Now that we’re finally in the throes of spring, tulips and daffodils are popping up, cherry blossoms are blooming and seasonal fruits and veggies, like apricots and cherries, are in their prime. Even if you’ve been #blessed with a green thumb, however, you’ll need a little help to grow your own. The best way to ensure your flowers, plants and crops are straight-up thriving this season? The best gardening tools on the market, of course.

Whether you’re an old pro who’s looking to enhance your collection or a novice gardener, we’ve got the lowdown on all of the most useful, durable and rust-proof options to add to your toolkit, all of which are available on Amazon. Read on to check out our top picks, learn about proper care and more.

What Are the Best Gardening Tools?

Although everyone’s collection will likely look a bit different, there are a few gardening tools that you should always have in your arsenal, including the finds below.

  • A shovel: A high-quality shovel will be effective at digging up dirt and creating holes to plant your seeds in, though there are many different types you can get. Ideally, you’ll just want one that’s a good size for your gardening space (for example, you won’t want to purchase a 55-incher for an extra-small plot in your backyard). The shovel you choose should also also be made from durable, rust-proof material, like stainless-steel or powder-coated aluminum, so it’ll last for more than a season.
  • A garden hoe: Should your planting area be of substantial size, you’ll definitely want a garden hoe on hand. These handy tools are designed to help lightly break ground in order to cultivate the soil and remove weeds. In the event that you’ll be expanding your garden with shrubbery, flowers or bushes, you’ll also want a hoe to assist with getting into that earthy soil.
  • A trowel: Trowels are slightly different from shovels. These slimmer tools can be used for a variety of tasks that range from digging to planting seeds, but they’ll be most helpful for getting into more narrow spaces, installing bedding plants and moving soil.
  • Garden scissors or shears: Oftentimes, with flowers, plants and vegetation, overgrowth will occur, which can lead some parts of the greenery to rot or die. Though it’s part of their natural process, you’ll want to carefully cut away those portions that no longer serve the plant (and no, your normal kitchen scissors won’t cut it—pun intended). Instead, you’ll want a sharp (but safe) pair of garden scissors or shears, depending on exactly what you’re cutting.

How to Clean Gardening Tools

If you’re using your gardening tools often, they’ll likely get dirty, fast. Here are some tips on how to clean them so they last.

  1. Wash away any lingering soil. You can use the blast option on your garden hose or scrape off any caked on mud with a putty knife or plastic scraper.
  2. Soak them in hot, soapy water for 15 to 20 minutes. You should add about a half a teaspoon of soap per liter of water.
  3. Rinse and dry each one with a microfiber towel.
  4. Prior to storing your tools away, disinfect them to kill off any remaining bacteria and fungi. You can mix two cups of chlorine bleach with a teaspoon of dish soap and a a gallon of water and submerge them for 10 minutes. Then, rinse and dry completely.

How to Store Gardening Tools

There are a number of ways to store your gardening tools, but you’ll want to make sure you choose a safe place where they’re less likely to rust. The most important factor is keeping them dry, so a spot like your garage, mudroom or storage shed, are all good options.

In some cases, you can just prop them up, while others may need to be hung. Shovels, for instance, can become dull if they’re stored with the blade on the ground, so you should hang yours up or prop it against the wall, handle side down.

How to Sharpen Gardening Tools

Edged tools can benefit from being sharpened with a coarse file. You’ll firstly want to remove any rust with a wire wheel or steel wool, then sharpen them against the file. A few tips to keep in mind:

  • You should sharpen single-edged tools on the beveled side only.
  • If you’re filing them, you should do so at an existing angle.
  • It’s best to wipe the tool with oil after you’ve sharpened it.

