When you’re starting a gardening business, you naturally want to ensure you have all the essential tools before you start running your business. Purchasing high-quality essential tools before starting your gardening business is pertinent in ensuring you don’t incur unexpected expenses on tools when you’ve already started offering your gardening services.
While there are various tools that will be beneficial when starting a gardening business, the following 20 gardening tools are essential tools to start a gardening business: Gloves, garden fork, bucket, pruning shears, spade, rake, hoe, garden hose, watering can, wheelbarrow, watering wand, loppers, scissors, lawnmower, soil knife, garden sickle, hand weeder, hand trowel, garden twine, and garden ties.
It’s essential to ensure you have the basic tools before starting your gardening business. Ensuring you have the correct tools of good quality can go a long way in ensuring you are able to offer the best gardening services.
Essential tools for your gardening business
Here are 20 essential tools to ensure you are able to effectively start your gardening business.
While gardening can be a cathartic experience, it can easily turn into quite a hassle when you encounter thorns and splinters. For this reason, it’s important that you ensure you have the correct pair of gloves before starting your gardening business.
Your gloves should be durable, but not too thick because that may make it difficult for you to work with seeds or delicate tiny plants. It’s also important to ensure that your gloves are made from water-resistant material, and will allow your hands to remain cool and comfortable.
It’s advisable that you choose gloves with longer cuffs to protect your forearms from scratches and prevent soil from entering your gloves. Ensuring that your gloves fit your well is crucial because poorly fitting gloves can cause blisters or result in injuries from your gloves slipping off.
Garden forks are efficient tools for turning soil, allowing you to dig into dense soil in a more efficient manner than spades allow.
The ideal garden fork should have an ergonomic handle that comes with a non-slip grip to help you dig away in the hot sun without the garden fork slipping out of your hands.
A garden fork with a slight curve to the spine is preferable when turning compost piles or scooping mulch. On the other hand, a garden fork with straight tines is better suit for digging, particularly when digging in compacted, rocky, or clay soil.
Finally, a garden fork with square tines will be beneficial because it can bend if it hits a root or rock, making it more adaptable than the other two forks. In this regard, a garden fork with square tines make of stainless steel that has a non-slip grip handle would be best.
When purchasing a bucket, be sure to look for a flexible bucket. Flexible buckets, unlike traditional plastic buckets or metal pails, are lighter, easy to handle, and can be stored conveniently.
Buckets are multifunctional and can be used to transport water or use them as harvest baskets or storage totes. Additionally, buckets can be used for potting soil and compost or as a mixing container. Buckets can also be used to conveniently carry small items like tools, gloves, seed packets and other supplies.
There are three main types of hand pruning shears, namely, anvil-style pruners, bypass pruners, and ratchet pruners.
The most popular hand pruners are bypass garden pruning shears. These pruners create a clean cut using two curved blades that bypass one another the same way scissors would. Unlike scissors, bypass garden pruning shears have one blade that is sharpened on the outside edge that slips by a thicker unsharpened blade.
Conversely, anvil garden pruning shears have a single straight cutting blade that closes on a flat edge. These pruning shears have a slicing action that resembles a knife against a cutting board and is ideal for removing tough dead wood. However, anvil garden pruning shears tend to be slightly bulkier than bypass pruners, making it challenging to do close crotch cuts.
Ratchet garden pruners are very similar to anvil garden pruners, except they possess a mechanism that performs the cutting action in stages. These garden pruning shears are beneficial if you have small, delicate hands as they offer more leverage that can prevent your hands and wrists from taking on strain.
When deciding which garden pruning shears to purchase, ensure that you choose pruners that you can comfortably hold with a light easy grip. If you have arthritis or carpal tunnel, consider looking into ergonomically designed models. Some brands offer cushioned handles that can reduce pressure and offer a horizontal inclination, allowing your hand to remain in a neutral, unbent position.
Purchasing high-quality pruning shears will save you money in the long run as these are often professional, heavy-duty tools. When purchasing garden pruners, look out for garden pruners that have replaceable parts as it is likely that the parts will wear out over time.
