Preparing your garden for the upcoming season? The key to easier and more maintainable garden work is having the proper tools available. Essential tools like shovels, scissors and rakes can make your gardening experience less strenuous and more enjoyable overall. These inexpensive, yet invaluable tools often feature ergonomic and contemporary designs, minimizing pain and discomfort. While it may seem like there’s an endless array of options for the job, these basic garden tools are versatile and can handle most garden tasks with ease.

1. Shovel

Long-handled shovels are must-have tools used to dig through soil, cut through roots, spread mulch, and scoop out debris. A round-tip shovel can be used to dig large holes and move a lot of material at once. The long handle allows for plenty of leverage when dealing with hard clay or rocky landscapes. Similar to a shovel, a spade features a flat tip with a D-handle and shorter shaft. Spades are often used to lift heavy loads while keeping your body in proper alignment.

2. Pruning Shears

Many plants continue growing long after they reach their ideal size. Pruning shears feature strong blades that can easily cut through woody plants, shrubs, and the hard branches of trees. These specialized scissors can differ in design, ranging from floral thinning shears for more delicate flowers, to heavy-duty all-purpose shears.

3. Weeding Tool

Getting rid of nuisance weeds requires more than just pulling them at the soil’s surface. The stubborn roots must also be removed to prevent regrowth. A weeding tool has two prongs on one end that latch into the roots and tears them from the ground.

4. Scissors

Common household scissors can be useful in a plethora of gardening situations. Scissors are often used for harvesting small vegetables, snipping herbs, or opening seed packets and potting soil bags.

5. Rake

Rakes are available in a wide range of sizes. Standard rakes can remove leaves and debris from your yard, while iron rakes can break up hard, rocky soil with their sharp teeth. Steel garden rakes are often used to till soil, and when flipped, the backside can smooth the soil.

6. Loop Hoe

Loop hoes are used for edging and weeding. Using a back and forth motion, the blade can easily slip underneath the top layer of soil and remove the roots from the dirt. This tool also makes for an excellent edger to tidy up garden beds. Use a loop hoe to cultivate the top layer of soil without disturbing the soil structure beneath.

7. Wheelbarrow

Garden carts and wheelbarrows are used to transport dirt from one area to another. This not only makes landscaping work quicker, but can also save you from a sore back. Wheelbarrows can also be loaded with soil, flowers, vegetables, and saplings, or with your gardening tools.

8. Soil Knife

Large, bulky tools are difficult to maneuver around delicate plants. Soil knives dig with precision, carefully removing weeds with accuracy. These knives feature concave blades with one serrated and one smooth edge. Soil knives are available in a variety of sizes.

9. Bow Saw

Bow saws are C-shaped with a narrow blade held at each end by a bowed handle. This type of saw can easily cut through larger limbs up to several inches in diameter. Bow saws can also remove hard dead wood from shrubs and trees.

10. Water Hose

Hoses and watering cans are essential for achieving lush, green results in your garden. Watering directly after planting helps to settle the soil around the roots and provides the plant with the hydration it needs to thrive. Hose attachments, such as watering wands, can save you time and effort by not having to run back and forth to the spigot to turn on and off the water between uses.