For some people, gardening is their favorite pastime. Maybe they’re passionate about having pristine rose bushes or they’re into container gardening with herbs and vegetables. And for others, yard work is quite possibly the worst way to spend a day (or, an entire weekend, because yard projects always take longer than expected). Whichever camp you fall into, having the right gardening tools in your arsenal can make the job so much easier.
Before you dive into any major outdoor gardening projects, you know you’ll need a few essentials on hand: hand shovel, rake, garden shears, the usual. More experienced gardeners probably have much bigger collections of tools. But there are some products you may not even know exist that solve universal gardening problems. That’s right — you’re not the only one whose joints ache after pulling all those dang weeds, planting seedlings, or spreading mulch.
So, if you’ve sworn off landscaping in the past because it just doesn’t seem worth the hassle, it might be time to reconsider. Grab yourself a few of these yard helpers and pick up some foolproof, hardy flowers, and give gardening another chance. And for you seasoned plant specialists, browse this list and see if one of these gardening tools could help you take your yard to the next level.
We at Romper only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Pruning shears that are easy on the hands
Pros: They’re spring-loaded for easy use.
Cons: There’s no cap for the shears.
If you need to deadhead your flowers or prune precisely, these VIVOSUN 6.5-Inch Gardening Scissors are the perfect addition to your gardening tool collection. They have ultra sharp blades, a safety lock for storage, and soft-grip, nonslip handles.
Review: “These are perfect! They get right into tiny or close spots & snip stems right off, they work great for deadheading or cutting flowers including roses, petunias, pansies, dianthus pinks, vinca, coreopsis, whatever! My mint, oregano & rosemary herbs were trying to flower & I trimmed the tops right off all of them lickity-split faster than ever before. They actually make deadheading flowers & plants fun because it’s so easy! Plus they are small & light so they don’t hurt or tire my hands to use & I can easily open & close the lock one handed so I can quickly snip, snip, snip away!”
Soft, reusable plant ties
Pros: It’s reusable — just peel the ties off and store them for future needs.
Cons: The material is soft, so it may not be strong enough for every job.
Attaching plants to stakes and other supports is necessary, but can be damaging if you’re using the wrong gardening tools. These soft ONE-WRAP Supports from VELCRO Band won’t bruise or cut into tender stems, and they’re a more sustainable option than using zip ties or other single-use items.
Review: “I go through a roll of this velcro tape every summer. They are handy not only for tying up vines, but securing hanging items from blowing around too much in a storm (like my wind chime) and for securing wires (which are on items like an outdoor fountain). I also use the wrap in the fall when bundling up the tender plants in preparation for winter (like my bamboo and Chilean rhubarb.) The tape stays put, can be reused multiple times, does not cut into the stalk of the plant and is easily trimmed to size. It does not deteriorate outdoors despite rain, sun, wind and snow. Highly recommend.”
This hand rake for hard-to-reach areas
Pros: It comes with a hole for hanging up.
Cons: The rake head is not detachable.
Need to remove leaves or level soil in smaller areas of the garden where a regular rake just won’t fit? The Garden Depot Gardening Hand Rake is about six inches wide so it can reach all the nooks and crannies, and works well in pots and planters too. It’s got a comfortable handle grip and only weighs about five ounces.
Review: “Love, love, LOVE this hand rake!!! The lightweightness of it is one of its great characteristics; however, the highlight of this beauty is that it has a few more prongs than other rakes I’ve seen in hardware stores. Thus, it is wider and just right for my garden needs. It’s just the right length, width, weight, and sturdiness, and just perfect for raking beneath shrubs and bushes.”
An apron that keeps you clean and organized
Pros: Both the neck and waist are adjustable for proper fit.
Cons: It’s not waterproof.
A simple cotton apron, like this CONDA 100% Cotton Canvas Professional Bib Apron, can keep your gardening clothes at least a little bit cleaner, and give rose thorns something else to snag onto besides your shirt. The pockets are large and keep gloves and small tools within your reach.
Review: “I love that it goes far enough out that if I don’t tie it, I can use it to protect my chair, blankets or bulky fabric, and whatever else that dare sits beneath my work station. This bad boy has FOUR pockets, it looks like three but theres a divided section in the front pocket for a tool or two. The shipment was quite quick, I only waited a couple days!I use my bib almost every single day and it has come in such handy use, even when I’m not wearing it. MUCH MUCH better than an old towel and a large hoodie allocated to painting!”
A manual sprayer for efficient fertilizing
Pros: The sprayer comes with additional seals to replace them as needed.
Cons: It’s not designed to withstand corrosive or acidic liquids.
If you’ve got a larger garden and need to spread liquid fertilizer or apply some fungicides, a manual sprayer can save a lot of time. It’s also easier on your hands than buying smaller squirt bottles of the same product. The ITSILL Manual Garden Sprayer holds a half gallon of liquid, includes a lock to keep the sprayer on so you don’t fatigue your hands, and has a nozzle to adjust the spray’s range.
