Whether your looking to maintain your very own garden or are looking to start your very own gardening business, below is a full list of tools that every gardener needs. From cutting your grass and hedges to pulling weeds and planting, you will find everything you need right here!
To make things easier, I have put all of the tools that every gardener needs into 3 separate categories. This includes hand tools such as shears, spades and forks. Power tools such as hedge cutters, chainsaws and lawnmowers. And finally PPE (personal protective equipment) for your gloves, boots and goggles keeping you safe!
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Make sure your sat comfy as this is going to be a long article so without further adue let’s get started!
Hand tools that every gardener needs
A garden spade
That’s right! Let’s start with the absolute obvious, the very tool that everyone thinks of first when thinking of the tools that every gardener needs, a garden spade!
Whether you are turning over flower beds, digging holes for your new plants, scraping the moss and weeds from concrete driveways or filling up wheel barrows with new compost, a garden spade will likely be the first hand tool to grab for the majority of gardening tasks.
A garden fork
I’ll be honest, as a professional gardener I don’t use my garden fork nearly as much as my spade but there are times that it really does come in handy. In theory, a garden fork should be used to help break up and turn over soil but I still find it easier, in most cases at least to use my spade.
But there are times that a garden fork really is the best tool to use and this is when I am shovelling or emptying large backs of hay, bark or anything else loose for that matter so make sure to always have one handy!
It’s easy to confuse a shovel with a spade, but make no mistake, a shovel is definitely not used for digging and you won’t have much luck in trying to do so.
Just think of the term ‘shovelling’ and what springs to mind is to ‘scoop’ something up. A shovel is used to help move loose materials as opposed to digging. For example, you could use this to help move top soil, compost, gravel and sand or even use it to help scrape the weeds away from your concrete or block paved drive!
I love the mattock so much that I’ve even written a review on one! As a professional gardener I just don’t know where I’d be without one now and to think I went so many years of not even hearing about them!
They dig through rubble filled earth with ease and tear out light roots with ease where a spade would be pretty much ineffective. The mattock is the absolute ultimate of digging tools when going about it by hand!
A garden hoe
I’m embarrassed to say it, but up until recently I never bothered with purchasing a garden hoe but now I have one I don’t know what I’d do without one! Honestly its so simple, yet one of the best tools I have in my collection!
My absolute favourite advantage to using this gardening tool is how easy it is to remove weeds from gravel! There is no more sitting on your hands and knees picking the weeds out from stones, just simply scrape them out with the garden hoe.
They can also be used for shaping and moving soil to help harvest crops by way of digging shallow trenches.
A lawn rake
Ah yes, the famous lawn rake! The very gardening tool that we always accidentally leave behind on jobs and never have one when we need one. But how often do you really need a garden rake?
Most we used lawn rakes for when we are cutting long or wet grass. Under these conditions the lawnmower will often leave clumps of cut grass behind which us when we use the rake to clear the mess. Under some circumstances we have to ditch the lawnmower completely and just strim the grass before using the lawn rake to collect the grass clippings.
How about when autumn comes and your garden is full of leaves? You’ve got it…a garden rake! And how about clearing the hedge clippings after cutting the hedges? Right again! A must have tool for every gardener!
A soil rake
The soil rake is, as the title suggests, great for when your working with soil! If your turning your flower beds over or laying new compost or top soil then the soil rake is the perfect gardener’s tool to even out the earth when your finished, leaving everything looking neat and presentable.
We also use this rake when moving gravel as well as raking up large cut branches from hedge cutting and tree pruning, where the lawn rake isn’t strong enough for the job.
A garden broom
The best way to keep customers and ensure that you get recommendations when running your own gardening business is to make sure you sweep up after yourself and keep your customer’s gardens clean. Afterall, as a professional gardener your job is to keep gardens looking fresh all year round!
Given that garden broom is an inexpensive piece of equipment I would recommend getting one soft broom and one stiff broom as depending on what your sweeping, they can each outperform the other!
Given that you can’t get the hedge cutter out and start cutting back the hedges during nesting season, there’s nothing stopping you from giving them a light trim with a set of garden shears whilst not disturbing the nesting birds!
