The six tools that every gardener should have in their potting shed

Hand trowels, gloves and a rake are tools that all gardeners should have in order to help create their dream garden.

Like a pantry or wardrobe, you need to do a shed audit every now and again – then you can use these easy ideas to organise your tools and garden-ware.

Plant and garden experts from Gardening Express have revealed the six must-have tools gardeners should have in even the most basic toolkit, whether you have large grounds to upkeep or a small garden design to maintain. 

'With a lot of time being spent in our own homes recently many of us have turned to gardening in order enjoy the fresh air and pass the time,' say GardeningExpress. 'It’s important to have the right tools to hand to ensure you can look after your plants and garden as well as possible.

'The right tools will also make it easier for you, and means tasks will be done quicker, leaving you with more time to enjoy your outdoor area.'


Buying metal tools, although slightly heavier and more expensive, will last a lot longer than their plastic alternatives due to the amount of force they can withstand. Keep your garden tools hung up. This will help them stay dry and rust free as the air can circulate around them easier.


When you know exactly where you want to place your plants hand trowels are perfect for digging a small hole in the bed or pot. They can also be great for digging out long-rooted weeds. Ensure that the trowel is metal all the way through, and not connected with a plastic handle as this will create a weak point when using force.

Garden tools

(Image credit: Mark Scott)


Perfect for turning soil, it’s much easier to work with thick soil with a fork instead of a spade. They work just like a pitchfork, making it easier to turn and spread compost. The side of a fork can also be used to break up large pieces of mud.

See: These are the seven best trees for a small garden


Wearing gloves will save your hands from getting dirty when you’re digging around in the mud, as well as stopping you getting scratched when dealing with prickly plants, such as roses. Gloves need to be fairly thick but it’s important that they’re not too bulky and you can still perform intricate tasks such as working with seeds.


If you’re planning on doing any landscaping in your garden a spade will help make it really easy to move the mud and dirt around your outdoor space. If you have flowers and shrubs with bigger roots which need planting, a spade will save more time digging than a hand trowel.

Garden tool

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This will be your best friend when it comes to autumn and the leaves from the trees start to fall. Use the rake to move the leaves off your grass and plant beds to ensure they can still benefit from the autumn sun.


Plants will always need watering, especially in the drier summer months, and having a watering can makes it easier to ensure they get the vital water. You can fill up your can with rainwater collected from overflowing gutters or water buts, meaning that it is free, unlike water from a tap and hose. Watering cans are also a great way to ensure plants enjoy an even covering of water due to their sprinkler style nozzles.

(Image credit: Helen Cathcart)
Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.