You'll need these essential gardening tools - and to keep growing in your botanical skills along with the plants.
That's the little spade.
You'll use it for planting, scooping, digging. You'll want to choose one
that's very strong, a good weight and feels comfortable in your hand.
Choose a drop shank trowel (one that has a little bend in metal above
the handle) for regular work. Choose a straight shank trowel for
There are two main types of garden pruners; you'll probably need both. Anvil pruners work by pinching the stem against a flat base.
These are better for cutting
dry or tough stems or branches. Bypass pruners cut more like scissors.
These are better for pruning younger stems and branches.
Look for pruners with adjustable blades for stems of varying thickness.
You need shovels to dig holes for
bigger plants, especially if your ground is hard and compacted. Choose a
round point shovel for normal yard work.
You'll need something to put your tools in so you can carry them around
the yard. It can be as simple as a plastic bucket or as elaborate as a
rolling cart replete with cushioned seat.
Make sure the hose is long enough to reach the far corners of your
backyard. Consider a hose organizer - the kind that rolls it up to keep
it neat and tidy.
You hate gloves. I hate gloves. But you need to wear them to protect your hands from cuts and blisters.
Also, all this close-up soil time will really dry out your skin. I prefer cloth gloves with rubberized grips on the palm and fingers. In wet soil, I wear gloves with a cotton lining.
Anyone who has planted will put this on her essential list, too! These foam rubber pads will save your knees.
I don't like hats much either, truth be told. Suffice it to say I have
learned to toss one on during the warmer months to protect my skin. Do
as I say, not as I do - wear them always!
OK, you don't HAVE to have clogs, but you will need some sort of waterproof shoes that you can easily slip on and off so you don't track dirt into the house. Rubber clogs work best for me.
How To Test Your Soil
Container Planting With Kids
How To Grow Bareroot Roses
A Year of Bulbs
7 Planting Games for Kids
Good Bugs: 10 Most Wanted (Really!)
Bad Bugs: The Dirty Dozen
How To Make Compost Happen
Making (Wormless) Compost Happen
Moving Plants Indoors
10 Backyard Safety Rules For Kids
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About the Author
Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.