My Must-Have Garden Tools

Garden tools are not needed to garden, but they sure do make it easier and more enjoyable. If you are a first-time gardener or have been gardening a long time, there are some must-have garden tools that I recommend.

A woman carrying a large basket filled with fresh picked tomatoes. Her family is in the background.

Having the right garden tools and products for a home vegetable garden will make gardening more efficient and productive. You can garden on any kind of budget, but good tools and products will make gardening enjoyable and easier. From hand tools to power tools, here are some of my must-have garden tools.

Why Must-Have Garden Tools Are Important

I don’t want to put a lot of emphasis on “stuff”, because I never want to leave people feeling excluded from gardening. However, it is true that proper tools can make tasks easier and more enjoyable.

You should never feel discouraged about the lack of tools to make a home garden happen. Reclaiming different items is always a great way to create your own tools.

Use this list if you need gift ideas for a gardener you know, or if you are in a place where you can add some luxuries to your tasks. Just bear in mind that these are not a necessity to produce a beautiful, healthy garden.

I will add that if you're able to spend a little bit more money on a high-quality garden tool, you'll end up spending less money in the long run as some tools I have I'll be passing down to my kids.

Cheap tools are cheaply made and won't last a lifetime, meaning you'll end up buying multiple cheap tools that can easily add up to more than one expensive quality tool.

But I'm never one for cheap tools holding me back, so do what you can with what you have.

Three garden hand tools on the ground.

My Top Must-Have Garden Tools

These are the tools and products that I enjoy using, and would replace if they were broken or got lost.

Gardening Hand Tools

Having garden hand tools makes gardening a little easier. A good pair of pruning shears, gardening gloves, garden scissors, or a hand trowel are great to have, but these are my must-have hand tools. 

  • Dibber – A dibber is also known as a dibbe, and is great for making holes in the soil. It will make planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, or bulbs of any kind easier. You can make your own, using a long-handled broom just like Charles Dowding does. I use a handheld dibber.
  • Cobra Head Garden Tool – The CobraHead is an ergonomically durable tool, made of tempered steel and a composite handle that is water-resistant. This tool comes in two sizes. It gets up under weeds and will cultivate compacted soil. This tool gives precision to where you want to disturb the soil.
  • Barebone Hori Hori – A Hori Hori is a high-quality beast of a tool. It is my Crocodile Dundee tool. This soil knife is a multipurpose knife; it will dig, saw, prune, and cut. The Hori Hori is a spade with a straight blade on one side and the other side has a serrated edge. The blade has a carved-out hook to cut string as well as a rounded top to dig weeds. This tool does need to be taken care of, don't leave it out to get wet or it will rust. Putting oil on the handle will help it last a long time. I believe the Hori Hori is one of the top essential gardening tools.

Dozens of seedling pots with plant starts growing.

Seed Starting Tools

Seed starting tools are needed if starting your seeds indoors. 

  • Grow bags – Biodegradable grow bags make growing seedlings easy. They are super affordable. Put your soil in the bag, plant your seeds in the bag, watch them grow, and when ready to plant, put them directly into the ground. Turn the bags inside out to help the bags stand up straighter.
  • BootStrap Farmer Grow Trays – These grow trays are heavy-duty and come with a two-year warranty. They will hold up to 50lbs of weight as well. The grow trays come in many different colors to brighten up your greenhouse.

A harvest basket filled with fresh picked produce from the garden.

Harvesting Tools

You can always use your hands and clothes to harvest your fruits and vegetables, but why ruin your clothes when there are these wonderful tools out there?

  • Roo Apron – This apron helps with harvesting allowing you to be hands-free. It has support for your back, and like a kangaroo pouch, it will hold your produce. When done filling the apron, you can empty it easily at the bottom. Another benefit to this apron is that it is made of canvas and is waterproof for easy cleaning. The Roo Apron comes in two sizes, a full coverage apron or half known as the “Joey”. They both come in many bright and fun colors.  
  • Gardening Hods Basket – From harvesting your flowers to fruits and vegetables, these baskets become very useful. There are many different types of baskets out there, but the Hod baskets are really, really nice. They are a little bit of an investment, but worth it. This heavy-duty mesh basket will withstand the test of time and weather.  

Two wheel barrows in a garden.

Large Gardening Tools

When you are vegetable gardening, you need some larger tools to help with the work. Moving large bags of soil or loads of compost in a wheelbarrow, keeping your garden watered with a garden hose, moving compost with a large garden fork, and keeping your garden isles weed-free with a garden hoe are all helpful.

My garden has these large tools: 

  • 1 Gallon Spray Tank – Pressurized pump sprayers are great when treating your garden with organic pest control methods, or when adding liquid fertilizers to the garden. A spray bottle will work but the spray tank will cover a lot more space and save your hand from cramping up!  
  • Gorilla Dump Cart – The dump cart makes pulling and dumping soil, compost and rocks easier with its quick-release dump container.    
  • Metal Gardening Cart – With its metal removable mesh sides, this cart makes loading and hauling large items throughout your garden much easier.

A tomato horn worm glowing from the light of a blacklight flashlight.

Organic Pest Control Tools 

Gardening organically takes a little bit more research and testing. So here are my top tried and true organic pest control tools. Learn more about all my organic pest control methods here.

  • Blacklight Flashlight – Number one on my list for organic pest control. The blacklight will help in finding those pesky hornworms. Here is my step-by-step tutorial on how to get rid of tomato hornworms using a blacklight flashlight. It’s a fun night activity to do with your kids! They really do glow, just see the photo above!
  • Cold Press Neem Oil – Neem oil is a great organic pest control. It works as a repellent and a suppressant. I use it to get rid of flea beetles and 1 Tablespoon of oil to a gallon of water is all that's needed to protect plants from aphids. Caution: Do not spray in the middle of the day. The oil could burn your plants! 
  • Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth – Diatomaceous Earth is fossilized organisms that kill hard shell insects by cutting their exoskeleton and drying them out. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth around each plant and it will do the work. Do be careful when using this as it can hurt the friendly pollinators as well. For more tips, read my organic pest control post.

Salad greens growing in a Greenstalk Vertical Garden planter.

The Little Extra

Everyone has those little extra tools that make gardening so much more enjoyable. Here are mine.

  • My Sweet Miah – He's my all-time favorite. He is so innovative and is always finding ways to make gardening more efficient. Everyone could use a person just like him. 
  • 5 Gallon Buckets – Buckets are cheap and very versatile. They can work as a watering can, dirt hauler, weed bucket, and many other chore helpers. You can pick them up at any hardware store.
  • Cattle Panels – I use cattle panels everywhere in our garden. You can see my step-by-step tutorial to make affordable garden trellises and everything you need to know about vertical gardening here. Cattle panels give more space in the garden and they can be purchased at any farm or hardware store. 
  • GreenStalk Planter – You don't have to wait to have land to get your hands dirty, you can plant wherever you live with these planters. They come in five or seven-tier options, and you can use the coupon code “ROOTS10” to get $10 off your order. Check out this post to learn how to plant and grow in the GreenStalk planter.

Tiny seed starting pots with seedlings growing.

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