gardener gifts
Cheapism

Gardening Gear You Didn't Know You Needed

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gardener gifts
Cheapism

In Bloom

Springtime is upon us, which means it's time to get outside and tend to that neglected garden of yours. Cheapism reached out to professional horticulturalists, botanical gardens, and gardening enthusiasts to recommend some of their favorite garden tools — most of them under $30 — to get growing this spring.


Prices and availability are subject to change.


Related: Where to Buy Garden Supplies: Lowe's vs. Home Depot vs. Walmart

Hori-Hori Knife
Amazon

Hori-Hori Knife

$20 from Amazon
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A handy tool for weeding, hori-hori knives come recommended by several of the gardeners we spoke with, including both Chip Tynan and Jen Smock of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. Use the knife’s serrated edge for cutting vines and tough twigs, then flip it over and use the smooth blade to cut twine or open a bag of mulch. The concave blade, useful for digging, is marked in inches and centimeters for planting so those seeds are always sowed at the correct depth.


Related: Gorgeous Botanical Gardens in All 50 States

Gardening Gloves
Amazon

Gardening Gloves

$14 from Amazon
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It may seem like a no-brainer, but something as simple as a pair of gardening gloves can make all the difference when you’re digging in the dirt. Leather and canvas are the most durable materials, but bamboo-fiber gloves with grippy palms like these are perfectly adequate for most tasks, owners say. If you’re tending to roses or other thorny plants, look for gloves with extra-long gauntlets that reach the elbow. “Keeping your hands protected from injuries such as cuts, blisters, and splinters while gardening should be a priority because your hands will be your most precious tools in the garden,” says Peter Miller, founder of Gardening Stuffs. "Gardening gloves will not only help prevent such injuries but it will also keep your hands clean and protected from UV rays."


Related: 18 Products That Can Turn Your Backyard Into a Relaxing Oasis

Pruning Shears
Amazon

Pruning Shears

$20 from Amazon
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“Cutting and pruning is a daily outdoor chore, and if your tool is heavy, awkward, or just plain worn out, then it’s time for an upgrade,” says Richard Reina, product training director at ToolsID.com. If you’ve got limited hand strength, Reina recommends these Fiskars Softgrip pruning snips for trimming, deadheading, shaping, and other quick snips on plants. Manual sheep shears are another option, says Jen Smock, manager of landscapes horticulture at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. They “are useful for spring garden clean-up cutting back grasses and various other perennials.” Although pricey, the Felco F2 pruning shears also come highly recommended.


Related: 24 Kitchen Accessories You Didn't Know You Needed

pruning saw
Home Depot

Pruning Saw

$75 from Home Depot 
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Pruning shears are all well and good until you’re up against serious shrubbery and tree branches. “I can't recommend a good pruning saw enough,” says Tyson Gregory, a horticulturist with the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio. “I personally own the Silky Zubat 300 pruning saw and it is one of my favorite specialty tools that I have in my toolbox. I can cut through a 6-inch diameter branch in under 30 seconds with this saw, all while leaving a very smooth and clean cut (important for the tree's ability to heal over the wound).” 


Related: 14 Fast-Growing Flowers and Plants That Anyone Can Grow

Garden Hose Nozzle
Amazon

Garden Hose Nozzle

$5 from Amazon
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Large yards and gardens need regular watering, especially during the dry summer months. A garden hose is useful, Miller says, but it’s the nozzle — ideally, one with multiple spray settings from a gentle mist to a powerful jet of water — that makes all the difference. “We all know that water is essential for plants. But watering incorrectly could do more harm than good. Using a garden hose with a nozzle can help you regulate the water’s flow and make watering your garden breezy and more efficient.”


Related23 Sprinklers and Other Water Toys to Turn Your Backyard Into a Water Park

Box Claw Weed Puller
Amazon

Box Claw Weed Puller

$40 from Amazon
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Tearing up part of the yard for a new garden plot? You’ll tear out your hair in frustration if you’re only using a shovel or hoe to remove sun-baked sod and soil (trust us on this one). The twisted spikes on this Yard Butler Twist Tiller box claw can rip out grass, uproot weeds, fish out stones and debris, and aerate soil — just sink, twist, and pull.