Spades are often referred to as garden workhorses. These square shovels are convenient for digging holes for plants, lifting sod, edging, and moving small mounds of dirt around the garden.
When purchasing a spade, it’s important to look for a spade with a stainless steel head as these are generally strong and won’t rust.
When choosing between a spade with a long handle or a short-handle, it depends on your preference as spades with long handles provide more leverage, but are heavier.
While spades can be a bit pricey, a good quality spade will carry you through your gardening business.
A sturdy rake is essential in whisking away fallen leaves and debris. Rakes come in various styles and sizes. However, the most appropriate rake for starting your gardening business would be a standard leaf rake.
It is preferable that you get a rake that is adjustable, allowing you to gather large piles of leaves or reach into narrow spaces. A rake with steel tines is stronger and suitable for difficult terrain, while a rake with plastic tines is more appropriate for delicate lawns.
To make your life easier, consider getting a rake that can be stored in a collapsed position as this will save you storage space and make transporting your tools easier.
Hoes are particularly useful in preparing garden and flower beds, and cutting down weeds. The type of garden you are working in will determine the type of hoe that is most appropriate for the situation.
Working in a veggie garden often requires a sturdy, wide hoe while perennial gardens require thinner, more delicate hoes. Flat hoes are ideal for turning the soil in rows in vegetable gardens, while weeding hoes (hula/stirrup hoes) are more suitable for cutting down top growth.
It’s important to look for a hoe with a comfortable, non-slip handle with a long reach. Ideally, your hoe should have sharp blades as these are more efficient and easier to use.
Every gardener knows how vital water is to a garden’s lifespan. In this regard, it is crucial to have a garden hose that is far-reaching and sprays efficiently. Ideally, your garden hose should be light weight and possess a shut-off at either end of the spray range.
It is beneficial to purchase a garden hose that comes with an adjustable nozzle as this will enable you to control the water pressure and spray radius. While vinyl hoses may be less expensive and are lighter weight, it is advisable to purchase a rubber hose as rubber hoses last longer and do not kink as easily as vinyl hoses.
When determining which hose to purchase, it is important that you carefully consider the estimated length of the hose you will require. In this regard, it’s important to bear in mind that the hose’s length will affect the water pressure. The shorter the hose, the higher the water pressure, and conversely, the longer the hose, the lower the water pressure.
Hoses should be stored coiled up and kept out of direct sunlight, as storing your hose with kinks can result in weak spots arising in the hose. Therefore, when purchasing your hose, it’s imperative that you have a suitable storage space and will also need to acquire a hose hanger or manual hose reel.
Water is the foundation of every garden. There are various sizes, styles, colors, and nozzle options for watering cans. However, the main distinction to bear in mind is whether you would prefer a metal watering can, or a plastic one.
While plastic watering cans may be lighter, they are not as durable and are unlikely to last a long time. In this regard, metal watering cans are more suitable; however, they will need to be galvanized to resist rusting.
The size of the watering should be determined by your strength, keeping in mind that one gallon of water weighs approximately 8 pounds. Based on this consideration, it’s also important to ensure your watering can comes with a handle that enables you to carry a full can and tip your watering can easily to pour water effortlessly.
Look out for watering cans with two-handled designs as these allow for better stability, particularly for elderly gardeners, children, or anyone who may have difficulty carrying a watering can.
It is possible that you may require two watering cans: a small watering can with a long-neck to water houseplants, and a large watering can with a sprinkler head for outdoors. Ideally, your watering can should be BPA-free and have a dual-hand design and come with a removable sprinkle nozzle.
Wheelbarrows are crucial tools in helping you transport soil, mulch, or compost that needs to be added to garden beds. Additionally, they are very handing in lifting heavy objects and moving them around quickly and easily.
Single-handed two-wheel wheelbarrows are ideal if you have limited strength or have to cross over uneven terrain. The style of these wheelbarrows are ideal for unevenly distributed loads and offer good balance of loads. They also are convenient in allowing you to push or pull them with one hand.
