(1) Garden Spade:
You can’t beat a spade for digging and planting and for me it takes the top spot in my top 10 garden tools. Look for a spade that feels well balanced and comfortable to use that matches your height and fitness level. A shorter gardener may prefer a border spade and a taller gardener will benefit from a long handle to ensure hassle free happy digging.
(2) Garden Fork:
For me you can’t trump a quality garden fork for lifting plants and aerating the soil. As with the spade, finding a fork that offers the right handle length for your height is important for effortless gardening. If you are a smaller gardener or don’t have the biggest garden don’t underestimate the power of the border fork.
(3) The Wiggle Hoe:
This hoe has revolutionised my weeding, for lighter soils it’s quick, easy and versatile, getting in and around the plants you want to keep without disturbing them. Its wiggle mechanism means it is self -sharpening and if you try one of these you won’t look back to a conventional hoe. Why not check out my video on the wiggle hoe by clicking here https://greenmangardentools.com/blog-post/adam-greenman-showcases-the-wiggle-hoe/
(4) Bow Rake:
Great for pushing and pulling soil, removing stones and breaking down the soil to create a fine tilth the bow rake can also be flipped over and used on its back to level the soil or on its edge to create a seed drill. Don’t be afraid to get the longest handle you can find as this will mean less bending down.
(5) Grubbing Mattock:
A garden heavy weight this tool is ideal for when a spade or shovel just wont cut the mustard and you don’t have a JCB digger on hand! Mattocks come in many sizes and shapes but a 4” grubbing mattock will break up the soil with ease and chop through roots of unwanted shrubs bushes and trees.
(6) Weed Fork & Trowel:
Ok so I know this is cheating but you can’t have one without the other it would be like BBC gardener’s world without Monty! These garden staples are great for planting out and light weeding tasks in the border, pot or on the plot. Longer handles are the key if you have raised beds or deep borders and a bad back!
(7) Poachers Spade:
This gem of a tool is literally the best shrub/tree planting tool I own. It digs beautifully round narrow and deep holes easily which is most useful when I’m trying to squeeze something else in the border without destroying any neighbouring pants.
(8) Wavy Edge Shears:
It may sound counter intuitive, but these shears actually cut a straighter line, the waves hold and grip the material being cut rather than pushing it out to the tip of the blades. Tip: solid forged blades are a lot stronger and will stay sharper longer.
Buying secateurs can be overwhelming as there’s so many different sizes, shapes and styles and it’s important to find the one that best fits. The best test is to ensure you can open and close them with one hand and they fit the span of your hand. There’s two main blade types: The most common type is a Bypass Secateur where the blades pass each other. The Bypass is best for live wood/Stems. The Anvi Secateur is where one blade closes onto another fixed usually flat blade ( the anvil) these are best for dead wood as they cut in a crushing action. I love the simplicity and the feel of the heavy-duty Bypass Secateurs.
(10) Budding and Grafting knife:
This is a multifunctional tool that should take pride of place in any gardeners pocket from slitting open bags of compost, taking cuttings and grafting fruit trees to sharpening pencils, cropping asparagus and cutting twine it is an essential to keep in your pocket or in your tool belt.
(11) Devon Shovel:
Ok I know I am at 11 but this incredible tool is right up there in my top garden tools and could not be left out. I love it! It digs, it shifts, it levels, it trenches it’s a bit of a swiss army knife of tools with heritage at its heart!