There are as many ways to garden as there are gardeners. There are also many garden tools being sold pretty much anywhere you go in spring. Often these items claim some sort of promise of making gardening easier or better, etc. In reality we don’t really need a whole lot to hone our gardening skills and tend and care for our gardens. Today I want to share a few garden tools that I love to use, things that I use year after year in my own garden.
- Hori Hori Knife – I have a few of these multipurpose knives and love them! I use them to open bags of soil, compost and other bagged garden items. I use them to make trenches when sowing seeds like carrots or onions, etc. I use them to measure spacing when needed. I have dug planting holes with them, cut twine or tomato tape, etc. with them. I use them to cut back my larger plants at soil level when their time is done in the garden. Overall a hori hori is something I pretty much have with me in the garden at all times. There are many brands you can buy. My favorite one at the moment is my Barebones Hori Hori Ultimate, I’ve had this version for a few years now and love it. It’s beautiful. My other hori hori is a Nisaku and I also love it. Both are fantastic tools and workhorses in my garden.
- Pruners – Having a good pruner can make harvesting and tending the garden so much easier. Yes you can simply pull off vegetables and fruit, but I find using a pruner gives a cleaner cut. (A cleaner cut can help reduce the risk of disease.) They are especially helpful when the stems are thick and strong, like if you are harvesting a whole string of cherry tomatoes on the vine. I also use them when harvesting any cut flowers. The two brands I have and love are Barebones (again) and Felco.
- Garden Scissors and an Herb Stripper – Technically any scissors or pruners will work and I have used many regular old scissors, but I love my Barebones garden scissors and designate them just for cutting fresh herbs and leafy greens. They are so beautiful that I have them sitting out on my bookshelf by my computer. As for an herb stripper, I have a no name metal one that does the trick. I went many years without one, just using my hands, which works fine. The herb stripper can be very helpful with things like thyme or oregano and rosemary. It’s a great way to have kids help in the kitchen too! (Just make sure the herb stripper you use doesn’t have a cutting edge.)
- Shovel – I practice no dig gardening, so there isn’t much of a need for digging holes often or tilling the soil ever, but I do use a shovel for moving compost, rocks, edging out new growing areas, etc. I do not know the brand of my favorite shovel, it was a gift many, many years ago. Find one that works for you, it will be a personal choice.
- Wheel Barrow – This one gets used most often for larger projects, bulk soil or compost purchases or any heavy lifting and moving that needs to happen in the garden. There are many sizes and variable quality ones out there. This is another one where you will want to shop around, push it around and see how it feels. I have had my eye on a two wheeled version for a while. It looks like it will be super easy to maneuver without tipping. (I have tipped my fair share of compost on the ground.) The brand on the main one we use is worn off. It’s metal with wooden handles and very old. We have other ones that are for lighter duty garden jobs that are plastic and those have worked fine for those situations. You really want to choose one based on what it will most often be used for.
These are just a few of my main garden tools that I use in my garden regularly. You really don’t need a whole lot, and can get creative where needed. The items listed are things where quality really matters for longevity and ease of use. I try to buy something that is really high quality once instead of multiple poor quality items of the same. As you can tell I am a big fan of Barebones and their products, I am not an affiliate, I love the products I have used from them over the years. Felco is another brand I trust, their pruners are great and they offer a whole range of garden tools. I hope this list helps you narrow down the basics to bring ease to your garden. Let me know what your favorite gardening tools are in the comments! I would love to hear from you.