Top 10 Gardening Tools

The right tools can make any gardening project easier and more successful. Especially in our area where we encounter clay based soil and established trees. The right gear can also save you physical pain as it’ll make each job easier to accomplish. 

Here are our top 10 expert picks that every gardening tool shed should have from our plant specialist team at Merrifield Garden Center.

1. Round Point Shovel

The round point shovel is ideal for digging, cultivating and transporting materials. With its beveled edge and sharp point, it’s great for digging holes, excavating and moving material in or out of a wheelbarrow or from piles of dirt throughout your yard.

2. Trowel

This small metal hand shovel is great for planting small plants and digging out stubborn, unwanted weeds with deep tap roots, such as dandelions. Trowels allow you to dig deep into the soil to find the deepest roots of these weeds or unwanted plants and eliminate them so that they don’t come back year after year.

3. Loppers

Loppers are large pruners with wooden handles and sharp blades that must be handled with both hands. They are typically used for cutting larger branches up to 2” in diameter and can cut through thicker material than hand pruners. If your loppers are used frequently like your shears and pruners, sharpen them annually pre-spring.

4. Bow Rake

The bow rake is a heavy duty tool with short, rigid metal tines that run perpendicular to a straight, leveling handle. It’s most commonly used to scratch up the surface of the soil when laying seed. This helps seeds make better contact with the soil. You can also use the bow rake to remove dead grass before filling in bare patches, spread mulch or compost, remove rocks or debris, level the soil, mix concrete or spread and level gravel. 

5. Hand Pruners

Hand pruners are great for removing larger diameter twigs, sticks and branches. You can also use them to prune roses or any other kind of shrub. We also recommend using them for harvesting and deadheading flowers. Hand pruners are a little heavier than sheers, so they can cut through woodier stems and thicker material. Much like shears, we recommend sharpening your pruners every year before spring arrives if you are using them frequently. A sharp blade is key to a safe and effective cut. 

6. Spade

With its straight, sharp edge, this versatile tool is our go-to for all purpose digging, especially cutting through sod and soil. You can also use it as an edging tool to create clean, angled edges along garden beds, sidewalks and walkways. We also recommend using spades to cut through roots and divide perennials like daylilies, ferns and hostas. 

7. Garden Hoe

While a garden hoe is most notably used to till the garden, you can also use it to remove weeds and create furrows where you would place seeds or seedling plants into rows in a garden bed. Hoes can also be used in vegetable gardens to loosen the top inch of soil in each row. Typically, hoes are used to cultivate the surface of soil all throughout the garden.

8. Gloves

Protect your hands while you garden by wearing a pair of gardening gloves. With many different styles, colors and price points, you can find something that fits any need. Gardening gloves are essential when moving rocks, picking up sticks and coming into contact with stubborn thorns while pruning and deadheading your flowers, trees and shrubs. 

9. Shears

This sharp garden scissor hand tool is great for pruning and shaping shrubs into any shape you please, such as spheres, cubes or pyramids. They’re also a great tool to use to clip flowers or herbs from the garden and remove dead material or trim ornamental grasses. With shears, sharp blades are key. If you frequently use your shears, we recommend sharpening them every year before spring.

10. Leaf Rake

The leaf rake has long tines that angle out to reach a large surface area for all kinds of garden clean up and leveling. Most notably used to collect fallen leaves in our area, you can also use a leaf rake to clean up helicopters, twigs or bits of spent flowers from shrubs and flowering trees. It’s also a great tool to spread and level mulch throughout garden beds.