Hand Tools You Need to Be a Successful Gardener

June 25, 2018

Gardening doesn't have to be difficult if you are prepared with the tools you need.  Be ready for keeping your flower beds weed free by having these five essentials.

Essential Garden Tools

The weather has been beautiful here.  Lots of sunshine and warmth and just enough rain to keep the grass looking green and hydrate the flowers.  Of course, these conditions are also prime for helping weeds to sprout up in the flower beds.  And if you don't stay ahead of those weeds, well, it sometimes feels like you wake up to realize you've somehow lost complete control over your garden just while you were sleeping.

I was outside struggling with my own weeds thinking "How did this happen?" just yesterday.  And as I played in the dirt, it dawned on me that the garden tools I was using are  close to 20 years old.  And aside from some worn paint on the metal, they are still in surprisingly good condition.

The interesting thing is that these five hand tools are all I ever seem to need for weeding the garden, trimming bushes, and planting flowers.   They were part of Martha Stewart's Everyday Garden line at K-Mart years ago, and obviously Martha knew what those essential tools were that every gardener would need.....and produced them in her classic sage green color!

Collection of five essential garden tools

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Since you can no longer buy these tools from Martha (believe me, I've tried for years to get a second set), out of curiosity, I went searching to see if there are any other retailers selling what I consider the must haves to handle any garden job.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are a variety of different places where you can buy not only your traditional trowel and cultivator, but the other more odd essential garden tools as well.


All the tools featured are available for purchase from Terrain.

Steel Pruners from Terrain - One of five essential garden tools


Pruners are one of most important tools for garden maintenance.  They allow you to take a branch off a bush, prune thin limbs off a tree, snip roots, or even cut flowers for an arrangement.  I prefer to use bypass pruners where one blade goes behind the other giving what you're slicing into a clean, gentle cut.  The blades can be sharpened many times and you can buy replaceable blades and springs if yours get damaged.

Hand Garden Rake from Terrain - One of five essential garden tools


Cultivators allow you to dig down into the ground with the curved tines moving and breaking up soil and aerating around roots.  They are available with different lengths of handles and different types of tines.

Trowel from Terrain - One of five essential garden tools


A trowel is probably the most used garden tool.  It can be used for creating holes to plant seedlings, larger plants, and perennials as well as digging up small areas of a flower bed or uprooting weeds.  It should be kept sharp enough to pierce down through the soil and roots to make a hole.

Japanese Weeder from Terrain - One of five essential garden tools


Originally designed in Japan, the Japanese hand hoe is a multi-purpose tool that cultivates, weeds, and digs holes.  You can use the point of the blade to make holes to plant seedlings and aerate the soil, or place the tool flat and use the razor sharp blade to dig down under the top layer of soil to slice and remove weeds.

Dandelion Weeder from Terrain - One of five essential garden tools


My favorite tool is the dandelion weeder because it works really well to remove pesky weeds with long roots (like dandelions!) without bothering the plants around where the weed is growing.  You just push it down vertically into the soil beside the tough weed, angle it slightly, and pull up.  The weed catches in between the two pointed parts of the tool and comes right out.

If you have these five great tools you'll be able to do just about anything when it comes to keeping your flower beds and garden weed free and thriving.  Anything that can make a job easier and more efficient is a must have in my world!


Joseph Bentley


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