Spring has sprung! That means more than just an extra hour of daylight. The arrival of spring is also the start of our prime gardening and planting season.
Whether you’re a seasoned gardener with two green thumbs or have decided to give gardening a try for the first time, one thing no gardener can live without is the right gear for the job!
If it’s your first time gardening, the selection of tools and accessories can be overwhelming. To give you a hand, we’ve put together a list of essential gardening gear. It’s by no means definitive, but it will give you a good place to start. Seasoned gardeners may even find a couple new tools to try!
To make things easier to digest, we’ve broken our list up into two categories: tools and accessories.
1. A Wheelbarrow
Once you get one, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it! Whether you’re hauling mulch, compost, or even large plants, the wheelbarrow is your best friend. Try to get one made entirely of metal or durable plastic, as ones with wooden handles are prone to rotting over time.
2. Gear Driven Loppers
If you have any kind of trees, palms or large bushes, you’ll want these to help manage them. Otherwise, you might soon find your trees and bushes overtaking your entire garden.
Any kind of loppers will work, but gear driven ones increase the force applied with minimal extra effort on your part–which is helpful when you’re reaching above your head to trim a high branch!
3. A Sturdy, Sharp Shovel
This tool has too many uses to mention. From digging holes for planting to moving compost, no garden is complete without a shovel.
Make sure to keep it sharp, or otherwise it’ll feel like you’re trying to dig with a club! Did you know, the majority of shovels you can buy are NOT sharpened when you buy them. For best results, sharpen before using!
4. Digging Fork
Especially at the start of the gardening season, you’ll want one of these to turn over soil. Turning over the soil helps break up hard patches, gets rid of weeds, and also prepares your garden for new plants. Again, keep it sharp.
5. Hula Hoe
Also known as a “stirrup hoe,” this is a game changer for weeding. The tool is sharp on both sides, allowing you to move it back and forth to uproot deep weeds.
If you’ve only used a traditional hoe, you really should give one of these a look. The technique is a bit different from the “hoeing” you may be used to, so here’s a short video of how to use it.
6. Pruning Shears
Locking ones are ideal, as they’ll protect you from accidentally cutting yourself on an open blade when not in use.
Our favorite Pruning Shear at Seascapes is the Felco F-2.
- Gloves. Gardening gloves are crucial to protect your hands from blisters, thorny plants, and any sharp objects you may encounter in the soil. Try to get ones with rubber palms, as they make it easier to grip tools and weeds.
- A wide brimmed hat. While gardening is a great excuse to get out and soak in the sun, it’s a good idea to protect your eyes and face from the sun with a sturdy wide brimmed hat. Try to get one with a brim that goes all the way around–it’ll protect your neck as well!
- Knee pads. Gardening involves a lot of kneeling in the dirt, and even if you’re kneeling in rich, soft soil, it can still be hard on your knees after a while. Save yourself the pain with a pair of knee pads!
- Trowel. If you don’t have one of these you can’t call yourself a gardener. Trowels are crucial for your vegetable, herb, and flower gardens. Keep it close at hand and find one that won’t rot or break by next season.
Tool Care Tips
Like with any activity, it pays to keep your tools in pristine shape. Here are some general tool care tips:
- Keep tools clean. Sure, “clean” gardening tools seems like a bit of an oxymoron, but it pays to at least brush your tools off after each use. If they’re going into storage for a longer period of time, give them more of a thorough cleaning.
- Prevent rust. Rust is inevitable with most metal tools, but you should do your best to keep it from getting out of control. Properly storing your tools indoors and wiping them down after each use will usually do the trick, but if rust starts to form you can also apply a rust removal product. For more information, have a look at this article on garden tool maintenance.
- Keep tools sharp. We can’t say this enough. Just like in cooking, blunt tools are useless and can even be dangerous. If your tools have been languishing indoors this winter and need a sharpening, you’re in luck!
Get Your Tools Sharpened
Kauai Seascapes Nursery offers FREE tool sharpening services annually every Spring. Join our mailing list for upcoming event reminders!
We hope this post has given you a good introduction to the most important gardening gear. Have a favorite gardening tool that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments.
If you still need advice on what gardening gear to get, stop by the nursery and ask one of our experienced staff.
Happy hauling, tilling, trimming, and hoeing!