Essential Gardening Tools & Why

It's essential to have the right tools for different jobs around the garden, and here's David Hall's list of the tools he finds most useful.

Created by David Hall on Thursday, 20th of August, 2015.
Updated on Thursday, 23rd of February, 2017.


These are the tools I use practically every day in the garden and on the allotment.

Spade

You can't get anything more simpler than a rectangular piece of metal on the end of a pole. It's personal choice what type of handle you have, but a strong wooden shaft with a good quality stainless steel blade is the best combination. Smaller, lighter versions are useful for borders and can be preferable if you have a large amount of work.

Fork

Essential for many digging and aerating the lawn, this might be the most useful garden tool especially on the allotment. Forks designed for borders are narrower and lighter but they can be preferable for general use as well. Make sure the tines are good quality forged steel and if you are growing potatoes, flat tines are preferred so that you don't spear the tubers.

Rake

Those with metal heads with about 12 teeth are the most versatile and easy to use, levelling the soil and creating a fine 'tilth' for sowing. Make sure the handle is long enough to be comfortable. A lawn rake is useful for clearing leaves in the autumn and removing dead material.

Trowel and Hand Fork

Very useful hand tools, the fork for digging small holes and planting out, while a trowel can be used for weeding, turning over the soil and planting.

Draw and Dutch Hoe

The former is good at cutting through weeds, marking out seed drills and earthing up potatoes. The latter is invaluable to slice the tops from weeds, always remember to walk backwards so that the weeds aren't trodden back into the soil. As with the rake, choose a handle that is long enough for you to reach the whole of the border or plot.

Secateurs

Used constantly for many garden cutting jobs, make sure they are kept good and sharp. One of the biggest mistakes is using them for jobs that they are not designed for, if you need to cut large branches employ a lopper.

Loppers

Good loppers will cut through about 1½ ins, any thicker and it is wise to invest in a pruning saw. Telescopic handles are particularly useful for versatility and easy storage.

Shears

Long handled to edge the lawn, short handled for trimming hedges and unruly shrubs.

Pocket Knife

Ensure it is sharp and will fit into your pocket. Specialist budding knives have a notch on the blade.

Watering Can

The humble watering can is perhaps not accurately defined as a tool but its usefulness cannot be denied. Make sure it isn't too heavy when full and is well balanced. Different types of roses will be used including a fine one for watering seeds. Long necks are also desirable for a good reach.

Outside of the top ten there are many other tools that have specialist uses such as a ridger or a dibber, but the 'must haves' can generally handle any situation and if they are a good quality, kept clean and sharp, will last for many years. 

Related Articles

What To Do In The Garden In July

What To Do In The Garden In July

After all the dry hot weather that much of the country has experienced over the last few weeks, the lavender in David Coton's garden is at its most colourful and scented, he's cutting the flowerheads to make lavender biscuits or drying them for pot pourri. Here are more jobs you can do in the garden during July.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Sunday, 25th of June, 2017.

What To Do In The Garden in June

What To Do In The Garden in June

At this time of the year you'll find a fabulous selection of summer bedding at our Garden Centre in Birmingham. David Coton will be planting the bedding in containers this month to achieve a wonderful display of colour and here are some other jobs to do in the garden in June.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Wednesday, 17th of May, 2017.

HTA Plant Show 2016

HTA Plant Show 2016

As GardenSIte's plant specialist I always keenly anticipate the HTA National Plant Show. This is my chance to visit nurseries, find out what's trending in the horticultural world and source new stock, all from under one roof.

Author: David Hall

Written by David Hall.
Published on Friday, 24th of June, 2016.

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017

The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show takes place next month and Nathan James Dodd looks forward to what you'll discover at the largest annual show of its kind.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Monday, 20th of June, 2016.

comments powered by Disqus

RSS

View RSS Feed

Author

David Hall David Hall

View Profile

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

What To Do In The Garden In July

What To Do In The Garden In July

After all the dry hot weather that much of the country has experienced over the last few weeks, the lavender in David Coton's garden is at its most colourful and scented, he's cutting the flowerheads to make lavender biscuits or drying them for pot pourri. Here are more jobs you can do in the garden during July.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Sunday, 25th of June, 2017.

Supplier Spotlight: Forest Garden at Hampton Court Flower Show

Supplier Spotlight: Forest Garden at Hampton Court Flower Show

As a yearly visitor to the Hampton Court Flower Show, I'll be enjoying much of the show's inspiration and fabulous florals this year, but I'm equally excited to see the fantastic gardening range provided by Forest Garden Products.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Friday, 23rd of June, 2017.

Review of the Barlow Tyrie Titan Rustic Garden Furniture Range

Review of the Barlow Tyrie Titan Rustic Garden Furniture Range

Robert Hall takes an in-depth look at the new Titan Range from Barlow Tyrie in his latest guide to choosing and buying garden furniture…

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Thursday, 8th of June, 2017.

Guide to Choosing and Buying Metal Sheds

Guide to Choosing and Buying Metal Sheds

Robert Hall reviews which metal shed would best suit you and your garden's needs in this detailed guide about the benefits, types, brands and most commonly asked questions customers ask when buying a metal shed.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Wednesday, 7th of June, 2017.