No matter what projects you have planned for this summer, you’re going to need an array of tools to get those jobs done. If you’re not sure what you’ll need or where to start, fear not! We’ve compiled a list of some lawn and gardening tool essentials that we know will serve you well all growing season long. All of the tools on this list can be used to start a garden, prepare soil, accomplish a special project, or simply keep the outside of your home looking great. Read on to find out what essential tools you’re missing from your collection.
1. HAND TROWEL
A hand trowel is a smaller, hand-held variation of a shovel. Its thin, pointed blade allows you to dig small holes for planting seeds or saplings and works easily in the tight spaces between your plants. A good hand trowel pierces easily through soil and stubborn weeds and is definitely an essential tool for the spring and summer.
2. ROUND POINT SHOVEL
Not all shovels are made equal, so we recommend that you have an array before starting any serious project. A round-point shovel should be your main digging shovel. Its pointed blade pierces the ground and can cut through tough soil, roots, and clay. If you need to transport materials, use a square-point shovel. This shovel has a flatter shovel head than digging shovels and is ideal for moving heavy rocks and chunks of soil as well as building materials like stone and sand. Finally, get yourself a scoop shovel. Scoop shovels are helpful because they are built to hold more than other shovels. The deep scoop capacity makes spreading mulch or scooping snow remarkably easy and will help you get your job done faster.
A spade is different from a shovel in design and purpose, but the two terms are often used interchangeably which can create confusion. A shovel has a pointed blade and is meant for digging and lifting. A spade has a flat, square blade and is helpful for more specialized purposes like cutting through dirt, weeds, and roots, moving loose materials and creating edges along your lawn and soil beds.
FOR MOVING SOIL
4. SPADING FORK
A spading fork, also known as a digging or garden fork, features four steel tines and is perfect for loosening, turning, and aerating soil. It looks a lot like a pitchfork, something you may be used to seeing in traditional agriculture-inspired artwork, but garden forks are shorter and stronger and will serve you much better than a pitchfork would. Spading forks are also the tool of choice for raised bed gardening. Its design allows you to get in between plants without disturbing any others and is wide enough to lift and carry plants out of the soil and into new spots.
5. GARDEN HOE
A basic garden hoe is helpful for keeping weeds at bay and for mixing and tilling soil. There are many types of garden hoes, and a lot were created to help with specific gardening practices. The most basic garden hoe is a draw hoe, also known as a paddle or planter hoe. Draw hoes have large, wide blades and are meant to be pulled lightly across soil towards the user. They’re perfect for dislodging weeds and gently mixing soil.
As far as rakes go, we recommend having these two: a lawn rake and a bow rake. A lawn rake is a year-round essential for any homeowner. Use it to thatch your lawn in the summer, to gather leaves in the fall, and for any yard clean-up or collection during any season.
Bow rakes accomplish more than average leaf rakes do. They have strong, steel tines, not flimsy plastic ones, made for collecting lawn debris, breaking through tough soil, and spreading big loads of mulch or stone. When used correctly, a bow rake can collect the rocks, sticks, and leaves that litter your yard without harming the land underneath. You can also flip the tines up, towards the sky, and use the curved portion of the rake to push or spread loose materials.
7. HAND CULTIVATOR
Hand cultivators are essentially small hand rakes. They typically have three-pointed tines that curve and are perfect for loosening soil and scraping up weeds. This tool’s size allows you to work in the tight spots between plants and in containers and planters around your home.
8. PRUNING SHEARS
If you’re looking to spruce up the trees and shrubs around your property, you should invest in a good pair of pruning shears. Pruning shears, also known as garden shears or hand pruners, are strong scissors used for light pruning. They’re tough enough to cut through small branches and stubborn roots but lightweight enough for you to swiftly cut flowers and herbs.
If you need something a little heavier duty, you could opt for a pair of loppers. Loppers are essentially pruning shears with longer handles. They allow you to reach taller branches in trees or further across hedges to prune and trim the foliage. However, unlike garden shears, loppers require two hands to operate and can cut thicker and stronger branches.
10. GARDEN KNIVES
Garden knives, typically sold with wooden handles, are helpful for cutting through roots, vines, and soil. One side of the knife is serrated and the other is smooth and sharp. It’s one of the most versatile gardening tools on the market, and its small size makes it something that can easily sit in your tool belt while you work.
11. GARDEN HOSE
A garden hose is first and foremost essential to any gardening project. You can get a traditional hose or one of those new fancy ones that wrap themselves up when you’re done using it, but either way, make sure that it’s long enough to reach from the exterior water source at your house to the areas where you have planted.
12. WATERING WAND
A watering wand is an optional attachment placed on the end of a hose. It delivers a soft shower of water, as opposed to what you get from a standard hose nozzle, and often has a twisting head that allows you to choose a watering style that has the pressure you’re looking to apply.
13. WATERING CAN
If you don’t think your hose can reach every spot you’ve planted, it’s always a good idea to have a watering can handy. Watering cans are portable and allow you to carry water anywhere you need to take it.
14. LAWN SPRINKLERS
Lastly, if you want to water your lawn, lawn sprinklers deliver an even amount of water to the spaces around them. Grass typically requires one to one and a half inches of water per week to maintain its green color and remain healthy. It can receive this from rainfall or watering but be sure to not overwater your lawn. Not only will it leave muddy wet patches in your yard, but it’s also a waste of water, so be sure to put your sprinklers on a timer.
A wheelbarrow is essential if you have a big yard. There’s nothing worse than making a project longer than it needs to be because you have to make trips back and forth across your yard a hundred times. Fill it with mulch, soil, gravel, or any loose material and wheel it to the spot you’re working on, but make sure not to fill it too full! Cleaning up a toppled-over wheelbarrow is never any fun. Other essential supplies include tarps, garbage cans or containers for collecting leaves and sticks, and brooms for clearing sidewalks and outdoor steps.
16. WORK GLOVES
For your comfort, make sure to have a sturdy pair of work gloves or a few if you’re a serious home-improver. Gloves will protect your hands from shocks, sparks, splinters, thorns, and mud and dirt. Plus, it’ll pad your hands and act as a barrier between you and whatever you come across during your project.
17. KNEE PADS/WORK PAD
Not only is lawn and garden work tough on your hands, but it can certainly wreak havoc on your knees. Having padded knee pads or something soft to kneel on makes working on concrete, pavement, or grass a lot easier to bear. If you garden, you know the pain of constantly bending over and kneeling while working in between plants and probably already own a pair, but they’re also essential for jobs like laying flooring, pulling weeds, and working on the ground.
WHERE CAN I FIND THESE TOOLS?
A lot of these tools can be found online or in your local hardware store, Lowe’s, or Home Depot. Many big retail and online stores have many options and customizations that you can request your tool to have – like the material of the tool or style of handle – but if you’re looking for quality hand tools that are guaranteed to work as hard as you do, look no further than our selection at 100% Made in the USA Bully Tools. We only use the strongest, American-sourced materials available to make our rakes, shovels, garden hoes, and more.