As a beginner when purchasing gardening products, it’s easy to go crazy. At the time I thought I needed a lot of these advanced tools. Thinking about where to purchase them, their prices, and their functions made my head spin. Here are 12 Essential Gardening Tools for Beginners. 

When shopping it’s important that you consider your storage space and your budget. Start with the basics to prevent overcrowding your shed. Sure, advanced tools look cool, but getting and maintaining quality tools within your budget goes a long way.

Rather than aimlessly strolling the aisles of your local hardware store, you should seek assistance from experts who have been gardening for years. That is why I’ve constructed this blog post with 12 essential gardening tools any beginner will be able to handle.

Having these at your fingertips for when you need to tend to your garden will make work much easier and boost your confidence.

Also see Gardening Trends For 2022, How To Grow Sugar Snap Peas, and 10 Reasons Why A Raised Garden Bed Is Better. 

gardening gloves

1. Gloves

Gardening is a great activity but what isn’t fun is getting your hands hurt by thorns, splinters, and sharp stones. A pair of gloves would be perfect to prevent injuries but not just any gloves. The type of gloves made for gardening should be durable but not too thick, considering you’ll be working with seeds and delicate seedlings.

The material should fit your hands and not be too tight to cause blisters and calluses or loose for it to slip off. True gardening gloves are made from fabric that is water-resistant. Unlike normal gloves that fit the wrist, ensure to purchase ones that have longer cuffs. Those will keep the soil out and protect your wrists and forearms from cuts and scrapes. They also give you a firm grip on large bags of fertilizers, garden tools, and pricky fruits and vegetables.


2. Hand Trowel

If you aren’t able to get all the basic tools right away at least have a hand trowel. You’ll need them for turning the soil in the containers that hold your plants. Gardeners often use them in pots, planters, garden beds, and even window boxes.

Broad blades rearrange more soil while a trowel with a narrow blade is excellent for digging up weeds. Trowels built from stainless steel are quite durable and those with a wooden handle have a better grip than plastic or metal handles. Before buying one get a feel of how heavy or light a design can be. A trowel that feels comfortable when you hold it will make it easier for you to make smooth movements.


3. Watering Can

Even though using a bucket can do the trick of hydrating your plants, watering can do it better. They are available in a variety of beautiful styles, colors, and nozzle choices. As you shop, you’ll notice that there are different types of watering cans.

There are cans built with metal or ceramic and others from plastic. Plastics are much lighter than metal but won’t last very long. If you decide to go with a metal can it should be galvanized to prevent rusting. The size you pick should pertain to the amount of water you can carry.

A standard watering can be between 0.5 to 10 liters. The handle will allow you to effortlessly carry a full can while also allowing you to tilt and water your plants.

4. Spade

A spade is used for digging holes to plant trees, shrubs, and huge flowers. It is undoubtedly one of the most important gardening tools. A spade is useful for edging flower beds and shoveling small amounts of dirt. Small tree roots can also be chopped up with a spade before you dig them out.

Spades with stainless steel material are quite durable and do not rust quickly. It can be a bit more pricey and heavier but worth it. The sharper the blade the easier digging will be. You can sharpen your spade using a carborundum stone. If the blade is too sharp, this further highlights the need for gloves and protective boots.

garden shears

5. Garden Shears

You’ll need a pair of garden shears if you intend to grow hedges, trees, shrubs, and the edges of flower beds. They look like a pair of scissors and are made to trim or prune plants in your garden. Going for the cheaper shears might be tempting but try to buy one that is reasonable enough. The cheaper shears tend to have very thin blades that can easily be disfigured when trying to cut thick branches and stems.


6. Hand Cultivator

A hand cultivator is like a hand rake. It can be used to remove leaves from your garden bed or spread mulch. A triple-pronged cultivator has very strong tines and is useful for breaking hard soil, mixing compost, and uprooting weeds.


7. Wheelbarrow

A wheelbarrow will probably be the priciest gardening tool you’ll have to purchase as a beginner. It will be quite useful especially if your garden covers a large area. You’ll be able to use it to carry bags of soil, compost, and mulch from one location to your garden.

Swinging a 50kg bag of fertilizer over your shoulder isn’t the easiest thing to do. With a wheelbarrow, you’re at a lesser risk of needing to see a chiropractor due to back injuries.

During a high-yielding season, this tool will make work lighter by hauling all crops from your garden for storage (if you’ll grow fruits and vegetables). Keep it clean, dry, and tucked away if not in use to prevent rust.


8. Garden Fork

A garden fork also called a digging fork is used to rearrange soil and is also useful for lifting vegetation. Similar to a pitchfork, garden forks with a small curvature to the spines are ideal for scooping mulch or turning compost piles.

Those with straight tines are great for digging rocky and clay soil. Others with square tines are stronger than flat tines and this is because they tend to bend when you hit a root or rock.


9. Garden Hose with Adjustable Nozzle

Water is essential for the survival of your garden, therefore make sure your garden hose can extend and spray any section. Watering with nozzles allows you to manage the water pressure, which is important for watering delicate flowers and newly sprouting fruits and vegetables.

To avoid getting your hose twisted and bent, invest in a rotating nozzle. Before buying a garden, hose estimate or measure the length you’ll need from the water source to your garden. Note that the longer the hose the lower the water pressure.

That is why I advise having your garden as close to your water source as possible. Hoses should be kept coiled and out of direct sunlight when not in use. Do not store it with twists as that may develop weak points.


10. Hoe

The type of hoe you need depends on the type of garden you have. A sturdy, wide hoe is best suited for a vegetable garden. If you have a perennial garden, you may need to use a lighter touch and a so thinner hoe would be better. Get a hoe with a comfortable and long reach. Ensure the blades are sharp for when you’re preparing your garden bed or weed removal.


11. Self-watering Container

If you live alone and frequently take vacations or there are times when you plan on being away for a few days, you’ll definitely need to water your plants. A self-watering container is a perfect tool for hydrating plants grown indoors and even outdoors too.

Sub-irrigation is used in self-watering planters to send water straight to plant roots, minimizing the need for extra work. The reservoir at the base of the container allows the plant to absorb water at its own pace and will visibly alert you when the reservoir is empty, indicating that it’s time to add water.

Growing some plants, especially vegetables, in self-watering containers can be the best option. These containers can improve plant health and yield by giving a steady quantity of moisture directly to the roots. In no time you’ll be reaping fresh and quality fruits and veggies.

12. Rake

A rake is a much simpler gardening tool than a leaf blower. It’s very basic and something you’ll definitely need especially in autumn. Rakes come in a wide variety of styles, colors, shapes, and sizes.

Adjustable rakes serve as multiple tools in one, reaching into tight spaces and collecting huge quantities of leaves. Rakes with steel tines are more durable but rougher than plastic tines. Plastic tines are great for raking leaves where you’re growing delicate plants.

Raking when it’s windy can be frustrating but what works for me is to rake with the wind. That way I’m not running around trying to catch escaping leaves.


Summer is coming up and there’s no time like the present to get your gardening tools ready. The essentials listed above are all beginner-friendly and will not only get you prepared but also make you feel like a pro.

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garden rake

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