Review: “This is my first time using a manual garden sprayer and it worked perfectly. The sprayer is easy to control and it is not at all heavy. It’s a nice size to work with. I love that the spray can be a steady stream or a quick click. I like that you can control the stream size for in case you are working in a tight area and don’t want to get your formula on other vegetation. I am very happy with this sprayer and recommend it.”
A soil meter to tell you everything
Pros: Doesn’t require any batteries or charging.
Cons: The probes can be damaged if soil is too hard.
The SONKIR Soil pH Meter measures 11.5 x 2 x 1.5 inches, and measures the moisture, pH, and sunlight levels of your plant. It can be used indoors and outdoors — simply insert into the dirt flip the switch on the meter to whichever measurement you need.
Review: “Easy to use. Does not require batteries. It has helped me from killing my succulents and cacti for the last few months. I really like this product for its simplicity and the fact that I never have to replace the batteries. 10/10 would buy again.”
A breathable sun hat with UPF 50
Pros: It has a hole in the back for ponytail wearers.
Cons: It’s hand-wash only.
A gardening hat is an absolute must to protect your skin and eyes from the sun. The Toppers Wide Brim Gardening Hat with Neck Flap has breathable panels built in, a drawstring to hold it on securely, and UPF 50 to boot. The neck flap will protect your neck and shoulders no matter how long you spend crouched over in the yard, and there are lots of colors to choose from.
Review: “Overall, I’m impressed with this hat. It has a Flying Nun vibe, but works great. It’s a very light fabric, has an extra wide, stiff brim and feels secure in the wind. I rode my bike today with it on in 10-15 mph gusts and it stayed put. If you’ve got long hair the pony tail slot helps to keep it in place. The bow is super cute and functional, it tightens up the hat on your head. Since there is no brim in the back you can recline comfortably in a beach chair without your hat brim banging the back of the chair.”
A house for local pollinators
Pros: It’s made of real fir wood.
Cons: It’s not sealed to be waterproof.
Pollinators, like butterflies and bumblebees, make for bright, healthy gardens (and ladybugs that keep plant-eating pests in check are helpful too). The Lulu Home Wooden Insect House has environments that will attract a variety of bugs into your yard and give them a safe place to rest. It measures 10.4 by 3.4 by 5.4 inches.
Review: “I bought this to attract pollinators to the garden. It has been there for a week so far and I have seen a bee checking it out, but no takers yet. This is sturdy. Using wire, I secured it in the corner of my fences by my raised beds. I would also consider using a strong adhesive and putting it on a stake.”
Leaf grabbers for easy cleanup
Pros: Each rake has a hole in the top for easy hanging storage.
Cons: Some reviewers say the handles break off easily.
If you’ve been raking up leaves or pruning and piling limbs, these GardenHOME Yard Leaf Scoop Hand Rakes are perfect for cleaning up. Simply place your hands in the handles and use them to scoop big bundles of plant matter into your trash bag or compost pile. They’re 15 by 12 by 1 inch each, so they’ll do the job much faster than using your hands.
Review: “This is a great product! We recently bought a house on 1/2 acres and there are tons of leaves and sticks everywhere! It took me a few minutes to get comfortable using these but I got the hang of it pretty fast. It scoops up pinecones, leaves, moss, dirt, everything! My 4 year old daughter even uses it to scoop up leaves. My boyfriend has even used them to scoop up chunks of fiberglass!”
Gloves that go above and beyond
Pros: The fingertips, palms, and knuckles are puncture-resistant to keep out thorns.
Cons: Reviewers say these don’t keep out big thorns, like those on cacti or citrus trees.
Need to dead head your roses or pick berries off the bush? These MAGID Professional Rose Pruning Thorn Resistant Gardening Gloves protect your skin all the way up to the elbows.
Review: “Love, love, love these gloves!! I have a horrible, sticker vine (berry) that grows rampant thru my pretty ground cover in my yard. Every once in a while I have to brave it and go in to try to pull it out…again! These stickers hurt and cling to your clothes and your arms. These gloves are fantastic!! I recently hired someone to do this nasty job for me, since I had let it go way too long. At the end of the day he asked me where I had purchased these gloves. He said, “I would be so torn up without them.” I will buy another pair, love them!”
A drill bit that digs for you
Pros: Includes a hole to hang up when not in use.
Cons: Reviewers say it doesn’t hold up to digging in gravel or rocky soil.
The TCBWFY Extended Length Garden Auger is designed to attach to your power drill and dig perfect holes for small plants and flower plugs, instead of digging each one by hand. It fits any drill, and can tackle digging jobs in most soil types.
Review: “Great tool! The auger easily and quickly bored holes for tulips in very rocky soil. In a previous year I had to use a digging bar to do the same. The auger made the job easy and other than some worn paint is now as good as new.”
A kneeling pad to spare your joints
Pros: The thick foam material will stand up to years of use.
Cons: Some reviewers say it’s too firm.
The Gorilla Grip Extra Thick Water Resistant Comfortable Kneeling Pad is perfect for gardeners who need to give their knees a break. Its lightweight foam construction makes it easy to carry around your yard, but it’s tough enough to handle any terrain.