Cutting garden hedges, pruning plants, trimming the odd bit of long grass that the mower missed here and there are all good reasons to quickly pull out your garden shears and keep everything looking perfect in your garden.
Another hand tool that we lose just about everywhere we go and never seem to have one to hand are the secateurs! These are perfect for deheading your roses as well as pruning all other small plants in your garden. A small, easy to use but easy to lose garden tool that really is a must for any gardener!
To be honest, I would put loppers under the same category as the garden shears and secateurs as they all have serve the same purpose, to cut back plants. However, the garden loppers are a lot more heavy duty compared to the others.
You can prune trees (within reach) and cut thick branches with ease with these weapons. I’d recommend going for telescopic ones as you can get more cutting power and cut harder to reach branches too.
A lawn edger
Let’s be honest, unlike a lot of other tools where you can find multiple purposes for them, your only going to be using the lawn edger for one reason and that’s to edge your garden borders giving a nice clean finish to your flowerbeds.
We nearly always use the edging tool once we have finished cutting and strimming the grass to keep a clean edge, even if it doesn’t look like it needs doing. And for those that say they can just use their spade…the lawn edger works way better.
Even if you don’t think you will need one, trust me when I say that at some point every gardener will need the trusty help of their wheelbarrow!
Clearing your old plants to make way for new ones in your flowerbed? Use a wheelbarrow. Filling up your boarders with new earth or taking earth away? You got it…use a wheelbarrow. Even needing help to move heavy items from your home to the car or shed…why not use your wheelbarrow? Get one now to save the heartache later!
Now let’s look at the power tools every gardener needs
A hedge cutter
Let’s start with the hedge cutter! A must have power tool for any novice or professional gardener and available in both corded and cordless options as well as petrol for when your on the move.
A hedge cutter will save you the world of time when it comes to cutting your hedges that once or twice per year and beats using a pair of garden shears!
A garden strimmer
I don’t care what anyone says! If you cut your own grass then you need to purchase a garden strimmer to go around the edges where a lawnmower can’t get to.
You can use your grass strimmer to claim back the edges of your flower beds, cut the grass in hard to reach places such as corners or around washing lines or even use them as a multi tool and trim some easy to reach box hedges!
A brush cutter
To be fair, not everyone has heard of a brush cutter and until purchasing my landscaping multi tool I had never used one, but they are a great addition for any gardener.
They work in a similar way to the garden strimmer except instead of using a cord, the brush cutter uses metal blades that work their way through thick overgrown areas. Do you have a garden overgrown with brambles? No problem!
If you are a professional gardener by trade then you may need a license to operate a chainsaw depending on where you are based. If not and you are looking for something to help cut up your logs or prune some thick trees then a chainsaw may be the right tool for you!
Just be sure to always wear your personal protective equipment such as chainsaw protective trousers, boots, gloves, hard hat, ear muffs and visor (and the rest depending on what you are cutting, how high etc). Chainsaws can be very dangerous!
A saw pruner
Just like the brush cutter, I had never heard of this power tool until I purchased my landscaping multi tool she honestly…what an invention! A mini chainsaw on a pole!
Usually around 8 inches in length, it’s unlikely that you will need a license to use a pole pruner. But they are just like a mini chainsaw but on a pole with some manufactures offering extension poles too for those hard to reach branches!
We are finally there! My final tool that every gardener needs ofcourse has to be the lawnmower! If you are cutting the grass yourself and you don’t have the biggest lawn then just a cheap and cheerful electric lawnmower will suffice. If your running a gardening business or have a large lawn that needs attending on a regular basis then a petrol lawnmower is definitely what you need!
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
I’ve put gardening gloves but multipurpose gloves will be just fine when keeping your hands safe from stinging nettles, friction burns and rose thorns. Of course, if you will be using heavy duty machinery such as a chainsaw then you should purchase some gloves suitable for the particular job separately.
Up there with gloves, having multi purpose goggles to hand is an absolute must when keeping your eyes safe. I can not tell you how many times I’ve nearly been blinded by not wearing my goggles especially when strimming!
Earmuffs, also know as ear defenders when protecting your ears from noise are great for when your using petrol machinery such as cutting the grass, , strimming, hedge cutting, tree pruning and the rest!