Essential Garden Tools

Whether you're a novice or a green thumb, you'll get better results with the right equipment. This article outlines the essential garden tools you need for growing great veggies and flowers.

Essential Garden Tools 101

Gardening can be a great workout or a peaceful pastime — some would argue both. Whatever your approach, it’s definitely more enjoyable when you've got a good set of gardening tools. With the proper selection at your disposal, you'll not only work more efficiently, you'll also put less wear and tear on your body. Your flowers and vegetables will thank you, too. Whether it's digging, seeding, weeding or pruning, there's a specialized tool designed for the job. The first step to buying garden tools is determining the kind of gardening you will do. Next, dig into this helpful resource. In no time, you'll be whipping your garden into shape with your new garden tool set.

Essential Tools 1


Trimmers & Edgers

A beautifully manicured lawn and flower garden will add considerable curb appeal to your home. Consider investing in a trimmer or edger. Not only do these power tools quickly and easily remove unwanted grass and weeds, they also help to sculpt your lawn and flowerbeds. Choose a heavy-duty string trimmer for cutting rough brush. An edger is similar to a string trimmer but with metal blades and a vertical cutting head for cutting deeper, sharper edges. Some trimmers also work as edgers, giving you two tools in one.

Pruning Shears

Sometimes plants need haircuts too. Pruning shears, also called secateurs, are a type of scissors used for plants. They can be used on trees or shrubs every few months to help with the overall shape, health and growth of the plant. When pruning, make sure you don't twist or turn branches or roots, just hold the plant firmly in one hand and snip it with the shears in the other hand. A good pair of gardening gloves is essential for pruning sharp or thistly shrubs. A gardening hat to keep the sun off is also a good idea. 

Plant Coverings

Like people, plants too can get frostbite. It's best to use coverings made of breathable materials such as an open burlap bag, cotton or linen. For larger plants, old beds sheets offer great protection. Make sure you cover the entire plant from top to bottom and use plant string or wires to tie the covering to the bottom of the plant.

Garden Claw

Your garden requires regular maintenance, and one of the best tools to have on hand is a garden claw or garden cultivator. Whether it's preparing soil for seeding or watering, removing weeds or raking up small amounts of garden debris, a garden claw gets the job done. Garden claws are best suited for small gardens and flower beds. Lightweight and easy to control, they're also ideal for working in gardens with plants positioned close to one another.

Garden Rake

A garden rake, also known as a level rake, is an indispensable tool for keeping your garden shipshape. You can use it for a wide range of purposes, including leveling uneven ground, gathering up debris, working seedlings deep into soil and creating raised beds. For rocky soil, get a rake with widely spaced teeth. The handle of the rake should be roughly five feet long to avoid bending and back strain.

Garden Fork

When it comes to turning over firm or rocky soil, nothing beats a garden fork. The sharp tines of a garden fork easily penetrate even the hardest-packed soil. Garden forks, unlike shovels, can also move easily through small and medium sized stones. For digging up potatoes and other root crops, look for a garden fork with flat-faced tines. A pitchfork is another kind of garden fork well suited to turning compost or moving loose garden materials.

Garden Trowel

As a gardener, your garden trowel could be your best friend. Whether you need to mix soil additives, dig holes for planting seedlings or fill your plant pots with fresh earth, you can do it quickly and easily with a garden trowel. Be sure to choose a trowel you're comfortable holding. Your hands will soon begin to ache if your trowel is too heavy or the balance isn't right. 

Shovels & Spades

Shovels are great for scooping up large amounts of soil, while spades are useful for dividing soil, prying up rocks and cutting scrubs. Compared to spades, shovels generally have longer handles, which make them a good choice for digging deep holes. Shovels also have wider blades, with rounded or pointed tips for digging into the soil. Most spades have a flat blade with a straight edge, well suited to digging holes that require straight edges.

Essential Tools 2


Chippers & Shredders

Chippers and shredders are a great convenience when you're cleaning up fallen or cut branches and brush. Shedders are best for chopping up leaves and weeds, while chippers can handle tougher materials, including wood. You can choose a standalone chipper, a standalone shredder or a combo unit. There are two basic types of machines. A direct-drive unit runs the blades whenever the motor is operating: this is fine if you’re feeding debris in from a pile and don’t leave the machine unattended. A clutch-based machine lets you disengage the blades from the motor. This is a safer option if you’re moving about the yard gathering debris and feeding the machine every few minutes.


It feels good to transform kitchen scraps and yard waste into nutritious garden compost. With a composter, it's easier to get into the composting routine and make it a family affair. Many things can be used as compost, including eggshells, fruit and vegetable scraps, tea leaves, newspaper and grass clippings. Some composters come with a convenient spinning mechanism to assist in turning the compost over.

Watering Equipment

Nothing keeps plants happier and healthier than regular watering. You're going to need a garden hose and sprinkler system to deliver an adequate supply of water to all parts of your garden. If you have a large lawn or garden, you should consider installing an in-ground sprinkler system. This will eliminate the need to drag hoses back and forth, and your garden will look more neat and orderly. A watering can works great for window boxes and other hard to reach areas. To save money on your water bill, you should also consider installing rain barrels to capture rainfall for reuse in your garden.


A wheelbarrow comes in handy for hauling soil, bags of additives and other garden supplies. Wheelbarrows come with either a metal or plastic tray. The metal variety is sturdier and more durable, but also heavier to push. For easier navigation, choose a single-wheeled wheelbarrow. If you need greater stability, a two wheeler is a better choice. Consider the weight of the material you will be transporting as tub sizes vary.

Garden Hoes

A hoe is one of the most essential gardening tools. You'll find yourself reaching for a hoe in all sorts of situations, including laying out rows for reseeding, removing weeds and breaking up soil. There are several styles of hoe blades, including square, wide, V-shaped and bar-shaped. The handle of a hoe is typically made of wood and should be at least four and a half feet long. Some higher-end hoes have fibreglass handles, which are more durable than wood handles. 

Tool Maintenance:

• Ensure your garden tools are clean and dry before storing to prevent rusting
• Keep the blades of your garden tools sharp to ensure clean, efficient cuts
• Polish metal parts with steel wool every few months to keep your tools looking new
• Use sand to easily remove soil from your tools without causing damage
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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