Posted on 13 January 2013 by urbangardencasual.com

My 10 Favorite Gardening Tools

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Photo Credit: Photo Gloves by jimbethmag under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Everyone has their favorite gardening tools, which can include new inventions and old-time favorites. In my case, many of my favorites are old staples that I have used for years but some consist of new technology. Below is a list of my favorite things for 2012.

  1. My hands. I know what you are thinking, your hands are one of your favorites and I would have to say yes. Through years of gardening, I have learned how to translate what the soil is trying to tell me. If it is too wet, too dry, too much clay, too sand or just hungry can all be told by the way the soil feels, smells, and looks. Without my bare hands in the soil, I would be less connected to my garden.
  2. My rain gauge. This tool has saved me a lot of heartache and wasted resources. Knowing how much natural moisture has fallen from the sky has made me a better gardener. Now I document the amount rain in my garden journal and water only when the gauge indicates.
  3. My rain barrel. In the past, I could not afford to water my garden and depended on Mother Nature’s tears. If we had a drought, then I lost my garden. Once I got my rain barrel, I longer had this problem and have expanded on my water collection system as my garden has grown.
  4. My gardening gloves. While I do prefer to garden without gloves, there are times when I need that hand protection. A nice pair of gloves is something that I get every year to signify a new garden season.
  5. My garden journal. I also get a new garden journal the first of every new gardening year. I decorate it, label it, and begin filling it in with my garden plan for that year.
  6. My digital camera. In the past, I would go have copies of pictures made for my garden journal but now I have a different approach. The very special pictures I make copies of but the rest of the pictures I put on a CD. These pictures are then added to the journal. Anytime I want to walk down past garden paths, I simply install the CD and enjoy.
  7. My pH meter. In a pinch, I will use my pH meter to read a soil’s pH. While this is not as accurate as a laboratory test, it does give one a base to work from.
  8. My homemade self-watering containers. No longer do I have to worry about my plants when I leave for the weekend. My homemade self-watering containers have saved me money, worry, and plants. While they are not that stylish, they do serve me well and I would not trade them.
  9. My homemade water globes. These simple tools have allowed me to water more effectively and water when I was not even at home. There are store bought versions but I treasure my homemade ones since they were a garden project I shared with my kids.
  10. My garden gnome. My little garden gnome is my alter ego called Mindar the Gardening Gnome. When I go to teach classes, I represent myself as Mindar. She keeps me grounded and true to my discipline.

While some of my favorite things are common some are also unique and personal to me. What are your top 10 favorite gardening tools? Let me know. Until we blog again, gardening is like cooking everyone has their favorite tools.

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