When you first decide to start a garden it can be a bit overwhelming. It's one of those things that can very quickly become complicated and overly expensive, which it really doesn't need to be! There are some gardening basics for small to medium sized gardens, and once you have those you're well on your way. Like most things it pays to get fewer items that are quality than a lot of cheaper items. It will minimise waste and save you money in the long run. So look for wood and metal over plastic and foam.
1. Gloves- Because you want to get your hand dirty... but not too dirty. A good pair of gloves will last you years.
2. Hand Trowel- This is the most versatile and useful tool for small to medium gardens. You can use it for digging, weeding, covering and planting.
3. Cultivator- Nothing beats hand cultivators for aerating soil, turning soil before you plant and clearing top soil, it's also handy for pulling weeds.
4. Shears- These are priceless! fantastic for trimming, pruning and breaking small branches you otherwise couldn't clear, and gardens love to be trimmed.
5 +6. Watering Can and/or Hose- Depending on where your garden is, and how big it is water is e.ssential If your garden is tiny and close, you can get by with cups and jugs but for bigger gardens a watering can or hose will be in daily use.
7. Garden knife- This is something I discovered later in my gardening life but I would have loved to have one from the start. Shears don't cut twine and open bags without a lot of work. A good knife that lives in your garden kit will serve you well.
8. Twine- Twine is like the bandaid of your gardening kit. It is always handy to have, but sometimes overlooked. Twine will come in handy for running repairs, binding and makeshift runners (fantastic for beans and other climbers).
9. Stakes- This is another tool that I added to my kit after some trial and error. Bamboo stakes are fantastic supports for plants as they get taller, especially fruiting plants like tomatoes and eggplants.
10. Hessian Bags- If twine is the bandaid of a gardening kit then hessian bags are the bandages. Twine will cut into all plants, but particularly new growth and softer, fleshy plants. They need something with give that allows them to grow without being cut. Cutting hessian bags into strips is the perfect, biodegradable option for cushioning a plants support. They also make fantastic weed barriers and moisture retainers.
11. Equipment Storage- I learned the hard way that even the best garden tools, if left outdoors will not last. Finding a storage container that protects them from the elements and separates them from your indoor tools will protect them and ensure they serve you for the long term.