I don’t have a garden shed. Instead, I have a greenhouse (well, I had a greenhouse until the storms the other day, but I’m hoping to resurrect it before spring planting begins!) and a not terribly beautiful black storage box. This has its pros and cons. On the con side, it is a bit annoying that I don’t have a good place to store lots of stuff. On the pros side, it is brilliant that I don’t have anywhere to store lots of stuff because it means I’m less likely to buy useless things for the sake of it!
What this means, is that I am now a master of gardening with a bare minimum of tools and equipment. I think this is a good thing, and would encourage you all to keep it simple… Here’s my essential kit list:
- Watering Can and/or Hose (these both live outside, so no need for storage space)
- A Collapsible Garden Bag – this works really well for weeding and clearing, as afterwards it collapses down and takes up very little space. Failing this, make sure you have a wheelbarrow,
- A Hoe. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of a hoe. Without a hoe you will be weeding all summer. With a hoe, you just drag a stick along the soil once a week and weeds are kept at bay.
- A Garden Fork. I’m using the no-dig method, but I still find my garden fork a necessity for pulling up awkward bramble roots and dandelions from time to time. And for pulling up parsnips. But you only need one. Really.
- Secateurs. These are nice and small so fit in the storage box. They are very important for cutting back any invasive brambles, useful for harvesting many crops and for cutting bamboo to make wigwam supports.
- Heavy Duty Gloves. Don’t waste money on the cheap, thin ones (the stinging nettles can still sting!). Just get 2 decent pairs of tough gardening gloves and they’ll last much longer.
- Trowel. I use my trowel for planting.
- Fleece. This is my go-to for pest defence – I always have a few sheets folded away in my storage box.
- Scissors and Twine. I’m always surprised at how often I need scissors in the veg patch – cutting out brassica collars from card, snipping off unwanted stems from young plants, cutting fleece to the right size and so on. Likewise, I am forever in need of twine to tie up bamboo supports etc.
- Bamboos and Jam Jars. Bamboo is my best friend in the veg patch – I use it to construct all sorts of things from wigwam supports to hen-proof fencing. I also prod bamboo canes into the soil and place an upturned jam jar on the top – then I can drape horticultural fleece over the top to protect my crops from pigeons, butterflies, and so on.