Gardening requires a lot of tools such as spades, shovels, pruners, trugs and hoes. Among other things. But there are some useful items you may need to bring outdoors with you to make gardening more pleasant and successful.
So you are ready to go out for a morning, afternoon or even a full day of gardening. You are excited, have your tools ready and then think: I am missing some useful items!
Here are five items that you should consider bringing to make your gardening successful, rewarding and more pleasant.
1. Something to take notes with
This can be either your smartphone or the old standby, a notebook and pen.
Here are some of the things you may need to write down (either while in the garden or before you go out into the garden):
Before you go
- to do list
- recipes for making your own fertilizers, amendments
- measurements or plans for building something
- plans of where plants and seeds will be planted
While you are out in the garden:
- to do list for future work sessions
- cross off what you have done on your to do list
- journal what is growing well and what isn’t
- plants you need to replace
- tools, supplies you need to buy
- list of materials you need for a construction project
2. Something to take photos and video with
This can be either your smartphone or a digital camera, maybe also with a tripod, monopod or selfie stick.
Take photos or videos of:
- your plants and progress you have made to post on social media
- parts of your garden that need changes that you can mark up later
- plants that are diseased or that you need to identify to take to a nursery or garden centre for expert advice
- trees that need trimming to send to an arborist for a quote (usually though they will also want to come out and have a look)
- where spring bulbs are planted so that you don’t dig them up later in the summer when the foliage has died down
3. Something to drink and eat
Having some way to stay hydrated and satiated is crucial to keep the gardener (you) able to work for a longer period of time without having to go inside.
In summertime in the hot sun and when you are sweating you need to replace the water your body is losing otherwise you can become severely dehydrated. In winter it is more your comfort as having a hot beverage will keep you warm on the inside.
What to drink (bring in a reusable water bottle, a thermos or reusable sealed travel mug):
- chilled tea
- fruit/herb water
- green smoothie
- hot coffee or tea
Of course the more you drink the more likely you’ll have to stop at some point to go inside unless you happen to have an outhouse in your garden!
And don’t forget to also bring something healthy to snack on.
- granola bar
- container of mixed nuts
- fruit or raw veggies (either bring it or raid your garden if it is the right time of year)
- small sandwich
4. Something to listen to
This is optional. Some gardeners like the solitude of no noise at all, except maybe the twittering of birds, the tinkling of a wind chime or the gentle splashing of water if you have a water feature in your garden.
But if you live on a busy street or have noisy neighbours, you may want to bring something to listen to. Some ideas:
- meditative music
- powerful, energetic music
- talk radio
Just be considerate of your neighbours (even if they are not) and keep the sound volume down or use headphones. And keep whatever device you bring outside dry and protected from dirt and damage.
5. Some way to know when to stop working
The ideal gardening session is one where you completely lose track of time, because you are so focused on what you are doing. Time goes by and you miss your lunch or dinner because you have no idea of what time of day it is.
Here are some drastic ways to know when to stop:
- the weeds you are digging out are no longer visible (not because they are all gone, because it is too dark)
- you dig out the wrong plant (either because you are tired or it is dark or both)
- your kids or spouse are asking why dinner is not ready yet
- you realize the sun is rising!
- you are so tired that you water your walkway and sweep your lawn
The problem with the above is that you’ll likely need to stop working suddenly when you realize what time it is and perhaps can’t clean your tools like you know you should do.
So rather than relying on the above try instead to:
- bring a wristwatch or pocket watch – nothing too expensive as it likely will get dirty, possibly wet and could get damaged
- bring your smartphone – you can set an alarm to remind you when to stop
- hang up an outdoor clock mounted on a wall where you can see it from almost any vantage point in your garden
- ask someone to tell you 15 minutes before you need to come in
- have a sundial in your garden but keep in mind it won’t work if it is cloudy (if you can’t see it anymore, you’ll know it is too dark!)
So as you can see four of these five actually could be handled with a smartphone or a small tablet (it could cover all five if you use it to order a pizza and a drink for delivery 😉). It is a handy gardening tool! Just keep it dry and protected from damage and dirt. And if you don’t already own one, just add it to your gardening budget (I’m not saying you will get away with it though.)
Is there anything else that you just have to bring outside with you in order to feel good and motivated to be out there for several hours? Please share your must-haves in the comments.