What you need to start gardening
Spending time gardening outdoors can not only relieve stress, it also lets us connect to the natural world in a more personal way. Planning and starting a garden, whether it’s a vegetable, herb or flower garden, can feel like a daunting task. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be.
Check out this comprehensive list of the basic tools and accessories you’ll need to create a healthy fruitful garden, so you can get outside to enjoy the fresh air and the feeling of your hands in the soil.
What type of garden should I plant?
Depending on the climate in your area, the types of plants you can choose for your garden will vary. Whether large or small, vegetable and herb gardens are great for those looking to grow their own produce. While not always as decorative as flower gardens, there’s nothing like cooking a meal from vegetables grown in your own backyard.
On the other hand, flower gardens can add a beautiful accent to a yard or neighborhood, while still providing the same benefits of working outdoors.
Types of garden tools
Handheld tools like trowels and weeders are smaller and designed for precision when working in your garden. Long-handled tools like shovels and rakes are essential for planting and maintaining your garden.
You may also consider accessories like gloves and sun hats, so you can stay safe and comfortable while working outside. With a few basic tools, you can start your next gardening project in no time.
Your hand trowel might be one of the most useful items when it comes to planting and weeding. Being one of the most-used gardening tools, it’s important for your trowel to have a sturdy handle and ergonomic grip. There are plenty of affordable beginner options, and you can even find multi-tool sets containing different styles of trowels and hand rakes.
Pruning shears are important for keeping a garden from becoming overgrown. Similar to scissors, pruning shears can be used to trim back dead branches, flowers or stems, which actually helps promote new growth. Options like Mockins Bypass Pruning Shears combine value and reliability.
Keeping weeds out of your garden might seem like a never-ending process, which is why a hand weeder is a handy tool for ensuring all remnants of the weed have been removed to prevent regrowth. Ideally, a weeder should be lightweight, yet strong enough to pull up even large weeds by the roots.
A hand trowel may be great for planting flowers and other small plants, but sometimes a sturdy shovel is needed in order to dig the right size hole. The True Temper shovel is a dependable option that makes it easy to plant, transplant or cut through tough roots. Compared to flat shovels, shovels with rounded heads are better for digging through hard soil.
Many beginner gardeners can get by with just a pointed shovel, though some people may want to invest in a spade. Spades like Spear Head Spade have shorter handles than shovels and are designed for digging deeper potting holes, edging and reshaping.
The two main types of garden rakes are leaf rakes and bow rakes. Leaf rakes tend to have fan-shaped heads and longer, narrower tines or prongs, which are great for clearing leaves and other yard debris from your garden. Some leaf rakes are adjustable so you can clear out tight spaces in your garden. Bow rakes have shorter and thicker tines and are primarily used for spreading and leveling soil, mulch and gravel.
When cultivating gardens for spring planting or for tough weed removal, a garden hoe will save you time and energy. The Nisaku Stainless Steel Garden Hoe has a sharp triangular blade that can cut through the hardest packed earth.
Not all beginner gardeners require loppers, which are essentially stronger long-handled pruning shears, but they do come in handy. For gardens containing larger bushes and shrubs or low overhanging branches, loppers are a convenient option to access those hard-to-reach areas.
Having access to water is necessary to keep your garden thriving during hot summer months, especially during droughts. Garden hoses come in a variety of different lengths, diameters and materials, though beginner gardeners can benefit from affordable models like GrowGreen Garden Hose, which features an included adjustable spray nozzle.
Aside from keeping you clean, gardening gloves help protect against annoying pokes, scratches, stings, splinters and more. When handling different plants or sharp materials like mulch and wood chips, gloves can make for a more pleasant and enjoyable experience.
Gardening is an activity that usually involves prolonged sun exposure. In order to protect your skin from harmful rays, a UV sun hat is a smart choice. Hats like the Columbia Bora Bora Booney wick away sweat, feature a full brim and are made from material that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
If you don’t want to damage your knees while tending to your garden, a cushioned foam knee pad is a lightweight and easily transportable accessory. Not only is it more comfortable than kneeling directly on the ground, knee pads also keep your legs dry if the ground is damp.
For those with smaller gardens or those who might not have access to a hose, watering cans are a great way to provide your plants with the hydration they need. Some models, like the Gardman Galvanized Watering Can not only get the job done, but also add a nice aesthetic appeal to your garden.
Matthew Young is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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