Basic Tools for the Beginner Patio GardenerMonday, September 19, 2016
1. Rubber-coated Gloves
2. Trowel, Rake and TransplanterIf you're gardening on a patio, you won't need a big huge shovel, but you will need a trowel. These come in handy for scooping dirt from soil bags into your pots. The rake helps to smooth the soil once in the pot and loosen it up for planting. The transplanter is a longer narrow shovel and is often marked with measurement lines. This helps to dig a hole when transplanting seedlings like the starts you get at garden centers. I use mine to dig the perfect spot quickly for plug transplants like kale, lettuce, flats of flowers, etc. Often they come in great priced sets, or you can buy them separately.
3. Pruning ShearsFor a patio garden with potted plants, these simple handheld shears (below) will work on everything! Typically, potted plants don't have large enough branches to require the two-handed shears. I use these to deadhead my roses and other flowers, harvest my vegetables and herbs, and to cut everything down when it's time to cleanup the garden in the winter. They stay very sharp. If they ever do get dull, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Lowe's, and CAL Ranch will help you sharpen your tools!
4. Watering Can or Hose with Spray NozzleWatering a patio garden doesn't have to be a daunting task. It really depends on how you do it. If you're lucky enough to have a hose connector, I recommend connecting a hose, and a spray nozzle like the one below. Not only does it save time on watering, but it will be very useful in many other ways. They come with a variety of settings, which have been very helpful. The mist function helps me gently mist my plants when it's been too hot and dry. The full shower helps me water them well without disturbing their roots, and the jet feature helps me spray off webs and bugs that are bad for the plants. (I had a huge spider mite infestation that died a painful jetspray death.)
If you can't connect a hose, a large watering can helps. I like to use the kind with the shower nozzle on them so the plants don't get too much water all at once. When you hit them with a hard pour of water it can loosen the soil, expose roots, or break larger leaves. Shower sprays eliminate this issue. (I recommend getting a watering can at your local garden center. They often have basic ones that don't cost much. If you don't need a lot of volume, Ikea has 40 oz. ones for under $1.)
As you can see, all the tools are small, and you don't need a big garden shed to house them. I keep my tools on the shelf in my pantry, and just pull them out when I need them. Make sure to clean off your tools when you're done, store them in a dry place, and they'll last a very long time!
Below, you can find all of the products I mentioned, and also an amazing deal on a set of tools, gloves, and shears. If I didn't have tools already, I'd start there!