Beginner Gardening Tools to Start Gardening

Beginner gardening tools will help you turn your overgrown garden into a place of beauty. These 5 gardening tools can set you off on your journey of success. Want to know what tools you need to start gardening? This guide is for you!

Beginner gardeners can often feel frustrated when they start to garden. Especially with the wrong tools it can feel like much harder work than it is. That plastic trowel makes planting almost impossible. The scissors you’re using wont cut through that stem and are blunt. Your spade is missing its handle. If this sounds like you then my top 5 tools for beginner gardeners will help make that first step into the garden much easier and even fun!

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Presented by Garden Ninja, Manchesters Garden Designer and blogger Lee Burkhill. He’s an RHS Award winning garden designer and expert panellist on BBC Radio Manchester’s Saturday morning garden phone in.

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1. The trowel, in my opinion, is the first tool you need for even the tiniest garden adventure.

A trowl will become your new best friend as you take on your first gardening journey. Small enough to store anywhere and with so many uses. Trowels are typically used to move soil for planting, smaller excavations, lifting compost or grit. They are multi-useful. Now you can go nuts and spend a small fortune on tools with beautiful waxed wooden handles, hand forged metal work and other lovelies. The alternative is to go cheap and cheerful. It’s your first investment during your tentative steps towards gardening so you decide!

Max spend: £5-£10 (discount stores often have some awesome cheap metal options)

2. Spade
Ok so now the majority of experienced gardeners can finally jump for joy! It’s time to take about spades, the weapon of choice for all gardeners. Spades are used for lifting more significant amounts of soil than say a trowel. They can dig, cut and excavate pretty much anything in the garden. They also make great leaning posts and to let others know that you’re a ‘real gardener’. Just position it around your garden for an instant Instagram worthy shot of you going all hashtag ‘Grow your own’ or ‘GYO’ for those in the know! Don’t forget though once the camera flash stops, you are going to need to actually garden. We will have no fakers here thanks!

A drain spade is heavy and brutal for clay or compacted ground
Max Spend: £35 Definitely goto a decent garden centre and always have a feel first. This is your investment piece.

3. Secateurs
Now secateurs can be another contentious tool, This is usually because everyone has their own prefered style of secateurs from the handle, material weight, length of the blade, cutting diameter and what not. Shrug that off, for now, it’s really not that important for new gardeners. What’s important is choosing the correct type of secateurs.

If you use anvil secateurs on fleshy material it crushes and tears through them leaving you with battered plants. Prime for disease and plant necrosis (death of plant tissue). What new gardeners should look for is Bypass secateurs.

Max Spend: £10 as a beginner but if serious then £40-£75 for a lifelong Japanese steel investment.

4. Kitchen Knife / Hori Hori
You wouldn’t believe just how useful an old kitchen knife can be in the garden. Whether it’s for opening the tops of bags of compost, digging out hideous tap-rooted perennial weeds or even marking out seed drills in an allotment, a knife is a must-have gardening tool!

With a hori-hori, it’s far stronger and can be used to clean out around roots and dig really deep in one motion to loosen compacted soil. However, it’s probably not the first thing a beginner gardener would want to invest it due to the cost and scary size of the blade! I’d say start with a kitchen knife and then if you’re finding it really useful, stick a Hori Hori on your Christmas wish list!
Max Spend: £2-£25 (A good hori-hori is around £25)

5. Kneeling Pad
Fancy kneeling on rocks, sitting on wet ground or trying to carry seedlings as they spill spoil all over you? Of course, you don’t and this is where the humble foam kneeling pad comes in. (I’ll explain about seedings a bit further down!)

Now I’m sometimes known for grand statements, I’m always the eternal optimist. A kneeling pad is the best value for money gardening tool you will ever buy. You will become lifelong best friends forever with this gloriously self-defacing item. Costing around £1 from a humble discount shop it will see you through years and years of rough unstable ground and screaming knees.
Max Spend: £1-£2
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