Guide to Lawn and Garden Tools
John Garshoen, Lifelong Gardener
Gardening can be a fun and exciting hobby, but how does one know what is the right lawn and garden tool to start with? There are so many tools out there for your lawn and garden needs, however, there is only a limited number you need to begin your gardening adventure. Even the most novice gardener can feel empowered when taking on a gardening project with the basic list of lawn and garden tools.
Rakes - Garden Rakes, and Yard Rakes
The rake is every gardener's friend. This yard and garden tool comes in handy almost year-round. Depending on the type of rake you get for your yard or garden, they're ideal for grading, leveling, spreading topsoil or gravel, or just getting your fall leaves together quickly. It's recommended to get a durable, all-purpose garden rake as your basic lawn and garden tool for everyday use. You may want to consider a garden rake with an aluminum shaft for durability and soft end grip for comfort. These features are not as important for leaf rakes, as they usually are not under as much stress.
Trowel - Hand Trowels
A hand trowel will likely be one of your first garden purchases and favorite yard and garden tools. Trowels come in useful for many types of gardening activities, including potting plants with soil, transplanting flowers, or digging holes. Trowels usually range in size from 5" to 14" depending on what you'll need the trowel for. One thing to stay away from is steel handle garden trowels however, as these tend to rust rather quickly. A hand trowel constructed of molded-glass fiber is likely your better bet. Finding a cushioned grip tool as your yard and garden trowel will
also allow for longer garden periods without the risk of a sore hand.
Shears - Hedge Shears, Garden Shears and Pruning Shears
When spending large amounts of time in the garden, you'll want to have garden shears or pruning shears on hand. Hand shears come in a variety of styles, from heavy and large to lightweight and small. Whether it's hedge shears, pruning shears, or basic garden shears you're out for, look for shears with slim and padded handles for better comfort over long periods. As a basic yard and garden tool, garden shears will suffice for most light trimming/clipping jobs. It's recommended to go with more durable pruning shears for heavier vegetation. Save the hedge shears for when your hedges are growing out of hand.
While not your everyday steel shovel, garden spades will help you get the job done. This yard and garden tool will take a beating over time, so be sure to invest wisely. Look for a spade with a fiberglass handle with a 'D' shape for withstanding constant pushing and pulling in the yard or garden. Many quality spades come with warranties to guarantee the garden and yard tool you just bought is as good as you hoped.
You'll wonder what you did without this handy yard and garden accessory. Wheelbarrows are good for carrying everything from landscape rocks around the yard to transplanting soil in the yard or garden. Depending on the task, it may be advisable to go with a lightweight folding wheel barrow for smaller jobs and easier storage. A reputable gardening supply store should have a number of options to choose from. This is one yard and garden tool you should easily get years of use out of.
Similar in use to a wheel barrow, garden carts are more essential to the gardener doing lightweight jobs around the yard. Typically constructed of plastic or aluminum, these handy yard and garden carts hold tools, soil, rocks, and some even offer beverage holders! An all-purpose garden tool, garden carts really cover a lot of ground. Most garden carts offer multiple compartments for storage and are light enough for easy lifting out of the garden shed or garage. When sitting in one spot in your garden for a while you'll appreciate a garden cart as your portable workstation.
Once you've got the basic lawn and garden tools covered it's time to head out confident into the yard. As your garden becomes more developed your need for bigger and better tools will also start to build. The number of different garden tools available is almost endless. The basic recommendations I've listed will always be needed, and only you can decide what additions you want to make to your garden supply cache over time.
To read more about and purchase your basic yard and garden supplies read