Whether you’re a keen gardener or an occasional pruner, there are a whole host of tools available to make your work in the garden a lot easier. You can plump for the minimum essentials if gardening isn’t your thing, or if you’ve only got a small space to look after. However, if you’re a gardening enthusiast you may want to turn your shed, cabin or garage into a haven for the very best in garden tools and gadgets.
We’ve compiled a list including essentials, moderate luxuries and far-out gadgets to help you acquire the gardening kit best suited to you.
Must have gardening tools
Even if you’re not a keen gardener, if there’s a garden to be tended, you’ll have to do at least some basic maintenance to keep on top of the weeds.
Here’s a list of the bare bones, basic tools that you’ll need to keep the garden in check. You may be able to scale down your tool kit a bit depending on the size of your garden. Long-handled tools and lawnmowers, for example, may not be appropriate if you are tending a patio garden or a smaller area.
1. Water hose or watering can – a hose is a must if you’re concerned about having a lush lawn. You can choose from the most basic to more sophisticated options, including coil hoses that spring back to shape for easy storage.
2. Saw – a useful addition for pruning woody plants and trees.
3. Kneeling pads – serious gardeners will know how important it is to protect your knees. Cushioning your knees may save you an injury. Water resistant ones are probably your best bet.
4. Secateurs – a must for trimming back hardy plants and bushes.
5. Pruning shears and/or loppers (long-handled pruners) – robust tools for general hedge and tree maintenance.
6. Rake – there are a multitude of rakes so choosing the one that best fits your gardens needs is the way to go. A shrub rake, for example, is crucial if you need to clear away debris from tight places. A fan rake is essential for clearing up leaves and mulch.
7. Garden Hoe – a good addition if you are cultivating large areas.
8. Shovel or Spade – you can manage with either one of these, but an avid gardener will want both.
9. Trowel and Weed Fork – probably the most used tools in the garden for planting and weeding.
10. Lawnmower – take your pick according to your budget and the size of your garden from basic push alongs and budget electric mowers to fancy petrol.
11. Plug in Residual Current Device – a must buy to minimise the risk of an electric shock from cutting through a lawnmower or hedge-trimmer cable (it’s easier done than you think).
12. Broom – for the obvious tidy up after a spot of gardening to keep your paths, patios and driveways free from gardening debris.
With all of these tools in your shed, there’ll be no excuse for letting the garden turn into an overgrown wilderness.
Additional and luxury tools for the discerning gardener
1. Wheelbarrow – every keen gardener has one of these to ferry tools and garden waste. You can even add a wheelbarrow organiser to help cut down trips.
2. Lawn edger – essential for sculpting the neatest of lawns.
3. Hedge trimmer – if you fancy yourself as a bit of an artist, then hedge topiary might be just for you. Hedge trimmers range in size, cost and can be either petrol powered or electric. Be sure to follow safety instructions as this is a potentially fatal tool.
4. Leaf rake – any keen gardener will have a selection of rakes and a fan or leaf rake will feature highly in the collection.
5. Paving knife – great for cleaning between paving slabs.
6. Mattock – a bit like pick axe used for heftier jobs in the garden such as unearthing roots or trench digging.
7. An upscale lawnmower – we are talking ride-on models here, or would you believe it an automatic robot mower, which leaves you more time on the sun lounger.
It’s important you keep your tools in good condition, so always clean them after use and store them in a dry space (shed, cabin or garage). If you are particularly meticulous about preserving the condition of your tools, it’s a good idea to clean shears and pruning scissors with a little white spirit and a rag to remove any resin or sap.
Squirting blades with a little WD-40 before storing away, and giving any wooden handled tools an annual treatment with some linseed oil are additional measures you may like to try if you are precious about your tools. Whatever your budget or level of enthusiasm, it’s worth spending a bit more on tools to ensure longevity; going cheap is often a false economy.
Mike James, an independent writer working with Hortons UK Log Cabins.