Essential garden tools

GardenersSo you want to garden? Before you run out and buy a hundred different tools, consider this:

I use these all the time and couldn’t garden without them:

  • A metal rake (sometimes called a bow rake) – not the kind you rake leaves with
  • A digging fork (kind of like a pitch fork put with heavy, flat tines – not long skinny round ones)
  • A skinny hand trowel, no more than 2-3″ wide and about 6″ long

On occasion, I find a use for:

  • A widger, for indoor gardening and transplanting
  • A long-handled shovel, though I often ditch it in favor of the digging fork
  • A colinear hoe, which has a sharp blade that skims under the surface of the dirt to cut off weeds
  • A 3-tined cultivator…but I think I use it because I have it, not because it’s very necessary.

These sit patiently on the tool rack, wondering if I’ll ever use them again:

  • Seeder
  • Three-tined hand fork
  • Garden Weasel

I’ve never bothered to buy:

  • Rototiller
  • Specialized weeding tools

I also recently got a wheelbarrow, and wonder how I ever got along without it. YMMV.



  1. onestraw said,

    February 1, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Great list!
    The best place online I have found to buy really good tools is at Earth Tools. they primarily sell high end rototillers, but they also stock heirloom quality forged hand tools. A little pricey, but if you are hard on tools or just appreciate good craftsmanship they are worth it. I have found the improved design significantly reduces fatigue and with a little care they will last forever.

  2. Keengardener said,

    May 28, 2008 at 6:25 am

    A good list which does highlight the tools most commonly used. A few more to add is a good shovel, hand trowel and a good long hose. When you purchase any tools it always makes sense to buy quality. Quality tools will last you alot longer and help make the jobs alot more easier.

  3. August 23, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    […] Essential garden tools […]

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