Growing Tips for Beginners

If you are a beginning gardener, you will need a set of tools to get started. Used tools will be more cost effective.

Spading fork. It allows you to dig into hard soil and break up the ground before you plant anything. It looks similar to a pitchfork but has a shorter handle and wider tines.

Hoe. These help with weeding the top layer of soil to let in nutrients and water. You will also need either a watering can or a hose.

Watering can or a hose. Make sure you will be able to lift the watering can once it is full of water.

Round-ended shovel. If you want to do larger projects, you will want a heavier and larger shovel. If you plan to do smaller projects, you should use a thinner shovel.

Shears. A pair of them will help with pruning.

Wheel-barrow. It will help with hauling heavy loads.

Gardening gloves. A pair of these gloves will protect your hands.

Soil test. A soil test is an indispensable tool for any gardener. It tells you the pH of the soil and the levels of potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur available for plant growth. It will help you understand the texture of your soil, how much lime and fertilizer, if any, to add and will even indicate lead contamination.

Soil test results offer information that can save you money and help you prevent water pollution. You should test soil in the early spring before the growing season or in the fall before the ground freezes. To find a place to get your soil tested, contact your county extension agency. Your state government website may also provide this information.


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