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Garden Tools: What Actually Works?

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

I know I am likely not the only one with spring fever in the northern hemisphere. Therefore, I wanted to come up with this list ahead of gardening season this year because as we all prepare, a lot of us aren’t really thinking about the tools that may help us just yet. Most of us gardeners, farmers and homesteaders are busy ordering seeds and getting them under grow lights. There is a lot of time after we pop those seedlings and planting time. Having these things ahead of time saves so much precious time later. So in this post, I am going to tell you all about my top five favorite garden tools. These aren‘t really just my top five favorites but they are absolutely essential to my summer life. I would recommend that anyone just staring out has these before planting.


This knife has been the biggest life saver. If you have clay soil that you need to dig up or soil with a lot of hard to get through roots, this knife will go right through it. We also use it to loosen the soil at planting time. Our hori hori knife has been a big time saver as well. Typical shovels that we used to use took a very long time to use in our soil. Our knife has changed the way we garden.


There are a lot of elaborate tool sets available with lots of accessories but shy away from the idea that you need a lot of things for your buck. You really want a quality pair that will last a really long time. Our Fiskars have been so good to us. I bought a very basic pair ten years ago and when cleaned up, they look brand new. We have had other hand shovels and the handles have just fallen off in the middle of planting. I cannot recommend getting one really good set enough.


Pruning shears are something you need when you need them. I don’t think new gardeners always consider them. However, if you want to grow tomatoes, you absolutely need pruning shears. I recommend the fiskars pair because they stay sharp longer and are great quality.


Skip gardening gloves. Hear me out. I know they are beautiful and come in pretty designs and colors but they do not last and hold up to the demands of gardening. Get a really good pair of work gloves. The work gloves I love the most are the basic work gloves by Carhartt (link above) or the leather work gloves by Carhartt. I love that they are dual purpose. Do not buy gloves thinking they are going to last forever either, gloves wear out and have a limited lifetime but some gloves really last an exponentially longer amount of time.

Gloves are absolutely essential for gardening. Oftentimes when you are digging up soil, there can be glass and debris present. Some plants have thorns and gloves make handling them more manageable. Be safe and buy yourself an excellent pair of gloves.


My last item I absolutely recommend is a very large watering can. I have hoses at my garden but when planting, I like to individuality water as I plant each new plant. Also, a watering can is essential for planting trees and shrubs. The larger of a can you get, the better. This can linked above is amazing because it has a lid so water cannot spill out.


Do you have any garden tools you simply cannot live without? Let us know in the comments!

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