Ever wondered what kind of tools beginner level gardeners should have when cultivating their crops and flowerbeds? If you are new to gardening, it’s important to have the tools you need in order to consistently be more successful at it. We’ll be taking a look at ten different tools and why they are important to improving your green thumb abilities.
We’ll also be covering some tips that beginner level gardeners should take to heart when starting out. While it might not be as easy as some will thing, it requires hard work, dedication, and patience. We’ll also be talking about the kind of gardens that people should consider starting when starting out.
10 Tools For Beginner Gardeners
Now, we’ll be covering the list of tools that you as a beginner level gardener should have. If you have none of these tools then you obviously will need to purchase them from any home improvement store in your local area. Here’s a look at the beginner level tools that you need to start a garden:
If you want your garden to grow with the best results possible, then you’re going to need a fertilizer that is rich in nutrients. In fact, fertilizer is a required tool to have. Without it, how is your garden going to look? It won’t look lush and healthy. Plus, anyone with common sense will tell you that using fertilizer for your garden is an absolute must. If you are looking for a high-quality fertilizer, then you’ll need to pay attention to the specific ingredients that are listed. As a rule, you’ll need to find a fertilizer that has twice the amount of phosphorus compared to nitrogen and potassium. For example, 10-20-10 fertilizer will have 10 percent nitrogen, 20 percent phosphorous, and 10 percent potassium.
2. Hedge Shears
Of course, hedge shears will be perfect whenever you need to prune and trim. Weeds will be a problem when tending to your garden. Not to mention, overgrowth will also be an issue. You want a pair of hedge shears that will be easy to use and sharp enough to cut through plenty of brush. Alternatively, you can also trim the hedges with these sheers so your property will look well-kept and clean. Plus, don’t be surprised if your neighbors tend to be envious of your front or even back lawn.
3. Garden Fountain
While planting a colorful flower garden may make your yard look more welcoming and attractive, it’s only half of the battle. You might want to consider the idea of decorating it a bit so it has that enchanting theme to it. A garden fountain is a decoration that never goes out of style. Something small and quaint might be something you can get away with. Most of these garden fountains will be affordable. Sure, they won’t be grand and exquisite. But they sure add a nice touch to your garden.
Of course, you can’t start a garden without breaking some ground. And you’ll need a good shovel for gardening. Especially when your garden will be on flat ground. Even if your garden will be a small scale flower garden, you’ll need to dig up a part of the ground so you are able to access the soil and easily plant the flowers or vegetables of your choice. When it comes to gardening, a shovel can do lots of things.
A garden cannot survive if it’s not watered enough. Sure, nature can do the work on a rainy day. But needless to say, we cannot predict the weather. Your garden will need water on a regular basis. That means you’ll need a good quality hose in order to get the job done. You can also use a hose for filling up your watering bucket as well. Anyway you do it, a hose will be important for your garden.
Yes, gardening will mean getting down and dirty. So you’ll need a pair of gloves to keep your hands clean. That and it will keep your hands protected from contamination due to pesticides and any chemicals that may be essential to tending to your garden. Not to mention, you may have skin allergies that can occur when coming in contact with certain materials. Not to mention, keeping your hands covered on hot sunny days will prevent them from getting sunburned.
7. Bug Repellent
When you are outside tending to your garden, you’ll come across plenty of bugs. You’ll need a repellent to keep them away from you. And yes, you’ll need it to also keep the bugs out of your garden as well. There are plenty of bugs out there that will destroy your garden if you do nothing about it. And all that hard work you have put in will be gone. No one wants that to happen. Find a bug repellent.
And by the way, you can also plant specific types of flowers to help keep the bugs away. That’s right, there are different kinds of flowers that will repel insects and other pests. Did you know growing basil is a great way to keep the mosquitos and houseflies at bay? No kidding. You should try it yourself.
8. Hand Trowel
A hand trowel would be a good tool to use if you are doing some minor maintenance work on your garden. This includes but not limited to eliminating weeds, embedding plants, and more. Find one that has a good-sized blade and will be able to dig up a small part of the ground.
Suppose your garden will be a bit larger in size. A wheelbarrow might come in handy if you want to transport mulch, compost, and other heavy objects from point A to point B (the latter being your garden). You can easily move loads that weigh hundreds of points with a wheelbarrow if you want to.
