Whether you are a novice gardener, a new home buyer or have been caring for a lawn and garden for decades, these are my top twenty pieces of equipment every home owner or gardener needs. Once you have these staples you can conquer just about any job. How many do you have in your shed?
1- Lawn Mower
Unless you have a lawn service, you are going to want a good mower. Choose the one that works best for your size lawn. A small patio home does not need a huge riding mower, but if you own several acres you are going to want a commercial model.
2- Weed Eater / Edger
Everyone needs this essential item to cut areas like ditches where a mower cannot go and to edge areas along your sidewalk. Battery powered options are great for the smaller yards and gasoline powered are essential for larger properties.
3- Pruners, Secutures
This is my must have in the garden! Hand pruners or secutures should be in everyone's home from the apartment owner to the farmer. This tool is a must for floral arrangements, small pruning jobs, dead heading roses, etc. Make sure to keep them clean so you don't spread disease. Wipe with isopropyl alcohol and then give a spray of oil. Secutures can be oiled with a simple vegetable cooking spray.
How else do you get your paths and patios clean. I blow off our concrete weekly. Who wants to sweep? These come in battery operated, plug-in electric and gas powered depending on the size of your yard. I have a light one my boys can use. Just make sure to wear a mask, eye protection and ear protection. Also, think about the weight of the equipment based on your strength.
5- Shovels and Trowels and Forks
If you are a real gardener you can't do without these tools for every job from planting to mulching. I like to have a variety of shapes and sizes for different jobs from cultivating to planting to weeding.
I like nice hoes, no pun intended, lol! Hoes are essential for weeding so you don't break your back or have to use pesticides. They are also great to mix concrete and create rows for planting seeds and small seedlings.
You know what this is used for... I think every American has raked leaves. I also like a variety of rakes for leveling soil or mulch.
8- Garden Hose & Modifyers: Impact, Rose, Sprayer, Etc.
Washing the car, cleaning the side walk, watering delicate plants and so many other functions require a garden hose. Having a variety of attachments makes all of these jobs easier in the long run. Impact nozzles are a must in my garden for washing mud off tools and a watering rose is a must for watering my plants.
9- Wheel Barrow
How can you garden without a wheel barrow. At some point you will have to move soil, mulch or rock around your garden. They are also useful to carry large amounts of plant material around the garden. I prefer a resin barrow. No more rusty bottoms.
10- Five Gallon Bucket
Mixing fertilizers, broadcasting seeds, soaking, washing windows and holding produce, these are just a few uses for buckets in the garden. I always have a few on hand for whatever need presents itself.
11- Pump Sprayer
I'm not an advocate for chemical pesticides, but at some point you will have to spray some of your plants with insecticidal soap or non-chemical pesticide. Let's also face it that sometimes only a herbicide or insecticide will work, although I think these should be avoided until all else fails.
12- Watering Can
There is a reason that the watering can is often seen as a symbol of gardening. This is a no brainer. I have small ones for indoors and large ones to fill fountains and water in plants. I even have one with a long spout to water high baskets. Try to purchase decorative cans so you have leave them out on the patio. I hate cheap plastic cans because they split when a kid throws them (I testify from experience!) and they are ugly. Galvanized is my pick for pretty and functional.
Take your leaves and kitchen scraps and make them into rich "Devils Food" soil for your garden. This is also a way to make sure biodegradable waste stays out of the landfill. Cheap composters can be found online, they can be turned easily to speed decomposition.
14- Post Hole Diggers
Oh, how I hate to post hole dig, but you don't have to go to the gym afterwards! My grandfather Locke welded steel beams onto a pair after my dad and uncles kept breaking a set building a fence. I bet those were heavy! They did not break them again. Post hole diggers are a must when you need to dig a very deep hole for planting a shrub or tree or if you need to build a fence.
15- Gardening Gloves
I have so many pairs of these, one in my laundry, two in the truck in all shapes and sizes from leather to camouflage. If you don't want to have your hand continually torn to smitherines then gloves are a way to keep them clean and safe. I prefer Mechanics gloves. When they get dirty I soak them in some Tide and Clorox 2 and then launder, so my gloves always look new even after planting all day long in the mud.
You know I like boots, its the name of the blog! Muck boots for really muddy jobs, low profile waterproof rubber slippers and hiking boots are a must for anyone who goes outside and works. I choose the type for what I'm doing and the weather. Keep them looking new and working well by always cleaning them before you leave the yard to come inside.
If you ever want to have a vegetable garden a rototiller is necessary for preparing the ground each season. A tiller can help mix soil amendments into the ground including manure and compost, creating a fabulous planting surface for new plants.
18- Pole Saw
Branches that break or start to become unwieldy will eventually need pruning. I bet you don't have a cherry picker so enter a pole saw to reach branches higher than you can reach.
19- Clippers- Manual and Electric
If you have any shrubs, and chances are you do, at some point you will need to prune them. I like a variety of clippers from loppers for larger branches to shears for small jobs and electric pruners to get big jobs done quickly.
If you ever need to move mulch or soil or you need to cover a truck load full of trash or something that will blow away, you need a tarp. Tarps are a must when you are pruning, catching the cuttings as you prune. A tarp is so essential when I need one that I always keep one in the truck.
Bonus- Spreader, if you need to broadcast seeds or fertilizer on your grass or walk.