Box of gardening supplies

Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation

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Buy the Basics
Whether you're planting flowers or vegetables, Charlie suggests investing in these basic gardening supplies:

  • Compost
    You can buy it bagged at a gardening center or in bulk and have it delivered to your home. Compost, which is a mixture of decaying organic matter, improves the health of your soil, and Charlie says the soil is the soul of your garden.
  • Mulch
    "It's nice to put down a layer of mulch to keep the soil nice and moist," Charlie says. By adding mulch to your garden in the spring, you reduce some of watering, weeding and other maintenance you'll have to do in the summer, Charlie says. Depending on what's available where you live, you can use wood chips, pine straw or even stone or rock as mulch, but Charlie suggests using organic mulch that will break down into your soil and feed it over time.
  • Hand tools
    A basic set of gardening tools includes a three-prong cultivator that you can use to make rows, weed and perform other activities, Charlie says. Other good tools include a trowel for digging in small gardens and a dibbler, which helps to make holes in the ground for seeds and plants.
  • A garden hose
    Charlie suggests investing in a good hose and spray fixture for the end of the hose that releases a gentle spray when watering. Most garden hoses are made of vinyl or rubber and cost $20 to $40.
  • Hat, gloves and sun protection
    Any time you're out in your garden, use common sense and wear a wide-brimmed hat and long sleeves or sunblock, Charlie says. Also, a good pair of gardening gloves will keep your hands clean and protected.


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