The 5 Best Gardening Tools For Beginners

Here at Mind & Soil, we take pride in lowering gardening’s perceived knowledge barrier. To do this we create educational content to take the guesswork out of gardening. This sets beginners up for success by making them feel more comfortable in the garden.

With that in mind, let’s cover off some common gardening tools, their names, and what they do. Every gardener’s needs are different, so this list is not a definitive one. But, we’re confident that every beginning gardener will find at least one of the listed tools useful!

Let’s hop to it!

Hori Hori Knife

Hori Hori Knife sprinkling fertilizer into garden

I know, I know - a little self serving much?! We sell Hori Hori Knives because we genuinely believe it is the best gardening tool out there. Hands down. No question.

It has so much versatility. It can be used for transplanting plants, direct sowing, spreading organic fertilizer (like in the picture above), measuring, harvesting (for example harvesting garlic), and cutting (it has a sharp edge and a serrated edge - so be careful!).

Pro tip: Buy one where the metal blade is built into the handle (like the Hori Hori Knife we carry). This ensures a lower propensity to break as well as sturdiness.

Pruning Shears

Blue pruning shears

The days we harvest from our gardens are some of the best days of the year! And if you’re lucky enough to have a large garden you could be harvesting from your garden many times a week!

Harvesting by hand damages your plants, which is why we recommend gardening shears! While shears do not have the versatility of a Hori Hori Knife, gardening shears have a specific purpose and execute it well.

We use them a ton but don't sell them yet - do you think we should start carrying our favourite pruning shears? If so, comment below, or let us know by sending us a DM on Instagram or leaving a comment on one of our YouTube videos! (We answer every comment within 24 hours!)


Close-up picture of a shovel

It goes without saying that gardening involves dirt, and usually a lot of dirt! I’ve shovelled tens if not hundreds of yards of dirt, compost, and worm castings in the two years since I've joined Mind & Soil!

If you are planning to have a garden larger than a few grow bags then I recommend picking yourself up a good, sturdy shovel. As mentioned, it’s great for moving large amounts of dirt and compost. It’s also useful for mixing soils for your garden. For example, if you want to mix compost and vermiculite, a shovel will be your best friend.

There are many kinds of shovels on the market. The two I find the most useful are a round point shovel and a square point shovel. A round point shovel has a rounded point (hence the name) blade (also known as socket). It's good for when you need to dig into the garden or ground. The rounded point will allow the shovel blade to pierce the ground and/or get under the soil in a garden. A shovel with a square point blade is very flexible. I like to use it when the pile of dirt or compost I'm moving is getting smaller. I find a square point shovel is very good at picking up every last bit of dirt, where the rounded point shovel would have a harder time with this.

You will be able to find both a rounded point or square point shovel, plus many others, at any local hardware store.


Two wheelbarrows in a field

Are you building new garden beds? Or are you moving into a new home with a gardening space? Buy a wheelbarrow and you will be thanking yourself many times over!

You can use a wheelbarrow for building a garden bed, adding compost to your garden at the beginning of the season, deconstructing a garden bed, or mixing soils together. Those are a few situations where a wheelbarrow can come in useful. 

Pro tip: If you're able to, spend a bit more and buy one that has non-air tires so that you never get a flat!


Two rakes

What’s the most under-appreciated gardening tool? There’s a strong case for the tried and tested rake!

We use it a lot toward the end of the season. We use it to collect leaves to put on top of our garden beds to help keep any kind of heat within the garden bed. We use it to spread the leaves on top of the garden bed. And, heck, it makes a great make believe mic + stand for those garden karaoke sessions. (I can’t be the only one!)

Pro tip: You want one with a metal bottom and wood or metal shaft so that it doesn't snap - speaking from experience!

All The Other Gardening Tools

There is no shortage of gardening tools out there. Each one has their place depending on what kind of gardener you are and the gardening space you maintain. The five tools we've listed are a great starting point for beginners. Each one will boost your gardening experience by helping you get things done faster. Then you can spend more time sitting, relaxing, and enjoying your garden.

Go get those hands dirty!

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