The Best Gardening Tools on Amazon at a Glance

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Amazon

Best Pruning Shears

  • Why We Love It: Rust-resistant, no-slip handle, sap-resistant blades

As most avid gardeners will tell you, pruning shears are an absolute must. They’re great for snipping away dead, dry branches from shrubs and trees, which can attract insects and disease, along with trimming growth from plants and flowers, like rose bushes, to optimize their blooms. While you’ll want to choose your shears based on the diameter of whatever you’re planning to cut, this pair from Fiskars make for a great starting point. They can cut branches up to ⅝-inch in diameter and boast sharp, durable steel blades that are rust-resistant. They’ve even got a “self-cleaning” sap groove that will prevent the blades from sticking together.

$13 at Amazon

Amazon

Best Soil Knife

  • Why We Love It: Double-edged blade, leather sheath, measurement markings

While you can use any old shovel to dig through firm soil, a garden knife will make the process way easier. Take this option from HAUSHOUF, which features a sturdy wood handle and a double-edged blade (one side is straight while the other is serrated) that’s intended to easily cut through any roots or slim tree branches that may be blocking your planting path. It comes in a luxe leather sheath, and it’s marked in both inches (up to 6) and millimeters, so you’ll know exactly how far down to plant your seedlings.

$22 at Amazon

Amazon

Best Hoe

  • Why We Love It: Unique push-pull operation, lightweight

You know the saying, “work smarter, not harder?” Yeah, this was made with that in mind. It’s got a unique push-pull design, which, according to the brand, is not only safer, but more efficient for weeding, cutting roots and cultivating around live plants. Its height can be adjusted between 30-, 43- or 60-inches, while the steel construction is meant to last a lifetime—or at least for the next five years, which is how long the company’s warranty will last. At 2 pounds, it’s also lightweight for easy handling. Better yet, when the season is over, you can take it apart for storage.

$35 at Amazon

Amazon

Best Kneeling Pad

  • Why We Love It: Extra-thick, two size options

The one thing we don’t love about gardening? The beating our knees take in the process. Or at least, the beating they took before we discovered this thick kneeling pad from RED Home Club. Up for grabs in a plethora of colors, it features super comfy 1.5-inch foam padding. You can also choose between two sizes (18-inches by 11-inches or 24-inches by 14-inches). It weighs less than 1 pound for easy transportation, and it dries quickly, so it won’t get ruined should you be caught in a spring shower.

$17 at Amazon

Amazon

Best Trowel

  • Why We Love It: Heavy-duty carbon steel, ergonomic handle

This pick from Edward Tools is a solid option for starter and seasoned gardens alike. It features a comfortable ergonomic grip handle, while the shovel itself is made from heavy-duty carbon steel. It also has depth markers, allowing you to easily see how far you’ve dug into the ground. The company claims it’s “rust-proof, bend-proof and break-proof,” and judging by that lifetime warranty it comes with, they aren’t kidding.

$9 at Amazon

Amazon

Best Shovel

  • Why We Love It: No-slip ergonomic handle, serrated blade

This shovel is definitely more exciting than your average shovel (yes, shovels can be exciting). Not only does it have a no-slip ergonomic handle, but the rubber handle turns tacky when it’s wet, giving you an even more secure grip. We also love the heavy-duty carbon blade, which features serrated edges to make digging a tad easier. With even landscapers singing its praises, its as sturdy as they come, too—no wonder it’s got a limited lifetime warranty.

$40 at Amazon

Amazon

Best Garden Tool Set

  • Why We Love It: Comes with dual-use tote, can kickstart a hobby

If you’re a gardening newbie, you can take the complexity out of the tool-buying process by picking up this single eight-piece set. It comes with five tools (a hand trowel, a digging fork, a shovel, a spade and a weeder) that will give you a nice base for a proper planting job, plus, you’ll get a pair of gloves, a washable bag and a spray bottle—so basically, everything you need to get started.

$27 at Amazon

Amazon

Best Transplanter

  • Why We Love It: Bend-proof aluminum, engraved measurements

When you need to be, as Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny might say, “dead-on balls accurate,” a transplanter, like this one, will be your tool of choice, thanks to the long, narrow blade that will effortlessly scoop away loose and firm soil alike. This one even has engraved measurements to make sure you’re giving your newly repotted sunflower the very best soil depth possible.Better yet, the company claims that the blade is bend- and rust-proof—and they’ll replace it if they’re wrong.

