I enjoy gardening. There’s something about digging in the dirt and waiting patiently for beauty to erupt that is so satisfying. We’ve lived in our home for 17 years and I’m almost in what I call maintenance mode: pruning, fertilizing, and planting annuals. I want my garden to be gorgeous so it’ll look pretty when I’m sitting back there reading or needlepointing. In the 17 years I’ve spent tending my little plot of heaven I’ve found what I consider 7 essential gardening tools.But before you head out there to dig in the dirt, don't forget these essential garden tools. Click To Tweet
7 Essential Gardening Tools
I put this first because I’m terrible about wearing gloves! Don’t be me with sad nails; wear gloves. I recommend Bamboo Work and Gardening Gloves by Pine Tree Tools.
These gloves are flexible and come pretty close to fitting like a second skin. Part of the reason I never wore gloves was because I felt I couldn’t really do detail work like weeding. But these aren’t clumsy like some. Plus, bamboo is a breathable fabric and your hands won’t sweat in there. Oh, and a bonus? Bamboo grows without pesticides or fertilizers (its like a huge WEED) so that makes me feel like a friend to the earth.
2. My DIY Fertilizer
I was always running out of the blue powder Miracle Grow. So it just seemed to make financial as well as earth friendly sense to make my own fertilizer. The recipe is:
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 tbsp Epsom salts
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp powdered milk
- 1/2 tsp ammonia
Simply mix all ingredients together, except for the powdered milk. Add powdered milk at the time of each feeding, to prevent spoilage. Store labeled and in your garage, or wherever you keep other lawn and garden compounds
To use, simply mix 2 ounces of the liquid concentrate to 1 gallon of water. Then add 2 tablespoons of powdered milk. To use for a wide area use one of those hose attachment feeders provided by Miracle Grow and put 1 cup of concentrate inside and 3 tablespoons of powdered milk. You may want to add a drop or two of food coloring just to be able to tell when the concentrate has run out (the liquid in the hose attachment with be almost clear).
If you don’t want to make your own fertilizer, I highly recommend Plant-tone for basic shrubs and trees. Holly-tone for acid loving plants such as Hydrangeas and Azaleas and Rose-tone for, well, roses, just can’t be beat. This line of fertilizers is my go-to when I can’t make my own. They make my plants gorgeous!
3. Cutco Weeder
So, this sweet neighborhood boy came over to tell me all about Cutco knives and I felt like I should buy something from him. Wow! Was this money well spent! The Cutco Weeder is super sharp (let’s be careful out there) and the handle is super comfy. I head out after a good rain and the weeds just pop right out! And like all Cutco products, it’s guaranteed forever (Cutco.com).
4) My DIY Weed Killer
But sometimes, I break down. Then I turn to an earth-friendly, inexpensive, easy blend:
- ½ gallon of vinegar
- ½ cup of salt
- 2 tablespoons of dish soap (I think Dawn works well)
Spray this directly on weeds when it’s sunny and wait a day or so. They’ll be nice and brown.
5. Floppy Hat
There’s no reason to ruin your complexion ladies. Gardening is not a fashion show.
Not for the plants silly! Well, yes for the plants-but also for YOU! Out there sweating in the sun and working hard, you need to stay hydrated. I get in the zone so much I’ll look up at it’ll be 3 o’clock and I haven’t eaten. So put a protein bar in this category too.
7. A Plan
Not necessarily as in the “spend a fortune for a landscape architect to draw up a plan.” Although that would be lovely, wouldn’t it? I just mean have a direction. Know what needs to be done when. Do a little research. I have these stunted azaleas that I think would flourish in another location but Spring is SO the wrong time to move them. And so I wait. Keep a garden journal or insert important dates in your calendar. (End of March is a good time to apply 10-10-10 fertilizer to many plants, for instance.)
Do you have any essentials you would add to this list? Any products you love that you would be kind enough to share? I LOVE to hear from my readers-and so does everyone else! 🙂
With these 7 essential garden tools you’ll work smarter, not harder!