So you’ve decided to roll up your sleeves and try your hand at gardening. Congratulations! Few pastimes are as satisfying and as relaxing as cultivating, planting, and nurturing your own garden. Whether you plan to garden in your yard or on your patio using large pots, there are a few things you’ll need in order to get the most from your new hobby.
In order to turn your garden, or the area you intend to garden, you’re going to need a spade. A spade is a long-handled shovel that comes to a point at the end. If you’re turning a grassy area be sure to discard the grass, shaking loose any soil from the roots as you do.
If you’ve chosen to garden in pots or containers, a spade may not be necessary. However you choose to garden though, you’ll need a good trowel. A trowel is a short-handled spade used to dig holes for planting.
Unless you plan to garden exclusively in containers and/or pots, you’re going to need a good rake. Ideally, you’ll want a regular yard rake to use before you plant and a much narrower one for use afterward.
Whatever your gardening method, you’ll want to have a cultivator rake at hand. This short-handled rake, which is about a foot long and bears three metallic prongs, comes in handy for removing tangles of weeds, among other things.
Many popular garden plants require some sort of support in order to grow to their full potential. Tomato plants, for example, become top-heavy as they fruit and are apt to bend beneath their own weight. Fruit that touches the ground will rot much faster than will free-hanging fruit. Also, it’s hard for a plant in such a position to compete for necessary sunlight.
For tomato plants, use either stakes or tomato cages for the best results. For cucumbers and other plants that vine, use fencing, or trellises of appropriate size.
Before watering your plants, and especially your delicate seedlings, make sure you have a hose-nozzle that allows for an appropriately fine spray. If yours doesn’t, you should forego the hose and water using a watering can. Either way, be sure not to overwater your seedlings.
In my experience, you’re going to want at least two pair of good-quality gardening gloves. One pair can be the old standard-issue backyard work-glove, something to protect your hands while you rake and dig. The second pair should be a more form-fitting glove, one that enables you to prune, plant, and weed without disturbing surrounding plants and seedlings.
Traditional gardening will require spending a lot of time on your knees. Gardening is one of the most rewarding pastimes you can have, but it isn’t always easy on the joints. Knee pads, or a cushion, will save you hours of potential discomfort, so be sure to have one or the other handy as you plant, prune, and weed.
Water Repellent Apron
Getting your hands dirty can be very satisfying; getting your clothes dirty, not so much. Gardening can be a messy affair, as can watering your garden. You’ll want a water repellent apron to protect your clothes and to keep you dry. Many come with pockets for gardening tools, which is an added advantage.
Gardening Hat/Head Protection
No one should garden without a hat or bandana for protection against potentially harmful rays of the sun. Even a short exposure to strong sun can cause sunburn, which can lead to skin cancer. Protecting any exposed skin is always a good idea when gardening or doing anything outdoors.
As the growing seasons pass and you achieve greater and greater success from your gardening, you’ll likely find additional tools and gear you’ll want to have at your disposal. The above-mentioned items will be of great help to you, though, as you begin your gardening journey.