Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.
One handy tidbit many beginning gardeners don’t always know: You don’t need a ton of garden supplies to get started, but you do need the right ones for the tasks at hand. Due to my carpool commute to and from work each day, I’ve found myself rushing around gathering my tools and trying to head out to the garden only to end up with 30 minutes of sunlight left before I’m gardening by the LED beams of my headlamp. (Disclaimer: My main garden isn’t at my house, so this makes for a special coordination kink.)
To combat my time-strained schedule, give my garden its due amount of love and attention, and still feel some gardening Zen in the process, I’ve gathered together a kit of garden tools that makes the transition from working to weeding much smoother. Many of these items are easy enough to toss into my bike bags so I can pedal over to do some garden work on the weekends, too (see photo). You may notice a hose is not on the gardening tools list – instead, drip hose is a great way to save water and let you give your plants the moisture you need while you complete other tasks. Plus, you won’t have to keep a hose in your trunk!
On-the-Go Garden Supplies List
1. Garden Shoes. I keep a pair of shoes in the trunk of my car that I can easily slip on after work. I’ve found that a dedicated pair, such as my new favorite Garden Bogs all-weather clogs, saves me time and saves my house and car from muddy messes — I just slip them off when I'm done and put my work shoes back on to drive the rest of the way home.
2. Hand Cultivator/Hoe. While I can’t build new beds or weed large patches, I can still get at the roots of noxious weeds and clean between plants in my permanent beds by keeping a quality hand cultivator in my car. I like to wield my Cobrahead hand cultivator for these sorts of gardening jobs.
3. Concentrated Liquid Fertilizer and Watering Can. When my plants need extra oomph, I like to give them an organic liquid fertilizer boost, either a concentrated fish emulsion or some homemade worm tea. I dilute the concentrate in the watering can, then dispense at will. I’ve yet to keep a jar of urine in the trunk, but I have given it thought (check out this article about free, homemade liquid fertilizers for more options).
4. Garden Knife or Shears. Nothing beats grabbing some salad greens on the way home to whip up into a garden-fresh dinner. I keep my favorite garden knife in the car, but a pair of shears would work as well. You don’t want to be stuck without a way to harvest — or later eat — the fruits of your hard garden labors.
5. Produce Bags. Last but not least, you need a way to get all your tasty harvests to your kitchen — piling loose-leaf lettuce on your passenger seat is less than ideal, believe me. I prefer these reusable produce bags because they are washable, plastic-free and I’ve yet to wear one out.
Do you have any other items you use as your go-to garden supplies? Leave suggestions in the comments field below.
Photo By Juliana Tran