When starting out as a new gardener, choosing amongst the large variety of tools and gear can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Hopefully, this article can assist you in picking the simplest of items needed when you’re just starting out as a plant enthusiast.
Cutting Tool: An easy to hold, sharp cutting tool is important for pruning plants. For indoor plants, I recommend a smaller knife or scissors for cutting. For outdoor plants, an easy grip pair of shears are more useful for pruning and cutting a variety of plants. Keep sharp and clean. For indoor plants, I use a sharp pair of scissors to trim, cut and prune my plants.
Digging: I have an ergonomic hand held trowel I use for indoor and out. For indoor use it sometimes is too big and I will use a plastic spoon or my fingers to move soil around. However, for outdoor it comes in handy for transplanting or digging. I also have a larger shovel and spade for deeper digging. For the novice indoor gardener, a small trowel is all you will really need. I also use a plastic fork when I need to aerate the soil and a chopstick to make small holes in the dirt when I am planting seeds or transplanting small plants.
Pots: The plain clay pot is fairly cheap that you can find at any garden center. Take some time to paint it at home if you are feeling inspired. Make sure the pots you buy have drain holes in the bottom. If you’re feeling creative, save your old bowls, cups and containers to up-cycle into plant pots. I collected way too many cups from my time in Germany and going to their Christmas markets, Weinachtsmarkt. The cups are so cute I can’t bring myself to give them away. So, I decided to drill holes in them and use as small pots. Mostly for succulents and cacti.
I also have saved glass jars from jam, candles, salsa, etc and used those either for plants in water or as a pot after I drill a hole. They are a bit harder to drill without breaking the glass.
Saucers/trays: This is placed under your plants. If you’re like me, you may have old dishes you no longer use. Instead of donating or throwing out, use these as saucers/trays for your potted plants. I prefer these over the flimsy plastic ones you can buy at garden/hardware stores. I even shop at thrift stores for old plates and pots to use for my plants. Some pots you buy at stores may come with a built in tray, they are usually made of plastic though some are clay. They usually call them self-watering pots.
Clothes: layered clothing for outdoor, comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, pockets are useful to hold your random gear when you need it to, easy slip on/off non-slip footwear. Perhaps garden clogs, waterproof boots, old pair of shoes. I personally use old jeans, old pair of running shoes that slip on & off easily, and an old t-shirt with a long sleeve shirt over it. Depending on the weather, I may add or remove layers. Gloves if you like. When weeding I use gloves, mostly to avoid picking up squishy bugs with my fingers. I also like gloves when messing with my roses. Otherwise, I prefer bare-hands so I can feel the dirt and understand the texture and moisture.
Water: A spray bottle works well to provide mist for your plants. I have a larger pressurized spray mister to provide water to my plants. Also, a watering can is helpful to give water to the plants. Some plants do not like moisture on their leaves and prefer to get moisture from the roots. Therefore, you’ll need a watering system that allows you to directly water the soil.
These are just some suggestions I have for the beginner gardener. If you have an essential tool, please share by using the comment box below. 🌱