What tools are your “must-haves” for gardening? Mine are relatively few and pretty low tech. It seems there is always some new fancy tool/toy being reviewed on the popular garden blogs, but my tried and true garden companions are powered only by me (nothing that plugs in or requires gasoline) and decidedly not fancy. At the top of my must-have list are my little red handled scissors. I do own a couple of proper clippers but these little scissors (someone told me they are bonsai scissors?) are my go to for just about everything that requires cutting. I’ve owned them for over 10 years (I’ve recently taken to sharpening them) but have no idea how old they really are as they were given to me by an ex, he found them in his garage and thought I could use them. I should also add that the only reason I still have them after 10 years is the red handles which make them easy to spot when you leave them lying around the garden…or accidently dump them in the yard waste bin along with the garden debris.
Next up are my two tubtrugs. I love these things! I was using an old galvanized bucket but my husband bought me the larger of the two tubtrugs when he saw it at Garden Fever, it was so useful that I later bought the second smaller one. You name it and these can help you do it. Haul compost and soil, take loads of dead leaves and debris to the yard waste bin, even serve as a carry all for transplanting. Their soft sides and double handles make them easy to carry no matter how heavy the load.
Unfortunately gloves are a must, and they must be this style from Atlas. If I could get away with it I would actually prefer not to wear gloves, but since I have such a fondness for the spiky plants (and clean nails) I wear gloves. These gloves are sized (xs-l) so you can find the pair that fits you like a second skin. I love them. I’ve always got a second pair on-hand for when the inevitable nail break-through occurs.
Again due to my spiky plant obsession I’ve got a couple of frequently used tools that are probably not seen on the average gardener’s bench… Since breaking out the vacuum to clean debris from your agaves on a regular basis is rather inconvenient a small paintbrush can successfully be used. And what about when you’ve got to cut off a dead agave arm? Nothing beats a serrated kitchen knife, yes seriously. Now of course I do have a great shovel for digging real holes but mostly I use my hand trowel and scoop. I love the serrated edge on the trowel… And the scoop is unbelievably handy! Mulch, potting soil, gravel…you name it. Weeding? Then it’s time to break out my grandpa’s old wooden screw drivers. Just slide it into the ground next to the weed, wiggle a bit and tah-dah…it pulls right out (most of the time). Speaking of Grandpa’s tools his half-moon edger is in serious lawn care rotation. It, along with my reel mower, keeps our small patch of sod in shape. When it comes to watering I love this spray nozzle with its multiple settings. Shower, Jet, Flood, Mist…I can do it all! However I must admit that I buy a replacement every couple of years, either they don’t engineer them terribly well or I am just amazingly hard on my spray nozzles. So, what’s in your gardening tool-box?
(*the name for this post was inspired by a column on the blog design*sponge where they ask designers, artists, and other taste-makers “what’s in your toolbox?”)