One of the things that can be a bother in the garden is the need to constantly go back indoors (or to Home Depot) for things you wish you had right next to you. Since maintaining a garden for me consists of pruning, “chop and dropping,” and generally tidying, I’ve found the following items to be useful if kept all in one place: a garden tool kit!
I’m sure the contents of each garden tool kit is very personal and changes between the seasons. But here’s what mine looks like:
Because I live in a suburban neighborhood, I find that training or tying my bushy plants gives them more shape and improves he overall look of my garden. I’ve learned a few tying techniques from Longwood Gardens:
a well-maintained landscaped series of gardens in Delaware.
By tying the base of a tall plant such as the one shown above, it has appeared to stand straight and fuller. If your posts and ties are strong, your plant’s form will keep from spring until the fall.
Sometimes, I need plant ties to help plants grow properly and not touch the ground and get soggy.
Some of my plant ties are plastic. But I prefer the rope-ties because when I cut them down, I can always just let them organically “disintegrate” into the soil. Yet another way of “chopping and dropping.” More on that in a bit.
I use scissors or pruning shears for cutting string and cutting back overgrowth. I usually try to “chop and drop” any plant cuttings in place. That way, I do two things at once. I “tidy” up my look and I fertilize my soil with organic matter. As long as my cuttings do not contain unwanted seeds, they go right back into the soil from which they grew. That way, they act as fertilizer to further enrich my soil.
A spade is always useful in transplanting seedlings to the garden and transferring vermicompost to further enrich the soil with.
I put my spade in its own plastic container so that I can keep my from having to shake off soil from the bottom of my tool kit.
Plant Labels & Markers
Plant labels and markers – Every garden I work with is not only for my own viewing pleasure but for everyone who passes by. Sometimes, onlookers are curious to know about what’s in a garden. To save time explaining and to help me figure out where I’ve planted seeds or seedlings, I use labels and markers. Labels can be as simple as popsicle sticks which can last for a season or more.
It’s a really good idea to know your growing space in measurements. I use reels especially when I come to a garden for the first time and I take notes of how big beds and gardens are.
Seeds – If I’m direct sowing, the seeds I intend to plant are also in this kit.
Organic bug spray, suntan lotion – for the obvious reasons.
Extra bag – I reuse extra plastic bags for garbage and grocery bags for harvesting in the garden
Durable Tool Bag
You probably already own all the maintenance tools I mentioned. The key to a successful garden tool kit is getting a sturdy “tool bag” like this one (which I bought on sale at $9.99 from Harbor Freight). Whatever container you use, make sure it has lots of interior pockets and can take a lot of “scuffing-up.”
And that ends the tour of my garden tool kit!
I’d love to hear about your own tool kits or whether you use one at all. You can leave a comment below.
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