If you’re anything like me, you can spend hours in your local hardware store looking at all the shiny gardening tools and gadgets on offer. But if you’re on a budget or are just starting out, what are the most essential tools you should have? I guess it really depends on what kind of gardening patch you’re creating.
If you’re creating a patch in a lawn area you may want to get yourself a good spade to dig up the grass and turn the soil but personally I much prefer the no dig method with a raised garden bed. It’s much easier and far less back breaking.
You may have a garden area that’s not doing much, is maybe covered in weeds or the plants growing there are old and spindly and not really at their prime. This would be a great spot to turn into a wonderful, edible garden area. One tool that I find invaluable in weeded areas is a little hand weeder – actually this is one I just can’t do without and its fairly inexpensive to purchase. It will help you make light work of all your weeding as it digs them up roots and all so hopefully they won’t come back. And to make things easier and more comfortable I have a little stool that I sit on while doing this kind of weeding. This makes it much easier on your back too and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can clear the area that you need.
Of course you’ll also need a trowel to plant out the seedlings once you’ve got your patch of ground ready. Try to get a good quality one as you’ll be using it a lot. This will save you needing to replace it too often.
And for seeds, a dibbler, is definitely the way to go. This is a pointy rounded stick like tool which is used to make the holes for dropping seeds into. It gets narrower towards the pointy end and is available in various materials like hard plastic or even timber. Quite often it has markings on it to measure the depth of the hole. You can also get slightly larger ones for planting bulbs. And its so simple to use – just make the hole, drop your seeds in and cover.
Lastly, to add to your basic list, every gardener needs a good pair of secateurs for pruning, snipping off dead foliage and even harvesting ready to eat crops. Try to buy the absolute best quality you can afford because if they are looked after correctly you will get many years of use out of them.
So there you go, a very basic list of tools you’ll need to get your vegetable garden going. We’ll look at some other useful tools and accessories you can add later on in another article.