Whether you’re planting in containers, borders, sowing seeds of planting vegetables, a hand trowel is one of the most important garden work tools there is. So we’d always suggest investing in a really reliable garden hand trowel and here are a selection of the best of them.
Think carefully about what sort of garden hand trowel you might need – whether it’s with a long or short handle, for compact soil, for a rockery or container. There are many different shapes and sizes for all your needs.
If you find the right hand trowel, then you’re much more likely to make spring bulb planting easier, as well as digging, sowing and planting in general.
Mira hand trowel
This is the Mira Trowel, handmade in the EU by artisan coppersmiths for PKS Bronze. The head of this hand trowel is solid bronze (copper with tin) and the wood is sustainably-sourced European hardwoods. There’s no rusting, no sharp edges and these hand trowels are incredibly hardwearing. These excellent hand trowels come with a lifetime guarantee and are not meant to only last for a year.
As a bonus, the metal is also a deterrent to slugs and snails and copper is generally very good for soil, so when you use your trowel you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you’re also helping the garden.
£33, Implementations, implementations.co.uk
Long handled trowel
This stainless Steel Border Hand Trowel is hand crafted and of traditional quality and is an ideal hand trowel for raised beds and backs of borders. At 60cm it should be very helpful to anyone who wants to avoid bending down too much, but also offers a way of getting to tricky-to-reach corners.
You can use this hand trowel for anything from planting seedlings and bulbs to bedding plants. The wooden trowel handle is 32 cm in total.
£9.99, Kent & Stowe
Buy here from longacres.co.uk
Rockery hand trowel
Looking for a specific trowel for a specific job? If you’re planning a rockery then you will need a rockery hand trowel. Thin and lean, perfect for getting into cracks and crevices, this Bulldog rockery hand trowel is ideal.
This trowel has a carbon steel blade and a heavy duty tang and the handle is made from German and American FSC ash. The handle itself is 6 inches, the blade 1.25 inches and the width of the blade is also good for patios and paths. Need some help on your rock garden? Check out our feature on how to build and plant a rock garden.
A hand trowel that measures the depth
An ideal hand trowel transplanter for working among densely-planted borders. The face of the trowel is marked with depth in inches, which is really very helpful when planting bulbs.
It’s stainless steel and resistant to rust and the tang is designed ergonomically, so it is the perfect angle for working with and is made from a different steel composition to maximise on strength. This hand trowel is also endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society and comes with a lifetime guarantee. The handle is 100% FSC certified wood and the overall length is 30cm.
£11.99, currently sold out on Burgon & Ball, burgonandball.co.uk, but available also from Jacksons Nursery
Compact soil hand trowel
This forged hand trowel from Niwaki is hand forged and 6 inches of carbon steel. The head is slightly scooped and is ideal for weeding, burrowing, scooping and the sharpened blade cuts easily through compacted soil.
There’s a chunky oak handle has a robust feel and is rounded at the end, for ease of use. The head is 160mm long and 65 mm wide with the total length of this hand trowel being 370mm.
£79, currently not available from Niwaki, niwaki.com, but also available from scpltd.com
Traditional hand trowel
A stainless steel hand trowel from Pedigree Garden Tools which will work for bedding plants and vegetable planting too. The blades are rust resistant and easy to keep clean and the edges are bevelled for sharpness.
This trowel also comes with a leather hanging loop for easy storage. It has a simple but efficient design with not too many frills which results in a reliable trowel for many of your garden jobs.
£10.50, Pedigree Garden Tools, pedigreegarden.co.uk
A long hand trowel with a legendary design
This long hand trowel is made by Sneeboer & Zn and comes highly recommended by the team at Great Dixter. In fact, the trowel itself was designed according to the specifications of Christopher Lloyd and was one of his favourite planting tools. A long trowel, which is useful for planting into tight spaces and a long blade gives extra depth and extra reach. The full length of the trowel is 34 cm and the handle is made from ash. The small blade enables it to cut through even the most heavy clay soil.
Money from each sale through Sneeboer & Zn goes towards Great Dixter.
The Great Dixter Trowel, £37.00
Perfect hand trowel for planting holes
This Maubach Trowel with cherry wood handle was specifically made for George Arends, the founder of the Arends Nursery, first set up in 1888 in the German town of Wuppertal-Ronsdorf.
It has a wide, flat, tapered blade which makes digging planting holes easier and makes the perfect shaped hole for planting. It’s also difficult to hurt oneself while using the trowel, as the flat top means a hand slip will miss it. The head is 15.5cm long and 12 cm wide.
€47.25, Sneeboer, sneeboer.com
A hand trowel for weeds
The head is 6.3 inches and the width is 2.4inches. In total the hand trowel is 13.4inches.
£29.54, DeWit, available to buy from Amazon.
Prices correct on publication.