Types of Garden Tools and Equipment

Choosing the right tools for gardening is half the battle when it comes to planting and maintaining a healthy outdoor space. After that, it's time to get to work!
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©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Secondhand Tools: Proven Performers

Secondhand tools can be east to come by and are proven performers. Choose the best quality tools you can afford, if buying new.

Garden Spades: To Prepare Light Soil

The garden spade is one of the most basic but essential tools a gardener can have. It is very versatile and can be used for digging, cutting, reshaping or for planting and cultivating and moving small amounts of earth.

Garden Trowels: For Tending Small Areas

A garden trowel is a must have tool because it can perform lots of essential tasks. From digging out weeds to making holes for new plants or bulbs this is a tool that should be on any basic garden tool list.

Garden Rake: To Create Fine Tilth

If there are seed beds to prepare, or soil to level, then invest in a soil rake. As well as soil preparation, they are great for clearing weeds after hoeing and removing debris and stones from borders and beds.

Sharp Hand Pruners: To Cut Stems and Branches

Yearly pruning of small branches, dead wood and the taking of cuttings can be performed with ease using the right hand pruners also known as secateurs. They have a return spring which opens the blades again after each cut.

Dutch Hoe: For Weeding and Making Drills

The Dutch hoe or push hoe is ideal for weeding between vegetable rows or plants that are spaced apart. A wide single cutting edge at the front of the hoe is pushed forward under the soil surface and severs the plant from its root.

Pruning Saws: Best Used on Larger Tree Branches

A good tree pruning saw will cut up to 3 inch branches and is ideal for close in pruning. Blades are either curved or straight. Curved blades offer greater cutting speed with less effort and are easier for overhead branches.

Garden Fabric: For Protecting Young Plants

Specially designed fabrics, such as this all purpose garden fabric are often used to protect young plants against frost, but they are also effective in blocking insects and birds, or reducing the intensity of the sun.

Crop Netting: Protects Against Insects and Birds

Crop netting is small mesh, lightweight, visually unobtrusive bird control netting, ideally suited as crop protection over a wide range of fruits and vegetables.

Cloche: To Warm Garden Soil in Spring

A garden cloche is open on bottom and sits directly on soil, so plants can be started in the ground earlier, or potted plants and seedlings can be raised until ready to transplant. It offers climate control and protection from pests, wind and weather.

Pea Sticks: To Support Growing Peas

There are countless ways to trellis peas, but one of the best and least expensive techniques is to use tree and shrub trimmings as a support. These pea sticks, as they are called, work particularly well because peas love to twine their tendrils them.

Seed Trays: To Sow Vegetables

A basic seed tray or flat is an inexpensive, no frills way to get plants started for a garden.

Garden Twine: To Tie Tender Stems to Supports

Natural garden twine, made of earth friendly, biodegradable jute, is a longtime favorite for tying plants and supports.

Plastic Garden Totes: For Carrying Small Items

Flexible, practical and nearly indestructible, this plactic garden tote can be filled with soil and used as a temporary pot for seedlings and cuttings, or haul mulch, clippings or other yard waste. Even hold sides together at top for fast watering can.

Garden Dibber: For Sowing Large Seeds

A garden dibber or dibble is essentially a stick with a sharpened end. It has changed little in the centuries it has been in existence. The sharp end is pushed into the soil to create a hole into which seeds or bulbs can be planted.

Hand Sprayer: For Applying Pesticides

Hand sprayers are handy for spraying pesticides, or watering outside, plus it can be used to increase humidity around indoor crops.

Next Up

Cleaning and Storing Garden Tools

Digging tools and pruners require regular cleaning and adequate storage to keep blades sharp and prevent rust.

Cleaning and Sharpening Tools

Regular care will help your garden tools last longer and perform better. Follow these steps to keep your tools in top condition all season long.

Paint Glossary: All About Paint, Color and Tools

Learn what type of paint to use, which tools will work best and the basics for picking color schemes.

Learn How to Restore Garden Tool Handles

Give your garden tools a little TLC with simple steps to make them shine like new.

How to Build a Storage Shed for Garden Tools

Create extra storage for outdoor gear with this simple shed design.