Alternatively, you can purchase the traditional dual-handle. However, these single wheel styled wheelbarrows can be challenging to use when transporting heavy or unevenly distributed loads.
Before purchasing your wheelbarrow, ensure that you have a clean, dry place to store it to avoid rusting.
Using watering wands is an ideal way to give plants a gentle rain shower. The built-in shut off valves in the handle of the watering wand helps save water and allows you to regulate the water flow.
Watering wands offer extended reach that make it convenient to water the back edges of borders, hanging plants or containers that are out of reach. Watering wands length generally range from 10 to 48 inches. Longer watering wands are useful for high hanging baskets, while shorter watering wands are more appropriate for tighter spaces.
The long handles of loppers make it the ideal cutting tool for trimming hard to reach areas and cut thick branches. This tool is useful as it provides the leverage required to cut through thick branches in a way that professional garden scissors cannot.
Loppers come in two main types, anvil and bypass. Bypass loppers are generally more precise in cutting than anvil style loppers. Long-handled loppers can be quite heavy. If you foresee yourself struggling with the weight, consider purchasing loppers with carbon-composite handles or lightweight aluminum handles as these are often lighter.
While professional garden scissors are ideal for gardening, ordinary household scissors will do the trick too. Household scissors are lightweight, inexpensive tools that can be used for snipping herbs, pruning soft stems, deadheading flowers, harvesting vegetables, cutting twine, and opening bags of soil amendments or potting mix.
Ideally, choose scissors that have soft rubber handles as these are more comfortable and lighter. Additionally, look out for scissors with blades that can come apart as these will make them easy to clean.
Considering the fact that you’ll be using your lawnmower for years to come, it’s important to ensure it’s comfortable. If you’ll be walking behind the lawnmower, ensure that it can be set at a height that suits you. Similarly, if you’ll be riding the lawnmower, ensure that the seat will be firm enough for you.
When choosing a lawnmower, be sure to consider the durability of the lawnmower. Your lawnmower should ideally work for years and have parts that are easy and affordable to replace if need be.
A convenient option is to purchase a battery-powered lawnmower as you’ll never have to start a gas engine. Cordless lawnmowers will not only be much quieter, but also require less maintenance.
It might be beneficial to consider purchasing a high-end lawnmower as this will generally last longer and possess better-quality components such as top-quality engines, aluminum decks and easy-rolling ball bearing wheels.
A soil knife possesses a strong stainless steel blade with a one-sided serrated edge that is particularly useful in allowing for clean cuts or acting like a saw.
Soil knives are convenient tools that can be used to divide plants, plant in pots, plant bulbs, herbs and flowers, remove rocks, cut through roots, dig out weeds, clean cracks and cut twine and ties.
Garden sickles are perfect for harvesting by hand, particularly if you’re harvesting wheat and rice because it allows you to gather in one hand and hook with your other hand.
These tools are effective in helping you control your wilderness, aiding against nettles, docks and, other encroaching weeds. A sharp garden sickle is highly effective in doing the job of a medium-sized garden strimmer. If you purchase a garden sickle with an angled blade, you’ll likely find it easier to achieve close trimming.
It is also possible to purchase a long-handled garden sickle. Long-handled garden sickles are ideal for cutting grass when you don’t want to use the lawnmower.
No gardener enjoys weeds, and every gardener knows that attempting to pull weeds by hand is a futile task because the roots will break, and the weeds will be back in no time. Fortunately, hand-held garden weeders can make the weeding experience a bit more bearable.
Hand weeding tools help loosen the roots and pull out the weed, leaving no roots behind in the soil, therefore preventing regrowth. Sturdy weeders with V-shaped ends are your best bet in getting a good grip on unwanted plants.
When purchasing a hand weeder, look out for a weeder with a comfortable, durable handle and stainless steel shaft. Alternatively, consider purchasing a weeder with a heat-treated tooltip and a protective coating as this will prevent corrosion.
