Here are my top 16 gardening must-haves that help make any day out in the garden easier! Gardening can be hard work…all the digging, cutting, carrying can leave your body bone-tired by the end of the day (but in the best way!!)
There are so many tasks to complete but I have my go-to garden tools that make any gardening chore I have go smoothly!
Gardening Tool Must Haves For Spring Clean Up
The snow is melted and now I can get a really good look at the mess…LOL!!! NO really, ugh what in the world is up with all the leaves and pine cones in my garden!! The maple trees in my front yard hold on to loads of leaves and then drop them over the winter. So even if you did an amazing Fall clean up there are a gazillion leaves in the garden beds when the snow melts.
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1. Leaf Blower
My number one must-have is a good leave blower/mulcher to get rid of all the leaves as fast as I can! I like this one from WORX tools...this chore is usually on my husband’s honey-do list but he conveniently had surgery right before the yard work is starting!!
2. Yard Cart
OK, I use my yard cart for EVERYTHING...I mean everything!! I load it with debris when I’m cleaning up my yard, to haul compost to my gardens, to move my heavy planters around the yard, for transporting bags of soil from the car, and to throw my weeds in.
These sort of utility carts (similar to the ones at garden centers) are great for lugging things around your yard as well.
3. Garden Pruners/Shears
A set of garden pruners is so useful, I like that this set has all 3 for a great price. I use my small bypass pruners every day in the garden for small jobs and for cutting stems. You should also have a longer-handled set of loppers that are strong enough to cut through small branches on an unruly tree or shrub. I don’t have shrubs but if you do grab a set of hedge trimmers too.
4. Shrub Rake
Oh my gosh, if you don’t have one of these bad boys…get one!! A shrub rake is amazing for getting all the leaves out from under everything. I love using mine for getting out all the debris from the base of my knock-out roses.
Prepping The Garden
Your garden beds need to be prepped in the Spring. Our vegetable garden is rototilled in the Spring. After it’s tilled I go out and smooth out the soil and amend it with compost. My raised beds get compost and new garden soil as well. This season I am adding more raised beds and extending my garden footprint too…isn’t that always the way when you are a gardener; every year it gets bigger!!
5. Raised Beds
These metal raised beds are super versatile and sturdy. I have rectangle-shaped ones in my garden now, but I’m going to add some of these large oval metal raised beds this year to grow cutting flowers.
Tip: If you don’t like the metal color just grab a can of Rustoleum metallic spray paint and change it up! I used the oil-rubbed bronze paint shade on mine.
6. Pitch Fork
I wore my last Ames pitchfork out!! I had to retire it after many, many years!! I know there are so many brands out there but I’m a huge fan of Ames. I use my pitchfork for digging up plants that I am moving or dividing. It’s also great for removing big weeds…I pop the pitchfork into the soil and twist and pull up the weed.
7. Garden Rake
My garden rake is a must-have for smoothing out the soil after it’s turned over! It can also be raked over the soil to pull out tiny weeds…just by moving it back and forth and it usually pulls up the weeds by the roots; like when grass pops out in my walking paths in my veggie garden.
During The Season
8. Garden Gloves
Gardening is tough on your hands! I recommend two different kinds of garden gloves: a lightweight pair for general gardening tasks and a leather heavy duty pair for things like working with your thorny plants and tough jobs. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve only had my lightweight gloves on and thought “hmmm, let me just grab that stray leaf in the middle of my rose bush”…you can guess what happens next, I always poke myself!!
9. Hand Tools
The most used hand tool I have is this cultivator/hoe combo…seriously, if you only get 1 thing to garden with I would get this! It can dig a hole, pull out weeds, and I even use it to chop through stray underground vines. My second most hard-working tool is this 7 in 1 combo that has a serrated edge for opening soil bags, a straight edge, and even a ruler! With these 2 things, you will take over the (garden) world!!
10. Garden Hose
For me, I am a fan of the new lightweight expandable garden hoses…they were a game-changer for me! Ugh, I hated lugging the heavy garden hose over to water my garden!! I always seemed to squish my flowers on the way!! Plus, they take up hardly any space when they are empty and you can hide them easily…I’m talking to you ugly green hose rolled up on the front of the house!!
11. Watering Can
It doesn’t matter if it’s a basic plastic one or a metal one (I’m getting this one because I worked my plastic one to death last year!!); a watering can will be the easiest way to water planters on your porch or hanging baskets…I always manage to squirt the windows or through the screen door when I try watering on my porch with a hose…
12. For Killing Those Bugs
Bugs and creepy crawlies are just part of gardening…yes, I know, I hate them too! The Bonide brand makes a ton of great products but this Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew is great for getting those bugs before they destroy all your hard work!
12. Plant Support Clips
I discovered these plant support clips a couple of years ago. Oooh, they are so much easier than trying to wrap plant tape around a tomato plant and tie it; just a quick clip, and you are done. I use them for my trellising cucumber vines and a few other climbing things in my garden.
A Few Other Misc. Things…
13. Bird Feeder
Alright, I admit it…I’m a bird brain!! Yes, I love watching the birds on my feeder…I have a family of Eastern bluebirds that make my heart happy every day! I’ve had this bird feeding station for a couple of years now; I like that the bottom has a 4 pronged support. I do add a squirrel baffle to mine because who needs them eating all your seeds (remind me to tell you the story of how one of those squirrels ran in my front door the other day!!!!!!)
14. Tool Caddy
I use a galvanized caddy like this one when I garden. It’s where I put my plant support clips, extra plant markers, sunscreen, packets of seeds, and water bottle.
15. Favorite Shirt
You have to get yourself a favorite shirt too!! There’s a picture of me in my Gap denim shirt 9 months pregnant with my now 21-year-old son!! It’s perfect for chilly mornings out in the garden (my favorite time to garden!) and also I put it on when I feel like I’m getting too much sun on my arms. It’s true…us New England yankees are frugal folk who use things until they fall apart!! My other cold-weather garden shirt is an L.L.Bean one that is even older than my denim one (having something from L.L. Bean in your wardrobe is a requirement for living in New England!!)
16. Tool Storage
When you are done at the end of the day it’s great to have one spot to store all your garden tools that are neat and organized in your garage. This Rubbermaid one is sturdy enough to hold all the things.
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My hope is that you found my 16 gardening must-haves useful!! There are so many new gardeners out there this year and I know it can be overwhelming when you start out trying to learn everything.