Shovels – I know, shovels seems like a pretty obvious garden tool but not all shovels are created equal to each task. You’re going to want a trowel for your planting, mixing soil for pots, etc. You might want yours to have measurements on it for precise seed sowing depths. But you’ll also want large digging shovels for bigger jobs. I have a pointed and a flat shovel in my gardening tools. Your pointed shovel will help you dig holes, loosen soil and cut through roots as needed. The flat shovel will be your go-to for scooping materials around the garden and yard. For more about shovels see 8 Types of Shovels Everyone Should Know.
Pruners – A good, sharp, pair of hand pruners is an important gardening tool for any serious backyard farmer. You’ll need these for cutting stems, small branches, plants like tomatoes, peppers and so much more! Be sure to treat them well and keep them sharp – they just may outlive you if you do!
Garden Fork – There are many different gardening forks that you may want to consider adding to your gardening tools. But I have found that the standard 4-prong garden fork has helped me the most. I like it for turning compost and soil (when I’m not using my chickens for that task).
A Dibber – A dibber, sometimes called a dibble or dibbler, is a wonderful planting tool. The dibber is usually a wooden stick with a pointed end and measurements that aid in planting seeds and transplants. If you are a square foot gardener you may want to consider a Garden Stamp – I’ve had mine for years and use it regularly. If you’re handy you could probably make your own dibber or stamp!
Buckets – I use 5 gallon buckets for all sorts of jobs in my backyard garden. Among my gardening tools these are used regularly! I collect weeds in them, transport soil from one box to another, carted my other gardening tools around in them, sat on them to garden and I used them to make self-watering containers for tomatoes.
Tool Belt – A tool belt may not be something that comes to mind when you think of essential garden tools, but I’m about to change your mind! Put on your tool belt and fill the pockets with your seeds, shovel, hand rake, pruners, scissors and your cell phone (for listening to music and taking pictures of your prized veggies).
Garden Seat – I’ll be honest, this is a new addition to my garden tools. Until recently I usually sat on a turned over 5 gallon bucket to work in my garden beds. Well, let me tell you, a garden seat may seem like a luxury until you realize how much more can be accomplished when you’re comfortable! This is my seat, which can be turned over for kneeling too. Save your back and knees so you can garden for a lifetime!
Wheel Barrow or Wagon – You’ll want either a wheel barrow or wagon for hauling around your soil, gear, materials etc. My husband prefers to use the wheel barrow while I like the wagon – so it may just come down to a personal preference. Either way you’re going to need something for big hauling jobs on your homestead.
Raised Beds – I love raised bed gardening, which is why I included them among the important garden tools for backyard farmers. I won’t go into a lot of detail her but you can read my article on the benefits of raised bed gardening.
Awesome Seeds – If you’re going to garden then seeds are to be pretty essential. You want to start with organic, heirloom seeds from a reputable company. I always recommend looking for a local source first; one because you want to support local businesses and next because local seeds are going to do better in your soil, climate, etc. If you don’t find a local seeds the please check out my recommendations of seed catalogs for quality seeds!
These are my recommendations for essential garden tools for backyard homesteaders. Of course there are probably a few items you would add to my list, so leave those in the comments! If you don’t have all the tools right now, don’t let that keep you from getting started; your collection will grow and make your gardening experience better and harvests bigger. Happy gardening!