$14 at Amazon

Amazon

Best Weeder

  • Why We Love It: Long bamboo handle, four-claw design

Let’s talk weeders. These convenient tools live up to their name and pull weeds up by the roots to give you a cleaner space for your plants, flowers and greenery without the use of harsh chemicals. This pick in particular features a 45-inch bamboo handle, giving it a sustainable element, and a four-claw handle that works on all types of soil. To use it, just center it over a weed, press it into the ground and lean the handle to pop the weed out.

$40 at Amazon

Amazon

Best Trimming Scissors

  • Why We Love It: Safety lock, gentle spring return

The perfect trimming scissors don’t exi…actually, they just might. Though similar to pruning shears, trimming scissors are slightly different, since they’re made specifically to cut flower stems and string. These ones have sharp, stainless-steel blades, soft ergonomic handles and a built-in safety lock that protects the blades (and any errant fingers) when they’re not in use. They’re also equipped with a gentle spring return that reportedly makes them easier on arthritic hands.

$14 at Amazon

Amazon

Best Garden Hose

  • Why We Love It: Kink-resistant, weathers all seasons

There’s a solid chance a good garden hose is on your summer wishlist. Flexzilla’s model, which is available in a ton of different sizes, is made from a kink-resistant, all-weather polymer that the company claims will work in even sub-zero temperatures, so you can hose your deck off long after gardening season has come and gone. The company also pledges that the material is leak-free and drinking water-safe.

$50 at Amazon

Amazon

Best Soil Moisture Meter

  • Why We Love It: No battery needed, easy to read

Got a black thumb? Meet your new best friend. The easy-to-read meter of this gadget will effectively tell you how moist the ground is, on a scale from one to 10. In other words? It will tell you when it’s time to water your plants already. The probe is 7.7-inches long, and it doesn’t require a battery. You can use it on everything from the spider plant in your living room to the lilies in your garden, and it’s super lightweight, too.

$11 at Amazon

Amazon

Best Bulb Planter

  • Why We love It: Lightweight, ergonomic handle

After planting your nine millionth tulips or daffodil, dropping the bulbs in the soil can start to feel pretty tedious. Enter: The FLORA GUARD bulb planter, a product designed specifically to make the process of digging holes and placing bulbs in the soil a breeze. It has an ergonomic handle, plus, the material is rust-proof. It’s also less than 1 pound, so your arm isn’t gonna fall off from carrying it around.

$13 at Amazon

Amazon

Best Garden Rake

  • Why We Love It: Non-damaging, super lightweight

Rakes aren’t just for your fall leaves. There are tons of different types out there, but if you’re not sure which one to get, go for for one that can easily remove leaves, sticks, twigs and bark without a second thought. This 55-inch option is lightweight (we’re talking 1 pound), which means it won’t be too much of a pain to drag it around with you, while the rigid prongs at the head are super effective for moving sticks, mulch and the like—without causing damage.

$45 at Amazon

Best Seed-Planting Trowel

Why We Love It: lightweight, easy to read measurements, rust-proof

This thinner trowel is ideal for helping you to create holes in the soil and place seeds inside. Its lightweight design features measurements, so it’s easy to see how deep in the ground you’re going, plus, they’re debossed, so they won’t fade away with time. Complete with a lifetime warranty, it’s definitely a keeper.

$6 at Amazon

Amazon

Best Wheelbarrow

  • Why We Love It: 8 different modes, carries up to 200 pounds

If your garden is on the larger side, having a solid wheelbarrow on hand will be a godsend (who wants to lug all those bags of soil around?). And that’s not all: This baby can easily morph into a yield cart, a bag holder, a dolly, an extended dolly, a cylinder carrier, a rock/plant mover or a trailer tote. It can carry up to 200 pounds and is made from top-quality metal. Genius!

From $180 at Amazon

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