10 Must-Have Backyard Gardening Tools

Gardening can be done with nothing but seeds, soil, sun, and water; however, the right tools can make the job much easier. For those just starting their gardening journey, many tools are available to help simplify the process. No matter the size of the project, it is vital to have the right tools on hand to make gardening a successful endeavour.

Do not fret. All of the necessary gardening tools are readily available. This article will provide an overview of the ten essential gardening tools to simplify your life.

The Different Essential Garden Tools

Hand Trowel

Two women are holding plants while wearing rain boots, utilizing essential gardening tools.
A hand trowel is an essential tool for digging holes for planting bulbs, perennials, or annuals and covering up those holes when you’re done. It can also remove any weeds that have infiltrated your garden.

Garden trowels, typically made of plastic or wooden handles and stainless steel, come in various shapes and sizes. They can be sharpened conveniently with a bench grinder.

Look for hand tools with brightly-coloured handles that can be easily seen in the ground when put down and forgotten while gardening. Invest in a trowel with an ergonomically designed handle to prevent cramping and blisters. Heavier trowels are more beneficial, as their weight makes it simpler to break up compacted soil.


A wooden-handled shovel in backyard gardening tools.
If you need help digging in your garden, a garden spade can come in handy. Especially for tasks that are too large for a trowel, a spade should be used. Its long handle and straight-edged, flat blade are great for creating straight-sided holes, cutting roots, removing plants and weeds, and edging. A garden spade can help you realize the perfect garden layout and make your yard look exactly how you imagined it.

A shovel provides more versatility than a spade when dealing with rocky soil. Its concave, broad blade with its sharp curved tip is perfect for digging and breaking apart hard ground. It can also be used to dig holes and transport soil easily from a wheelbarrow to your garden without emptying the whole load. Additionally, a shovel is great for stirring compost piles or blending potting soil before adding it to containers.


Two watering cans in grass - backyard gardening tools.
There are various types of rakes that are ideal for different tasks.

A standard leaf rake with a large steel blade is the ideal tool for collecting all fallen leaves and debris. This type of rake features a fan-like design with bristles made from flexible metal or plastic, allowing for a gentle sweep of the surface without disturbing the soil.

For preparing flower beds, a metal bow rake, also known as a soil or landscape rake, is ideal. These rakes have short, durable-forged steel tines spaced one or two inches apart and come in various widths. They are perfect for levelling soil and moving gravel, sand, or rocks around the garden or lawn.

If you’re working in a small space and don’t want to harm any existing vegetation, a hand rake is a tool to use rather than a larger rake for a small task.

Pruning Shears

a person using gardening shears in backyard.
Depending on the scope of your garden, you may wish to purchase various sizes of pruners. These scissors can be useful for keeping plants in check and preventing them from spreading too much. Ratchet, anvil, and bypass are the three types of pruners, and they can be used to cut through small branches and briars and trim individual pieces of shrubs. Pruners are also great for pruning back flowers and other plants during fall.

Bypass pruners are ideal for live plants and green wood as they make quick, clean cuts which enable plants to heal faster. Look for models that have blades made of hardened steel for the best results.

On the other hand, if you have a yard or large container plants, anvil pruners may be a better option as they are more suitable for dead wood and can offer more heavy-duty cutting. High-end models that have replaceable blades are recommended.

Hori-Hori Garden Knife

The Hori Hori, a garden knife often referred to as a Japanese-style trowel, is a handy tool for gardeners. This stainless steel blade is slightly curved and features a sharp edge and a serrated edge, perfect for cutting through dirt, soil, and even roots. Its versatility makes it a great replacement for a trowel, allowing users to easily transplant seedlings and dig holes for planting.

Some people even utilize it for weeding. Many models feature measurements engraved on the blade, allowing for easy measurement of planting depth when sowing seeds.

Gardening Gloves

A woman wearing gardening gloves while gardening.
Wearing the best gardening gloves can help prevent injury and keep your hands from getting dirty. Gardening can be a rewarding pastime, but it can quickly become a painful chore without the right protective gear. Gloves guard your hands and wrists against cuts, abrasions, and splinters.

For container gardening, it is recommended to have a pair of light, all-purpose gardening gloves with nitrile coating. Additionally, it is beneficial to have a sturdier pair made of synthetic leather for tougher tasks. Make sure to choose gloves with long cuffs to cover your wrists, and for extra comfort, look for ones with extra padding.

Lawn Mower

A man mowing the grass.
A lawn mower is also a must-have tool for any homeowner. The type of mower you choose, be it a push, self-propelled walk-behind, or riding mower, will depend on the size of your property.

It is worth taking the time to research and compare options when selecting a lawn mower, as a good quality one can be a worthwhile long-term investment in the look of your lawn.

