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Long-time gardeners have favorite, must-have garden tools.  Below we’ve provided a list of what tools belong in every gardeners’ tool bucket, the don’t-leave-the-patio-without-it – category.

Don’t leave the patio without a 5-gallon Bucket or Trug to hold these tools:

  • Bypass pruners (for 3/4″ diameter stems or smaller)
  • Hand fork
  • Scissors (or small blade snips)
  • Hand-shears
  • Crack or crevice weeder
  • Trowel
  • Cultivator (like the fork but curved like a hand)
  • Folding saw (for larger than 1.5″ diameter branches)
  • Loppers (for 1 to 1.5″ diameter stems)
  • Multi-functional knife (for slicing cutting roots, twine, opening bags)
  • Blade sharpener
  • Gloves
  • Ties (twine, twisties, or repurposed sturdy strips of plastic bags )

Now Add a Tarp

that’s roughly the length of your average garden bed and use it to wrap around these tools for easier carrying (because they won’t fit in the bucket):

  • Edging spade (choose a handle length that for your body to get good leverage)
  • Digging fork (for breaking hard-packed ground)
  • Scuttle-, Circle- or Hula- hoe (hinged hoe for weeding already loose soil areas)
  • Potato or Gravel rake
  • Collapsible spring rake

Tools for Mobility-challenged Gardeners

or when seemingly simple tasks seem harder and harder:

  • Kneeling pad or knee pads
  • Light-weight collapsible stool
  • Spear-tipped spade (for breaking hard-packed ground)
  • Round-handled tools (for gripping with two-hands)
  • Ratchet or light-weight pruners (for better power)
  • 4-wheeled garden cart

Hard Tasks Made Easier with the Right Tools

Some of these are listed in the essentials.  It helps to know what tool can do double-duty.

For breaking up hard ground or starting a new garden bed in undisturbed locations:

  • Spear-headed spade (to dig down)
  • Shovel (for removing soil)
  • Sickle hoe (for shallow digging or digging around roots and stones)
  • Mattock (for really tough jobs with roots and stones)

For general garden maintenance – you’ll be happy you have:

  • Kneeling pad, thick cushion or low stool (to move along when you weed or deadhead)
  • Shears (for dead-heading large clumps of perennials or cutting back grasses)
  • Scissors or snips (for tender stems of annuals or perennial flower heads)
  • Pitchfork or rake (for spreading mulch)
  • Wheel barrow or Garden Cart (for moving bags of mulch around the gardens)

Don’t forget Watering!

Water is essential to plants at all times. (See our watering tips). Even established plantings (2 or more years old) benefit from water relief in times of stress or drought.

  • Hoses that are thick and sturdy, although heavy, will last longer.  (If a heavy hose is too difficult for you to wrangle, invest in a hose reel or explore an installed irrigation system and soaker hoses.)
  • Hose guides are stakes or stones placed judicially around gardens (to prevent hoses from accidentally decapitating your prized blooms.)
  • Watering Wand with hand shut off (used to reach into garden beds and water the soil around plants not the leaves.)
  • Pistol grip nozzle( to control the water stream at the hose end.)

Favorites for Finishing Up

Weeds, roots, flower heads will need to be cleared away.

  • Collapsible Spring Rake (rake head can be adjusted to rake between perennials easily and lightly)
  • 24- 42″ Bamboo or Plastic Rake (for sweeping large areas)
  • Canvas bag or Tarp (for gathering your trimmings/ detritus and bringing to a compost pile)
  • Long or short-handled edger (to create even edges around garden beds)
  • Crack or crevice weeder (to get around decorative stones or tiles, also useful for long-rooted weeds)
  • Stakes and ties (to support wind-rattled flowers)
  • Compost bin or pile (to restore your soil using your garden waste)
  • Pitch fork (for turning compost)

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