Keen to get down and dirty with your garden?
Keen to get down and dirty with your garden? You’re not alone – gardening has had a complete renaissance. Whether it’s guerrilla gardening on unloved patches of public ground or grand-scale landscaping projects, Brits have embraced gardening with open arms.
But if you’re new to gardening, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Garden tools are a case in point. Pop into any garden centre and you’ll be overwhelmed by enormous displays of garden tools ranging in price and apparent use. So where to begin?
What garden tools do you actually need?
The first thing you need to consider is what sort of gardening will you be doing? If you’re limited to gardening in pots and window boxes, you will need a very different selection to someone who is planning on setting up a full veg patch.
If you live in a rented home, you’ll probably be doing most of your gardening in pots. After all, containers are easy to move, easy to care for and are a quick way to make an impressive display. That said, some landlords will be delighted for you to take charge of gardening at their property – just make sure you check first! Because most renters garden in containers, that’s what we’re focusing on in this post.
The essential garden tools for a container garden
Containers. There’s no container garden without containers! Don’t feel limited to what you see in the garden centres. Reclaimed containers such as butler sinks, old zinc baths and barrels are perfect. Whatever you use, make sure it has drainage holes in the bottom (you can add these yourself) and doesn’t have any residue or coating inside it that may damage your plants. Use plastic sheeting (an old compost bag is perfect) to line your container if you’re concerned.
A trowel. Trowels are the go-to garden tool for anyone with a container garden. It will help you remove plants that are past their best and dig holes for new plants. As with most things, a higher quality trowel will last longer and serve you well.
Secateurs. You can – at a pinch – use household scissors for this task. However, dedicated secateurs will quickly become an essential garden tool (and make you feel like a pro). They make pruning your garden simple and satisfying with sharp, sturdy blades that cut through thick stems with ease, without damaging your plants. Use them for deadheading faded blooms to prolong the flowering season of your plants and for harvesting any herbs or vegetables that you grow.
Watering can. Container gardens can quickly dry out, especially in hot, dry weather. This makes a watering can one of the most essential garden tools. Unless you have very small pots, you will need a decent-sized watering can with a ‘rose’ to ensure an even sprinkling of water on your plants. It’s better for plants (as well as the planet and your water bill) if you use rainwater when watering them. Use the water from a water butt if you have one. If not, your landlord may be able to install one for you if you ask them.
Supports and twine. Whilst not strictly garden tools, most gardeners find a regular use for plant supports and twine. Bamboo poles or pea sticks are the most common kind of plant supports and can be used to provide a support for tall plants that look prone to flopping. They’re also perfect for creating make-shift wigwams for sweet peas or beans to clamber up. Twine will help you tie in your plants. Buy a naturally-derived twine – it will blend in more easily and will decompose when you no longer need it.
Where can I buy garden tools from in Guildford?
Guildford has plenty of places to buy quality garden tools from. Robert Dyas is a great spot for hand tools, while B&Q has everything you need and more! If you’re looking for a more sustainable choice, try one of the many car boot sales in the area for second hand garden tools and containers ready to upcycle.
And when it comes to buying plants or seeds to grow in your garden, you can’t do better than a garden centre. There are plenty in the area around Guildford. Two of our favourites are Notcutts in Cranleigh and Edwins Garden Centre in Clandon Park.