You don’t need many tools to have a good garden, said Yvonne Savio, creator of the Gardening in LA blog and a retired director of the Los Angeles County Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program. She recommends starting with a sturdy hand trowel, a hand fork for scratching fertilizer and mulch around plants and a large garden fork for incorporating organic amendments into the soil. Using a fork instead of a shovel is easier on your back and better for the soil, she said.
You might also invest in a good shovel to dig large holes for trees or shrubs and a pair of sturdy hand clippers. Scout out garden tools at garage and estate sales. It’s wise to buy sturdy, well-made equipment, but high-quality tools don’t have to be the most expensive. For instance, Swiss-made Felco 1-inch hand pruners are the gold standard for garden tools (about $60), but Corona makes excellent 1-inch hand clippers as well for about half the price (about $33).
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