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You know what they say, a gardener is only as good as their tools. Well, that might not be a common phrase, but having a trusty set of garden tools is the perfect way to make sure you always have the right tool for the job to hand.
From pruning and trimming to digging and planting, in this blog, we will take a look at the 18 top common garden tools that every UK gardener should have in their shed.
Hand pruners (secateurs)
These small, handheld tools are perfect for reaching into tight spaces and cutting through small branches. They have a curved blade that passes by a flat anvil blade, similar to a pair of scissors. Hand pruners are essential for pruning and trimming plants to keep them healthy and looking their best – when it comes to flowers in your borders, deadheading throughout the growing season is crucial to keep a steady flow of flowers coming.
If you need to cut through thicker branches, then loppers are the tool for the job. Like a large set of secateurs, they have long handles that give you more leverage, making it easier to cut through tougher wood or to reach for high branches. There are two main types of loppers: bypass loppers and anvil loppers. Bypass loppers are generally considered more precise and suitable for cutting living plants, while anvil loppers are better for dead or woody stems.
With both of the above, it’s key to ensure your tools are maintained which is why we’ve written a separate piece on how to sharpen your secateurs – the same process applies to loppers and other bladed tools.
A hedge trimmer is a must-have tool if you have a hedge in your garden. These specialized trimmers are designed specifically for trimming and shaping hedges, and they come in both manual and electric versions. Manual hedge trimmers require a little more muscle power, but they are generally more lightweight and easier to manoeuvre. Electric hedge trimmers are more powerful and can make short work of even the densest hedges, but they can be heavy and require an electrical outlet to use unless you have a battery-powered version like we do here at Wonky HQ
For branches that are too thick for hand pruners or loppers, a pruning saw is the way to go. We often use one of these on our Victoria Plum tree or when the conifers get a bit out of hand over Winter. Pruning saws have a sharp, curved blade that is great for cutting through wood, and they come in both manual and electric versions. Manual pruning saws are lightweight and easy to use, but they can be tiring to use for long periods of time. Electric pruning saws are more powerful, but they can be heavy and require power either via being plugged in, battery pack or even petrol power.
If you have a lot of small plants or herbs in your garden, then pruning shears are the perfect tool for the job. These small, lightweight scissors are great for trimming back herbs or deadheading flowers, and they are easy to use with one hand. As you can tell by this short description, they’re pretty similar to secateurs but better for slightly more delicate jobs.
A garden trowel is essential in the garden so it’s worth investing in a great one. Basically, a small, handheld shovel that is perfect for digging and planting in tight spaces. It’s used for digging fresh holes for a new plant, digging areas for bulbs or for digging out big weeds – even digging a small pond if you want!
A hand shovel is a small shovel, similar to a trowel but with a pointed blade that is great for digging and planting in the garden. It is a versatile tool that can be used for a wide range of tasks, from digging holes for plants to transplanting small shrubs and with its pointed blade it can be better for weeding if you have some stubborn ones in small areas.
Are you even a gardener if you don’t have a spade? Well maybe if you’re a balcony gardener you might not have one, but if you’re looking to get raised beds or have a large garden, then this tool is crucial. A spade is a larger shovel with a flat blade that is great for digging and moving large quantities of soil or compost, you press down with your foot and its long handle gives great leverage.
A rake is a gardening tool with a wide, flat head that is used for levelling soil, collecting leaves, and removing debris from the garden. There are several types of rakes, including leaf rakes, garden rakes, and grass rakes. They’re part of the toolkit to help you make your garden look it’s best, there’s nothing more satisfying than a freshly raked raised bed or a clean-cut lawn, with a pile of raked grass waiting to be composted.
A hoe is a gardening tool with a long handle and a flat or curved blade that is used for cultivating soil and removing weeds. There are many different types of hoes, each designed for a specific task. For example, a stirrup hoe is great for cutting weeds close to the ground, while a Dutch hoe is better for deeper cultivation.
Sometimes a hoe or trowel simply won’t do the job with weeds, or the ones with deep roots need a special kind of action to ensure you get everything out. A weeding fork is a gardening tool with a long handle and a series of prongs at the end. It is used for loosening soil and removing weeds, especially in tight or hard-to-reach spaces.
A watering can is a must-have tool for keeping your plants hydrated. It is a container with a spout that is used for watering plants by hand. There are many different sizes and styles of watering cans available, so you can choose one that is right for your garden. You can even make recycled watering cans from old plastic bottles by drilling holes in the lid – a perfect craft idea for the kids.
A garden hose is a flexible tube used to water plants and garden beds. It can be attached to a tap or hose reel and comes in a variety of lengths and diameters to suit different gardening needs. It’s worth always checking in your local area to ensure there are no hosepipe bans in place, if so you will need to go back to using the watering can as hoses are known for being slightly more wasteful in times of drought.
A garden sprayer is a tool that is used for applying water or chemicals to plants. It can be handheld or mounted on a trolley, and it has a nozzle that allows you to adjust the flow and direction of the spray. If you’re using one for killing weeds, always try to use a pet-friendly and organic weed killer that doesn’t impact bees and other pollinators.
A wheelbarrow is a sturdy, single-wheeled cart that is used for transporting tools, plants, and other garden materials. If you have a large garden then a wheelbarrow is essential but can be swapped for a trug bucket or something smaller if size dictates so.
Sometimes used as a good alternative to a wheelbarrow due to the fact they are easier to store. A garden cart is a large, sturdy cart with wheels that is used for transporting tools, plants, and other garden materials. Great for the time of the year when you start planting bulbs, you can load up with all the bulbs, compost, tools and more to ensure you have everything you need to hand.
A lawn mower is a gardening tool that is used for cutting grass. Most are powered either by being plugged in, using a battery or power – but there are also traditional gardeners who favour a manual. Just be wary that manual push-along mowers look amazing, but take real effort.
If you want the opposite and mowing isn’t your favourite task, then robot lawn mowers now also exist. Similar to a Roomba vacuum these little mowers are set to a timer, come out and trim your lawn then dispose of the grass and go back to sleep. Genius.
A leaf blower is a gardening tool that is used for blowing leaves and debris from the garden. One of the least essential tools for a garden, but if you have lots of trees and bushes that like to shed in the winter – they can be useful for clearing up quickly, but can also be swapped out for a brush and rake.
In conclusion, these are the 18 most common garden tools that every UK gardener should have in their shed. From hand pruners and loppers to lawnmowers and leaf blowers, these tools will help you keep your garden looking its best. No matter what tasks you need to tackle, having the right tools can make all the difference in the world.