If you’re a resident Florida gardener or hope to become one, you already know a major perk of Florida living is year-round gardening. The Sunshine State’s sunshine, coupled with sup-tropical and tropical climates, means the growing season literally never ends. Gardening fever is especially catching in spring, however. To get you ready, here’s a selection of this season’s must-have garden tools.
For Digging in the Dirt
Unless you work sizable acreage and need a tractor and tiller, handheld tools will do a fine job. Use trowels (they look like mini-hand spades) to dig, plant and move dirt or potting soil. Garden forks (pronged mini-rakes) bust up and aerate soil. If you’re planting a vegetable garden, you’ll need the bigger and perhaps more familiar shovels and hoes. Pick axes also are useful. A pick ax is a single-bladed tool perfect for extracting that dead hibiscus stump next to your patio.
It’s tempting to buy a gas-or-electric-powered hedge trimmer, but unless you’re trimming shrubbery for the entire neighborhood, hand-held tools give you more control. And, peace and quiet. Loppers — long-handled clippers for snipping small tree limbs — and hedge trimmers for giving your boxwoods regular haircuts, keep the big plants in check. Use hand clippers or pruners for deadheading roses or other flowering plants.
Aside from your sprinkler system, hoses and watering cans are all you need. A soaker hose, which contains numerous, tiny perforations, sits on the ground in landscaped beds and along garden rows, and is environmentally friendly. It slowly oozes water near the roots of plants. A regular hose is an obvious need. And watering cans refresh containers, house plants and hanging baskets.
Who doesn’t love a red wheelbarrow? Or a green or black one? They’re indispensable moving machines. Plastic pop-up utility bags that hold a gazillon fallen leaves are almost as indispensable. For fun, seek out wooden garden trugs — horizontal wooden baskets with a single handle. They’re age-old gardening staples that are fun to use when you harvest vegetables or cut flowers for vases. They also double (once cleaned up!) as a centerpiece for your summer kitchen table.
The nitty-gritty aspect of gardening includes eradicating weeds and patrolling borders. Use sharp edgers to maintain a clean separation between your lawn and landscaped beds. A paving knife (look it up; you’ll love it) roots out those nasty dandelions that pop up between driveway pavers. Rakes clean up big messes. Pitch forks are awesome at breaking down bales of pinestraw
Don’t forget you! We love our Florida sunshine, but extended periods in it can damage skin. Find a sunscreen you like and apply it before heading out for gardening chores. Don’t forget a light, comfortable hat and gardening gloves. Boots keep your feet and ankles dry, plus provide stability and support.
Seeking a new custom Florida home for your garden? ICI Homes can help. Start here.