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Essential Tools for the High Desert Gardener

Pink Cactus Flower

My Garden Pink Cactus Flower

Growing a garden in the high desert requires owning a few necessary tools. Consider these tasks when choosing essentials for a new garden:

  • pulling weeds
  • planting flowers, vegetables, shrubs and trees
  • raking leaves
  • watering
  • composting

Gardeners have favorite tools they can’t live without. My list of favorites is based on comfort and gardening in the high desert.

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You can never have too many pairs of garden gloves. When glove shopping, don’t let the pretty ones deceive you. Cheap ones are priced low for a reason. The least water and dirt will cause quick wear and tear on them.

Cheap Gloves

$2-$3 Gloves

Pretty and pink means little when purchasing the best gloves. However, go ahead and get those pretty ones you have your eyes on if it means you need a little comfort to make you feel good.

Choose pretty pink (or whatever your favorite color is) and invest in another pair of durable gloves as well. You’ll know you didn’t choose the most durable ones when you get stuck with desert prickly foxtails.

Two brands of gloves that have held up for awhile for me or that I like are Digz and Mud. has a set of pretty Digz women’s garden gloves
and are bright colors if you are looking for pretty ones.

Even the Digz gloves get worn out like mine did with holes in the finger tips. My Digz gloves and the pretty pink ones gave out, so I purchased another pair that are blue and made by Mud. Just the name “Mud” made me think they might hold up better with water and dirt. We’ll see.

Digz Garden Gloves

Women’s Digz Garden Gloves

Garden gloves made by Mud

My Mud Gloves










Digging in the dirt, planting, watering or strolling through the garden to check on the new sprouts of green popping up will make you lose your sense of time. It’s a refreshing like you can’t imagine. So grab your hat before walking out the door because when you walk into your garden world, you’ll forget all about protecting your skin basking in the sun.

Colors of the garden inspire. Colorful hats do, too. Pick up a new summer hat for your mornings and evenings in the garden.

Hula Hoe

I haven’t met anyone who loves weeding – unless it’s to get your exercise quota in for a day. The kind I use is the inexpensive basic hula hoe, but I’ve seen some that cost more and that are bigger. It seems like to me the bigger one, though the cost is more, might make a weeding job a tad bit easier. That’s a thought for starting my next gardening tool list.


Trowels are handy when planting flowers, herbs and vegetables, whether in the ground or containers. Traditional trowels with long, narrow blades work well for digging and planting. I’ve used the traditional type for scooping out soil from a bag to transport to pots. Every time I spill the soil. So a wide deep-dish blade works better for transplanting soil. Shop online or at your local hardware store to choose the best for your needs. Choose your favorite, the traditional, ergonomic or a type of garden trowel that fits all of your needs.


When the summer season ends, it’s a good idea to own a rake. A friend visited my desert place and commented, “I’ve never seen a rake like that.”

Thinking she was referring to my mini rake (a very handy little tool to have) that helps when scooping a pile of leaves, I turned to see what she was pointing at. She was talking about my big sweep rake. It made me curious about types of rakes. I did an online research and discovered that there are all kinds of rakes I wasn’t even aware of.


Working in the garden, especially when weeding with the hula hoe, can cause many foxtails to stick through flimsy shoes. A good pair of durable garden clog shoes is worth keeping around.


A kinking hose when watering is the most aggravating thing about gardening – with the exception of critters eating from the garden. The kinking problem, however, can be easily solved by purchasing a pocket hose like the one below.

You may can tell that my favorite garden item is gloves. However, all of these items are important for all gardeners.

Got a favorite garden tool you can’t do without? I’d like to hear about it. Tell me in the comment section on this page.

Happy Gardening!

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