A rake will come in handy whenever you need to extract any debris from your garden. Whether it’s leaves, small branches that fell off on windy days, or small rocks being kicked up and landing in your garden a rake will help eliminate it all. And best of all, you won’t be able to harm your garden if you use it carefully.
Things to Consider Before Gardening
Before starting a garden, it’s important to take a few things into consideration. That way, you won’t feel lost when you are starting out. And it will also give you a few good ideas on how you can be able to purchase the tools you need. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Obviously, having a garden and maintaining it will require an investment. You’ll be spending money on tools and other items that will be useful in making sure your gardens are healthy, lush, and eye-catching. It’s important to have a budget in mind so you can purchase the best quality items you can afford. Never go for cheap so you can save a few dollars.
How Much Space Should I Need?
The short answer: it all depends. It depends on what you want to plant in your garden. Want to grow a vegetable garden? You may need plenty of land so you can grow a diverse variety of crops. Not to mention, some fruits and vegetables that grow in a garden will need plenty of space due to their full-grown size. If you are growing flowers, you can get away with putting together a small flower garden.
Do I Have A Suitable Storage Area For Tools?
Your gardening tools all need to be in one designated place. The question is: do you have a suitable amount of storage space. The last thing you need is to have everything cluttered and disorganized. Of course, you don’t want your gardening tools to be all over the place either. If you have space in your basement, garage, or shed then it will be enough to store your gardening tools.
Is It The Best Time To Plant It?
You might have an idea of what you want to grow in your garden. But is it the best time of year to do it? It will depend on the type of flowers and vegetables. It will also depend on your geographical location due to climate. There are different planting zones in the United States, each with their dedicated time frame of when you can plant. Planting in the southeastern United States will abide by a different time table compared to the northeastern United States.
What Is My End Goal?
Having a garden will have an end goal. You can make your home more attractive or you intend to create a natural food supply. Obviously, if you are looking to improve your property then finding the right kind of flowers will be the no-brainer choice. Growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs are obviously done for the sake of increasing your natural food supply and saving yourself trips to the grocery store. No matter what the goal is, it’s important to start out small since you are a beginner before working your way up towards growing a bigger garden.
How Much Work Am I Willing To Put In?
If you are looking to grow a garden that will require minimal work, then it’s important to keep the garden small. However, you’ll need to follow a maintenance schedule that includes watering, raking out any debris, fertilizing (if needed), weeding, and more. A larger garden will obviously mean more work.
Gardening Tips For Beginners
If you are new to gardening and don’t know where to begin, this list of tips will be a good guide to follow. This way you’ll know exactly what you’re doing and you’ll run into less issue when you are starting out. Here are some tips to keep to heart:
1. Location, Location, Location
A good garden will need to be grown in the right location on your property. You won’t want to put it somewhere where the sun will never shine. After all, your garden will need adequate sunlight on a regular basis since it will promote growth and provide natural nutrients. So it’s best to follow the sun’s path. Your garden should be in a place where you will frequently see it like a backyard or the front yard near your doorway.
2. Keep It Close to the Water Source
Yes, you’ll need a hose or a watering can (perhaps both). But you don’t want it to be too far away from the watering source itself. Your hose can only go so far. The closer you are to your water source, the better the chance you will make watering your garden a lot easier. Plus, it can be frustrating when you plant it far enough away and the hose barely makes it that far.
3. Find Soil That Is Nutrient-Rich
Of course, natural soil is good. But it may not be enough depending on what you are planting. That’s why it is important to find a soil that is rich in nutrients and has the ability to absorb water. There’s plenty of soil out there you can choose from. The Miracle-Gro brand might be the only brand of soil you can depend on if you are starting out.
4. Consider Using Pots
As a beginner, you want to make gardening as simple as possible. And you can make it a lot easier if you choose pots. These can be a reliable alternative if you don’t seem to have enough room for a garden. You’d be surprised with how many different types of flowers and vegetables that can be grown in a pot.
5. Research the Kind of Plants You Want to Grow
The important thing about gardening is to have a flourishing garden that will look great or will be bountiful (assuming you are growing fruits and vegetables). You don’t want to fly blind and plant whatever you please without knowing a few things. For example, if you are growing larger fruits and vegetables like watermelon or pumpkins, you might want to give it plenty of room for its growth. This will also mean planting the seeds a specific distance apart. But these aren’t the only things you should be searching for.
