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Beginner Gardener? Here Are 8 Must-Have Tools to Own

So you’ve recently discovered you have a green thumb and want to try gardening.

To kick off your green journey, you need to have the right tools on hand.

What you need will largely depend on the space you are working with.

If you’re working with a small-space garden such as a balcony or windowsill, the first four items will support your dirt endeavors with ease.

If you’re working with a larger space for a garden, having additional tools will come in handy.

As a beginner gardener, determine the space you’re working with as it will guide your needs, and even keep you on the right track!

Here are the tools you need to own when getting started.

1. Gardening Gloves

If you want your hands to thank you when fingers-deep around roots, pulling out thorny and rough weeds, or digging into the dirt, wear your gardening gloves.

When your hands are protected with the right gardening gloves, you are certain to carry out all gardening jobs without worrying of harming your hands or fingers.

There are a plethora of gardening gloves you can find in the market today.

If you’re working on wet ground or garden, latex gloves are what you need to protect your hands.

For all-purpose jobs in your garden, go for washable synthetic gloves.

You’ll never go wrong with them.

For every beginner gardener, it’s important to find the best gardening gloves that fit your needs.

To put it another way, go for gloves that will handle wear and tear, and also protect your hands when digging holes in the dirt, laying mulch for plants or pruning branches on trees.

2. Pruning shears, secateurs, or hand pruner

If you want to take your new gardening habit a notch higher, get yourself a pair of pruning shears or secateurs.

gardening shears

There is no better way to cut flowers and remove dead branches in the spring and fall season or any time of the year for that matter.

Make sure to choose pruning shears that feel comfortable on your hands.

Or rather, find the one with the perfect grip handles for comfort.

It should also have good blade strength, and it’s durable. Like gardening gloves, there are different types of pruning shears.

  • Ratcheting pruners – Purposely designed with people with arthritis in mind, or anyone with reduced hand strength. The cutting strength of this type of pruners is enhanced.
  • Bypass pruners – If you’re cutting green wood or live plants, bypass pruners are ideal for you.
  • Anvil pruners – They’re designed to cut dead wood. Also, can inflict injury on tree branches as well as fresh, green stems on plants.

What you get depends on the price and purpose, though.

Remember for the best value, your secateurs must easily fit in the palm of your hand (good grip) and the blades rust-resistant.

3. Watering Can

Opt for a durable watering can that’s the right size for your small space garden, (if at all you have a balcony or windowsill garden).

It is easier to aim water on your garden plants when the can perfectly fit your hands, is the right size, and weight.

For instance, go for a lightweight watering can to make pouring water easy (fast, even).

There are different designs, types, and style of cans in the market to choose for your outdoor/ indoor garden needs.

Also, decide whether you want plastic or metal watering cans.

  • Metal cans are heavier and durable than plastic, and they last longer.
  • Plastic cans will never rust, but metal ones will hence look for galvanized metal cans.

If you are an elderly beginner gardener, you can opt to buy a two-handled watering can design for enhanced stability.

You can’t overstate the importance of the size of a watering can.


Because your strength has to be relative to the size of the can, so go for a watering can you can easily lift when full of water.

Remember a gallon full of water weighs 8lbs.

In addition to the watering can, you need an area to store water to use with the watering can.

Rain barrels are a great option. Here’s a list of the best rain barrels to choose from.

4. Hand Trowel

There’s no garden without weeds.

You can care for your garden exceptionally well even mulch it, but weeds will always find a way to pop up – and that’s ok.

What is not ok is allowing weeds to pop-up in containers and in all areas of your garden without removing them.

A trowel is a necessary tool in your garden as it will not only help remove unwanted plants but also easily cut through stubborn roots.

You’ll discover that there are different types of hand trowels – triangular, serrated, pointed, and flat.

And all of them come in different handles.

Hand trowels also help to transplant bedding plants and herbs from soil to containers with ease.

