Here are some of Dan’s favorite gardening tools, with affiliate links that will take you to Amazon.com.
A poacher’s spade is this gardener’s best friend. Sturdy enough to dig a substantial hole for planting, small and light enough to use to remove an old growth dandelion while on your knees. I am annoyed by the general quality of spades and shovels available which almost seem to be manufactured for one-time use. The Clarington Forge has the integrity that I am looking for in my gardening arsenal. Ideal for weeding, harvesting garlic, carrots and parsnips as well as planting bulbs.
This is a variation on the traditional Japanese hori hori that any self respecting gardener would have garnered onto years ago; small enough to keep in the back pocket while in the garden, sturdy enough to root out the largest of perennial weeds and with a serrated knife edge angry enough to cut through sizable roots. Rather than the traditional wooden handle, this has a bright orange plastic grip. Whereas this may offend purists, the time-honored wooden handles are not only short-lived but make for one of the most frequently lost tools in the compost pile. The Zenport is a keeper.
I do not head into the garden on any day without this saw in my pocket and my felco secateurs clipped to my belt. This is one tough and sharp tool that is indispensable to any job shy of chain saw. Fresh blades (replaceable) slice through limbs like butter and make pruning a joy rather than a workout. I use this to cut my grasses back as well in mid winter, after bundling them with bungie cords; no fuss, no muss.
A pair of dependable loppers is not only the tool most needed for major pruning attack work, but presents the greatest challenge in finding a brand and model that speaks quality. Bypass pruners allow for a clean cut without crushing the retained plant tissue. The sharp and replaceable blades on the Felco 30” allow me to made fast work of the majority of the pruning work for branches less than 2” in diameter, returning with my hand pruners to finish the project.