Updated: 08 May 2020

Top 10 Essential Gardening Tools

Depending on how large or small your garden is, you would need a lot of gardening tools to keep it healthy. If you have less flowering plants or a kitchen/ terrace balcony with a small garden patch, a few tools will suffice. But if you have a medium to large-sized garden with a lawn, flowering beds, vegetable patch, and other hedges and shrubs, you would need a host of tools. 

It is easy to purchase everything you need. However, knowing what you need and buying everything you can see is very different from each other. Gardening tools can take up a lot of space and money. Apart from the initial cost of purchase, you would also have to clean and maintain them for the long term, regular use. You can buy the essential tools and then add to your collection as you go forward. While purchasing these tools, you should also pay attention to the space available and opt for a shed or small cupboard to store your tools away from the sun and rain. 

 Here are the top 10 essential gardening tools to help you maintain your lawn or garden. 


Secateurs/ Pruning Shears:

Hand secateurs, also called pruning shears are meant for regular maintenance of your plants. Regularly clipping and taking care of your plants will help them bloom and keep them healthy. Bypass pruners have a sharp flat surface that cut with a sharp blade (a bit like scissors). Anvil secateurs cut with a super sharp blade on a flat surface (a bit like a knife to a chopping board).

Bypass pruners are excellent for greenwood and plants. Anvil is best for dead plants and dead wood giving way to healthy, uncrushed green stems beneath. Secateurs should have an ergonomic fit in your hand and should be easy to lift and work with. They should not cause hand fatigue and stress to the muscles. You should clean and sharpen your secateurs regularly to keep the blades free of rust and moisture from plants. Organic plant material stuck between the blades can also reduce the shelf life of secateurs and can blunt the blade. 


Lawn Scarifier:

A lawn scarifier, also known as a ‘dethatcher’ helps cut through dead moss, grass cuttings, and other debris scattered in your lawn or garden. It cuts straight through the soil while clearing and aerating it lightly. This tool could either be a manually operated one or could run on electricity. You could also use a lawn scarifier to make your garden healthy, near weed-free, and long-lasting.

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If dead grass bits and moss are left on the lawn, they could clog the soil and prevent water from seeping into the ground and clearing out. Keeping dead moss and other debris lying around in the garden can turn the entire lawn into a damp and soggy one. Keeping your garden wet at all times can lead to diseases and infections. Excess dampness could also lead to the rampant growth of moss. The term ‘dethatcher’ comes from the debris (also referred to as a thatch).When using it for the first time, use the lawn scarifier on a high setting, and then push to a low setting so that you can clean out the excess debris, moss, and grass cuttings first.


Garden Fork:

Garden forks are excellent for turning and aerating the soil. Garden forks help dig into the earth better than spades. The tines on the forks help separate the ground efficiently and do not require as much effort as garden spades. These usually have four tines, but you also get garden forks with six tines. These tines are sturdy and do not bend easily under stress. 

Garden forks can easily pull out stones, weeds, and small clumps of soil. Most forks today are made of stainless steel or carbon steel. You can also use these forks to move light materials like hay, manure, or compost from one place to another. 


Pruning Saw:

A pruning saw is excellent for branches that are too thick or high to reach with regular pruning shears and tree loppers. If you are removing sturdy roots or cutting down tough branches, you should opt for a sturdy pruning saw. This saw has multipurpose uses and can also be used for camping trips, hiking (to cut through trails), or trekking. 

You should opt for a finely toothed pruning saw when working in your home garden. If you have heavy branches, you should consider one with coarse teeth. High branches also require additional height. You can also invest in a tree pruning pole saw to help reach higher branches.


Garden Hose:

A hose pipe or garden hose is used to carry water from your main water inlet to the entirety of your garden or lawn. These hose pipes are usually made of softened, flexible plastic and can move large quantities of water safely. Garden hoses are typically reinforced with a latticework of heavy-duty internal fibres. Since they are strong internally, the exterior is left smooth to facilitate easy pulling action without disturbing or disrupting your garden.

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Each hose has a male and female connector port that allows you to connect multiple hoses at the same time. Plastic or rubber washers to prevent leakage are also a good idea. Most garden hoses should not be used for hot water. Leaving them out in the sun can also cause the internal temperature to rise and cause cracks in the body of the pipe. 


Cordless Strimmer:

Strimmers are also known as line strimmers and come in three variants – corded, petrol, and cordless. Cordless strimmers are the most efficient and easy types to use. They work without a cord and are easy to carry around the garden or lawn. Cordless strimmers are slightly more expensive than the other ones, but save a lot of time and effort in the long term. 

Most cordless strimmer’s work on lithium-ion rechargeable batteries and do not take up a lot of time for recharging. Entry-level cordless strimmers are great for small gardens, whereas the rest are excellent for medium to large-sized gardens. They are fabulous for intensively strimming long grass, overgrown weeds, and brushwood. Cordless strimmers also produce low decibel noise and are easy to use.


Cordless Hedge Trimmer/Long Reach Hedge Trimmer:

Hedge trimmers or shrub and bush trimmers are excellent for pruning, cutting, trimming, and styling. The most popular types are regular cordless hedge trimmers and long reach hedge trimmers for tall hedges. Cordless trimmers are easy to carry and are lightweight. They also come with safety features to protect you from excess trimming and accidents. 

Cordless hedge trimmers are easy to carry around since they do not have long wires or run on petrol. Long reach hedge trimmers are ideal for tall property hedges that are hard to reach and need a garden stool or ladder. You can easily trim your hedges neatly depending on the telescoping handles. They have long blades and are easy to manoeuvre.

Before finalising a purchase, check the battery life of the cordless trimmer. You may also need an extra battery pack depending on your usage.


Garden Shredder:

Garden shredders help reduce the amount of garden waste and make disposal quick. Without a garden shredder, you would have to make multiple trips to get all the garden waste out and lose out on a healthy compost heap. The organic waste from the garden shredder makes for an excellent compost heap. The greens are nitrogen-rich, while all the brown waste is carbon-rich.

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