Garden tools are widely needed for any type of gardening that you do. Gardening is a skill that requires the use of many tools. As I prepare my garden after a long gardening hiatus I thought it might be a good idea to consider the tools I have and the tools I need.
So what tools do I need for a garden? The tools you need for a successful garden are:
Sure, some of those garden tools are fairly obvious…and you could probably get by without a couple of them. Gardening has been around since the beginning of time, but these tools definitely haven’t been. So sure, you could cut corners and make life gardening more difficult, or you could give in and enjoy gardening by making sure you have these tools.
This is one that I have gone without many times in the past – but it really does help to have a good pair of gardening gloves. Certainly any gloves are better than no gloves, but the best gloves are the ones designed specifically for the task – gardening. Overall gardening is more enjoyable when you use the correct gloves because you don’t have to worry about the cuts and knicks to your hands. It’s also just more sanitary – I know you wash your hands after gardening anyways but think about your soil…it’s made up of compost, bacteria, feces, and more gross things. Do yourself a favor, don’t skip the gloves.
Okay, so I know what you’re thinking…” duh.” Yes, yes. A shovel is an obvious tool, but my kids often try to dig without one. They’re very creative and they’ll find any other item and make a shovel out of it, but using an actual shovel will definitely make life easier. There are hundreds of types of shovels, and they don’t all do the same job. I find that a nice long-handled spade and a hand spadework best for my vegetable garden. The shovel or shovels you choose will depend a lot on the size of your garden, how much digging you’ll be doing, and the soil in which you’ll dig.
I honestly didn’t even know what this was supposed to be used for before I started gardening a few years ago. A hoe is a critical tool in your garden that will help you mix your soil, cut and pull roots of nasty weeds, and break up the ground to make for easier planting. A hoe will save you time and will help save your back.
No matter the size of your garden you’ll need to be watering your plants. Water is the life-blood of your plants, without it they will die. To ensure that your plants are being watered properly you’ll need to determine what watering gear is best for your garden. Make sure you have a hose with a gentle rain spray nozzle as well as a watering pitcher so you can individually water plants that may be struggling. For my garden, I’ll also be including a watering system that includes a drip hose, an electronic timer, and a misting hose.
Tools you don’t have to have, but you should
One of the hardest parts for me when learning to garden was learning that sometimes you have to cut your plants back to help them grow better. It seemed so counter productive to me – why would I cut something that I’m trying to grow? Now, after having a successful garden I realize the importance of pruning plants. Sharp pruners will help you properly maintain and grow your garden. For those of you that may be religious, here is a great 5 minute video analogy called God is the Gardner: https://youtu.be/oDrhvm9EnJ4
Similar to pruners, loppers are for cutting. Loppers will help you cut larger, more heavy duty branches. Loppers are longer handled and allow you have more leverage when cutting.
A good hand trowel is not required for the garden, but it’s probably the most used garden tool of all time. It’s basically a mini-shovel that is extremely useful when it comes to planting and reaching tight spaces.
These tools come in a variety of sizes and handle some heavy lifting in your garden. Not every garden needs a garden fork, but they do come in handy when you’re trying to move mulch or dig potatoes. Garden forks help aerate the soil soil without poking the food you’re trying to harvest.
Not necessary, but highly useful
Not every garden requires the use of a wheelbarrow or wagon, but many gardeners find a wheelbarrow to be an extremely wise purchase due to the amount of work you get out of it. Moving dirt, soil, compost, mulch, large plants, etc. becomes so much easier when you have a wheelbarrow. The biggest downside to a wheelbarrow is the amount of space it takes up to store it properly. Gardening is much more enjoyable when you have a wheelbarrow to help.
This is an odd one I know. Shoes are shoes, right? Not exactly. Every shoe has a specific purpose. You wouldn’t wear your heels to go hiking, or football cleats to go out to the club, so why is gardening any different. Sure, you can garden in whatever footwear you’d like, but I find that it’s a much more enjoyable experience if I have the proper footwear. Something that can get wet, dirty, and provide the proper protection to my feet. Make sure you have the proper footwear and you’ll enjoy your garden a little more.
Along the lines of the gardening shoes, what you wear can make or break your gardening joy. Coveralls are great to protect your clothes and your body, but most importantly for me they are great for organization. Coveralls (or overalls) tend to have numerous pockets that are perfect for the basic tools I need to carry into my garden each day. As an added benefit they give you a real “farmer” look so all your friends know that you’re the real deal.
Depending on what you’re growing you may find the need for some cages. Cages will help your plants grow up properly and strong. Some plants, when first planted in the garden, are fairly weak and have difficulty holding themselves up straight. By caging these plants you’ll give them something to lean on and use as an aid to growing. More growth = more production = better gardening experience.
Stakes & Ties
This goes hand in hand with the cages. For some plants, trees, and bushes you may need to use tall ground stakes and tie downs to ensure that the plants grow straight and tall. When I planted my peach trees a few years back I used stakes and tie downs to help keep the trees from leaning – unfortunately, one of the tie downs I used wasn’t well secured and when it came loose I didn’t bother fixing it. Now I have a tree that grows straight and a tree that leans. Make sure you know what is needed for the plants you choose for your garden.
What will all the right gardening tools cost?
All garden tools have a different cost, but as a general rule of thumb I expect to spend about $20 per tool. There are some tools that are much more expensive, and some that don’t come close the $20 mark, but overall it’s about $20 on average for the proper gardening tools. For a complete set of all the tools I listed in this post you could probably budget $250-300 for the entire list. Of course, this will vary depending on all sorts of factors, but that should give you a good general idea.
What “smart tech” can I use in my garden?
If you’re like me you like the latest and greatest tech to make life easier. Gardening is not an easy hobby, but I have found some great tech emerging for gardeners. One of my favorites is smart garden watering timers. These devices are great because they are now integrating with my phone and monitoring weather conditions so they know when not to water. For my garden, I’ve also chosen to use the GardenSpace Smart Garden Robot (monitors soil conditions, sprays animals that get nearby, monitors plant health and waters individual plants as needed, sends reports to my phone) and the Tertill (it’s like a robotic vacuum for your garden).