The 9 best gardening tools and their uses (beginner plant mamma-friendly!)

The 9 best gardening tools and their uses (beginner plant mamma-friendly!)

Beginner gardener? You’re in the right place. Here are the best tools to get you started in the garden.

posted on

July 18, 2023


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Have you ever walked down the street, gotten a waft of some roses, and remembered how beautiful nature really is?

I don’t know if it’s because I surround myself with plants already, but I’m always thinking about the beauty of flowers and plants and how I can incorporate them more into my life.

Whether it’s a small box planted with homegrown ingredients or flower gardens to make their homes exude femininity and grace, gardening can be such a fulfilling way to find more curiosity in nature.

If you want to start gardening but are unsure of the basic gardening tools to prepare, worry not! I’m right there with you, learning and growing ? each and every day, remembering the wonders of cyclical, ever-growing green beauties, one new plant at a time.

The 9 best gardening tools and their uses (beginner plant mamma-friendly!)

I didn’t really have to do any research to find that people started gardening because they had more time at home, but one thing that did surprise me was that the actual nature of gardening and the psyche of being around plants made people happier.

Many millennials showed that they were less likely to have gardened before 2020, but started gardening during and wanted to continue in the future. This didn’t surprise me at all– one of my friends started an Etsy plant business, and my family started getting more into their gardens– growing food and plants and embracing living off the land!

As a beginner, I wanted to share some essential tools for beginner gardeners so you can start your garden on the right foot. We’re in this together! ?

As you explore this, I also recommend the Epic Gardening Youtube channel! Start with this one for a funny react video that actually teaches you a lot about whether little gardening hacks actually work!

1. Gardening gloves ?

woman with beige shirt handling a plant's roots with gardening gloves

What it is

Gardening gloves are one of the most essential gardening tools you can have. Garden gloves protect your hands against dirt and potential gardening hazards.

A beginner gardener doesn’t have to buy these essential garden tools or other gardening supplies from Home Depot. Beginner gardeners can look for worn or no-longer-used gloves and repurpose them as garden gloves.

Great for

This essential garden tool is perfect for handling everything and anything in the garden, like:

  • Grabbing thorny branches and prickly plants
  • Spreading compost
  • Working with potting soil
  • Spreading mulch
  • Picking up garden debris
  • Manage delicate plants

2. Pruning shears ?‍♀️

woman with blue shirt using gardening sheers to trim flowers

What it is

This gardening tool is kind of like a heavy-duty pair of scissors. You can totally use ordinary scissors, and then once you snap these, you’ll probably find they’re a little more suitable for cutting thin and small branches. For woodier and thicker branches, you’ll have better chances of ensuring your plants’ health using pruning shears. (You can also try pruning saws or a garden knife with a serrated edge!)

Use these to

  • Prune and shape plants
  • Cut diseased or dead branches and stems off woody plants like trees, vines, shrubs, and flowers

3. Garden rake ✊

wooden and metal garden rake

What it is

You know, the classic autumn tool for raking in that vibrant orange, yellow, and red leaves into a pile. The important part is to get one with spikes that are sturdy and rigid enough to withstand rocks and roots on the ground.

Use this to

  • Break up soil
  • Prepare garden beds
  • Level sand
  • Aerate soil
  • Gather loose leaves, twigs, and cut weeds for compost

4. Garden spade ☘️

woman in black shirt holding garden spade with raised garden in the background

What it is

Garden spades are kind of like a digging shovel or a garden hoe but with a short handle and a flat and narrow blade.

Use this to

  • Dig holes
  • Break up tough and compacted soil
  • Plant seedlings and seeds
  • Cut into edging or sod
  • Prepare garden trenches

5. Garden shovel ?

woman wearing high green boots shoveling dirt in yard with metal basket in background

What it is

Whereas a spade is a short-handled and narrow and flat blade, a garden shovel is tall with a curved blade. These are probably the best as stainless steel because they’re easier to clean, more natural (no plastic!), and, of course, stainless. This classic digging tool is also an invaluable tool for saving your back– imagine all that time bent over when you can just use your shovel to dig into the ground and do your thing!

Use this to

  • Dig holes for new plant seeds (bulbs, larger seeds) and transplant existing ones
  • Create paths
  • Move soil or compost piles
  • Move loose soil from the ground to buckets, garden beds, wheelbarrows, and other locations
  • Scoop garden objects, breaking soil, and digging non-compacted sand
  • Create paths for your own DIY garden

6. Hand trowel ?

woman with brown apron and rosemary plant in one hand and hand trowel in other hand surrounded by flowers

What it is

Kind of like a little hand-held shovel, a garden trowel could be one of your favorite garden tools if you love working on your hands and knees, or container gardening in tight spaces (city gardeners, I’m talkin’ to you!)

Use this to

  • Remove weeds
  • Break up soil
  • Dig in rocky
  • Plant bulbs, seeds, and seedlings
  • Garden bed edging
  • Dig small holes

7. Watering cans/nozzles ?

girl in dress looking around greenhouse with watering can

What it is

A can or hose perfectly be designed to gently sprinkle your plants with enough water to nourish them, helping them absorb foods and fertilizers. Some have that simple little spout for pouring or sprinkling water, while others have some more fancy ones with adjustable spray patterns.

Fill your watering can or garden hose with liquid fertilizer, and you have an excellent solution for delivering nutrients to your plants.

Use this to

  • Water your newly planted seeds raised bed, and small trees– everywhere around your garden!

8. Garden fork ?

woman with orange nail polish using a handheld gardening fork to dig up plant

What it is

This always reminds me of the dinglehopper from The Little Mermaid ?. Although a digging fork is easier to push through the ground than a spade, it’s not quite as strong enough to cut through root crops and weed roots. Even still, it’s extremely helpful for ensuring your soil is doing everything it can for its plants.

Use this to

  • Loosen turning, aerating soil
  • Remove deep-rooted weeds
  • Break up compacted soil for amending

9. Compost bin or area ?

person holding a small bowl of compost to pour into a compost pile in a big black barrel outside

What it is

You can compost outside in hot compost, cold compost, or indoor compost if you’re one of the many urban gardeners using everything possible to live off your green creations. Simply put, a compost bin, container, or area is a place you keep weed clippings, loose and dry leaves, vegetable and fruit wastes, animal manure, and other organic matter in a compost pile.

Use this to

  • Facilitate the natural decomposition of organic matter in compost piles
  • Give yourself free access to natural and safe fertilizer for your plants!

Of course, these aren’t the only gardening tools to use for your space, but it’s definitely a start if you’re a new gardener looking to start cultivating your own green creations! As you explore the realm of beginning your garden, consider your dream garden, so you can envision the gardening tasks, and essential gardening tools you’ll need to help them thrive. Do you want:

  • Edibles
  • Flowers
  • Beauty
  • Food
  • Herbs and spices
  • A little bit of everything?

I hope you feel a little more inspired to get your garden going with these garden tools you could find at your local hardware stores (or even online if you’re like me and get overwhelmed in these big stores!).

Remember, we’re right here with you, digging holes, planting seedlings, and finding more ways to make our spaces and homes vibrant and lively. ?

Nontoxic Living Aesthetic




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The 9 best gardening tools and their uses (beginner plant mamma-friendly!)


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