So you just moved into a home and found a patch to start growing plants. With the number of tools available in the market, what essentials must you buy to kickstart a noteworthy project? Essential gardening tools for beginners are not really that hard to find– and they don’t have to fill up an entire shed, too. When gardening for the first time, you will need the following basic tools to kickstart a lifelong hobby.
A hand trowel or a planter is perfect for weeding and planting small plants, preparing a small flower bed, and getting compost or organic fertilizer out of a container.
This multipurpose tool is often lightweight and works like a miniature shovel. While wood is considered the best handle of gardening tools, the fiber composite design of Fiskars Transplanter makes it easy to handle yet durable for continued use. This one also has convenient blade gradation marks for easy measurement of depth when transplanting.
Let’s take a look t the different type of trowels available in the market:
This type of trowel is best for scooping dirt or transplanting shallow-rooted seedlings. Because it’s a curved shape, it is easy to scoop and carry soil, compost, or fertilizer. For proper maintenance, brush off dirt after use before rinsing it with warm water. Dry it out with a soft towel.
This type of trowel is used for transplanting houseplants in potting soil or mixing fertilizer into loose soil. It is generally designed to fit comfortably in the grip. It has blunt edges and can be useful for removing soil clots from roots without damaging the plant. For maintenance wash it up with warm water and scrub.
Hori Hori Trowel
This trowel is used for cutting, weeding, and digging in compacted soil. It can saw through roots with its serrated blade and dig into tight spots with it’s sharp, narrow tip. This rust-resistant trowel made with Japanese tempered stainless steel blade should be wiped dry with a clean cloth after each use.
It is good for digging and planting. The sharp-bladed edge can be used to cut up roots that are in the way when you use it to dig a hole for a plant. With a lifetime guarantee, like the one below, the tempered steelhead will not bend or curl. After usage wipe it clean with a damp soft cloth.
This type of trowel is best for removing deep-rooted weeds and digging narrow holes for transplants. You can use it to dig out dandelions’ taproots and the narrow blade of the trowel can be used to remove weed in tight spaces. The best way to care is to use it is to apply linseed oil before its first use. This will prevent the wood handle from drying out and also keep dirt from sticking to the blade. Wipe it clean after use.
2. Digging Spade
When digging requires something bigger than a trowel but smaller than a shovel, a garden spade is just right. Used mainly in digging holes for tree, shrub or large flower planting, it also helps in shoveling soil, compost and organic fertilizer out of a pit, container or wheelbarrow as well as in cutting a trench or slicing off thick turf.
It can also help chop off small tree roots so make sure to keep them sharp all the time. Check out Fiskars 46-inch rust-resistant garden spade . There are smaller border spades great for flowerbed work, too.
The picture below shows an all steel shovel, that is well balanced, easy to use and can chomp through roots, pry out rocks easily.
Made with high-quality steel with a powder-coated handle to resist rusting this will last for a lifetime or more.
What is the difference between a shovel and a spade?
Spades can come in different shapes and sizes and is generally a flat metal digging tool with a sharp edge. It is generally used for both digging and moving dirt, debris and similar materials. While some spade blades are rectangular in shape, others could be sharply pointed to increase the penetrating ability of the blade.
On the other hand the term shovel, is used much more as a catch-all than the term spade, and usually can mean a wide variety of digging tools.
In a simple explanation, a shovel is primarily used for scooping and moving materials from one place to another and is generally are larger than spades so that more material can be moved with each scoop. Some shovels are also made of plastic rather than metal because digging and breaking through the earth is not always the primary goal as it is with the spade.
Handier than shears, secateurs are used mainly for light pruning, cutting stem of flowers, tidying broken plants, and snipping lumps from trees and shrubs. There are 2 types of garden secateurs– bypass and anvil.
Le’s take a closer look at each:
These are Ideal for deadheading, trimming or shaping on a tree, roses, annuals, vegetables, flower gardens, bonsai, and other plants. The model above has been designed with a non slipped handle and the blade made out of high carbon steel with an ultra fine polish.
It’s made of a high quality carbon steel blade, PTFE coated for smoother cutting and resistance to rust. It is best suited to remove dead or thicker woody stems and can easily cope with a material of 20 mm diameter.
Difference between Bypass secateurs and Anvil secateurs: The former is for general pruning while the anvil works best for cutting branches or hard stuff.
4. Garden Shears
Shears are primarily used to cut, clip and tidy up shrubs, topiary, grass, and so on. While lawnmowers can effortlessly clean up your yard, shears like the Tabor Tools B620 Hedge Shears can best maintain hedges and topiary, large blooming plants and shrubs, and so on. It works as a scissor for plants.
