Garden Tools Wish List for New Gardeners

I love garden tools.

Let me amend that statement. I love garden gadgets, kits, assortments, caddies, thingies, equipment, fixtures, garden doodads, geegaws, thingamajigs, feeders, seeders, weeders, whatchamacallits, and garden tools.

first gardening hand tools

Hand trowels and large pruner. Don’t use trowels as hammers or scrapers (above left).
I know, I know.

You can push me in a corner with a garden catalog and a highlighter, and I’ll be a happy kid for hours. When too much of the catalog has been highlighted, take that one away and give me a fresh one, and I’ll never know the difference. I’m having too much fun fueling my Inner Child’s imaginary garden venture.

Ideal Garden Tools to Start With

There are as many Top Ten Garden Tool lists as there are gardeners. Here’s mine, as published in the Examiner article called Top 10 garden tool essentials. Your list will probably be similar but may not be the same. Some may shout that they can’t get by without a 15-inch leaf picker-upper-scooper tool. Some may declare the 24″ tall orange bucket to be the handiest tool known to mankind.

I should have called the list the Ideal First Ten Garden Tools, but that’d probably get an argument out of somebody.

But Wait – More Garden Tools!

The top ten essentials will get you a long ways toward your successful garden, but what about that narrow bladed shovel that just caught your eye? What of the stake mallet that you just know you can’t live without? What about the hose stand with the automatic winder-upper-thingie on the side?

This is why the powers that be invented Wish Lists. Don’t stop at the dreaming stage or the catalog highlighting stage. Get to making your list – and when your family asks you what you’d like for your birthday in a few months or for your anniversary or for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, point to the list of garden tools and say “Oh, dear – any little thing!”

You don’t have to mention that you’ve got your eye on that Kubota BX Series 25-horsepower riding tractor for Valentine’s Day – after all, the seat is sorta heart-shaped. No, not the John Deere vintage tractor spinner but I wouldn’t mind that either.



Graduation to Garden Hoses

I have reached the point in my new gardener path where I’m using a garden hose. How weird does that sound? Well, it’s not, when you remember that I’ve only been gardening for a few months and 90% of that has been indoors. Garden hoses wouldn’t have done much good with no garden – and I don’t think it would have been wise to use a garden hose in my dining room.

garden hose resting between jobs

Don’t do this to your garden hose. Keep it coiled neatly.

My first impulse is to water the world. My second is to get some attachments like hand watering nozzles and a sprinkler, so that I’m not watering the world but watering what I aim for.

Garden Hoses versus Sprinkler Systems

Anyone can turn on a sprinkler system and go back inside while it does all the work – or set a system’s timers so that it does all the work without ever needing someone to tell it to get started. Just wander around once a week and make sure the dog hasn’t chewed through the wiring or the neighborhood ogre hasn’t snapped off any of the sprinkler heads.

But it takes true artistry and dedication (not to mention plenty of sunscreen and a good wide hat) to perform outdoor watering with a garden hose and a hand watering nozzle.

  • Don’t stand in one place too long or overwater a single spot while you get lost in your latest Kindle book.
  • Get some solid stakes, or those doodads that garden hoses will roll past instead of rolling over your plants, or some big rocks – and do this before you’ve uprooted half your garden by dragging a hose through it.
  • If it’s early morning, water the ground thoroughly and the leaves barely.
  • If it’s mid-morning, water only the ground, but keep the nozzle pointed away from the actual plant.
  • If it’s afternoon and overcast, mist the plants in a sweeping pattern but don’t put too much water on the leaves.
  • If it’s evening, avoid letting water land on the leaves or they may develop a rot or fungus.
  • Don’t water the pavement; you won’t grow a parking lot.
  • If you are going to water deeply, use a bubbler attachment – or point the hose end at a paving stone so the water stream doesn’t erode the soil.
  • Don’t run over the garden hose with your lawn tractor. If you have a lawn tractor, can I borrow it?

See? So much to consider with garden hoses.