10 Essentials To Include In Your First Garden Tool Set

garden tool set for beginners

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Starting your own vegetable garden is a wonderful pass-time. What other activity gives you excersize, friendship, a connection to nature and the world around you not to mention, free organic fruit and vegetables?

There is a lot to learn, like how to test your soil, what seeds should you grow, how to look after your new plants and what tools do you need? 

But in the beginning, there really is only a few essentials you need to know to get you off to a great start.

If your ready to get started on your vegetable garden you can sign up to our next “How To Start A Vegetable Garden Course” which will tell you everything you need to know and will walk you through each step of the process so your not trying to do it alone!

A well stocked tool shed

The 2 essential parts to gardening is, learning to to feed your soil, and ensuring you have the right tools for the job.

Everything else can be learned as you grow and harvest your delicious efforts

So, How do you know what tools to buy?

Well when we started our plot, we had every tool imaginable thanks to a donation from my dad who likes to collect tools but never seems to use them.

However, a lot of them broke quickly or had heavy handles or just weren’t needed for our vegetable garden.

So what we did, was to plan out our space and decided what we were going to grow. 

We then worked backwards, deciding what tools were needed for each job, gutting grass, earthing up potatoes, weeding and harvesting leaves and so on. 

In the beginning for us, it seemed like a good idea to include a wheel barrow and long hose as it is a large area.

So after much discussion, we ended up with a small list of the most important tools for us.

The most essential tools that will work hard for you is a fork and spade. I would recommend spending what you can afford to get the best you can.

A heavy fork can make a large digging job even harder. And if kids are involved the lighter and easier to use the better.

Other tools can be picked up easily from second hand shops and thrift stores or bought cheaply , these tools wont need to work so hard, they might just need a sharpen occassionally. 

 Again, make sure you pick something that fits you. Some spades we’ve had are too heavy for me to use, so I need something lighter, so don’t be afraid to try tools first.

Check they are nice and easy to handle, not too heavy or long etc.

So, here’s our list of the most useful tools to add to your garden tool set

  • This post contains affiliate links for products I believe in.

Spade/ Shovel

Whether your digging, lifting, or moving mulch around, a good quality garden spade is a must.
Make sure you consider the weight and height of the spade so its comfortable to use.

A good quality spade is a must for any garden tool set.

Plant Labels

This one is not strictly a tool but they are so useful for seed sowing and laying out your patch. Plastic plant labels can be written on in pencil or permanent marker. Then at the end of the season simply rub off these labels with some sand paper and they’re ready for the next season.

 Garden Hand Tools

If your planting trees and digging bigger holes, it’s best to use a shovel or a spade like the one above.

Garden hand tools however, are the best tool in your arsenal that will do great job at making beds for flowers, planting bulbs, seeds or other small plants, digging small holes and weeding.

A Wheelbarrow

Having a wheelbarrow will help you to move mulch, compost, debris, dead leaves of garden.

You can transport your seedlings and even tools in it too.

If you only have a few pots on the patio then a wheelbarrow may not be nessessary. But I have a large plot to maintain so it really invaluable. If purchasing a wheelbarrow it’s a good idea to get one with an inflateable tyre. It makes moving the contents easier and is easily maintained


One essential to ensure you don’t skimp on is a good set of gardening gloves. Also, if you have children helping in the garden, it’s wise to have some child size gloves around too. nothing will spoil your afternoon quicker than a toddler with a splinter! A good pair of gloves is a must to protect your hands from dirt, scrapes and nasties in the soil.

Watering Gear

When you first plant your garden, you will have to water a lot. In the beginning you can use a watering can to water your seedlings, or if you like to recycle, use a milk jug, simply filled with water with holes in the cap. It make an effective watering jug too.

As long as you provide water and good fertile soil your plants won’t go wrong.

For a larger area like ours, we have a long hose we can use to water larger amounts of plants easier. You could also look at some sort of irrigation system to save yourself the work completely. So have a look at what your requirements are and go with it.

Garden Fork

To loosen your soil or lift plants, a garden fork is the best tool. When the soil is damp, the garden fork can replace a spade and make digging easier especially if you need to dig up carrots or potatoes.

A garden fork is less likely to cut a plant roots so less likely to have speared crops

Lawn Mower

At out allotment plot, we have grass paths, so a lawnmower is useful to keep these tidy. Try to invest in a petrol version so you don’t have to worry about electricity and cables. it’s not fun running over a cable!

A Lawn mower is good for larger areas of flat grass but can be tricky to use in tight areas.

Garden Hoe

A garden hoe is primarily used for controlling the weeds.Although I use mine for lifting plants and a little digging too. It is best to hoe the new shoots of weeds off the plant before they mature and set seeds.

