How to Buy Basic Garden Tools

Basic garden tools are those that you routinely use when gardening. You'll need basic garden tools to prepare soil for planting, manage weeds and trim plants. Garden tools are available at most mass retailers, although you may find a wider selection at a nursery or home specialty store. Here's a general guide on how to buy basic garden tools.


  1. 1
    Determine which types of garden tools you need. Each basic garden tool does a different job, so it's important to know which tools you need before you begin shopping.
    • A hoe helps you scrape the surface of the soil, which you'll need to do when preparing your garden plot. There are flat hoes and loop hoes, both of which help smooth the soil. The flat hoes also function as a small chopper if you need to break up clumps of soil or pull up small plots of weeds.
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    • Trowels are basic garden tools used by gardeners. These mini shovels are perfect for digging small holes for transplanting seedlings, pulling up small patches of weeds, and providing leverage when pulling larger plants out of pots.
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    • A handheld cultivator is essential for breaking up clumps of soil away from roots and root vegetables. This tool resembles a small rake with curved tines, although there are long-handled cultivators that have a couple of spinning blades attached at the end. Either will perform good cultivation, but the handheld version gives you more control.
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    • A shovel is used to overturn large plots of earth and to dig holes to plant trees and shrubs.
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    • Garden rakes are essential for leveling soil and mixing addendums, such as lime and calcium, into nutrient deficient soil. A metal garden rake can handle these heavy-duty tasks better than a plastic leaf rake.
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    • Pruners work to trim back trees and shrubs. There are both handheld and long-handled versions, with the long-handled style allowing you to get closer to thorny bushes or reach higher branches.
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    Visit a garden or home store that employs garden professionals. Employees at a mass retailer may not have the knowledge to help you buy garden tools.
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    Pick up each garden tool that interests you. It's important that the tools feel comfortable in your hands and not too heavy. Since garden tools can last for years with proper care, you want a set that's easy to work with.
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    Make sure the garden tool construction is solid. While at the store, check that the tool doesn't bend easily, and the handle is securely attached.


  • If you buy garden tools with brightly colored handles, they will be easier to spot when working in the garden and can help prevent someone from accidentally stepping on a sharp tool.


  • Some people start out feeling enthusiastic about gardening but discover they prefer to hire someone. Determine if you truly like gardening before you make a large investment in basic garden tools.

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Categories: Gardening