It's easy for someone who's new to gardening to feel a bit overwhelmed when looking at the different tools and various items available for sale. With some of the tools, it's hard to determine what exactly they're meant to do, as they resemble medieval torture devices. Others seem pretty easy to understand, but you may not understand the exact use. Think of the dozens of sizes of gardening tools that resemble scissors. Is just one size good enough to handle all jobs? Let's learn about some of the most common (and not so common) gardening tools to get you more confident when it comes time to outfit your garden shed.

Aeration Sandals

You may have seen these in the store and wondered their purpose. They look like green cleats that attach to your shoes. The purpose of this is to aerate your lawn, and these can also be used in your garden beds. The spikes help to loosen up any soil that is compacted into a hard mass.

Stirrup Hoe

The stirrup hoe is a strangely shaped garden tool that can look like a stirrup on a saddle. This is a useful tool when it comes to weeding. The stirrup-shaped portion of the tool can be dug into the surface and will cut off weeds when used in a push-and-pull motion.

Triangular Hoe

A triangular hoe offers the perfect way to create furrows in your garden for planting seeds. The triangular-shaped head is the ideal shape for pulling soil up in an excellently shaped trench for planting. Get your seeds in the soil, and the walls of the trench can fold back down on itself.

Manual Lawn Edger

man edging lawn and garden bed

This crescent-shaped tool looks like it may have no purpose, but it’s just right for removing the grass that has grown over your driveway, street, or curb. You push it down where you want to edge the lawn, and it cuts through the overgrown turf in a neat line. This takes time and energy in comparison to modern edgers, but you get a great workout along with a tidy lawn.

Hand Rake

A hand rake is another useful tool that can be helpful with weeds and other tasks. It looks like a miniaturized leaf rake. This tool can be good for weeding, helping to aerate the soil of where you're planting, and moving around dirt in your garden beds.

Bulb Planter

This tool looks unusual, but the title offers a nice clue. This round-shaped tool with a handle gets pushed into the ground to remove the dirt. You then can plant a bulb in said hole and replace the dirt. The handle is either short or long depending on your preferences. The nicer long handled bulb planters often offer a place to plant your foot to get some power behind pushing it into the ground. As a side note, it can be a good tool for getting a transplant hole started or creating a hole for other purposes.

Shears, Clippers, Pruners, and Nips

You've probably noticed a huge array of shears, clippers, pruners, and nips available at your garden store. These typically come in a variety of sizes because each size has its own purpose. You can find shears, clippers, pruners, and nips that work like scissors and some that have more of a pinching motion in them. Smaller sizes are usually used for things that are more delicate, such as harvesting tomatoes or pruning thin-stemmed plants. The largest sizes are typically for dealing with hedges and trees. One size may fit all depending on what you're growing in your garden, but you could come into some issues. For instance, you don't want to try to cut something delicate with a larger sized clipper as it could damage the plant, while trying to cut something more sturdy with a smaller clipper will probably just dull the blades rather than accomplishing what you want to accomplish.

Shovels, Spades, and Trowels

Shovels often have round points on them and are perfect for digging holes, trenches, and more in your garden. Spades often have a flat end and work great for removing a top layer of grass, cleaning up edging around driveways, and doing other similar types of work. Trowels are the perfect tool for a gardener. They can be used for weeding, planting, digging, moving soil, and more. Some trowels are marked with a scale that can help when needing to dig to a particular depth, such as when planting seeds. There are both wide and narrow trowels. Narrow trowels do well for bulbs, and the wider ones for digging.

Well, there you have it. Here's the proper usage of some of those common gardening tools that may have been making you question your new hobby. Your friends and family won't consider you a budding torture enthusiast when you can tell them the exact use of those aeration sandals or your stirrup hoe. Plus, your garden will flourish when you have the right tools for the job.