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Having the right vegetable gardening tools can make a huge difference to how much work you can get done in a minimum amount of time. The right tools will protect you from all sorts of diseases. They will also give you the support you need so that you don’t spend too much energy or strain yourself too much to the point where you hurt yourself or your plants!
You may not be able to purchase all these tools at once but you should try to slowly add items to your collection of vegetable gardening tools.
The gardening tools listed from #1 – #9 are tools that all vegetable gardeners should have even if your garden is only a few container vegetable plants on the terrace or balcony. Most of these tools are smaller handheld tools, while tool #8 and #9 are just great accessories to have around.
You will need tools #10 – #17 only if you have an in-ground vegetable garden or raised beds placed outdoors. These tools are larger and made for heavy garden work.
- Gardening gloves
Using gloves while gardening will not only protect you from splinters and thorns, they will also protect you from infections that can develop in those tiny cuts and scrapes that you may not give much notice to. Garden gloves will also keep your hands clean.
Cotton gloves are the most common and inexpensive form of gardening gloves available. You can purchase cotton gloves with latex lining to give you an extra grip while performing gardening tasks.
- Hand spade (hand shovel/ gardening trowel)
This multipurpose hand-held tool can be used to mix soil, dig the soil, and to gently add soil or compost around your plants.
- Hand fork
A hand fork is ideal for gently loosening the soil around vegetable plants, without causing damage to their roots. It can also be used to easily mix compost and other amendments with topsoil.
- Hand rake
A hand rake is ideal for smaller spaces around vegetable plants, for which a regular rake would be too large. They can be used to tidy-up around vegetable plants and even to make shallow neat rows for planting vegetable seeds.
- Pruning shears
Pruning shears can be used to neatly prune unwanted branches of tomatoes and other vegetable plants without damaging them. They can also be used to harvest produce from your plants.
- Watering can
A watering can is a must have if you have a container vegetable garden. A watering can will allow you to water directly into pots and containers.
Water cans are also useful for larger vegetable gardens if you need to water just a few vegetable plants at a time or if you want to add liquid fertilizer directly to the base of each plant.
- Hand weeder
Hand weeders are ideal for removing weeds that seem to crop up from nowhere near the base of your vegetable plants without damaging your plants. This tool is especially useful if your plants are growing very close together and you have trouble reaching the base with your hand or don’t want to put your hand into dark areas in between your plants.
- Plastic stool/bench
A plastic stool is ideal to sit on while mixing soil and even while planting seeds indoors without putting pressure on your spine, if your pots or containers have to be kept at a low elevation.
- Compost bin
Compost bins come in many sizes and you can choose the size that matches the size of your garden. Keeping a compost bin next to your vegetable garden is an easy way to get rid of leaves and other plant material that is pruned away so that nutrients are recycled and not lost.
- Gardening boots
Gardening boots are a must when gardening in wet areas but they can also keep your feet safe from thorns, poisonous animals and even mosquitoes. Like gloves, gardening boots can also keep diseases away by protecting any cuts or scratches that you may have from getting infested.
A spade is ideal for anything from digging the soil, mixing the soil to moving soil, heaps of grass and weeds.
- Digging fork
A digging fork is ideal to loosen up and mix the soil before planting your vegetable seeds or to safely and efficiently move piles of weeds and grass.
- Garden hoe
Garden hoes are ideal for digging the soil and clearing weeds. Even if you practice a no-dig method of gardening, a garden hoe will come in handy to mix compost and other fertilizers into the soil. Hoes can also be used to move plant material from one place to another.
A rake is usually used to pick up and move fallen leaves but they are also ideal for leveling a vegetable garden and smoothing it out to remove unevenness of the topsoil.
- Garden hose
Unless you have only a few plants on a balcony or terrace, a gardening hose that’s long enough is something that you will definitely require. Using a garden hose will make watering your garden very easy.
Unlike a lawn, it’s best not to wet vegetables plant leaves. Some plants are not so fussy about wet leaves, but some plants such as tomatoes can easily develop diseases under humid conditions. You can leave the hose at the base of your vegetable plants and keep it running until you have added the amount of water needed. You can use an inch of water per week as a rough guide.
- Pruning loppers
Pruning loppers are basically large pruning shears with long arms. They are ideal for pruning the thin branches of larger vegetable plants. They are especially useful for pruning plants that have thorns or prickly parts, without the need to get too close to the plant.
The loppers will also help you trim tree branches that may cover your vegetable plants or pathways around your vegetable garden.
A wheelbarrow is useful for easily moving pretty much anything around your garden. You can carry all your seedlings to your garden for transplanting or collect all your produce and bring it in together without having to walk up and down a number of times.