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Top Tools for Planting

Deciding on the right plants to fill any landscape is only the start; here are the essential tools needed for landscaping as well.

March 29, 2024

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Being properly prepared for any nursery installation means having the right supplies. This consists not only of what you’ll be planting in the ground, but the necessary tools to get the job done right as well.

The top tools for planting should always be in your toolbox. Make sure you’ve got these in your inventory for a smooth and efficient nursery install every time.

Preparing for a Nursery Installation 

Getting ready for landscaping projects requires completion of certain steps. First, you meet with the client and decide what plants will look best and thrive in the space. You calculate what you’ll need for the job, put it in an order and schedule the planting.

To find the best premium nursery plants and products, the inventory at SiteOne’s Portfolio Nursery Collection gives you access to a curated line of colorful options, fitting for any project. You can even find monthly, regional, premium plant specials with the Portfolio Fresh Picks program. Our Portfolio Collection of nursery products and plants is only available at SiteOne.

Once the plant order is in, you’ll have to think about your crew. Do you have enough people for the install? 

After securing your crew, the next questions is whether you have the right equipment for the job. You may have to replace items you already own that have seen better days. You may be missing something essential. Taking time to take stock and ensure you have the top nursery tools is just as necessary to your preparation as the landscape design itself.

Common Tools for Nursery Installations

From personal protective equipment to the well-known tools of the trade, these items belong in every contractor’s toolbox.

Protective Gear

Your team should never step onto a job site without the right protection. Hands and eyes are most at risk while planting so make sure you have enough gloves and protective eyewear for your entire crew. Remind them before a job starts to wear shoes that are not only comfortable to be standing in all day, but also protect their toes should something fall onto their feet. 

Tools for Starting the Job

Most nursery installations begin with preparing the ground for the plants. A shovel and wheelbarrow are you two first essential tools. The shovel gets the soil loose for the plants and the wheelbarrow allows you to shuttle soil, and the plants themselves, around easily. Make sure you select a shovel that can take heavy use. You want to ensure the piece that connects the blade to the shaft is strong.

A trowel or spade are also essential at this stage of the project. They’re perfect for planting smaller plants, weeding between existing flowers and adding a new layer of potting soil in raised beds or small vegetable gardens. Look for ones with a round or pointed blade.

A power auger may also be a worthwhile tool to have for smaller planting jobs. Perfect for annuals, bulbs and even small shrubs, this tool can save you a lot of time when many smaller holes are necessary to get the job done.

If you’re dealing with clay in the soil or packed dirt, having a tiller can help make it easier to get a better planting surface in no time.

Tools for Planting

With the ground prepped and ready for the actual planting to take place, make sure you’ve got the right tools at the ready. You’ll want a few different lengths of garden hose for the first heavy watering as well as the a set of tools to help trim up the plants to look their best. Pruning shears are perfect for shaping up a plant to encourage growth or flowering, but it’s also a necessary tool for trimming and removing dead plant material delicately.
For taller hedges and trees, or plants that are in hard-to-reach areas, a lopper gives you that extra reach pruning shears do not. You may also want to consider having a pole saw for limbing up trees without having to climb them.

To reshape and trim back existing hedges, keep a hedge trimmer handy.

Having a root stimulator on hand is also a good idea. Although this doesn’t help with the act of planting, it gives newly planted greenery more stress tolerance while also stimulating root growth. It’s good for trees, shrubs and flowering plants. It also helps reduce transplant shock and keeps plants at their greenest.

Trees may also benefit from a tree stake kit. This adjustable tool helps anchor trees, giving them time to take root.

Tools for Lawn Care

Putting the final touches on a landscaping project also means tending to the lawn itself. Depending on how much you’ve planted, it could be in need of some extra TLC. Make sure you have at least two rakes, one for leaves and one for the garden, a tamper, lawnmower, string trimmer and leaf blower to finish out the nursery installation cleanly.

Even as you’re gathering all the essential tools for lawn care, don’t forget about one of the most important finishing touches landscapes need — mulch. Not a tool in the traditional sense, mulch is a definite ally when it comes to maintenance and should always be put down after newly planting items.

Gas vs. Electric Landscaping Tools

Many landscaping tools don’t require an outside power source to function, but for those that do, you’ll have to decide whether gas or electric is right for you. Gas mowers, edgers and trimmers can be noisy, but they’re good for larger jobs and will run as long as you have gas cans at the ready. Electric tools are quieter and can function on a single battery system. They’ll only last as long as the battery charge does, so might be better for smaller jobs.

Keeping an Inventory

No matter what tools you need for landscaping, keeping track of what you bring onto a job site is important. Leaving anything behind can mean having to pay to replace it. Oftentimes, it’s smaller items like pruning shears or a trowel, but anything left behind means a messy job site and means you either have to go back for the items or buy them again.

Keeping your truck organized will help keep you aware of what’s missing as you pack up, but don’t forget to do a full sweep of each job site to ensure you’ve collected all your tools before leaving.

Meet the needs of any nursery job

Whether you’re replacing tools or adding more to your inventory, SiteOne can help ensure you have what you need to get the job done. Visit a local branch or shop for access to a wide variety of landscaping tools. 

Downloading our mobile app saves you time and labor with access to personalized nursery pricing and local inventory as well when you’re ready to order plants. All together, we’ve got everything you need to be fully prepared for your next nursery installation.

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