Basic Garden Equipment – Tools for Gardening

tools for gardening

Tools for Gardening

Everybody, when starting to garden, wants to know the basic tools for gardening that are necessary to work efficiently.

I would name the spade, fork, rake and hoe as the four primary essentials, for with these it is possible to do most of the cultivating; and next come shears (for grass and hedge cutting) and secateurs for pruning. Chrome armour and stainless steel tools cost more, but in the long run it is money well spent for they last longer, are easier to use and easier to keep clean.

Another important acquisition, of course, is a sprayer to control greenfly, black spot, mildew and other troubles which are found in every garden at some time or other. There are so many different kinds of sprayer available today, often made of lightweight plastic materials, that finding the right one for your particular needs is no problem whatsoever. A good pneumatic sprayer with a strong plastic container and a spray rod of adequate length will be found ideal and the longest lasting.

A small hand trowel and fork can also be considered almost essential for there are countless times when they are needed for one little job or other. A good, well-balanced watering-can is a prime need.

Lawn Tools

Almost every garden has a lawn and the smallest can be cut very efficiently and easily with a hand mower of the hover or cylinder type, but larger lawns need a power mower and I much prefer the battery-type electric machine to those powered from the mains or by internal combustion engines.

Petrol-engined mowers are very reliable indeed, but they are rather more complex than the other kind of necessity, and therefore not quite so easy for the less technically minded and agile to operate.

Rotary lawn mowers do a first-class job in gardens where long grass and short must be coped with, but for the best ‘finish’ cylinder type machines are the ones to use. Hover mowers are very useful on steep grass slopes, as well as on flat surfaces, where they can be easily moved over the grass.

A garden roller is usually completely unnecessary, as the average lawn will get enough firming by people treading on it, and by the weight of the roller of a cylinder type mower, if that is used.

A rake with flexible prongs is invaluable, however, for teasing out debris from grass in spring and autumn and I would not be without one, but a special spiking tool for lawns can be done without as an ordinary garden fork does the job adequately.

Cultivating Tools

I find that new gardeners often buy spades which are too large to use comfortably. The best to get is a Number Two, the average size, which one can use for long periods without fatigue. It is always best too, to get a fork of modest size and weight.

For hoes, the Dutch hoe is the most useful for using among flowering plants and vegetables and the draw hoe, of course, is also excellent for working heavy ground. Another advantage of the Dutch hoe is that you walk backwards as you hoe, so the cultivated ground is not walked on. With vegetables, the drag hoe is useful for making drills for seed sowing, earthing up potatoes and so on, but the first job can also be done with the corner of a rake, and the second with a spade or fork.

A garden line can be made from strong twine and two pieces of stick if you do not want the expense of buying the excellent manufactured article; likewise, another home-made piece of equipment is the dibber, an invaluable tool, which can be made from a broken wooden spade or fork handle.  Secateurs I have already mentioned, but if a large number of shrubs and trees are grown, long-handled pruners are invaluable.

Wheelbarrows and Trucks

Last but by no means least the wheelbarrow – and how much effort this can save during the course of a gardening year!


Often nowadays these are made of plastic or fibreglass and the lightness of these is a boon beyond measure for lady gardeners. Two-wheeled trucks are also available and have a special appeal, of course, for those gardeners who find weight lifting (for one must to some extent ‘shoulder’ the weight with a conventional wheel-barrow) rather a problem.

Many years ago, we used a square hessian sheet for moving lawn mowings, leaves and other light materials and this was an asset on many occasions.

All of the above can be considered necessary tools for gardening by long standing gardeners, but if you are just starting your first garden, I recommend the basic tools for gardening and weeding essentials.

02. August 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Garden Tools | Tags: , | Comments Off on Basic Garden Equipment – Tools for Gardening


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