The best gardening supplies – what you really need now
‘Gardening supplies’ is a funny term.
It covers a whole category of extremely useful things that make gardening much easier. In the past, I used to muddle along with anything that came to hand.
Then I discovered gardening supplies…
… proper weeding tools, tomato supports, gardening gloves that I love wearing…
The weeds grow twelve inches a night at the moment. So I thought it was time to share my views on the miscellaneous things I’ve bought or been sent for review. Here are the ones that have really made a difference to my gardening.
There are affiliate links here, which means you can buy if you click on the photo or title. If you do, I may get a small fee but it won’t add to your cost. And it does make it easy!
And if all you want is a basic essential garden tool kit, see this post here.
Otherwise, in no particular order, I can recommend the following:
The weeds are growing about a foot a night at the moment. I've only just discovered weeders as a separate tool. A friend saw me weeding down my paving cracks with a kitchen knife and lent me one of these. It was a revelation so I ordered this off Amazon, and my weeding is transformed.
This tool is called a 'patio weeder' but the right-angle end gets weeds just below the surface in beds - I weeded a whole veg bed last night in under half an hour (and it was very weedy!)
And it's much better than a knife for weeding between stone slabs, too.
Another weeder - this gets right down into long, strong roots, so you don't find yourself pulling the top off the weed and leaving its roots behind. Mr Middlesize wages war on dandelions with it - woe betide the person who uses it and doesn't put it back in the right place!
I always keep a box of latex gloves beside the back door. They're invaluable for keeping your hands clean when you pop out to do a a bit of light weeding. They're also great for potting on, because you can handle seedlings so easily - proper gardening gloves can make me a bit clumsy. They won't stand up to more than about an hour's gardening, but they're so light and easy for times when you just want to cram a bit of gardening in between other chores.
Several gardening friends have recommended Showa gardening gloves to me. They really do have excellent grip and a comfortable fit, and they wash well. I've got two pairs - one to wear and one to wash. Good for all gardening jobs except where you need something with gauntlets to protect your arms.
If you ever have to get to grips with an overgrown climbing rose, a mound of brambles or a scratchy shrub, these gauntlets are a must (and don't forget to wear a long-sleeved top too). We don't need to use these often, but when we do, we are so glad for the extra protection - they are Mr Middlesize's favourite glove (because he gets all the nasty jobs in the garden)
I always mean to weave birch or willow plant supports around my peonies and dahlias, but time slips by and soon plants are in desperate need of instant support. I find these curved plant supports invaluable - you can jam them into the ground at any point in the growing cycle and they are virtually hidden by the plant foliage. Really useful.
42 Litre Flexible Bucket Mixed (pack of 5), Gorilla Tub, Rhino Tub, TubTrug, Storage, Bucket , Flexi-Tub, Storage Tub , Laundry basket, Garden Tub, Horse feeder ">
These brightly coloured trugs are so useful for all sorts of things. I use them when I'm weeding or pruning, I fill them with water and soak plants in them when they need a drink and you can also use them as laundry baskets. I first came across them in the horse world where they are used because they are so lightweight and easy to carry.
I've just bought one of these and plan to order more. My tomato plants should have been supported earlier and were flopping about, but I was able to get this in and secure them easily. It'll also be useful for some of the taller flowers - I don't have delphiniums yet, but they are on my radar and this will be an ideal support for them.
You need a ball of garden string in the tool shed, in your pocket and beside the back door.
Once summer really gets going, there are a thousand things that need to be tied up or tied back, and natural string will last all summer (and probably much longer if you need it too). I like this green - it disappears into the vegetation nicely.
This is a lightweight, no-kink hose, which I find really useful for watering pots. The hose expands when you turn the tap on, stretching the hose out. There is a useful valve at the end where the water comes out. Once you open the valve to water the plants, the Xhose does tend to contract, so I don't find it goes as far as it says it does. But it is certainly much more manoevreable than an ordinary hose and pots need watering more often than beds. Light and easy to use - it won't get to the other end of your garden if you are really middlesized, but it makes light work of watering container plants or courtyard gardens.
A friend gave me one of these a couple of years ago. It's invaluable for getting at those really awkward roots.
It's called a Dandelion Weeder, but I use it whenever a weed looks as if it really isn't going to come out any other way.
These screw onto plastic drinking bottles and are a brilliant way to water seeds and seedlings without washing them away.
Keep them in the potting shed, and use to water all your tiniest plants and seeds.
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