6 Useful Tools That Can Help With Container Gardening
What a wonderful sight!
That’s how you feel when you watch the beautiful plants in your container garden.
There was a time when you thought it was not possible. That you needed a large garden to grow plants. And that you needed to do a lot of work in the garden.
But container gardening changed that.
It takes a lot less work and you get to grow your favorite plants even if you just have a patio or balcony.
But there’s still something you don’t enjoy about gardening.
You don’t like the dirt sticking under your nails as you mix the soil in containers. You don’t like soiling your hands while pruning the plants. And you don’t want to deal with creepy caterpillars using your bare hands.
That’s why you need certain gardening tools that will help make your container gardening a lot easier.
Gloves are the savior of a gardener’s hands.
The soil can get under your nails as you work in the garden. But gloves can help you avoid that problem.
You may be sensitive to some plants or your plants may have thorns. Gloves will protect your hands from the damage this could cause.
Your plants have bug problems like snails and caterpillars and you find it icky to pick them with your hands. That’s when gloves can help you take care of them without feeling disgusted.
You can get gloves that are non-waterproof and made of fabric. These are comfortable to use and useful for pruning and harvesting. But they won’t help you while mixing the moist container soil.
Pick gloves that are waterproof where they will protect your hands from getting wet when you’re handling container soil.
Mixing the container soil should be easy.
That’s because we use a mix of compost and potting soil to keep it friable and fluffy. So you should be able to use your hands with a good pair of gloves and mix the soil.
But sometimes the soil in your containers may get compacted and hard to turn just with your hands. That’s when a trowel can be of great help.
It comes with a sharp pointed edge that can help you dig into the soil and mix it well.
A trowel can also help you add potting mix and compost to your container in an efficient manner.
Your hands do great work in the container garden.
That’s all you’ll need to trim small stems, leaves, branches, and fruits from your container plants.
But if the branches are a bit thick, your hands won’t be able to do the job without damaging the plants.
That’s when it’s better to use a cutting tool like a bypass pruner.
The bypass pruner has sharp blades that cross each other like a pair of scissors. This means that you can cut branches up to
1 inch thick with ease.
The cut made by such pruners is clean compared to using a pair of scissors. This means that your plants can heal well and have less risk of getting attacked by diseases at the cuts.
The pruners are well-constructed and won’t collect sap or rust on the blades. So they’ll last a lot longer as well.
You can use the bypass pruners to cut dead branches as well but they’re meant for green branches. An anvil pruner works great when you want to trim dead branches.
One blade works like an anvil and drops on to the other fixed blade crushing the branch. This mechanism helps generate a lot more cutting power to trim the dead branches.
Many plants don’t like the cold.
That’s why you need to watch out for weather changes in your container garden. Having plants on your patio or balcony means you need a thermometer to check the temperature.
But the temperature can fluctuate a lot during the day and night. So a regular thermometer is not the best for your garden.
It’s better to buy a min-max thermometer that gives the temperature measurement during the day as well as night.
You can use it to make a better judgement whether you need to bring your container plants indoors once the weather gets cold.
5. Watering tools
Watering can be tough with container gardening.
That’s because plants have a limited space to spread their roots. So they’re limited in the water available to them.
That’s why you need to water your container plants often. The roots take in the required moisture and the excess drains out from the bottom.
You could invest in self-watering containers that have a reservoir at the bottom. This means the plants get a constant supply of water even if you don’t water them often.
If you’re using a regular container, you’ll need a good watering can or a hose for watering the plants.
You don’t want water to splash on the foliage because that’s an invitation to fungal diseases. So it’s good to buy a watering can that comes with an attachment to regulate the water spray.
Choose a watering can that is neither too large that it’s difficult to carry nor too small that it does not contain sufficient water.
The other option is to keep your containers near a water source like a tap. Then you can use a hose with an attached watering wand to spray water in your containers.
Don’t use the hose directly without an attachment because you’ll spray the soil right out of the container if the water pressure is high.
6. Supporting tools
You can grow a variety of plants with container gardening. Check out the best fruits to grow in a container garden.
Some of these plants are the type that grows tall and need support. These could be plants like tomatoes or pole beans.
It’s easy to provide support to such plants using a trellis or stake when growing outdoors. You can drive them deep into the soil and you’re done.
But there’s a problem with container gardening.
The soil is loose and friable so if you try to put support in the container it might fall out or topple the container.
To avoid this problem, you could attach the stake to a large enough container. If you can place the containers near some soil, you can drive the stake behind the container into the soil.
Or you could buy special containers that come with the stake already in place.
You’re grateful for container gardening.
It’s helped you grow your favorite plants even with the limited space that you have.
And with the help of useful tools, container gardening becomes that much easier.
Try using these tools if you find yourself digging the soil, pruning the plants, or plucking off pests with your bare hands.
You will enjoy working in your container garden even more.
Kevin Rodrigues is the founder of https://gardeningmentor.com. He’s a software developer that wants to transition into a full-time gardener. He plans to grow an organic garden that can help sustain his family. His love for gardening drives him to share tips, guides, and resources on his website.