Hand trowels are essential hand tools for transplanting bedding plants and herbs, taking out weeds, and planting containers. The sharp blades of hand trowels easily cut through stubborn roots, making it convenient for planting bulbs or planting around trees.
When selecting a hand trowel, it’s important to choose one with a handle that comfortably fits in your hand. Hand trowels with broad blades are preferable for moving large amounts of soil, while hand trowels with long, narrow blades are more suitable for digging up weeds or working with rocky soil.
It is advisable that you purchase a hand trowel that is forged from stainless steel or has a stainless steel head, as these hand trowels are generally more durable and are likely to last longer.
Soil scoops are similar to hand trowels in that they dig, transplant, and move soil. However, the sharp pointed tip and serrated edges of soil scoops offer the versatility of a knife for detangling root balls and dealing with weeds.
The deep bowl design of the soil scoop is ideal for creating furrows and trenches, scooping soil in and out of containers, and lifting bulbs out of the ground. It is also possible to purchase soil scoops with non-serrated edges and rounded tips, offering similar functionality.
Garden twine is often produced using jute fiber and is suitable for light-duty activities. However, hemp cords are also useful as twine as it offers durability due to its thick, strong nature.
Garden twine is ideal for training small branches, making trellises for vining plants to climb and tying tall plants to stakes. Twine is also of great assistance in protecting plants during cold weather. Additionally, twine is quite useful in tying herb stems together to hand and marking a garden to ensure your rows remain straight.
Garden ties are ideal in ensuring that plants are staked, supported, and bundled together. Garden ties can be reused multiple times and can be cut to suit your desired length. Purchasing Velcro garden ties are particularly useful as they attach to themselves, saving you from having to twist, tie or knot the garden ties.
Tips for taking care of your essential gardening tools
Here are some maintenance tips to ensure you take care of your gardening tools.
After using any digging tools, rinse them with your garden hose or under running water. You can also make use of a putty knife or wire brush to get rid of any caked-on dirt on your tools.
There are products you can use to effectively clean your tools which can be purchased at your local gardening store. However, be sure to avoid using products containing petroleum, as this can result in petroleum ending up in your soil.
If your tools have been exposed to pest-infected soil or diseased plants, soak them in a diluted solution consisting of 2 cups of household bleach and 1 gallon of water. After you’ve soaked them for a short period of time, rinse them thoroughly under plain water or wipe them with cotton pads soaked in rubbing alcohol.
While gardening, it is beneficial to carry disinfecting wipes with you to remove bacteria, fungus, and sap in a quick and efficient manner. These are also great for wiping your hands if you’ve got a bit of soil under your gloves and need a quick cleanse.
Using a nail brush and some soapy water is a good way to scrub your tools to get rid of dirt that may have snuck into the crevices of your tools.
Drying your tools
While you may leave your tools to dry in the sun, this may cause long-term damage to your tools. It is advisable that you rather dry your tools immediately using a towel or rag.
It is worth mentioning that preventing rust is much easier than removing rust. You can prevent your tools from getting rusty by ensuring they are thoroughly dried before storing them.
However, if you do find your tools have become rusty, you can create a 1:1 vinegar and water mixture in which you soak your tools overnight. After soaking your tools, you can use steel wool to scrub the rust off in circular motions. Finally, rinse your tools in soapy water, and then clean water and dry it thoroughly.
If your tools have any electrical components, it is best to have these professionally cleaned as water and chemicals can cause damage to the tools if used incorrectly.
It is best to store your tools in a dry, well-ventilated area. Avoid leaving your tools in the sun for long periods of time, and ensure that you do not store them in the sun as this can cause your equipment to crack, warp or melt.
It’s also important to avoid leaving your equipment exposed to rain as moisture can cause your tools to rust and rot.
Investing in these 20 essential gardening tools may be a bit pricey, but will provide a good foundation for your gardening business, ensuring you are working with quality tools that enable you to do a great job in the garden industry.