Gardens Offer Beauty & Food Savings

Gardens Offer Beauty & Food Savings


Home gardening has been growing steadily as a hobby for a number of years, but if my observations at my local Sears gardening center are correct, the biggest growth over the past few months has been with food gardens. As Americans tighten their belts and take a hard look at their budgets, they see that food is one expense that can and should be held in check.

prunerGrowing food at home doesn’t require vast acreage nor does it even require a yard. True, if you live in an apartment your options are limited, but you can still grow tomatoes, spices, lettuce and some other vegetables in pots on a patio or in a window box. Most home gardens really aren’t all that large; a 10×10 patch of ground can yield significant amounts of delicious vegetables for several months.

Using The Right Tools

Most any gardener knows that finding the right tools to use can make gardening much more easier to accomplish. When searching for master gardening supplies, take the long approach and look for tools that have hardwood handles and are made of high carbon steel. Yes, you’ll pay a handsome amount of money for high quality garden tools, but they should last a lifetime.  Visit yard and estate sales to see what you can find, otherwise plan on making a one time investment that will have a long lasting return.

So what kind of tools are a must for every garden? Well, you probably already own a rake and you may have a hoe, two essentials for every garden. In addition, a hand trowel is what you will need for planting blooming bulbs, placing in small plants and digging small holes.

Get a pair of hand pruning shears, particularly ones that have one strong, curved steel blade and a sharp straight blade. One blade holds the branch in place while the other one does the cutting.  You’ll also want to have on hand a knife which can come in handy to deadhead plants and for removing buds.

Garden Weeders Come In Handy

A weeder, traditionally used to dig out asparagus, can be the best tool for removing dandelions in your garden as well as in your lawn.  A pruning fork can come in handy if you have a small area to cultivate while a five-tine cultivator can aerate and loosen up especially tough soil.

For larger gardens, owning a wheelbarrow can be helpful as can a garden tool box. With the latter, portable ones with wheels serve a dual purpose: allowing you to sit on the box while gardening while also offering a good storage area for your tools.

Watering cans and a hose with a reel are two more essentials, what you need to have on hand in order to keep your garden from drying up. You’ll actually extend the life of your hose if you use a canister hose reel which will protect your hose when not in use and keep it free from tangles.

Beyond these tools, you’ll have to decide what works best for you including assorted pots, plant stakes, garden decor and more.

What is the best part of gardening? Besides saving money is having access to the freshest vegetables possible, homegrown goodness not easily found at local shops and supermarkets.


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About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".