Review: “I bought this pad to replace the flimsy garden kneelers that I’ve bought in the past. They were just falling apart. I used this pad the other day for hours and it was very comfortable. It is thicker and more firm than the others but I would say that it had just the right amount of give. When I was done with it the cleanup was a breeze.”
A multipurpose knife for cutting, digging, and planting
Pros: The blade is rust-proof and scratch-resistant.
Cons: There’s no guard or grip on the handle, so be mindful of where your hand is while using.
The hori-hori knife is a Japanese tool traditionally used by hunters and to dig up root vegetables. Today, it’s used for cutting, digging, seeding, and transplanting bulbs. Nisaku’s Hori-Hori Weeding & Digging Knife is a great option for under $20.
Review: “I am very impressed with this tool, it is indispensable in the garden. I have used it to dig up weeds, dig holes in garden, split perennials and cut sod. This knife was very effective for all of those tasks. This knife is sharp, it cuts right through roots, tubers and most plant stems.”
A tote for all your gardening tools
Pros: It stands up on its own, so you don’t dump your tools out in the yard.
Cons: It doesn’t have many small pockets, so little tools may get lost.
The WORKPRO Garden Tool Bag has a large interior and eight outer pockets to store all your trowels, hori hori knives, and shears. The reinforced bottom keeps it upright, the handles make it easy to carry through the yard, and the durable fabric will stand up many hard days’ work.
Review: “After reading many many reviews this tote was the only one that people said stood up without falling down. And it’s true. It’s also sturdy and the pockets are tall and big enough to fit garden tools. I originally bought this as a gift but I liked it so much that I ordered another one for me.”
A watering wand with adjustable pressure
Pros: The lever to adjust the water pressure is easier on hands and wrists than traditional pistol grip water wands.
Cons: Use with cold water only (so folks in hot climates, let all the water that’s been sitting in the hose run out before attaching).
If you want to water the soil around your plants without straining your back, or reach hanging planter baskets, a watering wand is exactly what you need. The Orbit 10-Pattern Front Trigger Turret Wand is three feet long, has a rotating nozzle of 10 spray patterns, and an ergonomic hand grip for comfort.
Review: “The spray patterns are surprisingly great. The shower mode is pretty much optimal for quickly and gently watering potted plants — I don’t think you could devise anything better. The mist mode puts out a very fine mist, the “jet” mode shoots a narrow beam of water a long distance. The flat and fan modes put out thin sheets of water which are good for efficiently watering narrow rows of plants. The fireman-type lever is easy and effective — basically you pull the control yoke to the volume setting you want and then it just holds that level — simple, and no need to keep squeezing it like a pistol grip.”
A weeding tool you use standing up
Pros: It’s lightweight even though it’s made with stainless steel.
Cons: It’s designed for small weeds, flowers, and grass roots, and may not be able to handle larger plants.
Pulling weeds requires a lot of kneeling, squatting, and hunching over, so it’s hard work on the back and knees. Using the Walensee Weed Puller, you insert the tines at the base of the weed, drive it into the soil with your foot, and tilt to pry the weed up out of the dirt, roots and all. Push the button on top to release the weed and on you go.
Review: “I give this product a 5 star because it eliminates bending over to weed the yard and pulls the weeds right up roots and all! The only thing I didn’t like was the caps on the end of the handles come off while working with them, but I just super glued them on to prevent this. Would recommend this product for ease of weeding and it does a great job!”
A handheld hedge trimmer
Pros: It’s cordless and lightweight for easy trimming.
Cons: It’s not intended for thick branches or heavy duty jobs.
This Sun Joe Cordless Grass Shear weighs just 2.5 pounds, and includes one blade for trimming shrubs and another for trimming grass that you can’t reach with a mower. It’s perfect for keeping your hedges and bushes neat without the hassle of cords, gas, or heavy equipment.
Review: “I’m totally jazzed. I just finished using Sun Joe for the first time! Wow!! Just so you can picture me, I’m 68 years old and tottle around. I need to keep the front yard shrubs cut back, and I’m not into roasting in the summer. I grabbed ole’ Sun Joe this morning, and those shrubs were literally done in minutes. Everything. Done. The Sun Joe is light weight and very easy to use. I had already read all the instructions, which are clearly written, and the Sun Joe charged up very quickly before use. Honestly, so many items disappoint us today. Sun Joe, truthfully, exceeded my expectations! Way to go, Sun Joe!!”
A stool, kneeler, and tote all in one
Pros: It’s lightweight (5.7 pounds) and easy to move.
Cons: Some reviewers say the seat is a bit narrow.
Gardening is hard on the bones, but having a comfortable place to sit or kneel can make the whole process much easier. The Sunix Gardening Stool Bench with Kneeling Pad can hold up to 330 pounds and folds flat for easy storage. It includes pockets on both ends for small gardening tools.
Review: “My wife uses it to garden and it saves a lot of back and muscle pain. She finds it easy to move around and it can be stored as is or folded on a shelf in the garage. All in all an excellent buy.”
Gardening tools like these make the hobby (or household chore, depending on how you feel about it) much easier. Chances are, with the right products in your collection, your garden will never look better.
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