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Starting your gardening journey can be overwhelming. These essential gardening tools will help you grow flowers, herbs and veggies like a pro (even if you aren’t–yet!)
I remember when I started my first little 4×8′ raised bed garden my sad-looking backyard I had a lot of question about whether I had the tools I needed to grow food for my partner and I.
Surely this gardening thing required a lot of fancy tools, didn’t it?!
I didn’t have the resources I needed at the time, so I scattered a bunch of seeds in some soil and waited.
To my surprise, I was able to grow a pretty decent first harvest that year. The truth is, gardening doesn’t require a ton of specialized and expensive tools, especially if you’re starting on a smaller scale (as I did, and as I recommend!)
Still, things didn’t go exactly as planned and I still had a lot of learning to do. Today, I have a few trusty tools I recommend based on years of practice growing food in the city.
With a few reliable, versatile tools, you’ll be well on your way in your gardening journey.
This post is all about essential gardening tools for the beginner gardener.
Who This Post is For – Gardening Tools for Beginners
The gardening tool recommendations are made with the beginner gardener in mind, i.e. someone who is just starting out on their journey and is starting from scratch.
That being said, I would recommend these tools to any gardener looking to invest in the best tools for the job.
These are the tools I would choose if I could only garden with nine tools for the rest of my life.
Also, these tools are intended for urban, suburban and small-scale gardeners looking to grow food for their family. You will not see tools for meadow, forest, or larger scale operations, for example.
With those disclaimers, let’s dive in to the best gardening tools!
Essential Gardening Tools
These pruning shears are versatile enough to handle a variety of jobs, from cutting a bouquet of the most delicate flowers, to cutting back leathery old squash vines at the end of the season.
The Corona Comfort Gel Grip Pruning Shears are designed with your comfort in mind. Not only are they comfortable to grip, but they come with an adjustable gauge to adjust the clippers to your unique hand-size. No more hand fatigue (especially for my folks with smaller hands!)
Don’t let their comfort fool you though, these clippers can handle some pretty heavy-duty jobs, and can cut up to 3/4 of an inch.
Gardening gloves aren’t just a chance to protect your manicure in the garden, they are also for your comfort.
The right pair of gardening gloves can protect your skin from irritation (like from prickly radish leaves), dermatitis and allergic reactions (ask me about how I found out I was allergic to hops), and pruning.
You’ll want especially thick gloves if you’re going to be doing any work around especially problematic plants like nettles. (I wear my thick leather gloves foraging too!)
Plus, how cute are these patterns?!
These ones not the gloves for you? Check out my round-up of super cute gardening gloves here!
The hori hori AKA the garden knife is the best little-known gardening tool here in the US.
This Japanese gardening tool is the ultimate multi-tasker, simultaneously acting as a trowel, knife or even a measuring stick. That’s right, this hori hori comes with depth measurement so you know exactly how deep you’re planting your seeds and bulbs.
With the knife edge of this tool, you can easily cut back branches and vines, as well as dig and cut out old roots. A hori hori is especially essential if you want to practice no-dig gardening, as its precision allows you to remove old root systems without distubing the soil.
You can even use the knife to cut open the fruits of your labor (pun intended) after a long day of gardening!
A garden knife like the one talked about above can handle most jobs, but sometimes you want something just a little gentler.
And nothing requires a gentle touch more than transplanting delicate seedlings.
Transplanting simply means moving a plant from one area to another–often from indoors, where it was started from seed, to outdoors, where it will harden off and live out the rest of its days.
Tranplanting seedlings is an especially delicate job, and this handheld transplanter by Burgon & Ball is up to the task.
Simply sink the head of the tool in the soil parallel to and a few inches from your seedling, and push on the handle to lever the seedling from its home. Pop the seedling in it’s new home, feed it some fertilizer and watch it grow!
Vegetable gardens need a shocking amount of water, so you need a good garden hose to keep up with demand.
If you’re not going to install a drip irrigation system, it’s imperative you invest in a good garden hose because you’ll be spending a good amount of time watering your garden (i.e. daily). Believe me, nothing is worse than wrestling with your garden hose every time you go to water!
This hose by Flexilla is made of a special polymer that is especially flexible and durable, so that it doesn’t kink or leak. It’s also easy to coil and hang up at the end of your session.
While we’re talking about watering your garden, you’ll also need a nozzle for your garden hose that offers a variety of settings. The water coming out of your standard-issue hose as-is will typically be have too much pressure for your garden.
A nozzle like this one from MAXFLO will ensure you can change up the flow settings based on the plant and its stage of life.
For instance, you might use the mist setting when watering your seedlings, and graduate up to the shower setting as the plants get older. I also like to leave the hose in the garden on the soaker setting for longer stretches of time while I do other things.
One of the most important considerations when starting your gardening journey is where you’ll be growing.
If you don’t have the luxury of space or workable soil, then growing in 5 gallon grow bags in one of the most efficient options in terms of pounds per square foot.
You can even these grow bags to supplement what you already have growing in raised beds and other areas. They are a great way to keep voracious growers out of precious garden space where they would take over (looking at you squashes, zucchini, and even tomatoes.)
If you’re going to be starting seeds indoors, you’ll need starter pots for them to live in before they graduate to the outdoors.
Starting seeds indoors is absolutely not essential, depending on what you’re growing. Some vegetables like to be started in a warmer, more controlled environment, like tomatoes.
I like these starter pots because they are biodegradable and big enough for heftier seedlings.
Speaking of seedlings, if you’ll be starting plants indoors you’ll absolutely need a spray bottle to mist your plants during the early stages of its life.
Anything stronger than a mist can permanently damage or even kill your baby plants. We don’t want that!
This spray bottle is the gentlest one I’ve found for both your plants and you. The continuous mist decreases hand fatigue by eliminating the constant squeezing.
This post was all about gardening tools for beginners.