The best gardening tools to buy this year

Tom Merton

Whether you’re a beginner gardener or have years of experience digging in the dirt, the right tools make the difference when it comes to gardening tasks. Whether you’re pruning your shrubs or roses, growing herbs for a cocktail garden, planting pollinator-friendly flowers, or tending to your cutting garden, you’ll save time and frustration by using the right tools. Although you don’t need a garden shed full of equipment, you do need a few basics: a watering can and/or garden hose, hand tools such as a trowel, pruning shears and gloves. Sturdy gardening boots with a thick tread are another must-have, along with a shovel and digging fork if you’re planting larger objects such as shrubs or trees.

A little maintenance will also help your hand tools last longer. Before storing, be sure to rinse off dirt, then let air dry before storing. If rust forms, clean the metal parts with steel wool, then apply a light coat of silicone spray, such as WD-40, or even vegetable oil. For wooden handles, lightly sand any rough spots or splinters and use a soft cloth soaked in linseed oil to keep the wood pliable. For pipes, drain them well before storing them for the winter in cold climates.

Now, here are our field-tested picks for the best gardening tools to buy this year:

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1

Haws Traditional Watering Can

This classic 2 gallon watering can is made of galvanized steel with a powder coat finish to prevent corrosion. Perfectly balanced in the hand and beautifully crafted, it’s made in England with nearly the same design used since the company’s founding in 1886. The brass rose, where the water pours out, is removable so you can direct a gentle rain for seedlings or stable. stream for large plants such as shrubs.

2

DeWit 3 Piece Gardener Hand Tool Set

Made in Holland since 1898, these beautiful garden tools are made from boron steel with European FSC certified ash hardwood handles. The set includes a three-tine cultivator, trowel and hand fork and comes with a lifetime warranty. This hand-forged set is destined to become an heirloom for the next generation of gardeners in your family.

3

Pine & Maple Garden Tote

White pine, maple, and metal make this handy carrier basket a useful tool for carrying flowers or fresh-cut vegetables from your garden. Handcrafted in Maine, it comes in two convenient sizes that drape nicely over your arm.

4

Felco manual pruner

The longtime choice of professionals, this iconic pruner was developed and first sold in 1948 and features hardened steel blades and forged aluminum handles with ergonomic grips. Made in Switzerland, these sturdy secateurs are solid in the hand. They will last for years, as all components can be replaced. The pruners also have a lifetime warranty.

5

Sneeboer lightweight curb fork

Can a garden tool be too good to use? Hand-forged from stainless steel, this lightweight garden fork lets you lift and divide perennials or mix amendments with ease. Made in Holland since 1913, this fork features a sturdy ash wood handle and sharp, flat tines for ease of use. It comes with a lifetime warranty.

6

Legacy Gardens leather gloves with gauntlets

When pruning roses or shrubs, you need heavy-duty gloves; cloth gloves just don’t provide the protection you need. This pair is made of goat leather, which is both strong and flexible, and the leather gauntlet will protect your forearms from ugly thorns and scratchy branches. They are comfortable, available in five sizes, and priced affordably for their durability.

7

Water Right Lightweight Hose

Make watering your flowers easy with this lightweight, kink-resistant hose. It is available in 3 colors and lengths of 25, 50 and 100 feet. Made in the USA, the hose is PBA and phthalate free. Plus, the 50-foot size weighs just 3 pounds, so it’s less bulky to carry around the yard.

8

20 Gallon Colored Tubtrug

Whether it’s potting plants, weeding, or harvesting vegetables, this sturdy and versatile 20-gallon bin is super lightweight and convenient to carry around the garden. Flexible handles make it easy to carry with one hand or use as an extra-large watering can. Just rinse it off when you’re done working.

9

Gardener’s Lifetime T-Edge Spade

An edge spade is slightly smaller than a standard garden spade, so you can work in raised beds or tight spaces. This shovel has a T-shaped handle for better control. It is made in Holland from forged Swedish boron steel and has a European FSC certified ash handle by Dewit, a fifth generation family business.

ten

Women’s Muckster II Mid

While not exactly a “tool,” the right gardening boots certainly make gardening tasks easier. These cute boots are tough enough to withstand any outdoor task, from pulling weeds to pruning. The tops fold up, if you prefer a shorter boot, and you can easily remove them when you need to run indoors. Thick treads provide good traction on muddy and wet surfaces, and the breathable mesh lining keeps feet warm or cool. Water them in when you’re done, and they’re ready for the next round of digging.

These sturdy stainless steel shears have endless uses around the garden: trim stray branches, trim weeds, dead flowers, harvest thick-stemmed vegetables such as peppers and eggplant, and cut fresh flowers for bouquets. Because they fold up neatly, you can store them in your gardening apron or use the pocket clip to slip them on a belt loop. These nearly indestructible sheers, actually developed for healthcare professionals, are made in Oregon and backed by a 25-year warranty.

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