How to select the right gardening tools!

If you’re just beginning your gardening journey, our gardening tools the essentials for beginners will help you to select a few tools that you want to arm yourself with. These will make your gardening tasks much easier and more enjoyable.

When looking for gardening tools your local hardware or garden centre will have all the advice and selection to help you pick the right tools for the job. Here are a few tools to get your started.

A good pair of gardening gloves

I’m never without my gardening gloves when I work in the garden. They not only protect my hands from dirt but they’re essential when dealing with thorny plants such as roses. Plus, I have an aversion to spiders and wearing gloves gives me a sense of security! Wearing gloves also protects you from soil-borne bacteria, even when working with potting mixes.

A durable garden trowel

You’ll find a handy garden trowel invaluable when you want to plant seedlings or repot your plants. It’s the perfect tool for digging small holes for your plants or refilling your pots with potting mix.

Gardening Tools – The Essentials for Beginners
Gardening Tools – The Essentials for Beginners

A decent pair of pruning shears or secateurs

When I first started my Associate Diploma in Horticulture, I purchased a pair of Felco secateurs as they were recommended. This trusty tool served me well for over 30 years and I’ve just invested in a new pair.

It’s a tool I use every time I’m out in the garden and never lets me down. While there are plenty of different brands on the market, try to purchase the best that you can afford as they’ll give you many years of gardening pleasure.

Secateurs are used for trimming plants, taking cuttings, and deadheading flowers.

Long-handled loppers

If you have some mature trees and shrubs in your garden, you’ll want a pair of long-handled loppers to cut thicker branches than your secateurs can handle. I have a pair of ratchet loppers with extendable handles and I use this whenever I’m doing some heavy-duty pruning.

Gardening Tools – The Essentials for Beginners
Gardening Tools – The Essentials for Beginners

A spade or shovel

If you have a large garden, you’ll most likely need both a spade and a shovel. These two tools are slightly different and help you perform different tasks.

A spade has a square head with sharp edges. This is used to dig holes in the garden when you want to plant larger trees and shrubs. The sharp edge on the spade will cut through the soil easily.

On the other hand, a shovel has a more rounded head with a dip in the centre. This is used to move soil, compost and even mulch around your garden.


There are two types of rakes that you can purchase. Plus, there are even mini rakes that are useful if you’re just gardening on your balcony.

A leaf rake is useful if you have deciduous trees in your garden because it lets you easily rake up the fallen leaves from your lawn and other garden areas. These are usually made from plastic and have soft, bendable tines.

On the other hand, a soil rake is usually made from metal and is used to rake over the soil in your garden beds. This can be invaluable when you’re adding compost to your beds as it allows you to rake over the soil to distribute the compost.

A mini rake will allow you to do the same thing when you’re gardening in pots.

Gardening Tools – The Essentials for Beginners
Gardening Tools – The Essentials for Beginners

A wheelbarrow or garden cart

Depending on your physical abilities, and if you have a larger garden, you might want to invest either in a wheelbarrow or a garden cart.

These tools are used to transport things like soil and mulch around your garden. A wheelbarrow has a single wheel at the front and two handles that you use to push it around your garden.

Personally, I have a four-wheeled garden cart because I find it much easier to manoeuvre around my garden. I can either push it or pull it and my particular cart is also tippable.

I’ve had the same cart for many years and use it constantly in the garden. It’s helped me to move piles of mulch around and I also use it when I’m pruning and weeding to put the refuse in before placing it in the green bin.

Gardening Tools – The Essentials for Beginners
Gardening Tools – The Essentials for Beginners

A watering can with a rose

When you’re just starting out or you’re gardening on a balcony, a watering can is essential. It makes it easy to water your plants when they need it. Having a rose attached to the end of the spout means that you can shower your plants with water easily.


It’s my helper in the garden to keep my plants and lawn looking good with regular applications every two weeks. Simply mix 50mL of the concentrate per 9 litres of water (standard watering can) or use the hose-on pack.

Safe on all plants in the garden including natives, vegies, citrus, and roses, it’s your natural complete garden health treatment for healthy growth. It also helps build a strong root system and to reduce stress for heat, drought, frost, pests, and disease.

Use it at planting time to help reduce transplant shock and aid plant establishment,it also helps to improve seed germination rates when sowing.


Is your general all round, fast-acting liquid fertiliser that is safe on all plants including natives. Ideal as a foliar spray as well as a soil drench, apply it every one to two weeks for stimulated flowering and fruiting. Mix 50mL of concentrate per 9 Litres of water (standard watering can.)

PowerFeed boosts plant growth and vigour by providing it with nitrogen, potassium, trace elements, protein and amino acids. It also contains liquid composts, which stimulate beneficial soil microbial activity, promote good soil structure and increase nutrient availability, so PowerFeed looks after plants above and below the ground.

Alternatively, you can also mix in Seasol. When you use Seasol and PowerFeed together you are keeping your plants healthy, providing nutrients and conditioning the soil/potting mix.  You can achieve this by mixing the two products together in 9lt watering can, 30ml of Seasol and 50 – 90ml of Powerfeed.

Tip: Never apply PowerFeed or Seasol to the foliage of a plant in the heat of the day (over 25℃ degrees) as it may burn the foliage.

Article has been written by Annette Hird the lead gardening writer at Ultimate Backyard. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She’s also been responsible for expansive homestead gardens featuring fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. Currently, her focus is on growing edible plants in her own garden and sharing her broad knowledge through in-depth articles on various gardening topics.