There is so much that you must be doing in your gardens right now that I don’t know where to begin when giving advice. Your garlic should be out drying by now, your peas and arugula should be done, your tomatoes need to be staked, your potted plants must be fed, and you should be making notes of what you’ll do differently/the same next year. Ie. If you planted your peas late, perhaps when someone hinted that it was a bit late for peas, did you actually get enough peas to make it worth it?? I barely did and I planted mine in late April. If you have too much of something, preserve it somehow! Or give it away. Someone suggested that I dehydrate and then pulverize some kale because I have a lot of it, and now I have kale powder to add to winter smoothies! (I was lucky to borrow a dehydrator from a good ol pal in the Beaver Valley).
While you’re at it, it’s so helpful to have the right tools. Here are a few of my favourite garden things (no, I’m not endorsed by any of these products, but if someone wants to give me free things or pay me for promoting these products I will gladly accept):
1) A Bad Ass Garden Tool Belt
I used to stuff everything in my pockets and get stabbed by my dagger (see below) every time I squatted down, until I spotted this tool belt at a second hand store. It’s a carpenter’s tool belt, but what a life changer! I can even tuck my phone into it. Not to mention it makes you look like a seriously bad ass gardener. Toss in a baby bump and bam! My partner happened to drive past one of my worksites the other day and was totally checking me out.
2) The Dagger
To add to the bad ass gardener image, put one of these fiskars weed/knife/blade things in your tool belt. We refer to it as The Dagger, and it’s a tool I can’t live without and if you happen to “borrow it” daggers will shoot from my eyes. I will drive back home from a client garden to get it rather than try to weed with one of my other so called “weeding tools”. And when planting potted plants that need their roots trimmed or “striated”, it is there for you. In your bad ass tool belt of course.
3) A Water Wand
Here we lose the Bad Ass Gardener image. This tool will gives you a bit more of a garden-fairy feeling as you wave it around and over your plants. It is amazing because it is gentle while sending out loads of water without having to bend down to water just the base of the plants. It has an on-off switch at the handle so you can stop watering to harvest/weed/watch the clouds. I got mine from Lee Valley. Of course.
Yes, you can buy cheap pruners from CT or HH. But I bet you’ll lose them, or leave them out in the rain, or covered in sap. But when you invest in a good pair of pruners (such as these Felco ones) you will dig through piles and piles of wet compost to recover them days after you dumped them out with your weed bucket.
5) Watering Cans
As you can see, anytime I spot one of these watering cans at a garage sale I scoop them up. Usually for a quarter each. This is THE watering can of choice for me, and I have not seen them for sale anywhere brand new anymore. They are one piece of plastic made in Canada and if you can get one with the white spout attachment you’ve hit the jackpot. They don’t leak or crack or break, they are easy to fill, they hold a ton of water, and they pour out the water at a good pace. They are well balanced when full and survive quite a bit of abuse. If you see one at a garage sale, don’t pass it by!