A garden can be a quick and easy way to upgrade any property. At Alair Homes in Bradford, our landscaping pros have assembled a list of “must-have” tools to make gardening a cinch. If you are new to gardening, it is wise to limit your investment to a few modestly priced items. As your gardening skills and style evolve, you will be more able to determine which tools are best for your situation.


This multipurpose wonder really comes in handy for transplanting, weeding, and many other gardening tasks. Choose a trowel with an ergonomic handle and an appropriately wide blade; trowel blades range from narrow “transplanters” which are used to plant seedlings and broad blades for digging and other gardening tasks.


If you have quite a few dandelions or other deeply-rooted weeds to remove or you are working in a narrow space, a specialty weeder may make the task much easier than a standard trowel.


The humble shovels can be used for many garden tasks, such as planting trees, mixing compost or harvesting root vegetables. While there are numerous varieties of handles, blades and points available, you should use whichever shovel you find most comfortable.

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Hard Rake

A hard rake is for more than clearing fallen leaves from the yard. It is a lightweight alternative to a shovel for mixing compost and leveling soil. As you use your rake, lay it against a fence or wall. If you must lay your rake on the ground, make sure the tines are facing downward to avoid injury.


Although a wheelbarrow is a much larger purchase than many other gardening tools, it will literally help you move mountains of soil and plants across your property. Choose a wheelbarrow which is narrow enough to easily maneuver throughout your garden and has a strong set of wheels.

Digging Fork

A digging fork is merely a specialized pitchfork. Since it has sharp, wide blades, it can help you more efficiently aerate compost or spread mulch.

Handheld Pruners

If your garden exclusively consists of vegetables or other relatively small plants, feel free to skip this section. Handheld pruners are only a must if you need to work with larger plants, such as when you are pruning fruit trees or taming unruly raspberry canes. Select a set with a sturdy, ergonomic design and sharp blades.

Kitchen Scissors and Salad Spinner

Although these are not classic “garden tools”, per se, they will quickly become an indispensable part of your harvesting routine. A good pair of kitchen scissors will make harvesting fresh herbs, greens and vegetables a breeze, while having a salad spinner readily available will make it so much easier to transport and wash fresh produce for impromptu garden-to-table feasts.

Caring for your Tools

In general, garden tools should be soaked and brushed with a wire brush to remove soil and blades should be regularly sharpened. Blades and wooden handles can also be lightly polished with vegetable oil on a soft cloth. Always store your tools in a garage or shed to protect them from the elements. Please consult with the manufacturer for more information. If you take the time to maintain your garden tools, they will help you more easily and successfully maintain your garden for many years to come.