Equipment to Get Started

An overview of the tools and equipment to use in your garden.

These are a few of the basics, and are helpful when you’re out in the garden!

From this lesson you will gain knowledge of suitable gardening tools for use during gardening activities and choose which best suit your gardening methods

Choose tools that are easy to hold and use, especially when gardening with kids!

Care for equipment by rinsing or wiping after use and sharpening cuttings tools as needed. Also, wipe over blades of cutting tools after pruning plants that are infected with pests or diseases. You don’t want the problem spreading throughout your garden!

Look after your garden tools, choose quality items and they will last a long time.


Common gardening tools.

Gloves – used to protect your hands when using tools and also in the soil. Some plants and gardening products can irritate skin so it’s best to use gloves when using products and sharp tools.




Hand trowel and Hand fork – both are small tools used to dig into soil and potting mixtures. These tools are used extensively when gardening.




Secateurs – small hand-held sharp cutting tool used for pruning and harvesting a range of plants. Keep the blades sharp to ensure a clean cut of plant stems.




Fork – available as short or long handled. Used to loosen soil in gardens and lawns. Also useful for moving mulch, compost or manures.




Shovel – the long handled shovel is used for digging holes and shovelling (or moving) materials, same as garden fork. A short handle shovel can also be known as ‘Square mouth shovel’ which is used for moving materials, not for digging holes.




Rake – for gathering up leaves, grass clippings and mulch from around gardens and lawns. Usually made of plastic with a wooden handle.




Watering Can – holds a small amount of water for applying to plants. Watering cans vary in size and are made of plastic or tin.




Hand sprayer – small plastic or tin container, which holds water and liquid plant fertiliser to gently apply to plants. Used for seed sowing and spraying seedlings and during propagating.




Hose and fittings – hose used for watering larger garden areas and requires fittings, or attachments, to attach to tap. Hose sprayer is attached to the end of hose to adjust water spray. Fittings are available in plastic, but for longer use brass fittings work best.



Hedging shears – to neatly trim hedges (a formal row of plants) these shears, with the long blades, cut easily along plant foliage.




Long handle pruner – also known as loppers, have shorter blades and are used to cut thick plant stems. These would be used if stems and branches are too thick for secateurs to cut. Keep blades sharp for ease of use. These pruners are available with extendable handles for harder to reach branches.



Hand saw – used for cutting through thicker branches and trunks of trees. Allows the gardener to cut through thick branches without damaging the tree or shrub.




Pots – containers used for growing plants. Materials vary from plastic, terracotta, clay, concrete and glazed ceramic. Lightweight, concrete lookalike pots are available, which are lighter to lift than heavy clay or concrete pots.




Punnets – small plastic trays, with various ‘cells’ to use for seed sowing.

Seedling trays – lightweight plastic trays to store punnets. Trays of punnets can be stored in shadehouse, greenhouse or in a protected position while seeds germinate and seedlings grow.



Stakes – steel, wooden or bamboo – stakes are used to support plants immediately after planting. They hold the plant upright while the roots are establishing themselves in the ground. Once the plant has settled into the soil the stakes are removed.



Lawn mower – use to trim lawns and collect lawn clippings. Mowers can be motorised or a ‘push reel’ model which requires pushing along to cut the grass.




Brushcutter – used to trim lawn edges and grassed or bush areas. Brushcutters are motor driven and require a reel of nylon cutting cord.




Hand Lawn Edger – used to trim lawn edges, but pushed along by hand.





Wheelbarrow – handy for transporting garden tools and gathering materials.




You won’t need all of these to start with, but once you get going in your garden you’ll decide which ones would make the job easier!