The strong steel handles provide good cutting power every time you need to tackle a hedge trimming job.
It is an ideal tool for trimming and shaping your shrubs and decorative plants. Its wavy blades help to cut all the way to the tip and produce smooth crisp cuts. The wavy design of the blade stops the twigs from sliding off.
It’s shock-absorbing bumpers stop all jarring vibrations and helps to reduce arm and shoulder fatigue. Overall, this model is a balanced, powerful and dependable tool for your garden.
The main purpose of a dutch hoe or cultivator is to weed out unwanted critters growing in plant beds and among your plants– while in a convenient standing position. You don’t have to break your back pulling or digging on weeds with a hoe like this Flexrake 1000L Hula-Ho Weeder Cultivator. When sharp, it can also be used for slicing root-balls, digging shallow trenches, and edging.
A rake’s main purpose is for the upkeep of the garden by collecting leaves, trash, debris and other piles to prevent clutter. It also helps in leveling a flower bed or dragging large stones off a planting bed. The Gardenite Adjustable Garden Leaf Rake, for instance, is the ultimate tool in raking off unwanted stuff in your garden.
7. Hydration (watering Can + Hose + Sprayer)
Plants need water to survive. A watering can is great for small gardens, patio gardens, window boxes, indoor gardens or when you feel like lifting something as part of your fitness gardening routine. This for instance, makes an excellent indoor garden hydration companion for its unique no-drop design.
For a bigger garden space, this BriteNWay Expandable Garden Hose which comes with an 8-in-1 nozzle is more convenient.
8. Garden Gloves
Last but not least, always wear garden gloves. This helps protect your limbs from cuts and sting common when pruning or pulling thorny plants, thistles, brambles, and so on. Choose a pair that works like a second skin without sacrificing safety.
Gardening Tools List
To recap, here are the essential gardening tools for beginners and their uses:
Maintenance and care of Garden Tools
Any tools that come into contact with the ground and dirt should always be cleaned off before storing. Mud, in general, is blasted off with a jet of water, but if dirt has hardened on your tool it may require soaking of the metallic parts first before wiping clean with an old rag.
Tools like Hoes or other digging tools that comes in ground-contact tools will last longer if it is coated occasionally with oil, which helps to protect the blades or tines from moisture and rust. To coat it with oil, pass a wire brush over the tool to remove any ingrained dirt, the build-up of sap, and any rust spots. Then work both the front and back of the blade then wipe clean with a rag. Finally, apply oil (avoid petroleum-based oil) using a clean cloth.
Even the most expensive gardening tools are prone to rust, if not taken care of. So here are a few simple steps you can take to help prevent it:
How To Treat Rust?
To treat a rusty tool, always use fine steel wool, sandpaper or a wire brush to scrub away until the rust has come off. If the tool has been completely covered in rust, you should try a wire brush attachment on an electric drill for a more powerful scrub.
Once you’ve removed all the rust from your tool, wipe out the entire metal surface with linseed oil.
It is better to store small spades or trowels in a pot filled with sand. It will keep rust from forming on the metal.
Hang bigger garden tools up on the wall with hooks or a pegboard. This will keep them away from contact with concrete or dirt.
Tips for Sharpening of Garden Tool
A sharpened tool is the key to both ease and safety in the garden. For example, a sharp pruning tool will make cleaner cuts, which helps a plant to heal and regenerate faster. The best practice is to assess your garden tools before the season starts, and preferably several times throughout, and sharpen them as necessary.
Mill file is used as a standard sharpening tool for most garden tools, which you can purchase from your local hardware store or from Amazon here.
A whetstone, which also can be found at your local hardware store, or online like this one here is the perfect tool for sharpening pruners. Wet the stone with a few drops of water or linseed oil before you start sharpening. Rub the blade toward the stone in a curved motion.
Winter months are the best time to take stock of your gardening tools and clean, remove rust, sharpen and then treat with oil. If you do the maintenance stuff during this off-season period, it’s one less thing you have to think about when it’s time to get your hands dirty in the coming spring!
Hope this article has given you a fair idea about the essential gardening tools you will need as a beginner and how to take care of them.
Yes, you don’t need to have a Batman-like arsenal of tools and equipment when starting a garden for the first time. These essential gardening tools for beginners will help cover most of the jobs. From these, you can expand your collection as you also widen your gardening project. One thing to always remember though– always take time to inspect a tool’s handle. Gardening is all about good use of the hands. You would want tools that will make you enjoy and not suffer from blisters and such.