No matter the size of your garden, owning some basic tools will make your gardening experience that much more enjoyable. Whether you garden for work or as a hobby, there’s specific attire and equipment that will contribute to the efficiency and cleanliness of this favorite pastime.

1. Gloves

Whether you need to pull up thorny weeds or dig into the dirt, a great-fitting pair of gloves is a must-have when gardening. A good pair of gloves improves your grip when pulling up weeds or cleaning up fallen branches. Gloves also help protect your hands from thorns, cuts, and blisters when you are picking berries or even getting rid of thistles.

The best gardening gloves are made from a variety of materials, such as cotton or leather. Choosing the type that best suits your needs depends on the type of gardening you will be doing. For instance, latex gloves provide extra protection when your garden is wet.

However, if you are looking for an all-purpose glove you should consider a washable, synthetic glove. If you are looking for protection against thorns, leather gloves provide great protection.

2. Watering can

Even though you probably have a garden hose, there are times when a watering can comes in handy. For instance, lugging a hose around your yard can be tiring as well as frustrating if your hose is prone to kinks. Additionally, watering cans are particularly great for watering your newly planted seedlings–especially if they are planted in containers along your deck railing or in window boxes.

When choosing a watering can, you should look for one that is big enough to reduce the need to continually refill the can as well as one that, when full, is easy to maneuver. Whether you choose a plastic or galvanized metal watering can, you should look for one with an ergonomic handle that makes pouring easy. Another thing to look for is an adjustable nozzle. This will allow you to change the intensity of the stream based on the needs of different plants in your garden.

3. Water-repellent apron

A gardening apron is a great addition to your gardening arsenal. Any gardening apron should include generous pockets that securely hold all of your gardening essentials, such as a pair of snips, a trowel, or a cultivator.

In addition to being made of a durable material and having adjustable straps, your apron should be water repellent because a big part of gardening includes watering. Whether you are using your hose or your watering can, you are bound to get wet.

Finally, when working in the early morning, the dew also has a way of getting you wet. A water-repellent apron will help keep you dry as you tend to your garden.

4. Snips

Snips make cutting stems more precise or delicate situations much easier. For instance, snips are perfect for cutting a bouquet of flowers, snipping herbs, or dead-heading. Loopers or pruners, for instance, are simply not fit for this type of gardening work. Additionally, using snips versus scissors for this type of work is much preferred as snips provide you much more control.

The best snips have fine yet strong blades that allow you to make delicate cuts. They must also be capable of cutting through thick stems. Finally, snips that include a small cover for the tips are great as they allow you to keep them handy in your apron or even a pocket without the worry of accidentally reaching in and cutting yourself.

5. Spade and shovel

Whenever you are going to do some planting, you will need a spade. A spade is a flat-edged implement that has an angled-blade and is a great gardening tool as it allows you to both dig and move dirt. Some even have squared-off blades that assist you in edging and slicing.

A shovel is a round-edged tool that will help you cut through the ground as well as easily move soil and mulch. When choosing either a spade or a shovel, you should look for a comfortable handle with an overall length that does not require you to bend awkwardly. Additionally, the blade should be made from stainless steel, preferably thick gauge, as it will be less likely to rust or bend.

6. Hand trowel

Weeds are something all gardeners must tend, and a quality trowel helps you to remove them, roots and all.

A trowel can also be used to dig a hole when planting. For weeding, you might come across thick stems and roots. When digging holes, the ground might be hard. Consequently, you should purchase a three-piece starter set.

A starter set will have three trowels, each with a different type of blade. The most common blade combinations include a flat blade, a triangular one, and one with serrated edges. A blade with serrated edges, for instance, will cut right through weeds, and a triangular blade will make easy work of hard dirt. Regardless which trowel set you choose, you should look for trowels that resist rust and have ergonomic handles to help stave off hand fatigue.

7. Rake (two types)

You will want a leaf rake to clean up leaves and other debris. This type of rake has flexible tines made of plastic or aluminum. However, you should also consider a bow rake which helps when it comes to loosening or smoothing soil. Compared to a leaf rake, a bow rake is sturdier, and the back side of the head is designed to help you pack and level the soil.

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Nagarjuna is a senior marketing consultant with a knack for writing about the latest news in tech & Beauty, quality assurance, software development, and travel. With a decade of experience working in the tech industry, Ray now dabbles out of his New York office