My Favorite Garden Tools

My favorite garden tools are easy to carry in my walker rollator, easy to clean, and easy on my arthritic hands. I will list them in the order of frequency of use in my garden according to season and task.

I start with good gloves, often with plastic gloves underneath, in order to keep my hands clean. I wear a hat in the sun but not often in the shade or cold. I cover myself in Off Deep Woods to repel the mosquitoes in warm weather and use sun screen to protect my skin in the sun. I wear Crocs in the garden because they are comfortable and there are water proof styles (without the holes). I wear long pants but not always long sleeves, so I get a lot of scratches along my arms from branches and thorns.

Late Autumn and Winter:

Brushing leaves off beds and bushes: Rake

Getting leaves into bags, mulcher, etc.: Leaf grabber

Converting fallen leaves into mulch: self propelled vacuum mulcher

Weeding: Action hoe [/amazon_link].

An action hoe is a hoe with a loose blade on it that scuffles under weed roots and cleans off an area, I find, in less time than a fixed blade hoe. It looks like this:

action hoe index My Favorite Garden Tools
action hoe

hand spade . There are ergonomic models that look really good, and I have found that they are offered in my favorite hardware store (radius web site can tell you where the local stores are or whether you will need to shop online).

radius garden set81vDkLJ75XL. SL1500  1024x804 My Favorite Garden Tools
radius garden set

Tieing up bushes so snow won’t deform them: twine and rope

CSB 3636 681x1024 My Favorite Garden Tools
The dwarf alberta spruce was deformed 2 years ago and is now tied up permanently (although you can’t see it)

Tieing up iris and other broad-leafed perennials: twine

CSB 37671 1024x680 My Favorite Garden Tools
siberian iris tied up for fall

Pruning perennials: hand pruners . My favorite are the Felco No. 7’s:

felco 7 pruners 31OPnKObaeL. SY355  My Favorite Garden Tools
felco 7 pruners

Transplanting peonies: spade

Japanese folding saw . This great tool looks like a big folding knife, with a serrated blade on it. Don’t get one too small, because grasses, especially, have large root balls that need quite a saw to divide:

japanese folding saw 31QVilT+HIL. SY355  My Favorite Garden Tools
japanese folding saw

Spring and Summer

This time of year is mostly about weeding for me. We live in Zone 7a or 7b and weeds flourish pretty much all year round, so when we are up to getting out in the garden in April (after vacationing in the deep south in March), weeding is a priority, so see Autumn and Winter for hand spade and action hoe. I use a big 20 gal Rubbermaid bucket mounted on my walker rollator to carry the weeds to our composters.

Tieing up plants to stakes or fences: Zip ties. I find these to be a lot more convenient and easy to use than twine for short ties up to about 11 inches. I have an assortment of electrical zip ties in my rollator basket that I bought at Lowes.

Planting perennials, annuals, etc.: ergonomic spades of various shapes and sizes. DH likes to use a spade with a long handle. I use a short-handled shovel with a grip on the end.

Pruning bushes: Hand operated hedge clippers . Get some with good shock absorbers on them. Your hands and arms will thank you.

power lever hedge clipper61z8e8WA30L. SL1500  1024x471 My Favorite Garden Tools
power lever hedge clipper

bypass loppers ,

lopper 41GOoxRKlHL. SY355  My Favorite Garden Tools

and of course,

the hand pruners from the Autumn/Winter list.

DH has to move a wheel barrow around for me to move the compost from the compost pile into the raised beds for example. Also, he carries the items we purchase at a nursery (larger than mail order) in the wheel barrow to where I want to plant them. I say “where I want to plant them” since in general (unless it is a major purchase) he leaves me to make the choices as the where and do the research on when to plant.


3 thoughts on “My Favorite Garden Tools”

  1. This is a great list, and I loved the links to your favorite items/brands. I need to improve my own tool collection and choose those that will be kind to my own arthritic hands. I see the beginnings of a Christmas wish list here!

    1. Yes, Jean, I was just out in the garden with the action hoe for a couple of hours. It is really efficient, but very tiring in the heat. As it has gotten cooler, it is a pleasure to use and see significant improvement in as little as 2 hours of ground clearing. Weeds are the bane of my existence, but a pleasure to rid in the garden in 50 degree weather. How cold is it in Maine right now? It must be very (cold, I mean)!

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