Essential tip: When you go shopping for a hand trowel, consider its handle. Make sure it is carved from the hardest of woods. A handle made out of pine will not be harder compared to marble or white oak, for example. As a beginner gardener, go for hand trowels with words like tempered, stainless steel or carbon steel on them.

5. Sprinkler and hose

Large-space gardens take up space and using a watering can to water plants – especially drought-smart plants – can be a slow, tedious and time-consuming activity.

Hence you’ll need a sprinkler to help water the plants from time to time, and consistently.

Look for an ordinary but portable sprinkler that can be hooked to a hose.

The ideal sprinkler is perhaps one with a perfect base and has adjustable spray nozzles to cover your entire garden.

There are special sprinklers in the market with automatic spray settings to help minimize the usage of water.

Of course, they come at a price but the idea is not to go for pro-tools but essential, handy tools for a beginner gardener.

For the perfect choice of a garden hose, go for a model that’s lightweight and expandable, which can reach every square inch of your garden space.

You can get a garden hose with adjustable nozzles if you are unable to afford a sprinkler system.

It works perfectly fine.

6. Spade or shovel

Preparing your (expansive) garden is easier if you have a good shovel or spade so, by all means, get one.

But wait, what type of garden do you have?

Is it a vegetable garden or a perennial garden? Your garden will aptly determine the type of shovel you need to buy.

If yours is a vegetable garden, for instance, go for a wide and strong spade to cut down weeds.

On the flip side, a perennial garden with flower beds requires a thinner spade.


Because such a garden is “sensitive” and requires a much delicate touch.

How to tell a perfect garden hoe:

  • The handle comes with a long reach and feels comfortable on the hand.
  • Has a sharp blade, and it’s easy to use.
  • Turns and moves the soil perfectly in rows (for a vegetable garden).
  • If it’s a weeding shovel, it has a perfect square head for edging and slicing soil.

7. Leaf Rake

Garden beds often have old plant materials and other unwanted plant debris.

You can easily remove them with a good leaf rake.

Garden cleanups are inevitable and though you can use your hands to clean up your garden beds, a rake reduces the time and energy.

Finding the ideal leaf rake is a no-brainer.

Just choose the one that’s made out of aluminum. Compared to steel, it is lighter thus easier to carry around.

Also, consider the prongs when shopping for a garden rake.

The shorter the prongs, the easier it will be to smooth the soil before you plant on the garden.

Check out drop spreader options for fertilizer application.

8. Garden Kneeler

It is necessary to protect your knees when gardening as much as you protect your hands using garden gloves.

Garden kneelers or foam pads, not only protect your knees but also make garden maintenance easy on the pocket.

Like other useful tools, form pads come in different types and sizes.

Depending on the type of garden you have, choose a foam pad that’s soft and feels comfortable on your knees.

Don’t forget to choose a kneeler that’s crafted from waterproof materials.

For a wet garden, this is a useful feature.

Suffering from back pains? Go for a garden kneeler with handles or a bench.

They are practical for anyone who prefers sitting instead of kneeling.

Not a fan of a garden kneeler?

You can opt for gardening knee pads.

The advantage of gardening knee pads is that you don’t have to carry them around, you just wear them on your knees and you’re good to go.


There you have it! These garden tools will help you get started on your gardening adventure with ease.

As your garden flourishes, you can consider adding more tools to your inventory.

Other items that you may need include; a tool tower to easily store your tools, garden sloggers to protect your feet while gardening, and hand cream for gardeners to protect your hands after a long day in the soil.

Investing in essential gardening tools is important as a beginner gardener.

Not only will your body thank you for it, but it will also keep your garden beautiful, healthy and growing.

Remember, the tools you need will aptly depend on the space you have.

If you have a small-space garden, gloves, a pair of hand pruners, watering can, and a hand trowel is essential to have.

You’ll require more tools to support your needs if you have a spacious garden, though.

If you’re considering soil-less farming, check out hydroponic system options here.

And finally, remember the need to regularly carry out soil tests. And if you’re worried about costs, try out home soil testing kits.