I asked Gina Foresta to share with us her favorite gardening tools and essentials she uses a daily basis. I also couldn’t pass up an opportunity to sketch!
Enjoy! And go out and start working in your garden!
I like to have one pair of leather gloves, like these, for hard work, and one pair of light gloves with waterproof palms for basic gardening. But most of the time I bare hand it. My nails look like I’ve been doing mechanic work for most of the summer.
I use a serrated knife for weeding and any harvesting I have to cut for. It is my all-purpose go-to tool. This is a nice one from Villagers in Asheville. This store is like a candy shop for gardeners and homesteaders.
I also have a gardening fork, like this one, on hand when I need to turn compost into a bed or aerate compacted soil.
When weeds are small and popping up everywhere a stirrup hoe, like this one, is a must. Not only is it easy on your back but it makes weeding small plants very easy, and even fun.
I also like a simple trowel for planting seedlings.
Since I garden sustainably, empty spray bottles are very helpful for mixing up natural concoctions to fend off unwanted pests. Most recipes call for a few drops of dish soap so the remedy will stick to the plant leaves. I always use Seventh Generation brand.
I keep a tree lopper on hand for cutting thick branches. While I rarely work with trees, some herb plants, like African Blue Basil, or some pepper plants need a stronger tool than pruners to cut back. By the way, African Blue Basil is a cool plant to have in your garden. The leaves don’t get bitter even when the plant flowers and the bees love it.
After reading rave reviews I just ordered a compost tea kit from Boogie Brew. The kit has an aerator and all you need to make super nutrient rich compost tea for your garden. This company also sells a hose water filter which is great if you’re using city water. They chlorine and chloramine in the city water isn’t great for the bacteria colony in your soil.
While gardening books abound, Food Grown Right in Your Backyard is by far my favorite. The authors’ company is based in Seattle, but we live in a similar zone here in Virginia Beach, and at least are able to grow very similar plants as the Seattle area. This book is the most thorough and relatable gardening book I have ever had the privilege to read.