When my husband and I bought our first house, it came with a garden smack dab in the middle of the backyard. It was basically a mound of dirt with some railroad ties around it, but I was intrigued by the challenge it presented. Could I actually grow some of my own food? And what should I add to my must-have garden tools list?
That first summer, I did my best at being a successful gardener. I bought the seeds and starter plants and added fertilizer to the soil before planting. Then I sat back and waited for the magic to happen. And I quickly realized I had made some mistakes – some big mistakes.
I spent a few years trying different things and finally found some products that made it much easier. I also started using a raised bed garden. (My husband built me one but there are lots of elevated garden bed kits that make it super easy to create your own.) This solved the rabbit and deer issues we had been having and made it easier to weed.
Best Choice Products Raised Vegetable Garden Bed Elevated Planter Kit Grow Gardening VegetablesGiantex 24Keter Urban Bloomer 22.4 Gallon Resin Plastic Wood Look Elevated Raised Patio Garden Flower Planter Bed, GraphiteVegTrug 1.8 Meter Raised Bed
Want to build your own raised garden bed? Here’s how I did it!
Start your planting earlier.
A greenhouse makes starting seeds and plants much easier, especially for those of us who live in colder climates. A beginning gardener can definitely get by with a smaller, portable greenhouse. Once plants have become established and the danger of frost has passed, plants can be transplanted into your garden and the greenhouse stored away.
Why buy what you can make?
The first time you purchase compost, you will begin to look at all of the food scraps you throw away every day in a new light. It seems like a huge waste to actually buy compost when it is so easy to “make” your own by recycling the leftover foods like vegetable peelings and egg shells that you usually throw away. In order to make composting quick and easy, I use a compost pail to collect scraps in the kitchen and then empty it every few days into a larger compost bin out by my garden.
Make weeding easier!
The hula hoe is one tool I wish I had discovered earlier! It makes weeding a breeze with its long handle. You can use the flat blade which swivels back and forth to slice weed roots and rid your garden of them for good. It’s narrow enough to fit where many other tools won’t. The blade is easily replaceable and pops on and off without a struggle.
The right tools make all the difference.
A good hand trowel is a must have for any gardener. Whether you are using it to dig a small hole to drop your seeds into or gently transplanting a seedling, look for a trowel with a comfortable grip and rust resistant metal.
A good pair of pruning shears makes gardening much easier. Believe it or not, you will get to the point where you will actually need to trim some of your plants back a bit. (Hard to believe when the tiny shoots are first poking through.) Sharp pruning shears will not only make the job easier, but they will do less damage to the plant and help it stay healthier.
Sometimes it seems like every other plant in the yard gets jealous of all the attention you are giving your garden and attempts to grow there as well. I couldn’t believe how fast the grass in my lawn started creeping into the garden around the edges! A good border spade will make edging a breeze and help your garden stay sharp looking.
One of my favorite gardening tools is a simple watering timer that ensures my plants get their daily dose of water every day even if I get distracted or am travelling. Skipping the important step of watering your plants is the most common way to derail your entire garden. By setting a timer, you can make sure this important step is never missed with only a small amount of effort on your part.
Whether you are an experienced gardener or one just starting out, having the right tools makes the process easier, more enjoyable and much more productive. With this must-have garden tools list, soon you will have more vegetables than you can eat!