Guide to Garden Tools 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Hand Trowel

A trowel's pointed end makes it well suited to digging small holes for transplanting seedlings or planting bulbs. Its scoop-shaped blade lets you lift seedlings from a pot with the soil intact, as well as transport fertilizer and other amendments from bags to the garden.

Potting Scoop

A generously sized scoop is the tool of choice for filling pots with soil and adding amendments. It's also useful for sprinkling mulch around plants in the ground.

Hand Weeder

This tool's compact size lets you reach between plants to extract weeds precisely. Some weeders have a sharp, curved edge that slices off weeds and sweeps them out. Others have a claw shape for scraping out weedy clumps, and some have a weighted fulcrum to make it easy to pry weeds out, root and all.

Pruners & Vegetable Snips

A comfortable, efficient pair of pruners is a must for harvesting vegetables and fruit without bruising them and for deadheading and shaping plants.

Long-Handle Spade

In contrast to a shovel, the head of a spade is usually longer and narrower, and its cutting edge is straight. That makes it ideal for outlining beds, digging trenches, and prying out rocks. A ledge at the top of the blade allows you to press a foot on the spade for maximum force.

Hand Fork

The ideal size for working between rows or beds, a hand fork loosens soil and pries up weeds. Two hand forks are often used together to divide clumps of perennials.


A sieve is helpful for straining soil to break up clumps and sift out rocks, improving texture for planting. A hand sieve is ideal for sprinkling fine compost or dirt over potted seeds.


The angled tines of a cultivator scrape easily through the soil, pulling up small weeds between rows, aerating the soil or making furrows for sprinkling seeds.

Hori-Hori Knife

Named for the Japanese word for "dig," the hori hori knife is a handy all-purpose tool for heavy-duty weeding, digging out and dividing perennials, planting bulbs and sawing through roots. The blade has a straight slicing edge on one side and a serrated cutting edge on the other.

Long-Handle Fork

A long-handle fork is an efficient tool for turning over soil or compost and breaking up hard clumps. It can also transport materials like hay or a pile of pruned branches from one spot to another.