It’s easy to go overboard with purchasing gardening tools. The latest equipment promises a new level of expertise previously unrivaled, not to mention ease of use. But these things can take up a lot space, cost a lot of money, and be over-specialized. Instead, focus in on getting the basic tools that can assist you with almost any gardening endeavor.

  • 1. GlovesWhile gardening can be a wonderful hobby, it can quickly turn into a thorny and splintery hassle without the right pair of gloves. Ensure that you purchase a durable pair that is not too bulky. Keep them from too much sun, water, and insects while storing.

    Try Foxgloves - buy now on Amazon
    (Recommended by botanical photographer Ellen Hoverkamp)

  • 2. Pruning ShearsHand pruners help you reign in plants that are getting out of control and taking over. The increased strength provided with ratcheting pruners makes them a great choice for anyone with reduced hand strength or arthritis.

    Try Florian ratcheting pruners - buy now on Amazon
    (Recommended by botanical photographer Ellen Hoverkamp)

  • Hand trowel.

    3. Hand TrowelTrowels are wonderful for planting herbs, digging around corners and taking out weeds. If your gardening budget will allow, get a hand trowel that was forged from stainless steel or at least a trowel with a stainless steel head. This will ensure durability and longevity.

    Try the Garrett Wade Tulip Trowel - buy now on Amazon
    (Recommended by Genevieve Schmidt, owner of Genevieve Schmidt Landscape Design and Fine Maintenance)

    Learn more: Anatomy of a Trowel

  • 4. SpadeThese short-handled square shovels make easy work of digging holes for plants and moving small mounds of dirt from one area to another. Grab a spade with a strong steel head and a thick fiberglass handle. This tool can be more on the pricey side, but a good spade will last you the rest of your gardening life!

    Try the King of Spades Model 38 Balling Spade - buy now on Amazon
    (Recommended by William Cullina, executive director of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens)

  • 5. RakeWhen leaves and debris fall, your sturdy inexpensive plastic rake is there to whisk them away. An essential tool indeed, you will not be disappointed with the cleanliness of your garden.  

    Try the Bond 2060 Adjustable Steel Rake - buy now on Amazon
    (Recommended by Mike Kintgen, alpine curator for the Denver Botanic Gardens)


  • 6. HoeYour type of garden will dictate what type of hoe is best for you. A veggie garden may require a sturdy, wide hoe. If you have perennial gardens, a more delicate touch and a thinner hoe may be required.

    Try a Rogue Garden Hoe 575G - buy now on Amazon
    (Recommended by Garden Design editors)

  • 7. Long Hose with Adjustable NozzleWater is the foundation of your garden’s life. It is imperative that your hose can reach and spray every area. The adjustable nozzle puts you in control of the water pressure and spray radius. 

    Try a Tuff-Guard Hose - buy now on Amazon and a Bon Aire Ultimate Hose Nozzle - buy now on Amazon
    (Recommended by Genevieve Schmidt, owner of Genevieve Schmidt Landscape Design and Fine Maintenance)

  • 8. Watering WandGive your plants a gentle rain shower with a water-breaking wand. The extended reach is also helpful to get to out-of-the-way container or the back edges of borders. 

    Try a Dramm watering wand - buy now on Amazon
    (Recommended by Jeanne Kelley, cookbook author and kitchen gardener)

  • 9. LoppersIf you have anything in your garden that needs to be “lopped," such as trees or shrubs, you will soon be in need of a hardy pair of loppers. Able to remove branches up to a two inch diameter, this essential tool should be in every shed.  

    Try the Tabor Tools GG12 Anvil Lopper - buy now on Amazon
    (Recommended by Garden Design editors)

  • 10. WheelbarrowIf your backyard has extra soil, uses compost, or if you are installing your garden yourself, you are a prime candidate for a wheelbarrow. A two-handed wheelbarrow runs about $80 and can help you haul hundreds of pounds!

    Try the Marathon Dual-Wheel Yard Rover - buy now on Amazon
    (Recommended by Garden Design editors)

By investing in these ten essential gardening tools, your shed will house everything it needs to keep your garden beautiful and growing.

Content provided by the School of Landscape Architecture, Academy of Art University. If you love these tips and have an eye for design, start your career in landscape architecture at one of the top design schools today!

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