buying a tree pruner with a curved blade means that you won’t have to struggle as much to keep the blade on the branch, as straight blades tend to slip and can be very frustrating to use.
Floral scissors are perfect for quickly and evenly cutting the stems of flowers from your garden. While you can use regular household scissors or even hand pruners for the job, you don’t want to crush the stem of the flower, as this will greatly shorten how long it will last in your home. Snips make a clean cut through the stem, no matter whether you are cutting flowers or herbs.
Any homeowner with topiaries knows that they are very delicate and require a careful hand to keep them looking their best. These shears are spring-loaded, which means that they will open automatically and the user has to close them in order to cut anything. They are very sharp, allowing for high precision.
These are sprayers that attach to your ATV or lawn tractor and have wheels so that they can be easily towed across the ground. They have very efficient pumps and can be used to spray items that are very tall.
Instead of being pulled along the ground, these sprayers fit in the back of an ATV or a truck to be moved. They are very large and offer the ability to spray a lot of product in a short amount of time.
Source: Home Depot
These sprayers are ideal if you need to be able to carry around a lot of weed killer or spray fertilizer with you, as the tank will rest on your back, eliminating the need to carry it in your arms. They usually work with a pump that increases the pressure in the tank and allows you to spray with the nozzle. The nozzle is attached to a flexible tube that runs from the tank.
Source: Home Depot
Ideal for spraying smaller amounts, handheld sprayers are the least expensive option that you can buy. They have to be pumped up in order to be used. Because they do not carry as much product in them, they are very lightweight and easy for almost anyone to carry or hold.
Most homeowners will not need a sprayer that is this heavy-duty, as it is made of industrial-grade materials so that it can cover a lot of ground very quickly.
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