Green Thumb League
essential garden tools

Essential Gardening Tools You Need to Start Growing

Are you an absolute beginner when it comes to gardening? You might feel overwhelmed by all there is to learn–and, apparently, all there is to buy! The good news is that you can put together a basic set of gardening tools for less than $100.


The first–and, some would argue, most important–tool in your kit is a pair of gardening gloves. You do not want to be wrestling with brambles or pulling up mystery weeds without gloves.

Be sure to buy a pair that fits snugly and has reinforced palms. Avoid fabrics that are coated with non-breathable material since your hands will get sweaty.


A trowel is basically a miniature shovel. You’ll use it a lot, so get one with an ergonomic handle that feels good in your grip.

Trowels that are one solid piece of metal are more durable than those that have an applied wooden or plastic handle. Trowels with a ruler on the blade help you gauge planting depth–important for bulbs, seedlings, and transplants!

Hand Rake

A hand rake does exactly what it sounds like. It’s a miniature metal claw, typically with three prongs, that helps you loosen soil, dig up stubborn weeds, and rake debris from small areas.

Pruning Shears

Kitchen scissors literally won’t cut it here. You need a good, sharp pair of shears to prune your plants, deadhead flowers, harvest produce, and other routine cutting tasks.

Watering Gear

Depending on the size of your new garden and the location of the nearest spigot, you will either need a large watering can or a hose with a watering wand.

Keep in mind that filled watering cans are heavy! If you have mobility issues, it’s a good idea to plan your garden bed so that you can use a hose instead.

Alternate Tools: Hori-Hori and Ho-Mi

The hori-hori is a Japanese tool that can do several different tasks in the garden. Its long, flat blade has a serrated side and a sharp side for digging or cutting.

The ho-mi, also called a Korean hand plow, acts as a spade, trowel, and hand rake replacement. If you’re interested in tools that can tackle multiple uses or trying out traditional gardening implements from non-Western cultures, give these beauties a shot!

Beyond the Basics

So what’s next? As you continue to work in your garden, you may find that you need to add to your toolkit. A kneeling pad or folding garden seat is great if your knees start complaining after you weed. If you’re working with small trees or large shrubs, you might need a heavy-duty lopper in addition to shears.

And it’s never a bad idea to invest in a wheelbarrow to tote all this gear around!

Summer Clayton

Summer Clayton

Summer Clayton has always loved getting her hands dirty. Ever since she was a kid playing in her grandparents’ garden, Summer wanted to learn everything she could about plants. Now she wants to help you grow a bigger, better, greener garden.

Are you ready to join the League of Green Thumbs? Hit that subscribe button and never miss an update.

Add comment