Garden Tools

How to Build a Garden Tool Kit on a Budget

Keep your shed tidy and your wallet full with these five strategies to build a garden tool kit on a budget

It’s tempting to roam the aisles of a big box home and garden store and scoop up everything you could possibly need to build a garden tool kit. The smell of fertilizer and peat moss wafting in the air. The polished concrete floors, helping your shopping cart glide like butter to the checkout. It’s only when you pull out your credit card to pay that you realize you’ve just spent a mortgage payment outfitting your tool shed. 

My advice when building a garden tool kit? Keep it simple! Real gardeners don’t use all those doodads and gadgets you can find lining the gardening aisles. I’ve put together five strategies to help you build a garden tool kit on a budget.

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Start small

Ma’am… Sir… Person… I’m going to need you to go ahead and remove the 105-piece gardening tool set from your online shopping cart. My rule of thumb when it comes to kits and sets in general: if it comes with more than 10 items, you probably won’t use all of them. Some garden sets are greatYou can also buy individual pieces. My must-haves for a simple garden tool kit are gloves, pruning shears, hand trowel, spade, garden fork, rake, and hoe.

Check the shed/garage

My grandfather had this horrible affliction where, when he couldn’t find a tool in the house, he’d just go out and buy another one. We found six hammers when cleaning out my grandparents’ house. I mention this because there’s a decent chance you may already have a garden tool or two laying around the basement, garage, or shed. It’s worth the cobwebs!

Don’t buy it until you need it

Once you have your basics, just start growing. If there’s another tool or gadget that you absolutely need for your garden tool kit, buy it when you’re working on that project. That’s half the fun, in my opinion.

Rent the big stuff

Who doesn’t love a power tool? Before splurging on a big gardening tool or power tool, see if your home and garden store will rent them out. I also like to do this to learn how to use certain tools before I commit to purchasing one. It’s a great way to test out different models and brands.

Borrow from your neighbor

Growing up, we shared a lawnmower with our next-door neighbors. It was great because it took up less space, my parents chipped in for the gas and maintenance, and the kids took over the mowing chores for the elderly neighbors. Need a post hole digger so you can put up a section of fencing? Check with your neighbor or write a post on your community’s social media group. Folks love lending a hand and it’s a great way to meet people in your neighborhood. Save money AND you don’t have to find a place in the garage for a new post hole digger that you won’t use for another 15 years.

What’s in your garden tool kit? How have you saved money in building a garden tool kit on a budget? Share your tips and ideas in the comments!

Discover 7 top tips for growing, harvesting, and enjoying tomatoes from your home garden—when you access the FREE guide The Best Way to Grow Tomatoes, right now!

By Amanda MacArthur

Amanda MacArthur is Senior Editor & Producer for Food Gardening Network, where she is responsible for generating all Daily content and managing distribution across all web, email, and social media platforms. In her producer role, she is responsible for planning, editing, and deploying all video content for collections, magazine issues, and daily tips. Amanda manages a large food and herb garden at her home in western Massachusetts. As a best-selling cookbook author, Amanda cooks using ingredients from her outdoor gardens in the summer and from her indoor hydroponic garden in the winter.

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