Five Must Have Tools For Container and Small Space Gardening

5 essential tools

There is a saying that I have often used when referring to successful garden design, that is right plant, right place. There is an equally important saying when selecting the tools to do the various gardening chores you will need to do. That rule is; the right tool for the right job.

The small space garden will require a different set of tools that a full size garden; however, the difference is not in quality or the need for the tool, but in the nature of the tool itself.

The container garden has the same or similar tool requirements as the small space garden.

The five must have tools for the small space or container garden are:

1- a hand trowel

2- a pocket knife

3- a bulb planter

4- a watering can

5- a pair of shears for pruning.

I have a sixth tool that I carry and use mostly for my African violets and other indoor plants, to take stem cuttings, but they are also handy in the outdoor garden but not essential, the exacto knife. The sharp blade of the exacto knife is excellent for taking stem or leaf cuttings as I have said but also do a good job on harvesting cut flowers for the table.

All these tools can fit into a small kit or hand tool belt and are easy to store as they take up little space.

The tool that I have made the most use over the years and the one that I have in some case used for all my gardening needs, is my pocket knife. I use a lock back pocket knife that is kept very sharp. I have planted seeds with this,; it is excellent for making seed rows, I have dug small holes for seedling and small plants with it; I have used it for weeding, harvesting lettuce and other cut and come again greens and many, many other uses.

The hand trowel is the tool of choice for planting while I can dig a hole with my pocket knife the hand trowel does it quicker and easier and is much more useful when it comes to backfilling holes. If you are a container gardener the hand trowel can help you fill the containers quickly and with a minimum of mess.

When it comes to maintenance of container smaller than a foot across, a dinner fork can aerate soil and a dinner spoon can be useful for adding fertilizer, organic, of course. I have not included these two items on the must have list but especially for small indoor gardens, they are very useful.

The watering can makes watering easy for containers as you can direct the water away from the plant’s leaves right to the roots, which is helpful for many plants. You will waste very little water this way. Watering cans can also add to the décor as they can eb quite fancy, get one to match yoru garden.

If you grow bulbs, the bulb planter is a must for the time it will save you when planting those spring and fall bulbs. Planting a bulb at the proper depth can make all the difference between success and failure.

Last but certainly not least are the pruning shears, if you are pruning shrubs, bushes or small trees you will need a pair that is strong and sharp enough to do the job. The grip is important as you will be exerting some pressure when making the cut. Get a pair to match your needs this includes both your personal physical need and the needs of the plants you will be pruning. You can ask a local plant nursery manger for suggestions and be sure to tell the manger what plants you are pruning.

Now you have your garden toolbox in order, happy gardening.

knife

Bob Ewing photo: i have used this locked back folding knife for planting seeds, digging holes, deadheading and harvesting greens.
Bob Ewing photo: i have used this locked back folding knife for planting seeds, digging holes, deadheading and harvesting greens.

wtaer can

Absolutely essential for regular watering of container plants in small garden, this is the one I use indoors. Bob Ewing photo
Absolutely essential for regular watering of container plants in small garden, this is the one I use indoors. Bob Ewing photo

hand trowel

had scoop from Rittenhouse, courtesy Rittenhouse, valuable for any digging you may need.
had scoop from Rittenhouse, courtesy Rittenhouse, valuable for any digging you may need.

bulb planter

bulb planter: courets Rittenhouse,makes planting spring and fall bulbs easier.
bulb planter: courets Rittenhouse,makes planting spring and fall bulbs easier.

exacto

excellent for taking stem cuttings both indoors and out. Bob Ewing Photo
excellent for taking stem cuttings both indoors and out. Bob Ewing Photo

shears

shears for light pruning: courtesy Rittenhouse
shears for light pruning: courtesy Rittenhouse

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Comments 11 comments

Georgiakevin profile image

Georgiakevin 8 years ago from Central Georgia

As a man with the same last name as you have,it is especially enjoyable to learn so much about gardening from you!


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Cool, and thanks for stopping by.


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

My son gave me some tools for my garden, which I have used. Although my back probelms will not allow me to do much traditional gardening, I am devising a way to use hanging pots to grow my herbs and garlic. I will be using it next year, and am making it out of recycled materials.

If I complete it and grow some herbs there I'll send along a photo or two!


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

very nice list and reference! I'l creating quite a notebook from your information/ I should have the best garden in Oklahoma!


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick Author

CJ, looking forward to the photos. thanks mariesue and happy gardening.


cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 8 years ago from North Carolina

I have some of it but not all, thanks for the tips, this is a must have for every gardener.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thanks for the visit.


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

Thats what I need, a gardening tool box or belt. I'm forever losing sight of my tools. I have 4 of the 5 essential tools but not the bulb planter. I will have to pick one of these up before planting fall bulbs.

Although I may not have the same last name as you like your first commenter, I did have my maiden name of Gardner and got called Garden on many many occasions. LOL


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thanks for stopping by, Garden, i lose gloves, at least 1 every year.


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

LOL at You!!!!!, Garden,   ok Ewing!!!  Oh yes, thanks for reminding me. I need a new pair of gardening gloves because my neighbors dogs chewed holes in mine when I left them at their house.  I use my garden gloves to play catch with the 4 dogs.  It's not the first pair that got chewed up either.  (Note to Dottie, add gloves to shopping list).  Thanks, Ewing!!!!!!!


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Glad i could help.:)

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