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Union County Extension
Master Gardeners’ Top Tools In no particular order

Felco #2 pruners I’ve had these pruners for decades. They are tough, easy to handle and easy to keep sharp with this little tool.


AC Leonard garden knife: Truly, if I could only pick one tool this would be the one. It breaks up clay soil for planting, helps with weeding by scraping top weeds and digging out tap root weeds. It’s stainless steel so if it was ever forgotten outside it wouldn’t be a problem. Kristyna Culp

Scuffle hoe a.k.a. loop hoe, or stirrup hoe: I get great satisfaction running this back and forth over weeds!  It cuts them right off.  Selecting one that is the right length for you is helpful.  I’m tall, so I like the longer ones. Linda Stedje-Larson

Folding pruning saw: These are handy to keep near you so you can quickly prune small diameter branches that you suddenly notice need to go. Linda Stedje-Larson

Stainless steel serrated garden trowel.  I could not garden without it.  The serrated edge can be used to quickly cut off stems and it helps get into hard soils. Linda Stedje-Larson



Fork hoe/hoe combos here and here are similar to a mattock. It is the garden tool is I use the most. It is used to loosen up the soil, plant, weed, and chop through tough roots. In California, it is known by some gardeners as a Hmong Hoe. Although I have never found it to named that on any web site. I have been told that it is a mainstay of the Hmong people of China and they use it extensively in their farming. Good ones are hard to find. Choose one that has a good weight, feels strong and not too light or they will bend. The tool from Gardeners edge is more like the one I have. Kathy Grunden



Gas trimmer: I love this hedge trimmer and have had it several years. I use it multiple times throughout the year to prune bushes, shrubs, brush and most recently tons of liriope. It is light weight, gas, dual sided 22 inch blade, it starts easily, is sharp and cuts easily. The job is done in no time. Kathy Grunden



Flexible metal rake. These rakes are for sale in many places so no need for a weblink. I think a leaf rake should be have metal tines. I find the plastic ones are too rigid and not flexible enough to get around obstacles easily. I find using plastic ones are too much work. Kathy Grunden


Invest money in a good sturdy shovel. Spending money wise here will reward you with a shovel that will last years, or even your lifetime. Pam Morgan

I use a hand truck for very large or hard to manage rocks or hay too big and heavy for me to carry. It allows me to slide the item on it, tilt it back and move it to the desired location easily. Lots to choose from. Pam Morgan


A wheel barrow is a must for toting loads of bags, rocks, mulch, etc. One wheel versions are good for getting to smaller spaces but two wheeled versions are more stable and can handle heavier loads. Lots to choose from. Pam Morgan


A pair of gardening scissors for me is a must alongside of my clippers. This is useful to have on hand when cutting open bags, or cutting something from the garden that needs a more dainty cut than clippers. Pam Morgan

I keep Velcro twine inside my vest is a must for staking up veggies, or other ornamentals in the garden. Pam Morgan

Kneepads! The older I get the more I need them. Definitely a personal choice for fit and style. Pam Morgan

Gardening clothes (Love Duluth Trading) that wick moisture away, allow for easy movement, have lots of pockets and are made from tough material. Pam Morgan

Last on my list is a great pair of MG gloves!! Pam Morgan

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