One of the most common questions we receive here at the garden center is about the types and brands of tools we and our team members like to use for our own gardening work. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a shared list of our “must have” tools for gardeners, as well as a short list of our personal favorite tools and supplies.
Since one of us has a small garden and a townhome, and the other a large property, our preferences vary based on the size of our space! We’ve noted which tools are best for different types of tasks and garden sizes.
Must Have Tools for All Gardeners
For Starting New Garden Beds
These tools are excellent for starting new garden beds, but will not see as much use once your garden is established. Most of these tools live in David’s basement now, but he does bring them out when he needs to accomplish a major task or two. The Square shovel in particular is an multi-purpose tool that can be used when dividing plants to move around the garden.
- Round Shovel, for scooping
- Square Shovel, for cutting
- Mattock, for chopping
- Hard rake, for grading
For Established Garden Beds
If your garden is established, you will find yourself using heavy duty tools like the ones above significantly less frequently, and instead getting daily use from lighter tools that can be used for a touch up here and there, planting containers, or adding new plants to established beds. These tools are easily portable and can be stored in a basket in your car, garage or beside your back door. Some of the tools you use regularly will vary based on the plants in your garden. For example, Peg prefers to keep her Joyce Chen scissors handy for deadheading or clipping fresh flowers and herbs, while David keeps a pruning saw on hand for the shrubs in his garden.
- Hand trowel
- Whisk rake
- Hand pruners
- Pruning saw
- Garden shears
- Garden scissors
Peg and David’s Picks
We each have our own favorite brands and preferences when it comes to which of the tools above we select. Ultimately, each gardener will have to try a few different types of tools and find what works best for them. Your choices ultimately may rest on anything from the size of your garden and the types of plants you grow, or even on your height and reach. And that’s fine! If you want a good starting point, these are the brands and tool types we each prefer, given our own gardening styles.
Peg has a large garden, and spends a lot of time working with her grandchildren and great grandchildren in it. She keeps a large vegetable and herb garden, and grows many plants in containers.
- Fox Glove brand gloves
- Dewit Cape Cod Weeder
- Small round shovel (Peg calls this her “lady’s shovel”)
- Joyce Chen scissors, for deadheading and clipping flowers and herbs
- Wilcox All Pro long handle trowel
David has a small front yard in a townhome, and grows a small vegetable garden in containers on his back deck. Most of his work at home is in maintaining the shrubs and perennials in his front garden beds.
- Earthbox, for growing vegetables on his deck
- Felco hand pruners
- Wilcox All Pro short handle trowel
- Square shovel, multipurpose for cutting and separating plants and working on new garden beds
The Best Garden Tools for You
When selecting your garden tools, ultimately it comes down to what tools work best for you, your plants, and your budget. Thankfully there are many options available to help all of us with the gardening tasks we find ourselves working on most often! If you need help selecting tools, please feel free to stop by the garden center and talk to us or any of our other plant specialists. We’d be happy to help you select your own toolkit!