Your Essential Gardening Equipment List - 12 Basic Garden Tools For Summer

Your Essential Gardening Equipment List - 12 Basic Garden Tools For Summer

Your gardening equipment list should start with the basic gardening tools and expand to include some specialist types of gardening tools. Here we take a look at some of the basic garden tools you can buy, their uses and some of the more specialist items that might be on your gardening equipment list. If you’re new to planting fruit and veg, take a look at our 10 gardening tips for beginners post

4 Types of Gardening Tools & Their Uses

Whether you have a large garden, allotment or patio plot, it follows that every gardener needs a set of basic gardening tools to keep things nice and tidy and plant fresh seeds and bulbs for the upcoming growing season. 

The tools on our gardening equipment list come in all shapes and sizes, and each is made for particular use in the garden. We’ve broken down the basic garden tools and their uses into four easy to navigate categories to help you pick and choose the right tools for your project. 

Gardening Tools for Digging & Ground Preparation

Garden Spade

Spades are a garden essential and have a multitude of uses. From digging over your plot to loading your wheelbarrow, spades are essential garden tools that no one can live without. 

When choosing a spade, you must consider the materials and fixings, for instance. One of the most common areas that spades break is the joint between the wooden handle and the metal end. The best garden spades have a snug fit where the metal meets the wood and double rivets to hold both pieces together. 

Also, a long handle is desirable on garden spades as this helps to reduce back strain with repeated use. While there are many styles of spades available, a groundbreaker spade is a good all-rounder. 


Similarly, a good garden fork is essential on the list of basic gardening tools. If you garden with other people, then you will almost certainly need more than one to share the fun of digging over a patch of soil. Forks need to be strong to manage the force and flex of hard ground. A long handle with help to reduce back strain. There’s a rotational technique to using a fork to penetrate deep in the soil with minimum effort. Use the back of the fork to break up clods of earth, ready for raking. 

Border Spade And Fork

A border spade is a good example of how standard tools can develop into specialist types of gardening tools. Smaller and lighter than a digging spade, a border spade is good for general digging and planting in borders. Similarly, a border fork has the same properties of being smaller and lighter. Border spades and forks qualify as basic gardening tools, especially if you look for a more lightweight tool for regular use.

Basic Planting & Hand Tools

Hand trowels

These compete for the number one slot on the gardening equipment list. They are essential for close groundwork - planting small plants and clearing patches of soil. Many gardeners have their favourites for size and handle length. This means they're unlikely to share, so you best get your own. 

Compost Scoop

Nothing beats this tool for the speedy removal of compost from sacks without spillage. And spillage is the reality if you use anything but the compost scoop. Deeply dished and the perfect size for all but the smallest of pots. The William James version is a best buy in Amateur Garden Weekly Magazine. It might not be high on the list of your basic gardening tools. But if you’re shifting a lot of compost in seedlings and dressing beds, the compost scoop comes pretty high on the “handy” gardening equipment list. 

Claw cultivator

The same goes for the claw cultivator. Does it fit within the basic gardening tools definition? But once you get to grips with it and see how it does a variety of jobs, you’ll wonder how you survived without it. They're great for weed removal in beds or a lawn. Also, use them to loosen compacted soil. And because they dig in, they’re convenient for turning a compost pile. 

Trimming & Pruning Gardening Tools


Definitely a must-have amongst the basic gardening tools. Secateurs are essential for cutting stems that are finger thickness or less. Use lopping shears for anything chunkier. Keep them sharp and well oiled, so they cut cleanly. Without these on your gardening equipment list, you’re lost and may as well stay indoors.


Extend your cutting reach with a lightweight telescopic compound lopper. Our ones are made from lightweight aluminium, with telescopic arms extending from 46cm to 78cm. With a fully hardened and tempered high-carbon steel blade, they can effortlessly cut through branches up to 3.5cm thick.


you might be wondering just how many types of gardening tools for cutting you need on a gardening equipment list. But a pocket knife ranks high on the list of basic garden tools, and their uses include taking plant cuttings where precision is essential. Others include slicing through twine or opening up a compost bag. 


Gardening Equipment For Lawns & Grass



An aerator is more advanced than your usual set of basic gardening tools. It’s popular, for example, amongst people who are keen on a well-kept lawn and so more of a “would-like” on the gardening equipment list. 

A heavy-duty hollow tine aerator is perfect for improving the look of your lawn and filling gaps in grass coverage. A tine is a prong or a point. Tines that measure approx 4 inches long by 1 inch wide are suitable for small to mid-sized lawns. A quality aerator will feature welding on both sides of the 4 tines to provide greater strength. 

This is particularly useful for highly compacted lawns and lawns with a lot of roots. For best results, we recommend using this aerator on a well-saturated lawn. The best time to use this tine aerator is during the growing season. This ensures the grass has plenty of opportunities to heal and fill open areas after soil plugs are removed.

Grass Track 

A plastic garden track is an unusual one yet creates an instant, robust and weatherproof walkway in seconds. For example, it allows for easy passage over muddy terrain or grass, while the "snaking action" adapts to uneven ground. Great for wheelbarrow access into William James' fruit cages. The Garden Track also prevents lawn damage caused by regular and repeated foot traffic around fruit cages. 


In Conclusion 

Above all, when it comes to reviewing the basic garden tools and their uses, there's always a mix of priorities based on the jobs you want to do. We hope that by understanding basic garden tools and their uses, you can match up the types of gardening tools you need to get the job done.