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David Domoney on essential tools for new gardeners

If you have decided that one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2024 is to start gardening, you may have found yourself wondering which tools are the best to get started with.

In this blog, I will explain which tools will give you a solid foundation for your tool collection to help you get started and inform you of some jobs to use them for.

What are the essential hand tools?

Hand tools are extremely important for close-up and intimate gardening jobs, such as planting, seed sowing, and taking care of your pots and containers. It would be quite difficult to plant delicate pansies in a hanging basket with a metre-long planting spade, so hand tools enable you to have a more direct approach.

AMES Tools’ Stainless Steel Hand Trowel is a truly essential gardening tool. Not only can they help you with your intimate planting jobs, but they can also help with close-up weeding and cultivating tasks. Particularly when planting ornamentals, herbs, and bulbs, a hand trowel allows you to focus on carefully settling your new plants into the soil.

Similarly, a hand fork can help you to get the most out of your soil in specific areas. AMES Tools’ Stainless Steel Hand Fork can help you to break up smaller and more fiddly areas of compacted soil, and sift through larger weeds that have settled in your garden.

The great thing about AMES Tools hand tools is that they have been designed for comfort and convenience, with a contoured grip to fit well in your hand, and a leather-look strap to ensure you can tidy your tools away effortlessly.

What is the most essential rake?

If you would like an essential rake to cover as many jobs as possible in one, then AMES Tools’ Double-sided Soil Rake, is the perfect choice.

With 16 carbon-steel tines of two different lengths on each side, this rake is curated to assist with many gardening tasks. The longer tines can help with levelling a deeper layer of soil before planting and sowing seeds, giving them the best chance to establish well. This can be followed up by the shorter tines, to create a lovely and fine tilth at the top.

You could also use the longer tines to quickly shift debris from larger areas, such as fallen leaves, stones, or other garden waste, saving you a great deal of time. This is also particularly helpful if you have gravelled areas in your garden, as the rake can easily level out the stones for a curated and tidy appearance.

Here’s a great tip to get the most out of your double-sided soil rake: when raking your soil, use one of the corners of the carbon steel head to mark out seed drills, making it much easier to distance your seeds evenly.

What are the essential digging tools?

Digging in the garden can be quite a large and laborious task to carry out, so ensuring you have the right tools to do it quickly, easily, and safely is extremely important. Here are a couple of AMES digging tools that I believe will become invaluable to beginner gardeners.

Moving and removing soil from large areas of the garden is a large and essential task, so ensuring your spade is best equipped to help with this is so important. The AMES Tools Stainless Steel Digging Spade is durable and has the AMES Comfort Step™ to assist the user in penetrating deep, even into compacted soil, with added leverage. This digging spade doesn’t have the largest pan in the AMES digging tool range, however this allows it to double up as a border spade, for digging jobs in a tighter space.

A digging fork is another important piece of equipment for beginner gardeners, particularly for keeping your soil in good condition. The AMES Tools Stainless Steel Digging Fork is ideal for digging, turning, and even aerating soil in larger areas, with the long tines providing deep penetration of the soil, to allow ample room for root growth. You could even use a digging fork to aerate areas of lawn during the winter, to keep it healthy before the growing season in spring.

When using digging tools, ensure to make full use of the long handle, making sure to utilise it for extra leverage to avoid injury and save your strength.

By ensuring you have a collection of essential gardening tools, getting started as a beginner gardener becomes much easier, and equips you for many years of enjoying your garden.