Want to start gardening or just update your kit? Follow this quick guide to equip yourself with the essential gear.
Wander through the aisles of any large hardware store and you will find no shortage of tools and equipment to be used in the garden. From shovels to pruning saws and even gloves, there are so many types of each to choose from, it’s no wonder many are left scratching their heads. While all tools are useful, if you’re starting out or updating there are a few simple items you need to have. Follow this guide to find out what is best for you and your budget.
All gardeners should have a good pair of gloves. They protect your hands from scratches, callouses and any nasties that may be found in the soil. Look for a pair that is hard-wearing, made from sturdy material, and has a gripping surface on the palm and fingers.
This is one tool that will get a real work-out in your garden, so it’s worth investing in a good pair. As a guide, ensure it has non-stick blades, ergonomic grip and a ratchet option if you don’t have much grip strength.
To turn over soil and compost easily, consider investing in a garden fork. Look for forks with a ‘reinforced collar’ (where it is welded between the blade and the shaft), high-quality prongs and a comfortable grip.
When secateurs just won’t cut it, a lopper will do the job. But to do the job well, ensure it has a decent cutting capacity (minimum 35mm), comfortable handles, high-quality blades and a ratchet assist for heavy-duty cutting.
Ideal for cutting large branches or roots, look for a pruning saw with non-stick or low-stick teeth – so it will keep cutting even when covered in sap – as well as having a replaceable blade and being foldable, so it can be stored safely when not in use.
The cutlery of the gardening world, a hand trowel and fork are useful for planting annuals and perennials and loosening small patches of soil in garden beds. They should both be lightweight, comfortable to hold and have a strong ‘neck’ (the point where the handle joins the blade).
Keep your lawn tidy and free of any debris with a garden rake. It’s best to choose a rake with a wide head – the wider the head, the less strokes you’ll have to make to scrape up everything – and a sturdy wooden or metal handle.