If you live somewhere with seasons, you probably find it odd that I’m sharing a gardening post in October. You’re probably bundled up preparing for cold weather and barren (yet gorgeous) snow-covered landscapes. However, fall is planting season in San Diego. The temps are still in the 80s today, but once it gets chillier, all of us straw-hat-wearing-folk are going to be out in the front yard enjoying one of the prettiest seasons.
I mean, look at that Pink Muhly grass! That rosey hue feels very springy, but this is actually a fall-blooming grass and it’s one of my absolute favorites in the garden.
Let’s start with some of my basic gardening items that I’m using in the above photo, then work our way towards the more heavy duty stuff.
Outdoor clogs - These waterproof clogs are basically the only thing my neighbors see me wearing. They’re waterproof, easy to slip on, and relatively understated. Ross and I each have a pair that we keep by the back kitchen door and use them for taking out the trash, making a run to the garage, or for spending a day outside tending to the yard. I like simple black, and it’s a good thing because my feet don’t fit in the women’s sizing, but there are all sorts of patterns for folks with size 11 size shoes and smaller. Also, they’re 100% recyclable!
Kneepad - I love this portable kneeling mat. It also works as a buttpad when you sit on your tuchus. I use this for gardening, painting, and pretty much all DIY projects. I even stood on it when I painted the mural for hours on end. The foam is recyclable.
Hat - I sometimes use the charming wide-brimmed hat seen in the photo, but I often wear my baseball hat. It depends on if I want to look like a pretty farmer who takes wheelbarrow rides (click the link to see what I mean) or if I want to look like a 1990s weekend dad.
Sunglasses - You can’t see them in the photo, but I literally can’t walk outside without sunglasses on. Mine are prescription and come from the same place where my rose-gold eyeglasses are from. Love ‘em.
Gloves - I often forget to wear gloves until my fingernails are filled with dirt, but when I do remember, I wear these. I like that they aren’t bulky and bonus is they’re waterproof.
Pruner - My mother-in-law is a Master Gardener and she recommends these shears. That credibility is worth hundreds of 5-star reviews. They are on the pricey side, but I’m hopeful this will be an heirloom tool. They come in different sizes, so it might be worth going to your gardening center to find which are most ergonomic - mine are the F-8.
Weeder - I used to have a splintery wood one, then I got this cushy gel handle and it changed my weed pulling life. I chose to pull each weed (or pay someone to pull them) rather than use chemical weed killers.
Fertilizer - I admittedly don’t do much fertilizing, but when I do I steer clear of Monsanto and Miracle-Gro products. I go for Gro Power fertilizer, and I love how retro their bags still look.
Lopper - I had no idea that this was actually called a lopper, but its what I call “the big cutters” when I ask Ross to retrieve things from the garage. It’s great for getting through thick branches.
Ladder - We have multiple ladders, but I wish we instead had one super versatile one like this. It can be used a-frame or extension style. We use our a-frame ladder to reach lemons at the top of the tree and to trim the pepper tree. For smaller projects, I use this big step stool.
Buckets - Not the most glamorous, but among the most useful tool. I carry water from the rain barrel to plans, I harvest lemons in the bucket before carrying inside, and I’ve filled 100s of them with rocks. The ones I have are all plastic and each has broken or cracked. My next one will be recyclable metal like the one I linked.
Trimmer - Edger, weed whacker, trimmer, whatever you call it, that tool works magic. When we had basically only weeds for the better part of a year, I used it as a lawn mower and trimmer to make the weeds look like grass. Classy. This one is battery operated so you can take it anywhere - I even drove it 20 minutes to use at my mom’s house.
Telescoping Tree Pruner - We have some mighty tall palm trees, so this sucker comes in handy for the palms as well as the big tree in our backyard. I wonder if I should upgrade from the hand saw to the chain saw option, though! Oooooooh!!
Reciprocating Saw - I’ve used this outdoors more than I have on indoor projects. It cuts through big tree limbs like butter.
Pressure Washer - This is a starter pressure washer which has done the trick for us. Its not bulky, doesn’t require gasoline, and isn’t insanely noisy. There are much stronger ones on the market, but this one has worked for our needs. I realize this isn’t very gardener oriented, but pressure washed hardscapes make the plants look all the more prettier.
Hi-lift jack - Bonus tool! I discovered this fella when removing the fence and a big shrub. Not needed by every gardener/DIYer/human, but a super handy tool for removing stubborn things from the ground. I’ll tell you more about this one later.
I don’t have loyalty to any one shovel, spade, rake, etc. And since those tend to be garden basics, I’ll let you fly solo on sourcing those ones. I just recommend investing in one that is ergonomic and has a cushy handle.