Do you ever go to the hardware store and stop to drool over all the beautiful, shiny gardening tools? It is so easy to get sucked into the newest tool that will change gardening as you know it, that new tool that will do it all, to fill your garden shed with tools that you use once and never use again. But there really are only 5 tools every gardener needs.
5 Tools Every Gardener Needs
Tough Gloves that Fit
Seriously. I’m 5’4″ and have fairly small hands. I have a heck of a time finding good gardening gloves that fit. There’s always a bunch of extra material at the fingertips that just gets in the way. I found this pair a couple years ago and fell in love with them. Not only did they fit, but the leather on the palm and pointer finger was great protection. The rest of the glove was a nylon material that fit like… well, a glove. The ruler on the pointer finger came in very handy for planting too! (No pun intended!)
I have been known to try on glove after glove in the gardening section until I find just the right fit. It’s worth it!
The hubby surprised me with a dumping cart and I LOVE it. Instead of a wobbly wheelbarrow that tips over easily when it’s full, my four-wheeled cart is nice and sturdy and dumps with the squeeze of a handle. With our Back to Eden garden, I’m continually (or at least it feels like it) hauling wood chips and chicken manure. This cart makes moving it around the yard a breeze. No more wheelbarrows for me!
Whether you have a no-till Back to Eden garden or a traditional garden, a shovel is a must. Not to mention it gets used for many other chores around the homestead. A good sturdy, rust free shovel with a handle that doesn’t give you splinters is an absolute must. Small trowels make gardening easier too. How could we have a list of tools every gardener needs without shovels!
As I mentioned above, we have a Back to Eden garden (read more here). The main tool for smoothing chips, planting seeds or seedlings, weeding what few weeds we have, or spreading chicken manure is a simple rake. Like the shovel, a strong metal rake with a handle that doesn’t give you splinters. In the Back to Eden video, Paul talks about his rake being the only garden tool he needs. My chips haven’t decomposed as much as his have yet, but it’s getting there! (Watch the full Back to Eden Film here or order your own today!)
Now some gardeners might not need pruners, but that’s pretty rare. Whether you only need a pair of scissors for flowers, a knife for harvesting veggies, or pruners for trimming trees and bushes, some sort of pruner is always needed in the garden. I love and use my hand pruners ALL the time. I spent some time working for a tree care company and since then I have become tuned to what makes good pruners. I have larger ones for pruning tree branches, but most of the time the hubby just takes the chainsaw to those.
Not Bad Tools to Have Too
Homesteading in Alaska means we have a few other necessary tools around, such as an ice chipper and a couple snow shovels, but those aren’t necessarily garden tools. I don’t think I’d be able to have a homestead without a post hole digger. I sometimes feel like all we ever do is put in fence posts, but I’m hoping we’ll be mostly done with that chore someday…
Watering cans, hoses, and spray nozzles- both short and long, are all great to have on hand, but for whatever reason, my mind doesn’t always put those in the “tool” category. Don’t ask me to explain how my brain works- I can’t. A grow light and heating pad for starting seeds is always nice, but I’ve managed to have quite a few gardens without those so far (although I admit they would be handy). Some may say a tractor or tiller is a must, but with our no-till Back to Eden garden- I no longer need a tiller and my soil is improving from not tilling it. (Seriously. If you haven’t watched the Back to Eden film yet, go watch it. It will revolutionize the way you look at gardening.)
One thing I really can’t do with out is my notebook! I actually have a couple going, but I LOVE this one from SchneiderPeeps!