Whether you intend to start seeds indoors and then transplant outside, or purchase young plants to transplant as soon as you get them home, or you plan to sow seeds directly in the soil, these are the basics you will need to plant and tend your vegetable garden.
Wooden Stakes and String
If your garden is not a meandering, edible landscape feature, you will have used these to outline where to dig your garden space; now you’re going to use them to mark planting furrows. Once your rows have been planted and marked, take up the stakes and brush off all the soil (a cheap paintbrush is good to keep on hand for dusting off tools and supplies). Store in a box or bucket with the string for future use. Both items are available for purchase from Ace Hardware Superstore. Type “wood stakes” and “cotton twine” into their search box to find them. The wood stakes don’t need to be more than 12 inches long. No need for the 4-foot or higher versions.
Garden Row Markers
Don’t stick the empty seed packet over a wooden stake at the end of a row. You’d be surprised at how many people mistakenly do this. The seed packet will get wet and/or blow away – and you should save the seed packet in your garden journal so you’ll know what to buy next time (or what not to buy, depending on how things go), even if you will be harvesting your own seeds to plant next time. It’s good to remember where your original seeds came from. Use row markers on which you can clearly write – with waterproof ink – what you planted and the date you planted it. Click on the Amazon.Com link below for a great deal on reusable garden markers:
We are partial to the warren hoe with an arrow-shaped blade that tapers to one sharp point, as this hoe is perfect for tracing (and re-covering) a planting furrow, is easily maneuvered in and out of tight spots among the plants you don’t want to damage, and it will hack particularly stubborn weeds into oblivion. However, if you are more comfortable wielding the more common (and wider-bladed) paddle hoe, the choice is yours. Take a good look at the space you will need the hoe for, and make an informed decision from there. For a solid warren hoe that comes with a 5-year limited warranty, click on the Amazon.Com link below:
A valuable hand-shovel for digging planting holes for bulbs and transplanting holes for seedlings you have started indoors or young plants you have purchased. Some have serrated tips for sawing through any roots you might encounter while digging, some have wider blades than others. As with choosing the right hoe, consider what you will be doing with the trowel when you choose which one to buy.
Garden Cultivating Fork
A valuable hand-fork for loosening compacted soil and removing weeds in and around the base of your plants. Excellent for tight spaces and thick foliage where you need to get up close to see what you are doing.
For a sturdy but handsome three-piece hand tool set – trowel, cultivating and straight fork – take a look at the Amazon.Com link below. Oak and stainless steel alloy, and a lifetime warranty at a very reasonable price.