Weed seedlings are always developing beneath the surface. If you can hoe regularly then these weed seedlings will be stopped before becoming an issue.

Pruning Secateurs

This one will depend on the style of your garden. A good sharp set of secateurs are wonderful for cutting back woody stems of trees and bushes and harvesting sweetpeas and beans.

They’re good for clearing an old bean or pea crop, as they cut through the stems easily and leave the nitrogen nodules in the ground.

Final note about your tools

It’s incredibly important to keep garden tools clean and sharp to avoid damaging plants unnecessarily. You don’t want to spread bacteria and fungus around your plant as these can affect your other crops and cause a disaster for your harvest.

I use this sharpening stone for my tools. It’s quick and simple. Just hold your blade at the right angle and rub on the stone in a circular motion and within a few minutes you’ll have sparkly tools. Make sure to give them a rub down with oil afterwards and disinfect them regularly and you’ll be good to go.

Ok so, how does this list compare to yours? Do you think we’re missing something? Share your list so we can help each other!

Remember to check out this post with common mistakes to avoid when starting a vegetable garden, for more advice on getting started.

21 thoughts on “10 Essentials To Include In Your First Garden Tool Set”

  1. A very resourceful post especially for beginners. Getting the right gardening tools is very essential and they will ease your gardening tasks thus increasing productivity.

    Good work,Keep posting!!

  2. Oh my God. Finally, I got my all of answer here. Truly, you are sharing the best-complicated thing for starting garden tools. I have got your blog after searching too much web. I am very pleased to find it. And thank you so much for sharing these important tools news. I will regularly follow up your website.

  3. Hi Gail, I don’t know why, but for the life of me I’ve never thought of having plant labels in my small backyard garden. It’s such an excellent way to get things organized during the planting season. Thanks for this awesome tip as well as practical post.

  4. Hello,
    this is a very informative article and I have read it you are a great blogger and I started a blog hope it will succeed as you keep it up such a nice posting like this.
    Thank You.

  5. Thanks, Gail for this helpful post. but I think this article is incomplete without Pruning Saw or a pole saw and String trimmer or hedge trimmer. I hope you will update this article and then it will be much helpful post for the new gardeners. Thanks once again, Gail.

  6. Shovel and gardening hoe are the tools here are available in my DIY handy tool list. This post is a nice round-up for the tool list all you need for a nice garden. I am considering buying all of it over time. Please send me more gardening tips by mail.

  7. Shovel and gardening hoe are the tools here are available in my DIY handy tool list. This post is a nice round-up for the tool list all you need for a nice garden. I am considering buying all of it over time. I am also looking forward to buying a pump sprayer for the fence. Please send me more gardening tips by mail.

  8. Shovel and gardening hoe are the tools here are available in my handy tool list. This post is a nice round-up for the tool list all you need for a nice garden. I am considering buying all of it over time. I am also looking forward to buying a pump sprayer for the fence. Please send me more gardening tips by mail.

  9. Shovel and gardening hoe are the tools here are available in my handy tool list. This post is a nice round-up for the tool list all you need for a nice garden. I am considering buying all of them over time. I am also looking forward to buying a pump sprayer for the fence. Please send me more gardening tips by mail.

  10. I love gardening and I spend lots of time in my garden. I know all gardeners have to take care of their garden in every season and this is not an easy task. Good tools can always make things easier. Thank you for sharing this blog with us.

  11. I spent a lot of time in my patio covered with carpet grass.. I have been finding it difficult to keep it clean and green… Thanks so much for this article, i noticed i needed many of this tools to keep my garden and patio area clean.

  12. Thanks for sharing, I agree with what you said. I got all of them! Among them, lawn mower is the most essential tool for me. With the right type of lawn mower, we can cut grass in the desired size and shape them up with just a push of the button. It is a must-buy for all gardeners.

  13. This post is a real lifesaver. I can’t thank you enough for this post. I really appreciate you taking the time to write all about gardening. I am pretty new to gardening and stuff. But I want o to learn Cause I am trying to raise a garden at my backyard but have very little idea of what to do and what not to do. thank you very much for sharing all these useful information

  14. I’d add a pruning saw (I think I use this more often than loppers). I also like my little hand hoe (aka onion hoe) for small areas like raised beds.. I’ve not seen the hand rake before but that looks like a useful tool.

  15. Thanks for shearing this useful post to us.. its really interesting post for all beginners. I hope it will be very useful for all gardeners thanks for shearing this useful post to us..

    Great work, keep shearing to us..

  16. A very innovative submit especially for beginners. Getting the proper gardening equipment is very critical and they will help us in the gardening tasks hence increasing productivity.
    Good post

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