Gardening Tools are gardener’s best friends. Be it pruning your plants to make them bushier or to remove diseased branches, be it using a wheelbarrow to carry your plants from one place to another to using a shovel to dig the soil, a gardener has to have the right set of tools used for gardening to create and maintain a beautiful garden.
There are countless gardening tools of different brands available in the market and you may often get confused as to which one is best for you. Do not worry! This comprehensive guide on tools used for gardening will help you choose the right one as per the needs of your dream garden.
Gardening tools are of different types depending on the purpose of the tool. Some tools are used for digging soil, others for pruning the plants, creating stunning bonsai plants, etc. Let us look at the 20 most common tools used for gardening and their uses and application.
20 Most Common Gardening Tools
Pruning is a very important activity if you are a gardener which is applicable to any kind of plant that you wish to grow.
One of the most common tools used for gardening is pruning shears. It is also known as garden scissors, plant cutter, hand cutter, bypass pruners, etc. Pruning shears, as the name suggests, is a gardening tool that helps a gardener shape the plant, cut the branches for a bushier and fuller plant, in making a bonsai of a tree, getting rid of diseased branches, etc.
Pruning is an essential activity and should not be avoided or neglected on emotional grounds. Hence having a good pruning shear is a must for a home gardener.
There are several kinds of pruners available in the market. Choosing the wrong type of pruning shears can affect the health of your plant adversely.
The bypass pruners have curved blades resembling scissors. The blades overlap each other while cutting the branches.
The pruning shears are useful when cutting soft and tender branches.
Bypass pruners are a good choice when you want to make a 45-degree angle cut in the stem for propagation through cuttings.
Secateurs or anvil Pruners (Must have in the gardening tools)
Secateurs are also called anvil pruners. These pruners are different from bypass pruners (pruning shears).
Anvil pruners have a thick straight upper blade that cuts against the flat lower blade. The lower blade looks like an anvil and hence the name anvil pruners.
When anvil pruners are used, they crush the branches or the part being cut. This gardening tool is especially useful to cut woody branches. Woody branches normally do not get damaged by crushing and hence this type of pruners are best suited for woody branches.
These are ideal for use on woody or semi-woody branches. Do not use these for soft branches which can be damaged easily by crushing.
A wheelbarrow is a very useful tool used for gardening when you have a large gardening space. It is used to carry heavy loads of soil, rocks, fertilizers, and other gardening accessories from one place to another.
Depending on the size of your garden, you must choose the right size and quality of the wheelbarrow.
Normally, wheelbarrows with a capacity of 6 cubic feet will suffice and serve most of the gardening needs. Wheelbarrows of capacities 4 to 8 cubic feet are also available in the market.
When buying a wheelbarrow, ensure the following:
- The steering of the wheelbarrow is satisfactory.
- The quality of the wheelbarrow material is at par.
- The carrying capacity matches with the requirement of your garden.
Watering Can (Must have in the gardening tools)
One cannot stress more upon having a good watering can if you are a passionate gardener. It is one of the top must-have gardening tools on the entire list.
A wrong choice of the type of watering can even kill your plants. Hence it is important that you know which type is best suited for your plants.
Watering cans come in various shapes, sizes, materials, and colors. While some may be metallic, others can be made up of plastic.
As for the sizes, there is a wide range available in the market. They come in sizes of 1 liter, 1.8 liters, 2 liters, 2.5 liters, 5 liters, 6 liters, and so on.
Some cans have a shower fixture while others don’t. Some come with a cap while others come without a cap.
A 5-liter watering can carry a lot of water in one go. However, it can become very heavy to carry the can from the water source to the plants/garden. Also, because it becomes heavy, it will be difficult to control the water flow from the showering fixture. If you have to lift the watering can, it can be a good arm exercise for you! You don’t get a lot of precision while watering with this can.
A 2-liter watering can carry a lesser volume of water. However, it gives you a lot of precision and is a lot easier to handle than a 5-liter watering can. I recommend buying a 2 liter can especially if you are planning a bonsai garden.
Remember, the quality and spread of water from the showering fixture are also important when choosing a watering can. If the flow is with high velocity and covers a small area, it may damage the small plants and shrubs. At the same time, it is suitable for plants with establishes trunk/stem. A gentle shower is suitable for tender plants and misting in summers for cooling down the plant.
Khurpi or Khurpa (Must have in the gardening tools)
A Khurpi or Khurpa is particularly useful as a gardening tool for small home gardens where you have a lot of potted plants.
It is used to loosen the soil, dig the soil for fertilization, weeding, aerating, transplanting, etc. The main function is to dig the soil.
It is also used to transfer the soil particularly when the soil is wet.
When buying a Khurpa or Khurpi, make sure the grip of the gardening tool is comfortable and the material is strong enough to not break during operations.
This is also one of the most important tools used for gardening in homes. It comes in various types. Some have a broader edge while others have a narrower edge.
I recommend buying a narrow edge Khurpa for smaller pots and a broader edge Khurpa for bigger pots.
A big trowel, as shown in the picture above, is a small handy scoop-shaped pointed metallic gardening tool that is used for pointed digging, transferring of soil, digging small holes, applying fertilizers, etc.
This tool is very useful if you have a lot of potted plants in your garden or balcony.
A big trowel has a wider scoop and can carry larger amounts of soil.
Small Trowel (Must have in the gardening tools)
A small trowel, like the big trowel, has the same utility except that it can carry a smaller amount of soil for transfer.
As the scoop of the small hand trowel is narrower, it is useful for digging soil at a targeted place in your plant pot or garden. It offers better precision in operations than the big trowel.
