5 Must-Have Gardening Tools For Beginners

Maybe you've inherited a yard from the previous owner of your new home, or you want to build a garden from scratch, we applaud you! The fruits of your labor will be well received as you watch beautiful flowers bloom, and tasty herbs produce. Most importantly, you can use the fruits and vegetables you grow to prepare healthy meals. However, with so many resources geared towards beginners, it can seem overwhelming to decide on the right tools. As always, it's best to stick to the basics, Garden Design notes.

As an advanced gardener, there can be many essential tools that you need. But, just like a first-time baker needs a whisk and bowl, a beginning gardener should get some basic gear. The toolkits that are often given as gifts are a great start but they can leave you with more equipment than you need. This article will let you in on the five must-have gardening tools for beginners. Once you have those, you'll be on your way to creating the garden of your dreams!

1. Gloves

Let's get the basic, most obvious one out of the way: Every gardener needs a pair of good gloves. According to Garden Design, the gloves you wear should be comfortable, breathable, and water-resistant. Pick ones that fit you well to avoid blisters, which appear if the gloves are too tight. If too big, they can constantly fall off. Also, ensure the gloves have longer cuffs so soil, seeds, and water won't trickle inside.

Another note about gloves is to take a look at either your existing garden or what you'd like to plant in your backyard to be sure you're getting the right pair for the job. For example, puncture-proof gloves are recommended if you plant a sturdy, thorny flora like a sloe berry plant. An herb and vegetable garden don't necessarily need a tough pair of gloves but flexible ones so you can move the dirt around when needed. When in doubt, get both, so you are prepared for whatever plant or tree you want in your garden.

2. Hand trowel

While it looks like a shovel and is often compared to a spade, a hand trowel is a small tool used to dig holes, smooth dirt, and move small things (like rocks and pebbles) around. It's basically your gardening hand's BFF. According to Almanac, you should find one that has a stainless steel blade and feels comfortable on your hand. Since you will use this tool for digging and smoothing, you want it to be comfortable enough to do the job well.

Hand trowels can range anywhere from $5 to $50, so choose one that is well made but not one you don't want to get dirty (because then what's the point, right?). You can find high-quality ones at hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowes and then do a comparison shop for the best deal. You'll use this tool a lot, so research brands and prices to find the best one that fits your needs and wants.

3. Pruning shears

Pruning shears are heavy-duty scissors used to cut leaves, dead branches, stems, and anything else in the garden that needs to be removed. Not only does pruning help with growth and overall plant health, but you can also use it to frame the size of the plant or accent the beautiful flowers, Hicks Nurseries says. Pruning is a bit like landscaping; one plant at a time.

So what kind of pruning shears do you need? There are several types of hand pruners to choose from, including anvils, ratchets, or bypass pruners; each is used for different plants. It's also important to consider the material it's made out of, be it chrome or stainless steel. Advancing Alternatives suggests comparing the different types and then looking at your garden and what kind of trees and plants you have in order to make an informed decision. You can also look through the different features and factors like cost and size.

4. Watering can

We all know the most important things for a garden to grow are the soil (dirt), sunshine, and water. For those hard-to-reach places, every gardener should have a good watering can with either a sprinkle or a narrow spout. Plastic or metal is personal preference, with metal being more sturdy but plastic being less prone to rust or damage. While a hose with a spray handle is convenient, a simple watering can get the job done and is more gentle on delicate plants.

According to Garden Gate, watering with this tool can also be useful for those small plants tucked in the corner as well as indoor plants. With so many fun designs for every kind of taste and style, it will make a great addition to the garden. It also doesn't need any installation, has no instruction manual, and is cost-effective compared to a hose or water system.

5. Rake

Whether you are looking at hand rakes or long ones for big patches, a rake is one of the top five tools every beginning gardener should have. While there are wide varieties of this gardening equipment, a rake is good for smoothing new soil, clearing debris (the leaf rake is a particularly great option for this task), leveling soil and mulch, and even gathering berries (this tool is called a berry rake and is good for collecting small berries from shrubs).

While there are a ton of different ones to choose from, it all depends on what your garden needs. According to Trees, the hand rake is ideal for use on flowerbeds and pots, as you have more control over smoothing, clearing weeds, and removing debris on a smaller scale. Starting a garden is fun, a great way to get some fresh air, and a project that keeps changing and developing. So get these five beginning gardening tools, grab some seeds, and start designing your dream garden!