10 best gardening tools for beginners

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Are you ready to plant your first garden? Make sure you have the right supplies for success with our 10 best gardening tools for beginners.

Person planting flowers in a garden, wearing gloves and a denim jacket. A red watering can, several flower pots, and a wheelbarrow are nearby.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Gardening is a rewarding hobby for all ages, providing gentle physical activity and time outdoors. While a simple garden requires just a few seeds, some dirt and water, having tools makes life much easier for beginner gardeners.

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Hand trowel

Whether you’re planting in your own backyard or a community garden, a hand trowel is indispensable for planting, transplanting and weeding. Look for one with a comfortable grip and sturdy construction to handle various soil types. Remember to clean your hand trowel after each use to prevent rust and to wear gloves to avoid blisters. 

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Pruning shears

Pruning shears, or secateurs, are essential for trimming and shaping plants. Choose a sharp, durable blade pair and an ergonomic handle.

Sharpen the blades of your pruning shears regularly and oil the pivot points. Remember to always cut away from your body. 

Garden fork

A garden fork is excellent for turning soil, aerating and removing weeds. Choose a fork with solid and pointed tines for penetrating compacted soil.

To care for your garden fork, remember to rinse and dry it after each use to avoid corrosion.

When using it, wear sturdy shoes to protect your feet.

Watering can

A woman in a hat and gloves waters pink flowers with a green watering can in a garden.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

A watering can is another helpful tool for keeping your plants hydrated, especially for container gardens, vertical gardens or areas with limited hose access. Choose a watering can with a balanced design and a removable rose for different watering needs.

Clean your can periodically to prevent algae buildup. Avoid overfilling it to prevent spillage, particularly if you add store-bought or natural plant food to the water.

Garden hose with a nozzle

A garden hose with an adjustable nozzle lets beginner gardeners water large areas efficiently. Look for a durable and kink-resistant hose.

Store your garden hose using a covered hose reel to prevent damage from kinks and sun exposure. Be mindful of tripping hazards when using the hose to water your garden.

“The Hori Hori is hands down the best gardening tool out there. It’s like having a knife, trowel and saw all in one, making it perfect for everything from digging to cutting roots. Plus, it’s built to last, so you can count on it for years of reliable use.”

— Shruthi Baskaran-Makanju, Urban Farmie


Use a rake to clear leaves, level soil and spread mulch. Choose a metal rake with adjustable tines to use for different tasks.

Shake off the soil after each use to keep the tines clean and debris-free. Also, remember to store your garden rake with the tines down to avoid accidents.


A wheelbarrow will save you time and pain when transporting soil, compost and plants in your large suburban or urban garden. Choose a sturdy, well-balanced model with a pneumatic tire for easy maneuverability. Keep the wheel inflated and the bed clean, and don’t overload your wheelbarrow, or you may damage the tires.


A hoe may be one of the first gardening tools for beginners. Use it for weeding, shaping soil and beds according to your garden plan, and creating furrows for planting. 

A lightweight garden hoe with a comfortable handle will reduce strain during use. Use the hoe at a shallow angle to avoid damaging plant roots, and sharpen the blade when needed. 

“A battery-powered hedge trimmer is a must-have tool for all gardeners, especially beginners. They are such a time saver. We use our DEWALT 20v Hedge Trimmer for pruning hedges, trees, bushes and shrubs. It takes no time and helps keep yearly growth under control.”

— Dan Morris, Fire and Saw

Lawn mower

For those beginner gardeners with larger grassy areas, consider investing in a lawn mower. Options include gas, electric and manual reel mowers. Choose based on the size of your lawn and your physical ability.

Check oil, air filters and blades regularly for optimal performance. Always turn off and disconnect power before maintenance.

Garden gloves

Protect your hands from cuts, blisters and dirt with a good pair of garden gloves. Look for gloves that fit well and offer flexibility and protection. Garden gloves are a good option if you’re searching for gifts for gardeners. Wash gloves regularly to maintain hygiene and ensure a snug fit to avoid accidents caused by loose material.

Tool maintenance

A person kneels on the grass, holding a small gardening trowel, and tends to colorful flowers in a garden.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Proper maintenance extends the life of your tools. Clean them after each use, store them in a dry place and sharpen the blades as needed. Oiling moving parts prevents rust and ensures smooth operation.

Safety tips

Always wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and sturdy shoes. Be aware of your surroundings to prevent trips and falls. Follow manufacturer instructions for the safe use of electric or gas-powered tools.

Budget considerations

Gardening tools vary in price. Investing in quality tools can save money in the long run. Look for deals and consider buying second-hand tools in good condition. Prioritize tools based on your gardening needs and expand your collection over time.

Starting your gardening journey with the right tools can make the experience enjoyable and successful. Happy gardening.

Sarita Harbour is a long-time lifestyle, business and finance writer. Her work has been featured in various online publications including TIME/Money, Business Insider, CBS News and Bob Vila. She created An Off Grid Life to help people become more self-reliant.

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