Gardening Tools for the Beginning Gardener Gardening Tools for the Beginning Gardener

Just about every profession has tools of the trade. Even gardeners have tools of the trade that are indispensable. Selecting gardening tools doesn't have to be complicated. Go with your common sense when selecting gardening tools. Ask yourself: Does it fit your needs? Will you use it many times or will you just use it sporadically? Here is a list of common gardening tools for a beginning gardener.


Pruners are scissor-like tools that are used to cut branches and weeds. They are also used to harvest vegetables and flowers. There are a few different types of pruners, depending on your needs.

  • Bypass Pruners. These pruners are much like scissors in their structure. They even behave like scissors, with blades that slides past each other when squeezed together. They are commonly used to cut small live branches. Bypass pruners come in different sizes, usually according to the thickness of the plant being cut. Most bypass pruners can cut up to half an inch.
  • Bypass Loppers. These pruners have a longer handle to reach branches on small trees and shrubs. They work much the same as hand-held pruners, but they generally can cut thicker branches, some up to one inch or more.
  • Anvil Pruners. Anvil pruners are used for cutting dead dry branches. They usually have one side with a blade, and a resting spot on the other side where the blade stops once the cut is finished.
  • Anvil Loppers. These loppers are used to cut thicker branches, and the longer handles give the leverage needed to reach higher spots and cut into the thicker branches.


Commonly called a dandelion weeder (or a dandelion killer), this tool looks like a screwdriver with a large, flat head. Some call it a digger. The weeder is used to get down under the roots of dandelions and other invasive weeds in garden beds. Then, like the claw of a hammer, the weed can be pulled out by angling the weeder back.

Garden Shovel

A good garden shovel with a good, easy-to-hold handle is great for the new gardener. The garden shovel is indispensable because it is your main digging tool. It can be used to dig a new garden bed, or to shovel new dirt into holes or the garden bed.

Garden Hoe

A garden hoe is a great tool for digging up weeds in larger garden beds or in the rows between plants in the garden. It has advantages over a weeder because it has a larger surface area and can remove tough grasses easier.

Garden Rake

There are a few different types of garden rakes:

  • Leaf rakes are usually pliable and used for raking up leaves and other loose debris. Leaf rakes come in all sizes and shapes but most have a fan shaped head on them.
  • The level head rake is the best rake for raking the soil in garden beds. It is made of hard metal and has a flat head full of tines on the end. It helps to have a level-head rake to help flatten down the soil in a garden bed before planting. It is also helpful in tilling and weeding the garden bed before planting.


A cultivator looks like a tiny fork. It's about the size of a weeder, about seven to eight inches long. It is also used in weeding and getting close to the garden bed. It can be used where a garden hoe can't be used.


The wheelbarrow is the horse behind the workhorse (you). It allows you to carry items to and from the garden. A strong and sturdy wheelbarrow is a good tool to have especially if you have a big yard and garden. Even a small garden can benefit from a wheelbarrow. Most modern wheelbarrows are made from plastic. But in the past, wheelbarrows were made of metal, making them extremely strong and sturdy, but quite heavy. The plastic wheelbarrows are still sturdy today but not quite as heavy.

Garden Cart

Sometimes called a garden wagon, the garden cart is another great item to have in the garden. The garden cart allows you to carry all of your tools and other necessary gardening items around with you. It's different from a wheelbarrow in that you probably pull the garden cart rather than push it (like the wheelbarrow), and typically has a more general use.

Gardener's Tool Belt

The gardening tool belt is a place where you can attach all of your tools in one place. This helps organize the tools so that you aren't fumbling around or looking for the right tool for various garden jobs. Gardening tool belts come in many sizes and shapes. Some gardening tool belts even have separate accessories such as an attachable pocket or pouch for seeds. This can help save time on fumbling around for the seeds you want to plant on that day.

Garden Gloves

A good pair of garden gloves is a great item to have for gardeners. While it's fun and exciting to dig in the soil with bare hands, garden gloves are great for those who do not want to dirty their hands, or a tough job such as pruning a rose bush or other thorn bearing plant. Garden gloves help protect your hands from the harsh conditions that gardeners can sometimes experience.

Beginnings are Half the Battle

Now that you have some knowledge of basic gardening tools, venture out and find the right tools for you. When you have the tools to begin your adventure of gardening, you can make your garden the best it's ever been.

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