For those with large lawns, a riding mower can be a great time-saver. Those with smaller lawns may find a push mower more affordable and efficient. Additionally, using a mulcher or bagger can be beneficial for saving time and effort.

Leaf Blower

a man with a camera in a park.
A leaf blower is a popular tool for clearing leaves and lawn clippings. It works by pushing air out of a nozzle and is available in electric and gas-powered versions. This makes it easier to move and collect piles of leaves in your yard, depending on your preference.

Backpacks and handheld leaf blowers are available for purchase. The backpack option is often more convenient for extended use, as it generally comes with a gasoline-powered motor, and the nozzle hangs down for easy use. On the other hand, handheld models are more portable but require more effort to use over a long period.

If you have a large lawn to cover, or if you will be helping others clear their yards, it may be worth investing in a bigger leaf blower with wheels or a motor for self-propulsion. These models are more expensive, but they are also much more powerful.

Garden Hose

A garden hose facilitates the transportation of water over extended distances. These hoses are typically constructed from rubber, vinyl, or both materials.

The hose can be connected to the spigot on the side of your house, with the other end left open to allow the water to flow. It can also be attached to a sprinkler or sprayer, enabling you to direct the water wherever you wish. Additionally, soaker hoses with small holes are a great option for setting up an inexpensive irrigation system in your garden or lawn.

It is advisable to get a rubber hose of good quality with nickel-plated, heavy-duty brass couplings at both ends for optimal performance. An 8-ply hose is sturdier and less likely to twist or bend when carrying water long distances and reaching the far corners of yards.

Watering Wands

A watering wand is great for giving your plants a gentle rain shower. These wands come in various lengths, from 10 to 48 inches, and their extended reach is ideal for watering hanging baskets, out-of-the-way containers, and the back edges of borders. They’re also great for getting to closely spaced plants in your garden without compressing the soil.

For spaces with high-hanging baskets, choose a longer hose length to reduce water pressure, while a shorter length is more suitable for tighter spaces. The hose handle should have a built-in shut-off valve, which helps conserve water and allows for adjustable flow.

Other Tools To Consider

A wheelbarrow filled with dirt and a shovel, essential for backyard gardening.
  • Wheelbarrow – If you are fortunate enough to cultivate a large outdoor area, a wheelbarrow or garden cart can make many tasks much more manageable. With these tools, you can easily transfer soil, compost, and heaps of leaves around your yard. Additionally, you can use them to move young plants to your garden bed.
  • Hoe – A draw hoe, the most frequently used type of hoe, has a flat blade connected to a wooden handle. The blade is perpendicular to the handle, making it ideal for reshaping and shifting soil and eliminating weeds. Additionally, hoes may be utilized to dig shallow and narrow furrows for planting.
  • Watering Can – A watering can is the ideal tool for small watering jobs, especially for delicate plants. Choose a model that is lightweight enough to carry when full, with a capacity of at least two gallons, and a removable spout, whether plastic or metal.
  • Spray bottles – Spray bottles provide safety for newly planted seeds and seedlings, as well as for herbs that prefer more humid environments. The gentle mist from the bottle keeps soil from washing away and prevents delicate plants from toppling over.
  • Weeder – Weeds can be a major headache for gardeners, requiring removal by pulling out those with taproots. This process can be made easier with tools designed to penetrate the soil, allowing for the easy extraction of weeds.
  • Cultivator – The other must-have implement in backyard gardening is a cultivator with a long handle, typically measuring 54 inches. This tool breaks up hard soil, prepares it for watering and fertilizer, and removes weeds. For added versatility, opt for a model with a curved hook and a sharp, pointed end.

Importance Of Garden Tools In Gardening

Backyard tools play a vital role in maintaining a beautiful and healthy garden. These tools are designed to make gardening tasks easier, quicker, and more efficient.

The importance of gardening tools cannot be overstated. It is sufficient to use the proper tools and equipment to ensure that anything in your backyard can be effectively planted. They help gardeners to accomplish various gardening activities like planting, pruning, weeding, watering, and harvesting. Without the right tools, these activities would be difficult and time-consuming. Gardening tools come in different shapes and sizes, and each has a specific function.

Transform Your Backyard With These Essential Gardening Tools

Two essential backyard gardening tools - gloves and fork - lay forgotten.
Gardening is a wonderful pastime and profession. With more gardening knowledge, you’ll likely want to purchase the supplies sold at local plant stores or gardening departments. Having the proper gardening tools aids in being able to complete tasks faster while using less energy and strain on your body. Your hands and back are some of the most critical and irreplaceable tools in gardening, so taking good care of them is essential.

Before you buy every gardening tool you can find, start with the basics. The 10 tools mentioned above should provide a good starting point for managing your garden and cultivating plants. As you gain more experience with gardening, you will be able to determine which tools are necessary and which are optional.

Curb Wise