Get ready for a new season of gardening! Though you may be perusing seed and plant websites and catalogs -- envisioning what you'll grow this year -- be sure to add gardening supplies to your shopping list. After so many months of being away from your potting shed or potting bench, you're probably not aware where you've run low. Restocking your supplies for seeds, fertilizers and liquid plant nutrients also justifies a good shopping spree. Getting new items means better blooms. Plus, older tools may be dulled or rusted, so it may be the perfect time to upgrade to some new tools, as well.
Here is your shopping list to restock your gardening supplies:
Your metal-edged tools may be rusty or dull, and new hand-held tools are vastly improved with rubberized grips to make work easier and blisters less likely. So look for new round-edged shovels, pointy-edged shovels, long-handled spades, hoes, garden forks (with a trident or four-pronged fork edge), rakes, edgers, garden brooms, hand spades, garden claws, bulb planters, pruning shears, pocket clippers, garden hand saws, weeding knives, loppers, rose thorn strippers and tool-cleaning solutions and brushes.
If you enjoy gardening with your partner or with your kids, buy multiples of safe hand tools so that you can work together on a garden project.
Though manual tools give you a better workout, some of your trusty garden machines may be ready for retirement, including your lawn mower, leaf blower, mulcher and edger.
*Pots and Planters
You've stored those plastic plant pots on the bottom shelf of your potting bench long enough. Recycle or dispose of them, and invest in new and pretty pots and planters for your garden additions. Examples include terracotta pots, elongated metallic planters, colorful pots and planters, self-watering pots and planters, hanging pots with attractive chain suspension, mini pots, blocks to elevate planters, rocks for drainage in pots and fertilizer spikes.
Lifestyle blogger Tabitha Philen outlines her container sizes as follows: 16 to 24 inches (for tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash), 12 to 16 inches (for cucumbers, eggplants and beans), 10 to 12 inches (for pepper and carrots), rectangular planters (for basil and lettuce).
If you start plants and flowers from seed, stock up on the following: seeding trays, seeding kits, soil, ID tags, a plastic lidded container for keeping your seed packets and other plant information tags dry and safe and a calendar for keeping track of what was planted and when.
The pretty red watering can you keep outside your front door for the deck planters may be faded by the sun. So invest in new watering cans and systems: small watering cans for indoors and outside, large watering cans for outside, watering "showerhead" attachment for your hose, sprinklers, rainwater collection barrel, rainwater gauge, watering timer, self-watering planter inserts, pails and spray bottles.
Keep or improve your perfect green lawn, and restock your supply to be sure you have enough fresh seed and spread for your entire property. You'll need grass seed, straw or peat moss to cover newly seeded areas, along with grass seed spreader.
*Lawn and Garden Additives
Feed your lawn and garden with new, fresh and improved materials: fertilizer for lawn, rosebushes, trees and other plants, organic pesticide pellets, spreads or sprays tailored to your particular pests (e.g., aphids and slugs), a hand-push spreader, a garden hose attachment for liquid fertilizer, compost, garden pebbles and rocks, decorative garden stones and boulders, mulch in your chosen color and material (fresh is best because bagged, stored mulch may have developed fungus and mold), a composting bin and lots of fresh garden soil.
For use in your vegetable and herb gardens: a tomato trellis, a bean trellis, garden stakes, garden tape or ties for trellises or stakes, garden twine, garden ID sticks or signs, a raised bed, planting barrels, anti-weed layer, a basket for gathering harvest items, garden gloves, garden boots or shoes, a gardening hat, a low garden bench, padded mats for kneeling, a rolling garden tool caddy, tarps and burlap rolls to cover plants in a cold snap, summer-weight garden covers and garden decor.
Add a gardener's first-aid kit to your potting shed in case of a cut or scrape, and also stock bug spray and sunscreen nearby. And because some garden work will require heavy lifting, invest in a quality wheelbarrow with sturdy rubberized handles to cart hefty items and bags of mulch or fertilizer. A Velcro-affixing lower-back support wrap will also protect you from lifting injuries.
A new potting bench may be on your wish list, as well, which many gardeners say gives new life to their passion, with organized shelves and drawers and lots of display and work space. And a small greenhouse setup is also a bigger-ticket item on gardeners' wish lists. A new structure could make an entirely new crop or flower possible this year.