You’ll need to consider doing research on what your target plants of choice can handle. Can they tolerate heat? Do they come in different varieties? When will it be a good time to plant them? Those are just a few things to do research on.
6. Know Your Zones
There are 11 zones in the United States for planting. Each of them has different time tables and also has a unique climate of their own. The higher the zone number, the warmer the climate. Keep in mind that something that is suitable for planting in Zone 5 won’t be suitable if you live in Zone 3. That’s because a Zone 5 plant may not be able to handle the colder temperatures that are common with Zones 1 through 3.
7. Know the Frost Dates
Frost can be dangerous for your gardens. And if you risk planting too early or too late into the year, you’ll face disastrous consequences. You’ll need to know when the last frost date for springtime is in your area. For example, if your last frost day falls around April you can start planting at the beginning of May just to be on the safe side.
8. Use Mulch
Mulch will be your best friend when it comes to keeping your garden nice and cool. If you are planting using the ground, two to three inches of mulch will be sufficient. This will be ideal if you want to prevent as little weeds as possible. And you want to prevent any kind of overheating, especially in the summer months.
9. Always Feed Your Plants Regularly
It’s always important to feed your plants on a regular basis. If you have good quality soil and plant food, there’s a good chance that your plants will get an excellent amount of overall nourishment. You should feed your plants every two to three weeks so they are able to get the nutrients they need.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Raised Bed Gardens
Don’t want to grow a garden on the ground? No problem. You can consider the idea of using raised bed gardens if it makes you feel more comfortable. In fact, you might find raised bed gardens a lot more beneficial compared to regular ground gardening. There are some things that you might want to be aware of when choosing a raised bed. You don’t want it to be too wide.
Also, you may want to use different soil if you are using a raised bed. As a pro tip: you’ll need to find a kind of soil that is low in nitrogen content. Also, some soils may not be appropriate for raised beds because of the lack of essential nutrients.
Why Should You Have A Garden?
If anything, having a garden should be something everyone should have on their property. And there may be plenty of reasons why. Let’s take a look at them:
1. Produce Is Much Fresher
Compared to buying produce at a grocery store, growing your own will be the best possible option if you want the best when it comes to freshness. If you think about it, a lot of the fruits and vegetables will tend to sit for quite a while on grocery store shelves. Not only that, you never know how long they’ve been sitting there and what they’ve been exposed to. On top of that, it saves you a trip to the grocery store when you can build your own food supply from scratch.
2. Make Your Property More Attractive
This will apply if you are intending on just planting flowers. Having colorful flower beds in your front or backyard will make your property look eye-catching. And you’re neighbors will even compliment you on how beautiful your garden looks. And it just might inspire them to take up gardening themselves.
3. It Helps The Bees
“Bee” live it or not, having a garden will be helpful for bee populations. As of late, it has been on a decline due to various factors such as pesticide and harmful chemicals. Flower gardens will be great for bees to snag some of that nectar to produce honey. And they also help with pollination as well. Come to think of it, consider your bees as your personal gardening assistants. And you might need more on hand all season long.
4. You Can Teach Your Kids A Skill
If you have kids, grandkids, nephews, or nieces you can teach them a thing or two about gardening. Especially when they are young at age. They are at a point in their lives when they are willing to learn something fascinating. When they get older, they can be able to start their own gardens with little to no guidance. And they’ll do it because they have learned from the best.
5. More Garden = Less Mowing
There might be those out there who hate mowing the lawn. If you’re one of them, no need to worry. We won’t judge. But if you have a garden that is on your property, that will mean less real estate when it comes to mowing. Then again, the lawn needs to be mowed regularly anyway if you want to keep your property looking good. You don’t have to like doing it. But it can be rewarding when your neighbors walk by and find themselves quite impressed with your handiwork.
6. It Can Be A Great Conversation Piece
Let’s say your neighbors stop by or you have a houseguest for the weekend. They’ll notice your garden and want to know more about what you are growing. It’s a great way to start a conversation and talk about gardening. Who knows? You might have a commonality that you might share. People who love to garden will talk about it with anyone who might have a shared interest in it. And you might come away with some excellent tips that are quite useful.
