Digging In: The Top 5 Essential Tools for Beginner Gardeners

Saturday, May 18, 2024

As the gardening season begins to bloom, beginner gardeners are eagerly stepping into the world of horticulture, ready to cultivate their own green havens. For new starters, getting your plot underway is a tricky task, with so many options available.

Haskins Garden Centre’s in-house plant expert, Alasdair Urquhart, said: “Not knowing how or where to start is often a big barrier for new gardeners, especially if they are not sure of what equipment is needed. To dig into your journey as a green-fingered expert, prepare a gardening toolkit for your first venture into the garden. I’d suggest keeping it simple, selecting a few reliable tools that can make a big difference.”

Here are Haskins’s top 5 essential tools every novice gardener needs to get their hands dirty and the garden thriving.

1.      Secateurs/Snips:

A gardener's best friend, a sharp cutting tool, such as secateurs, snips or a knife is the single most important tool for a gardener and should always be to hand. Handheld pruning tools are indispensable for maintaining shape in the garden, allowing you to trim and deadhead plants with precision. Keeping these clean and sharp mitigates infection and disease to improve plant health and growth. Alasdair recommends investing in a durable and solid pair of secateurs to ensure clean cuts.

2.      Gardening gloves:

Protecting hands while gardening is essential. From thorns to soil, gardening can be tough on the hands, but with the right gloves, you can work confidently without the worry of scratches or blisters. Comfort is key when working outdoors for long periods, so having a sturdy pair of gardening gloves will become essential. Alasdair suggests opting for two pairs, a lightweight flexigrip type for everyday use, and a rigger style for tougher jobs.

3.      Hand trowel & hand fork:

These compact tools are perfect for digging, planting, and weeding in all those tight spaces and delicate areas of the garden. An experienced gardener always keeps their hand trowel accessible, as it can perform a variety of tasks. Alasdair proposes a low maintenance stainless steel hand fork and transplanting trowel for durability and ease of cleaning, ensuring they remain reliable companions for seasons on end.

4.      Spade:

A fundamental tool for any gardener, an affordable yet solid spade should be top of every new gardener’s list. You’ll find these invaluable for digging holes, turning soil, and transplanting larger plants. Alasdair advises choosing a spade with a comfortable handle made from Ash or Hickory with a sturdy blade, this will allow you to tackle any digging task with ease.

5.      Watering Can:

Finally, and possibly the most important of all your gardening tools is a reliable watering can. There’s nothing more important than keeping your plants hydrated and healthy to allow them to thrive.

Alasdair said: “A trusty, reliable gardening toolkit will stand the tests of time and serve you for years if you take time to care for them appropriately. If you look after your tools, they’ll look after your garden. I’d suggest regularly cleaning, sharpening, and maintaining your tools after use to prolong their longevity. It will make your gardening jobs much easier in the long run and save a few pennies too.

"These essential tools will be the building blocks of a successful garden. Using a set of reliable tools that don’t break the bank will not only make gardening more enjoyable but will also set you up for success as you nurture your green space."

Haskins has five garden centres across the South of England and has celebrated over 140 years in the horticultural industry.

Please visit www.haskins.co.uk for further information or follow @HaskinsGarden on Twitter and @HaskinsGardenCentres on Facebook to share any garden related queries