Visiting the tool aisle at the garden center for the first time can be intimidating. Are all of these items necessary to grow flowers? No, but when new flower gardeners consider how to allocate their gardening budget, high quality flower gardening tools must come first on the essentials list. Some items, like compost bins or natural pesticides, can be manufactured or recycled from items on hand, but good garden tools repay their investment with dividends of flowers and healthy plants.
4 Top Flower Gardening Tools for the Beginner
A sturdy digging spade is the most important garden shovel for the beginning flower gardener. Gardeners can use this shovel for double digging when preparing new garden beds, digging and dividing perennials, planting large perennials or small shrubs, and mixing in soil amendments.
Gardeners should choose stainless steel garden shovels, which won’t rust if accidentally left outdoors. An ash wood handle provides excellent strength, but this doesn’t mean the shovel won’t snap if misused for heavy jobs like digging up boulders or small trees.
A wheelbarrow is a luxury for the flower gardener, but it isn’t necessary for new gardeners, nor is it even the best tool for small gardens. A 5-gallon plastic bucket from the big box hardware store is the jack-of-all trades in the garden.
Use the bucket to collect weeds or gather cut flowers. The bucket hauls mulch or compost from one place to another in the garden, and then serves as a seat when spreading the material. Fill the bucket with a few inches of water and use it to hold plants when dividing perennials. Place a bucket under the rain spout and collect rainwater until funds for a better rain barrel become available. Fit a second bucket with a garden tool organizer for storing seed packets and small gardening tools.
A gardener can pick up a pair of cheap pruning shears for less than ten dollars at the discount store, but the price is paid later with hand fatigue and crushed stems that invite diseases and pests to invade. Look for features like a sap groove, which keeps the blades from sticking together. Ergonomic garden shears allow the user to keep his hand and wrist in a natural position when cutting. Gardeners who care for their shears by cleaning them with an alcohol wipe and plunging them into a bucket filled with sand and motor oil may see many years of service from this tool.
A garden trowel is essential for digging in small spaces. Flower gardeners will use this tool throughout the season for transplanting small perennials starts and annuals, as well as for digging out tough weeds that the dandelion digger can’t handle. Look for trowels forged from stainless steel. Aluminum trowels are cheap, but they bend easily in compacted soil, and this malleability only increases over time.
Related: Some people like to have splitting axe for their garden. You can have a piece of it.
Many trowels have plastic or lacquered handles, but unfinished wood is excellent for gripping in wet conditions. Trowels are probably the most frequently misplaced gardening tool outdoors, so mark this item with a strip of neon tape to make it stand out in the landscape.