Seven Essential Tools Someone Who Doesn’t Have a Garden Will Never Understand

No matter how big or small your garden is, these tools will prove to be useful and will be a staple in the toolkit of a gardener. Not only are they important, but they are essential to the growth and success of your garden.

These are not the fancy ones that have all the luxurious features. We’re talking here of the bedrock of all the tools. The ones you can get at your local hardware or gardening store to get you started on your gardening journey, those proven to be the most effective and basic of them all.

Here are the seven essential gardening tools you need to make your garden success.



A spade (or a shovel) is a primary tool for digging. If you say digging, you might as well say a spade. Ever since it was conceptualised during the Neolithic period using an animal shoulder blade, the humble spade has helped in the removal, digging, and fixing of dirt not only in our gardens, but in all sorts of soil working that involves moving dirt.

It may have developed and changed over the years, but gardeners in general used it for digging, removing, or lifting dirt. If you are planting and you need a hole, you can count on the old reliable spade to help you punch those holes in the earth. The spade can also break up soil, clumps of dirt and even slice off sod. It will always serve well in the garden.

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You can also use the spade to shape the garden and even scoop up large quantities of dirt into a pail or a wheelbarrow.


Gardening Fork

While we’re still searching for the answer to which came first, the gardening fork or the kitchen fork, the latter is indubitably one of the oldest companions of the gardener.

This three or four pronged implement is used primarily like a spade in breaking, loosening, and turning up soil so that one could begin the planting. It can also be used to rake off any unwanted materials in the soil.

They are slightly different from pitchforks as these are shorter and usually the tines are flatter, thicker and more closely spaced–which is optimized for gardening.

Some gardening forks are longer, and some are shorter and easier to manipulate by hand. There are also flatter and broader tines on gardening forks which are used for lighter work like removing weeds along the plants and lifting root crops from the ground.


Garden Rake

Probably one of the most recognisable garden tools is the rake. You can consider this as the moviestar among the essential tools in the garden. It has been used as one of the main devices for slapstick comedy.

Before its Hollywood success, it is believed to have been used in China during 1100 BC to be used in harvesting and removing plant refuse.

Its simple design is always handy in collecting fallen foliage, hay, and dead grass. It could also be used for loosening the soil, weeding, and leveling to prepare the soil.

Rakes usually have metal, plastic or wooden teeth and the material depend on how one would use it. The heavier the labor, the sturdier should be material.



Trowels are mini spades. They may come in small packages, but they are useful in the garden. The plus of being small is that they can be easily used by any beginner who does not mind his or her knees for some time.

Like their taller and bigger counterparts, these are thought to be from the Neolithic period where animal shoulder blades were used.

Gardening trowels have also evolved in design. Each one made specifically according to its function and where it will be used. Construction and archeological trowels are flatter and gardening trowels are more pointed and cupped. These are used for breaking up earth, digging holes, weeding and planting vegetables even small bushes and trees.



A hoe is a simple instrument used to shape the soil, remove weeds by agitating the surface of the soil or by cutting the roots, level the ground, and even harvest crops.

The many types of hoe show varying purposes and multiple functions. There are hoes used to scrape the ground, some to draw lines on the ground, tilling them in the process. Some are designed to cut the roots of weeds, and some are made to make trails or water trenches.

These gardening implement have been instrumental and an important part of the development of other gardening material. It is the inspiration to pick, adze and the plow.


Pruning Shears

Also called secateurs are a pair of scissors designed to cut plants. The main difference between pruning shears and the office scissors is that shears are made from sturdier materials so that they can prune and cut branches and shrubs that can be pretty thick sometimes.

It should be noted that while some office scissors are made of sturdy materials, these should still be confined in the office or household as pruning shears are especially designed to decrease the risk of injury to the user.

Pruning shears have been around the gardening world for a long time, especially in the ornamental and fruit gardening category as pruning is essential to the success of these gardening endeavors.


Watering System

Whether it be a spray bottle, watering can or sprinklers, a watering system is like an old friend, it needs no further introduction nor dispute that it is essential to the garden success and growth.

Before complicated irrigation systems emerged, the watering can (or more popularly known back then as watering pots) was the main can. It even went through a redesign by John Haws. His design is the current one being used and it has become the standard.

Nowadays, there are so many things that a gardener can choose from to use to maintain and improve the garden. But the basics still remain.

Gardening means plants growing and the tools help in maintenance. No matter the size or the design of your garden, these essential tools will always be around to help in the garden.

What do you think about these tools? Do you have any other tool in mind that should be part of this list? Let us know in the comments below!

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