I’m never happier throughout the year then when it’s time to start gardening. You can ask anyone around me who sees the pure joy I have when it’s time to look through seeds and especially visit local nurseries (or any that I happen to be near).
It’s a must to see all the greenery and pop of color!
And I usually get a tiny bit carried away and want to take all the baby plants home.
After such long and harsh winters, it only seems natural to gravitate towards the fresh open air and new life that surrounds us.
When it comes to gardening, whether indoors or out, I can completely relate to people who express overwhelm about getting started or keeping a garden going. Most are also disillusioned when things don’t grow properly and attribute their so called ‘failures’ to not having a green thumb.
This makes me so sad, because gardening is one of the most pleasurable and fail-safe activities you can do. There is so much experimentation involved in gardening and more often than not you just have to ask the right questions about the space you live in or will grow your plants in to find the right type of plant for you. That usually means visiting a nursery with knowledgeable people and not just any old big box store that sells plants.
There’s also the reality that you need the right tools- not a lot of them, but you do need some. Just like with cooking, you can get by with few but they should be high quality and the right kind for essential and basic cooking/gardening. I’m not someone who loves a lot of stuff (anymore), and when it comes to gardening I’ve pared it down to only the essentials I need to get me started and keep me going throughout the gardening season. Here are the 7 most essential tools I use to get started gardening in the Spring gardening both indoors and out and I tried to go in order of the gardening process:
1. Compost Bin
I like the Oxo Good Grips Compost Bin a lot. It’s small enough to fit on a counter top or under the counter in a cabinet. The way it works is that you put your kitchen scraps into it (the lid stays up, which is a small but important detail when you’re dealing with food excess) close the lid and when it’s time to put into your compost pile, it’s easy to dump out and clean- that is a must! For our family it fills up every couple of days, which is fine- I wouldn’t want to keep scraps any longer than that.
2. Garden Scissors
I have a lot of garden scissors, or shears but they don’t all work the same. Some are stronger than others and some are longer than others, too. Again, another great Oxo product is the garden scissors. I’ve been using them in my early Spring gardening this year and I’m really surprised at how comfortable and versatile they really are. I use them to cut up my kitchen scraps for the compost bin (that makes decomposing much quicker), but I’ve also used it to prune my lilac tree stems (not tough branches), thyme plants (which are quite woody) and my Munsted lavendar plants. So far, so good. They don’t call these products ‘good grips’ for nothing!
3. Watering Can
No matter if you’re indoor gardening, balcony gardening or outdoor gardening, you need a watering can. Don’t even try to attempt filling mason jars, yogurt containers or large buckets- they just make a huge mess and drown your plants, whether they’re delicate or not. Again, my Oxo product recommendation here is for a reason- their Indoor Pour & Store Watering Can is functional and easy to store- how smart is it that the spout actually folds inward so when you’re done watering, it doesn’t take up all that extra space in your gardening area? For folks with apartments or other small storage areas, this is perfect. I simply love the fact that it’s not bulky, plus the spout is like a gentle waterfall over my plants and delicate seedlings, which is what I worry most about when planting for the first time each Spring. There is also one for Outdoor use.
4. Mini Hand Tiller
I love, love, love my little hand tiller. I also have an upright larger one which I’ve used a lot, but the small hand one is perfect for times when you just want to get on your hands and knees and till a small portion of the garden and pick out those weeds. It’s quite therapeutic! I got mine at Marc’s stores for just $1.99 when I was in Ohio, but I think a quick Amazon search should lend some good results, although probably not at that price!
5. Rake & Hoe Hand Tool
I love this tool because it’s a two-for-one. Since I trug along a lot of tools all the time, I want to carry as little as possible. Plus, this tool is super useful. I use it after tilling and before transplanting. I use the hoe part to hack at really stubborn roots and weeds and the rake to continue to get out any leaves that still remain in the soil, plus turn the soil around a little more. It’s one I won’t go without anymore.
6. Transplanting Trowel
I go through hand trowels like crazy. I have vintage ones, metal ones and ones with delicate wood handles. Maybe I just have strong hands and use too much pressure when digging, but I tend to bend them pretty easily. That said, I need something strong and durable, but also comfortable and easy to grip when wearing garden gloves. Again, Oxo Good Grips come to mind because of their excellent Transplanting Trowel (seen below on the left). I’ve been using it when transplanting small herbs and veggies and it’s just the right size and grip for my needs.
7. Large Spade or Garden Shovel
Once your plants get larger or you’re transplanting something large to begin with (i.e. grown tomato plants, small trees, etc.), you’ll need a large spade or garden shovel to cut into the ground and turn it over while also digging depth into the ground to place your plant. You just can’t do this with a small trowel- or at least you absolutely shouldn’t!
That’s my list- is there anything else you would add to it?
Check out more ways you can use Oxo gardening tools by searching hashtag #OxoSpringGardening on Twitter and Instagram