7. It’s An Excellent Hobby
If you are someone who is looking for a hobby that is good for the soul and absolutely fulfilling, then gardening might be right for you. Especially if you are someone who has a passion for being outdoors rather than indoors. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to go outside and get some fresh air and a healthy dose of sunshine (which is an excellent source of Vitamin D). Plus, it might be a bit fun just to get down and dirty.
Gardening Rookie Mistakes to Avoid
As a beginner, you’ll more than likely make some rookie mistakes. And that’s OK if you make them. There are some common mistakes that a complete newbie can make. Here’s what they are:
1. Planting In The Wrong Location
As mentioned earlier, location is very important when it comes to gardening. You don’t want to garden it in a place where it will be deprived of any sunshine. And don’t forget, you don’t want it to be too far away from where a hose can reach. Be sure to follow the sun and make the determination of where in the sun’s path is traveling (east to west). Your plants will need at least 8 hours of sunshine. And you want it to be as close as possible to a water supply. It may be complicated at first, but take your time and consider looking at a few potential spots.
2. Choosing the Wrong Soil
Finding the right soil will be key. And it will depend on what you are growing. For example, vegetable gardens should have a PH of 6 or 7 (neutral). That will give you the perfect balance of nutrients. Acidic soils with a PH of less than 6 will contain fewer nutrients like calcium and magnesium. Alkaline soils may deprive plants of specific nutrients like iron. Use vinegar to determine the PH levels of the soil. If the vinegar is bubbling, then you have acidic soil. Less bubbling will mean that the levels are neutral.
3. Not Doing Enough Research
Here’s a simple rule to follow: “Know before you grow”. The lack of research before growing the plants of your choice may lead to failure and disappointment. Spend some time looking at the plants you want to grow. When should you plant them? Is it appropriate for your zone? And so on.
4. Focusing On Way Too Much
It’s never a good idea to focus too much on things like seeds, soil, space, and so on. As a beginner, you are starting at zero. In other words, if you are new to gardening you should start out small. And you want to start out with things that are easy to grow. You don’t need to start with so many different combinations. And you really don’t want to overdo it either.
5. Too Much Watering
Watering your plants is important. But how much is too much? It might depend on what you are growing. Ideally, you want to water your plants once to three times a week. Not only that, but it will also be very hard to predict the weather. Nature will take care of all of your watering as it is on rainy days. If you think you are not doing enough when it comes to watering, you can increase it a bit. If you are watering once a week, add another day. But do not exceed three times per week.
6. Not Feeding Them Enough
Not giving them enough plant food will cause your plants to under-grow or even die. Feed them every two to three weeks. Sometimes, it takes a bit of trial and error to know when exactly you should feed them.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following is a list of frequently asked questions that you can use as an additional guide for gardening beginners. Here are the following questions:
When Should You Start Gardening?
Ideally, you should start gardening 6 to 8 weeks after the last frost date. Begin by planting indoors before moving them outside. This will also give them plenty of time to grow to a point where they can be able to survive during the transplanting process.
What Are the Easiest Veggies to Grow?
Some of the easiest veggies that you can grow include but are not limited to carrots, beans, peas, lettuce, cucumbers, and kale to name a few.
Which Vegetables Should Not Be Planted Together?
There are some veggies that should not be grown together. Potatoes are one vegetable that should grow all by themselves and should never be mixed with most veggies. Another combo that should not be planted together should be corn and tomatoes. If you are planting veggies, be sure to do your research on which crops can be grown together and which ones should not.
What Are the Easiest Flowers to Grow?
Among the handfuls of flowers that are easy to grow include but are not limited to sunflowers, marigolds, geraniums, sweet peas, pansies, and fuschias among others.
Can You Mix Flowers with Veggies?
There really is no rule that determines whether or not you can mix flowers with veggies. In fact, you can plant some flowers that will be useful in keeping the pests at bay. For example, marigolds are great for keeping away different insects and even rabbits and squirrels. You can also plant different kinds of herbs to complement the veggies that you are growing.
Starting a garden as a beginner can be a daunting challenge. But as long as you have the right kind of tools, you’ll be able to make it easier on yourself. It’s also a good idea to follow the tips above as you begin your journey in developing your green thumb. Start out small and simple so you can get the hang of it until you decide to go for something more challenging. There is nothing more fulfilling than growing your own garden for the purpose of naturally stocking up your food supply, making your yard attractive, or both.