12 Essential Garden Tools Every Gardener Needs

If you are an inexperienced gardener, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of garden tools available for purchase.  What exactly do you need?

Likewise, for experienced gardeners, the temptation to purchase fancy or expensive equipment can be overwhelming.  Do you really need to update what’s already in your shed?

The garden retail market is flooded with all kinds of trendy pots, planters, tools and accessories for the back yard gardener. Narrowing down the selection to a list of essential tools will help to clarify what items are necessary for your gardener’s shed.

12 Essential Garden Tools Every Gardener Needs

Thanks to our partnership with Ray Padula.  We’re sharing the Rural Mom must-have gardening tools.  Ray Padula provides quality, purposeful innovations designed to effortlessly assist gardener’s everywhere in creating the lawn and garden of their dreams.  You’ll find plenty of Ray Padula products to fill up your garden shed with, we’ve highlighted several of our favorite must-haves throughout the article to help get you started.

Use the list below as a guide to ensure your garden tools are well stocked and prepared for all gardening seasons.  Of course, if that shiny new hand rake catches your attention and you must have it, you can certainly supplement your tool supply and/or donate older tools to your local garden club or charity.

Sun hat

It only takes about 20 minutes in the hot sun for a sunburn to set in. Arm yourself with a good quality sun hat that shields the face and neck from the sun. Pair this with an SPF 30 sunscreen and avoiding a sunburn is easy.

Gardening Gloves

Ideally, two sets of gloves is desirable.  One pair of leather gloves for all the tough jobs and one pair of all purpose coated gardening gloves for everything else.

Leather gloves come in handy for handling thorny plants and rough work which can cause injuries. They are also great for gardening during the winter season.

12 Essential Garden Tools Every Gardener Needs

Work shoes

Some gardeners prefer to wear a lightweight foam gardening shoe. While these are comfortable and good for light maintenance tasks, they won’t protect tender toes from a dropped flower pot!

When you are doing heavy gardening work, invest in a reliable and comfortable pair of work boots.  Work shoes provide the best support and are the safest choice for all your lawn and garden tasks.

Garden Soil Tools

A major part of gardening involves working with the soil, so garden soil tools are a must have in every gardeners tool collection. A long-handled garden spade is probably the most commonly owned gardener’s tool. You can dig up weeds, turn over soil, divide perennial plants, and work the compost into the soil.

A hoe is another essential soil tool, which comes in handy for moving soil, making trenches and even removing weeds. If the garden soil is hard, a warren hoe will make for a better choice than a regular hoe.

Whether the garden is small or a big one, a mini gardening tool set is also a must-have. Such mini tool sets have small spades, spading fork, drain spade, square spade, edging knife, mini trowel, weeder and cultivator. It is not always convenient and possible to work with the regular tools, especially when working on smaller flowerbeds, planters or flowerpots.

12 Essential Garden Tools Every Gardener Needs


A garden kneeler is a foam pad that softens the ground below for kneeling in the vegetable patch. While expensive versions are available in the form of a small bench or seat, an inexpensive kneeler pad, like Ray Padula’s Deluxe Kneeling Pad with a handle is a great choice.  When stored in a shed or out of the rays of the sun, it will last many years.


A variety of garden stakes are available via local retails.  You can make them from old broom handles, rulers or other scrap materials.


A trusty pair of pruners is an absolute must for the vegetable gardener. These will be useful for harvesting herbs and vegetables, deadheading flowering plants, and pruning woody stems, such as raspberry canes.

Pruning scissors are also called Secateurs and are available with three different types of beaks – Anvil, Bypass and Parrot. Anvil pruning scissor which has only one sharp blade is used for cutting thick branches. Bypass scissors have one blade curved blade and one straight blade and the Parrot beak pruning scissors have both blades curved.  (I’m a huge fan of Ray Padula’s Deluxe Precision Snips.)

12 Essential Garden Tools Every Gardener Needs

Garden Watering Products

Watering the plants and the lawn grass regularly is important to build a flowering a flourishing garden. Without the aid of proper garden watering products like watering cans and hoses, watering the plants can become tough.

When buying watering cans and hoses, one must look for products which have adjustable nozzles – so that the pressure can be adjusted while sprinkling water. Also, it’s important to pick up watering products which are made of aluminum or plastic or are coated with brass, since iron products get clogged as rust builds up.  This pretty much describes all the entire Ray Padula watering line of products.  Their hose, sprinkles and watering cans are all top-notch and an essential component of the Rural Mom lawn and garden tool kit.


A garden rake is a useful tool for leveling soil in preparation for sowing vegetable seeds into the bed.  Lawn rakes help remove dead leaves or twigs from the lawn and for keep flowerbeds clean. For a small garden in the backyard even a sturdy plastic rake will do, but for bigger gardens metal rakes are the best.


You can move compost, large plants to be re-potted, and leaves in the fall.  You’ll find plenty of uses for a wheelbarrow around your home and garden.  Truly, it’s an essential tool you’ll cherish!

Compost bin

Making use of a compost pile is the most effective and environmentally safe way to add nutrients to the soil.  A quality compost bin helps make your efforts easier.

Buckets or baskets

A large bushel basket or bucket makes a wonderful container for collecting weeds and clippings that will be thrown into your compost pile. Keep several handy in and around the garden.

There’s nothing more relaxing and exhilarating than nurturing plants and watching them grow.  Gardening not only serves as a mentally relaxing hobby, it’s also good physical exercise.

A reliable collection of basic gardening tools is essential for every gardener.  Without them, simple gardening tasks like scooping mud or removing leaves is an ordeal.

Tags: garden, gardening, green living, rural lifestyle, sustainable living, vegetables
Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, when she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s making tea and writing about country living and artisan culture.
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