25 Gardening Tools and Essentials for Year-Round Care
When you're ready to grow, use our shopping list to find great garden tools, gear and more.
Spring — it's many garden aficionados' favorite time of year. It's when everything comes alive again, and you can plan a new garden or regrow plants that have hibernated during winter. If you're itching to get your spring garden or landscape up and running, make sure you have the tools to get the job done efficiently and correctly. We've rounded up our favorite garden tools — for spring and all year-round — that'll help you create the garden of your dreams.
MUST-HAVE GARDEN TOOLS
A great garden knife can handle a lot of chores, from digging to slicing through roots and chopping weeds. A hori-hori is a lightweight tool with a stainless-steel blade and a full tang (that is, the stainless steel extends into the handle so the blade won't bend or break). One edge of the blade is serrated for sawing, and the other is razor-sharp for cutting. It even comes with a leather sheath for storage.
READ MORE: The Hori-Hori Knife Martha Stewart Uses in 'Martha Knows Best'
Ideal for loosening soil, removing weeds and aerating soil, this hand rake is ergonomically designed to reduce hand and wrist fatigue while cultivating. The tool’s sharp tines make it easy to dig into tough soil, and the cast-aluminum head resists rust for long-lasting use.
The one-piece stainless-steel design of this heavy-duty trowel is bend-proof, making it the best trowel for digging in rocky or heavy clay soils. An oversized trowel head makes for quicker work as you can move soil much more quickly. The ergonomically-designed handle reduces hand fatigue with soft rubber contoured finger grips and palm rest.
Swiss-made Felco pruners keep your landscape on the cutting edge. The long-lasting steel blade can be re-sharpened or replaced, and other replacement parts are widely available. The pruners make clean, smooth cuts up to one inch in diameter. Try the Felco F-6 if you have small hands and prefer a more lightweight tool.
For tackling a lot of weeding, the least fun but necessary chore of gardening, you'll want this tool that makes it easier. Constructed of an ash wood handle and rust-resistant stainless steel, this hand weeder makes it easy to get weeds on the first try thanks to the V-shaped fork tip and curved base that allows for better leverage.
If you don't want to spring for a whole kit of tools, there are a few inexpensive ones you'll reach for over and over again like this soil scoop. Not only does it work as a small shovel and trowel for weeding and transplanting, but the serrated sides allow you to saw through stubborn stems and roots, too.
For when you don't want to mess with a separate tool, let your gloves be your tool. Durable and puncture-resistant to protect your hands, these gloves prevent cuts and blisters and offer a flexible, ergonomic design for handling small objects.
HANDY GARDEN HELPERS
Your knees will quickly let you know that becoming a gardening aficionado is no joke. There's no way to avoid spending time on the ground when you're tending to your garden, but you may as well be comfortable while you do it. This foldable, padded stool works as both a kneeler and a seat and will quickly become one of your most-loved gardening necessities.
The Burro Buddy, a garden tray that sits over your wheelbarrow, organizes all your garden tools in one easily-accessible place. It features long-handled tool holders, short-handled tool holders, a drink holder and even a water-resistant compartment to keep your cellphone safe. It prevents you from running back and forth to move items around the garden, so you can focus on what you love best — digging and planting.
If your landscape requires heavy-duty labor, a steel cart is a must. This cart carries up to 1,000 pounds and can easily convert into a flatbed cart with its removable sides. You can even attach the handle to a riding mower or ATV to make gardening and landscaping much less labor-intensive.
A watering can with two handles — one fixed and one hinged — eases the strain on your wrists and helps you give thirsty plants a quick sprinkle or a big gulp. This can has an offset filling hole, so it's easy to fill from a faucet or garden hose. It holds 2.6 gallons and has a rotating spout to help control the flow.
Just as the sun takes a toll on unprotected skin, it can damage your garden hose, too. Hoses left in the yard eventually become brittle and prone to kinking, so when you try to water your plants, you have to wrestle them back into shape. Flexzilla's hose is made from a hybrid polymer that stays flat and flexible and coils easily for storage.
This wand won't turn garden toads into princes, but it's a must-have. The Dragonfly Nozzle is a unique watering tool that triples as a handheld nozzle, a small wand and a sprinkler. Its 180-degree pivoting head makes spot watering a dream. Just open its wings to transform it into a sprinkler instantly. No more using multiple devices for your watering needs!
These gardening kneelers, seats and stools could help ease some of the strain when planting, weeding and trimming in the garden.
SMART GARDEN GEAR
Bamboo gardening gloves are a thing now. These gardening gloves are breathable, and they'll keep your hands warm in the cold seasons and cool in the warm seasons. They have bare-hand sensitivity (no need to take them on and off), and they even work with your phone's touchscreen.
Need an extra hand in the garden? Slip on this combination apron/smock with a pouch that carries small tools, seed packets, work gloves and more. The Roo Apron also holds harvested veggies or pulled weeds. When the bag is full, open it at the bottom and let vegetables slide out onto your table, or dump weeds into the compost pile.
Toiling around in the garden requires the proper shoes. HGTV senior editorial director and master gardener Kelly Smith-Trimble swears by these classic duck boots. "I’ve tried a lot of boots specifically meant for gardening, and boots that seemed good for gardening, and my go-tos now are the tried-and-true Bean Boots from L.L.Bean," Kelly says. "They’re durable, warm, waterproof, low-maintenance — and cute, too. (. . .) Whatever the season or weather, these boots will become your go-to for gardening and so much more, too."
Even if you slather on sunblock, you'll still be spending a lot more time in the sun than usual. Invest in a comfortable hat like this one. The lanyard keeps it from blowing off your head in the wind, and with UPF 50+, you'll still get adequate sun protection.
If you're prepping your fall garden in late summer, the bugs and mosquitos are probably out in full force. Skip the messy insect repellent spray or creams that are loaded with harsh ingredients. These DEET-free wristbands are made with all-natural essential oils and ingredients and are waterproof.
EASY PLANT CARE
Make sure everything in your garden has a label, like these adorable bamboo signs. Made of 100-percent natural bamboo that doesn’t harm the earth, these markers are easy to write on and will not fade in the sun or wash off in the rain. For less than $15, you’ll get 60 labels and a permanent marker.
If you're just getting into gardening, you might not want to spend too much money on all the gadgets available, which is why we love this collapsible hanging rack. You can use it to dry out your freshly-grown herbs and veggies to use for cooking or making teas. It's available in two-, four- and six-tier options.
You aren't completely out of the woods in spring when it comes to overnight frost. In many areas of the country, cold nights are still possible, so it's important to protect your budding plants. This tunnel cover is made of UV-stabilized polyethylene and has drawstrings on each end so you can control the ventilation.
Keep an eye on young trees when rainfall is scarce. Drought can stress and even kill them, and watering with a hose won't help if the water runs off before it can soak into the ground. This is where a slow-release watering system comes in. A single bag fits trees up to four inches wide and holds 20 gallons of water. The bag empties and waters the tree in six to eight hours.