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.