Essential Garden Tools

Essential Garden Tools

If you are new to gardening, here is our advice on the essential garden tools you are going to need. In addition protective gloves and strong footwear is advisable.

Out Top Ten

As with all tools, spending a bit more for better quality is well worthwhile, you don’t want a tool to break the first time you use it. Look for guarantees, but also examine carefully yourself.


You cannot plant without digging a hole. A spade is pretty well essential, if your budget allows, go for stainless steel, they resist rust, tend to be less sticky on muddy ground and they look better!


Unless you are very lucky, you will find your ground difficult to dig with just a spade, a fork cuts through hard ground much easier


Before you know it, plants will be throwing out shoots in all directions, a good pair of secateurs is essential to keep them under control.


Planting out small plants is much easier with a garden trowel than with a large spade

Watering can

After planting, for small areas and containers, a watering can is pretty well essential for watering. It can also be used with diluted fertilisers.

Hose Pipe

In dry Summers, unless you garden is very small, a hose pipe is needed to keep you plants from drying out and possibly dying. Water in teh evening when teh sun has gone down. It’s useful if you have an outside tap.


There are many designs to choose from, the traditional dutch hoe is a good all rounder. Use it to control weed shoots (little and often is best) and to tidy up beds after walking on them

Lawn Mower

If you are lucky to have a lawn, you are unlucky in that you will have to mow it. If you need a mower, you will also need some edging shears to keep it neat, not one of out top ten though. See our separate guide


For preparing new beds and for levelling out soil, you will need a rake


A trug is like a very large bucket, they have a multitude of uses for moving soil, compost or even water. For collecting cuttings and prunings, I’ve even seen strong ones upended and used as a seat.

Others to consider


If you have a large garden or plenty to do, get yourself a wheelbarrow.

Lawn/Leaf rake

Allows you to clear up your lawn, on large lawns, a rotary mower set on a high cut is effective


It’s surprising how much more can lifted with a shovel than with a similar sized spade, take care of your back though.

Lopping Tool

These take over where secateurs cannot cope.


Cutting back trees needs care both to avoid accidents but also not to damage the tree. Saws with course blades are needed, but take care.


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