A trip to the garden tools aisle of a home improvement store can be overwhelming. There are so many options; maybe too many. That's why we've put together an essential list of must-have garden tools to keep on hand. It's a list of the ones you'll be grabbing every day when you step out into the garden, where they are used on a regular basis.

Here are six essential garden tools and how to choose them:

1. Trowel

The trowel is a must-have garden tool and is probably the most used garden tool of all. It's used for digging, planting, dividing, transplanting and cultivating plants. The main thing to remember is it should have a handle that's comfortable for you. Try looking for one with a padded grip for the best results, and choose one with sturdy material so it won't bend while you work. 

2. Shovel

While the trowel is used for digging, dividing and transplanting, the shovel can be used for bigger digging, spreading mulch, soil, and compost. It's also great for moving bark, charcoal, gravel and more. A good shovel will have a solid and sturdy handle with a well-balanced head and a flat ledge to help you step on it with your foot when digging.

3. Rake

A rake is used for everything from raking up leaves, pine needles and lawn clippings to levelling the soil in raised beds to clearing stones and rocks from a garden bed. It's also used to remove dead grass and weeds from the lawn. If you're not sure which rake to choose, look for one that is well-balanced, sturdy but light, with rounded edges and not too large. A bow rake is perfect for a sturdy rake build.

4. Watering Can

Watering cans are definitely a must-have for any garden, especially big ones where a hose may not be portable enough. When you buy a watering can consider how much water it will hold. The larger the watering can, the longer you can leave it unattended, but larger cans can be difficult to carry when they're full.

Remember, metal watering cans are typically self-watering, but plastic is fine if you leave it out of extreme temperatures. Try getting one with a removable sprinkler head.

5. Gardening Gloves

You'll want to have at least one pair of solid gardening gloves on hand for all your gardening tasks. They are used to protect your hands from the actual gardening itself, the dirt and even insects. Buy gloves that fit. Much of the work you do while gardening will be done by your hands, so the gloves need to fit snugly or else you won't feel what you're doing. Try latex-coated gloves for waterproofing or leather for added protection from sticks and thorns.

6. Hand Pruners

Hand pruners are essential for pruning plants. They are vital for keeping plants at the correct height and for removing dead or diseased branches and stems. When you choose hand pruners, consider the size of the pruner head, the handle and the overall ease of use. Expect to need sharpening around once a year.


There's a lot to consider when choosing essential garden tools. You don't need the best of everything, just the essentials. This list should help you narrow down your choices. Just look for sturdy, durable materials that can withstand wear and tear, and you'll have a good set of tools at your disposal.

Find some of your gardening tools at a Beales near you! We carry tools and items to keep your garden looking good. If you’re looking for fully-stocked department stores in Poole with the right equipment for your green project, check out our catalog and you’ll be sure to see something you like. 

May 30, 2023 — Paul Masterson