Related: 46 Well-Made Products You'll Never Have to Buy Again 

Bloem Easy Pour Watering Can
Walmart

Watering Can

$21 from Walmart
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Hoses are handy but may be overkill if you live in an apartment or only have a small garden, says Gena Lorainne, gardening expert at Fantastic Services in the United Kingdom. “A watering can will be enough,” she says. For indoor houseplants, a 1-gallon watering can will do; for larger plants, look for a 2- or 3-gallon can.


Related: 11 Tips for a Flourishing Indoor Garden

Garden Tool Storage Scooter
Amazon

Garden Tool Storage Scooter

$25 from Amazon
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Tools that can be used for more than one purpose are always a good idea, and this scooter doubles as a gardening stool. “What's great about this stool is that it's easy to move around since it has wheels and has space for storage,” says Steven Wood, owner of DIY website SwankyDen.com. “This way you can have everything you need right beside you as you move throughout the backyard working on the plants.”


Related15 Foods You Can Grow in a Container Garden

Nejiri Hoe
Amazon

Nejiri Hoe

$16 from Amazon
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A garden hoe is essential for trenching, tilling, and weeding soil. Full-sized hoes are great for cultivating larger gardens, especially rows of veggies, but they’re overkill for small beds. “Many standard hoes behave more like cultivators, stirring up weed seeds and giving them an opportunity to sprout,” Sherie Blumenthal writes on the Farmers' Almanac website. “The Nejiri hoe’s sharp blade skims the surface of the soil quickly, eliminating shallow-rooted weeds without disturbing the soil or bringing up the unwanted weed seeds.”


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Moisture Meter
Amazon
Circle Hoe
Amazon

Circle Hoe

$28 from Amazon
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This tool (and its cousin the hula hoe) is another gardener favorite for small spaces, says Blumenthal of the Farmers’ Almanac. “Unlike the hula hoe, the circular hoe doesn’t swivel, but it still cuts off weeds without moving the soil. It can also be used as a cultivator. It is best around and under foliage of your plants, and in tight rows,” she says.


Related12 Reasons to Get Rid of Your Lawn

Garden Rocker
Amazon

Garden Rocker

$60 from Amazon
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All that bending and kneeling can be murder on your back and knees, as any gardener will tell you. Knee pads are one answer, but the pros we spoke with say a garden stool is a better alternative. The Vertex Garden Rocker is one option, says Leslie Uppinghouse, a horticulturist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. “It helps me keep my back straight,” she tells Wildflower, the center’s bimonthly magazine. By sitting and rocking, you’re not sprawled out on hands and knees, at risk of knocking into sensitive small plants.


Related: Lowe's vs. Home Depot: Which Has Better Prices and Services?

Gorilla Carts GOR4PS Poly Garden Dump Cart
Amazon

Garden Cart

$94 from Amazon
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Whether you’re toting tools or hauling away yard debris, a garden cart can be useful for larger yards. A cart like this one is big enough to haul a load of mulch or logs for an outdoor fire pit, and most owners say it’s easy to assemble and to pull along. Need something more substantial? The carts made by Carts Vermont, another Wildflower Center favorite, can haul up to 400 pounds of yard debris. And because they’re built of treated plywood and with a welded steel frame, the carts are easy to repair as they wear.


Related: The Best Food Storage Containers You Can Buy

Cordless Drill
Amazon

Cordless Drill

$50 and up from Amazon
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A drill for gardening? Yes, says Jack Adams of ToolsOwner.com. “One of the most important things that I can’t live without is a cordless drill.” Building raised beds? Use the drill for pilot holes and driving screws. Attach a weeding auger bit to clear stubborn weeds and grasses, then pop in a drilling auger to create rows of neat holes for seedlings. You can even use your cordless drill to pump water, Adams says.


RelatedThe Best Gifts for Plant Lovers and Green Thumbs

Home Depot Greenhouse
Home Depot
Bloomscape Gift Card
Bloomscape

Plant Website Gift Cards

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Not sure what your favorite plant parent could use in their leafy life? You can't go wrong with a gift card. Bloomscape offers them in $50, $100, and $200 denominations. For more pricing options, check out another great botany-focused site, Horti.