Basic Garden Tools for Starting a Garden

A proper set of garden tools can make our gardening experience from a difficult, discouraging one to a fruitful, rewarding gardening experience.  Similar to other pastime, it is important to have the right gardening tools for the job.  This doesn’t mean that we have to buy a whole set of gardening tools at great expense.  Yet, there are some basic tools that most gardeners should have.

Spade and Shovel

Some gardening beginners may not know the difference between a spade and a shovel (or is this only me?).  The difference between a spade and a shovel is that a spade is best used to dig into and break up soil, while a shovel is meant to pick up and move loose material.  Larger spades have space for our foot to bear down.

garden-spade garden-shovel


A garden trowel is a garden hand tool designed for small jobs like transplanting, digging holes, and mixing soil.  Garden trowels come in a wide variety of styles and sizes, and many gardeners like to keep a few garden trowels of different sizes in order to be prepared for any job.  Since we will use a garden trowel often, find those that feel natural in your hand.

Garden Fork

garden-forkWith its piercing tines, a garden fork or spading fork can sometimes get into the soil easier than a garden spade.  A garden spading fork is especially useful when we are working with compacted or rocky soil. The garden tools we use become especially important when we work on some heavy duty gardening jobs.  And for gardening tasks like breaking new ground, removing sod, tilling the garden, and aerating the soil, a good garden spading folk will surely make our life easier.


Garden rake can level ground, move gravel or sand, gather up materials, and clean up leaves in our gardens. Garden rakes come in different materials with tins that may be pliable or solid.

Garden Hoe

A garden hoe has many uses, for examples, weeding our gardens and tilling the soil.  There are many types of hoes and gardeners probably collect several kinds of different sizes for different gardening jobs.

garden-rake garden-hoe

Garden Shears and Pruners

Garden shears and pruners are essential for flower gardeners or gardeners with shrubs.  Most shears and pruners can be taken apart for maintenance and sharpening.  When choosing our garden shears and pruners, we should consider the ease of use, strength, and the size of the plants we will be cutting.

garden-pruner garden-shears garden-shears

Garden Gloves

garden-glovesYes, it is just fascinating when we are in our gardens, planting, weeding, or simply enjoying the sun.  Yet, as fun as gardening is, don’t forget to protect our hands and treat them well.  A good pair of garden gloves is essential.  When we are weeding an overgrown garden or lifting some tree trunk cuttings, our garden gloves will protect the gardener’s hands from thorns, sharp sticks, and whatnot. There are garden gloves made of different materials.  While many gardeners (including myself) prefer to use lightweight cloth garden gloves, other gardeners prefer a good pair of leather garden gloves for those tough jobs.

Garden Kneeler & Kneeling Pad

Gardening can be just s tough on the knees as on the hands, and gardeners should take steps to minimize the damages gardening does to their joints.  One of the gardening tools we should get for ourselves is a garden kneeler.  A kneeler is a great garden tool to make laborious jobs such as weeding and planting more comfortable.  There are different types of kneeler for gardeners, and it is a good idea to try out different styles so to find the type that we like best.

Garden-kneeler garden-kneeling-pad

Here are a few posts about garden kneeler and kneeling pad.
The Importance of a Garden Kneeler
A Garden Kneeling Pad, a Modern Garden Kneeler, or Garden Knee Pads?
Tips of Choosing a Garden Kneeler

5 comments to Basic Garden Tools for Starting a Garden

  • Hi Sandy, that’s a nice overview of the basic garden “hardware” we all need. Over time I’ve discovered that I use my pointed mini hoe just about the most of all. And I will admit to a garden glove fetish! There are some really nice soft cotton ones with rubberized fingers – those are my current favorites. Barbara

  • Hi Sandy! This is a very resourceful list for the gardening “challenged” individual like me, lol! Thanks for posting this. Another great resource I’ve found is the e-book “Gardening Made Easy”. It hits everything from planning a garden to gardening without soil and all the topics you can imagine in between! Here’s the link Take care and thanks again!

  • prunus_sargentii

    Hi, Can you tell me the brand of that garden trowel? I had one just like that and I lost it last year. It was the best trowel I ever used. Now I can’t recall the name and i’m having trouble location another one.

    Thanks for your help!


  • ej

    thank also don’t know different between spade and shovel.. but your info save me..haha 😉

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