You cannot be a gardener if you haven’t put your hands in the dirt! And that is when the gardening gloves come in handy.
They are a must when working in a garden or working with plant pots. They protect your fingers and nails against insects, thorns, damage by pressure, etc.
There are many varieties of gardening gloves out there. However, the ones with inbuilt pointed claws are particularly useful when it comes to shallow digging of the soil with hand.
Also, you must invest in a good quality glove that is puncture resistant otherwise the very purpose of using this gardening tool will be defeated.
If you are a gardener, then you know the importance of removing weeds as they suck the essential nutrients from the soil which otherwise should be utilized by your plants. That is when a weeder becomes important.
A weeder is a gardening tool with a split-tip like that of a serpent’s tongue with a long handle.
This kind of weeder (as shown in the image above) is particularly useful to remove weeds with a tap root or fibrous root system.
Garden Fork (Must have in the gardening tools)
A garden fork/hand fork (as shown in the image above) generally has 4 pointed legs called prongs with a small handle. It is a gardening tool with multiple uses.
This gardening tool can be used whether you want to do one-handed weeding, loosen the soil or even for harvesting root vegetables.
It is also useful when in bonsai making when you want to prune the roots and need to remove the soil sticking to the roots.
Buy a fork that is strong enough to not bend when in use.
A hand rake is a gardening tool with a metallic bar having a metallic tooth attached to it as shown in the image above.
A rake is useful in a big garden when you want to collect the fallen leaves, grass, or hay. It is like a metallic broom for your garden.
It can also be used to even out the soil in a small patch in your garden.
Nowadays, rakes come in many shapes and varieties. Some have teeth made of bamboo. Others have them made of plastic too.
A garden hoe is used to cultivate the soil and remove weeds from the soil. It is helpful in loosening the soil and chop the weeds into pieces.
As the name suggests, this tool is used to break hard lumps of soil in your garden to make it suitable for your plants to grow.
A garden tiller should be strong enough not to bend or break easily when working in the garden. Hence buy one with a strong head and good quality.
A tiller head has two types of blades on either side of the handle. The broader-sized blade is useful to dig relatively softer lumps. The pointed blade is useful to break very hard lumps as it helps concentrate force on a particular point in the garden.
Garden Hose ( Must have in the gardening tools)
A garden hose or garden pipe or hosepipe is used to water your garden/potted plants. It is basically a long flexible tube to transport water from the tap to your garden/pots.
Garden hose comes in many varieties. You should choose your hose carefully as the changing weather may easily damage your hose pipe in a small span of time.
I recommend hose pipes that come attached with a spray gun (as shown in the image above). Or choose the one which can fit the spray gun.
Having a spray gun makes it easier to suit the needs of your plant. Spray guns normally have multiple adjustment settings to control the spread of water from the hosepipe. Hence you can choose a gentle flow for your tender plants and a heavy flow for large trees.
Spray Bottle (Must have in the gardening tools)
A must-have gardening tool. A spray bottle is very useful when you want to apply pesticides, fungicides, or insecticides to your plants.
Choose a bottle with hard plastic so that it is not easily damaged by chemicals inside the bottle.
This bottle comes with an adjustable wheel knob on the nozzle which controls the size of mist created by the nozzle.
I recommend buying a 1-liter bottle as it is easier to handle and carry.
Some bottles come with a small measuring cup to measure the liquid up to 10ml which is particularly useful when applying pesticides.
Anvil or Bypass Loppers
Anvil /Bypass loppers are gardening tools similar to anvil/ bypass pruners but have a long handle. The long handle helps cutting branches that are far off or a distance and are not in reach of the hands normally.
These are suitable for heavy pruning of branches that are up to 1 inch in diameter.
Hedge shears are gardening tools that are best suited for faster trimming and shaping of hedges (fences or boundaries covered with shrubs, bushes, or grass).
Hedge shears come in different varieties, shapes, and sizes. They can have long flat blades, curved blades, etc.
They can cut multiple branches in one go and therefore help in the fast pruning of bushy plants and grass.
The long blades of hedge shears help in even and balanced cutting of bushes and shrubs giving a cleaner and a neater look. They help to maintain a beautiful green landscape.
If you are a gardener, you know that many plants need support to grow. You need to tie them to support using wires and therefore cutting the right length of wire becomes important. (After all, you don’t want those extra additional wire tails to pierce your skin right!)
Wire cutters are a must when you are into making bonsai of plants and trees. In bonsai, you need to train the branches of your plant/tree with the help of training wires at which point the wire cutters come in handy.
Also, when you want to tie your long trailing vines and creepers or want to save the branches of your tender plants from breaking under their own weight or by strong winds, you need a wire cutter to support your plants the right way.
Thinning Scissors or Flower Cutter (Floral Snips)
Floral snips are very simple and handy bypass pruners that are used for removing dead ends (dead-heading) of the small branches, pinching the plant, cutting flowers, etc.
They are very light in weight with a sharp-pointed blade and a spring system which helps in targeted pinching of pruning of plants and flowers.
This gardening tool is also very useful in creating bonsai which requires careful pruning of branches to achieve desired shape and structure of the plant/tree.
A shovel is a hand tool with a broad flat blade as shown in the image above. The blade is fixed to a wooden/metallic handle.
A shovel is used to carry the bulk amount of material from one place to another. It is used for digging soil, lifting material, carrying coal, snow, soil, etc.
It is required when you have a large gardening space. However, it is not useful when you are into pot gardening, balcony gardening, or bonsai.
Hope you liked this article.
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