Are you starting a garden this spring? There’s no time like the present to start growing your own food right in your own backyard. There are some basic things you will need in order to start a vegetable garden. Besides things like dirt and seeds, there are also some essential beginner gardening tools that will make your life so much easier. While not costly they add convenience to the process.
Brown Thumb to Homegrown Goodies
Growing up I was notorious for my terrible cooking and my brown thumb. I had to keep a plant alive for a class in highschool, so I immediately ran it home to my mom. She kept it alive and I got an A. It wasn’t a lack of experience. My mom and Mama both have beautiful flowers and bountiful gardens. As a kid I would help them plant, water, and pick. As a teenager, I would tend to the garden when my mom wasn’t home.
Something about doing it all by myself was different though. I started some seeds and they died. The night custodian gave me an aloe plant, which died within three months. We bought a lavender plant to put on the porch. Dead. Despite my track record, my husband agreed to build me a raised bed in the backyard. I was determined to make it work this time around, so I did what any 25 year old would do and got to Pinterest.
I measured out my bed and divided it into squares. Then I drew it out on paper labeling each box with a plant. Because I am a type A person, I also colored each box according to how many plants would go in a square foot. It looked pretty on paper, but I still hadn’t successfully grown anything yet.
My husband and I went to several stores and nurseries to get the exact number and types of plants I needed to make my paper garden come to life. After that it was up to me. I wound up with a bounty. We had more tomatoes and herbs than I knew what to do with. Success!
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Essential Beginner Gardening Hand Tools
When it comes to planting a garden you will need to dig, weed, water, and fertilize plants. With a few tools and your hands you will have no trouble getting a garden started this year.
Small handheld shovels are essential gardening tools. They are needed to plant seedlings in the ground and harvest root crops. I bought a cheap set at the local big box store. Quickly I discovered that you get what you pay for in the shovel department. I recommend Fiskars if you can afford it. They will last longer and hold up better than any other shovel I’ve found. I like to get a wide shovel and a skinny shovel. This allows me flexibility when planting. You can find a 3 pack that includes a small garden rake.
A small handheld leaf rake comes in handy when cleaning out flower beds, garden ponds, and perennial plants in the spring. Leaves and dead bits seem to stick in the plants in the fall. This rake makes cleaning that out a breeze. It also works well to rake away old mulch. I use mine very often in early spring.
A hoe whether tall or small helps to break up the dirt in the spring. After a couple years in the garden it gets compacted and becomes difficult to plant. The first year of making raised bed, a hoe works wonders in spreading the dirt out across the bed.
Essential Beginner Gardening Harvest Tools
Herbs are the never ending battle of the garden. Most are very prolific and need to be harvested at least once a week. Some tiny, sharp scissors make harvesting them much easier. I even use them on the plants in my Aerogarden. Seriously an essential beginner gardening tool for anybody thinking about herbs or lettuces. Be warned, they are sharp and will cut your hands if you’re not careful. I have repeat experience with that little bit of information.
This essential gardening tool doesn’t need to be one that you have to go out and buy. I love my giant stainless steel bowl that I use in the kitchen. It can hold tons of produce and works great for washing them too. Anything will work though.
When harvesting lettuce or herbs, you must wash them before eating or preserving them. I like to use a salad spinner to get all of the water out of the leaves. It speeds up the preservation process and prevents soggy salads.
Other Essential Beginner Gardening Tools
This essential beginner gardening tool and I have a love hate relationship. I love the idea of garden gloves, but I hate trying to use them for most things. When I am planting I want to feel the delicate plants, so that I don’t accidentally smoosh them. It’s for that same reason I like to go barefoot in the garden. When it comes to spreading mulch and building beds my gloves actually remain on my hands. Otherwise you will find them thrown down somewhere near me while I use my bare hands to get the job done. If you prefer bare hands, might I suggest you get a good nail brush.
Your new garden will need water and lots of it. I like to use a watering can for my seedlings. I find a sprinkler is too rough and unless your hose attachment has a mister then it just washes away the seeds. A watering can also works great when your hose won’t reach or you want to fertilize.
Seed Starting Greenhouse
If you plant to start seeds instead of buying plants, then I suggest using small seed starting greenhouses. They come with everything you need to start seeds. Putting the greenhouses in a sunny window should be enough to get your seeds to grow. I love my tiny greenhouses. My collection grows every year.
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