Gardening is a hobby that you can spend a lifetime learning about. Seasons change, seeds fail or thrive, and just when you think you know it all, you realize how much there still is to learn. Direct Energy’s Gardening Series is a follow-along guide to embrace the beauty and challenges involved in being a gardener. As a craft that requires patience, creativity, and endurance, gardening can be enjoyed by those of all ages, and is one of the most satisfying ways to spend an early morning or late afternoon. Follow along as we show you how to begin, which herbs grow the best, and other tips on how to plant a garden that will flourish under your care.

Gardening can be an arduous task without the proper tools. Nothing can replace your hands, time, and determination. However, a few tools can really speed up a long day of work in your garden.

This basic checklist for the beginner gardener shows you a few essentials to add to your garden shed. They are also tools that don’t require electricity, so there is no need for an electric outlet or extension cord to fuss with.

1. Gardening Gloves

Whether you prefer something that is coated with rubber, gloves made of leather, or simple cotton ones, gardening gloves are essential tool to have.

They protect your hands from the minerals in the soil that can cause irritation to your skin, and from critters that might not expect their homes to be disrupted.

They also protect your hands from thorns and other sticks that might get in our way when we prune, plant, and weed.

2. Secateurs

One of the most essential gardening tools to have are hand secateurs. They are a must-have for harvesting flowers, pruning bushes, picking herbs, and other maintenance for the garden.

They’re a tool you’ll use almost every time you step into the garden, especially if you bring some of it inside such as herbs for dinner, or cut flowers for a centerpiece.

You can purchase some that are built for those with arthritic or weak hands. These types help take the pressure off with their built in ratchet.

You can also find secateurs with long handles that aid in cutting back branches, lanky vines, and unwanted hanging limbs.

3. Hand Trowel

The small garden hand trowel is a great tool to have for yourself and your kids if you bring them outside to garden with you.

It’s perfect for digging small holes to plant seedlings, and also for dislodging weeds from the soil.

For the kiddos, it’s ideal for digging in the dirt where a full-sized shovel may be too dangerous. You can take the trowel to the beach, too, for digging deep and building your sandcastles and holes.

4. Wheelbarrow

Wheelbarrows are a must-have gardening tool because they save so much time and effort in the garden. When pruning, they’re ideal for loading up the green waste and carting it to the bin. If you have a bulk delivery of soil or mulch, then loading it up to wheel to a particular area of the garden will save you hours of moving it otherwise in bags or buckets.

5. Shovel

Whether you’re digging a new garden bed, turning over the soil to add more compost or hay, or digging a deep hole for a tree, a full-size shovel is an absolute must.

They’ll also help you dig holes if you’re setting poles for a fence or gate. It is an absolute essential in the garden!

6. Rake

Tidiness can sometimes make the difference between a neat garden and one that looks disheveled and unkempt.

Keep a rake on hand to rake fallen leaves as well as pruned branches and leaves. It's a great and safe tool to put into the hands of your child, too, to get their help in the garden.

7. Hand Saw

A hand saw is great to have on hand for pruning limbs that are too large for the secateurs. You can really tackle some large-scale pruning without having to use a chainsaw.

8. Garden Pitchfork

Pitchforks are ideal for tilling the soil and preparing it for your garden beds prior to planting. The pitchfork aerates the soil and makes turning compost or organic materials like hay easier.

They’re also great to use when digging up a large tree trunk, or some other plant that has grown out of control and needs to be removed from the roots.

Make gardening a cinch this spring and keep these essentials in your garden. Check out more gardening and home improvement tips!