Don't let the frozen ground fool you: Spring will come again, and when it does, will you be ready? Ready to garden that is. Growing one's own food, herbs, and flowers can be extremely rewarding, not to mention a great way to save money. If you're thinking about starting a garden this Spring, it's important to have all the necessary equipment on hand long before the first seedling goes into the ground. To help you achieve a successful harvest, we've rounded up 9 of our favorite eco-friendly gardening tools. If you have a favorite green gardening gadget that belongs on this list, please tell us about it in the comments!
1. Upcycled Seed Starters
The most economical way to grow food is to start from seed, but you can’t just throw those little guys directly into the ground. A month or two before you want to begin your Spring garden is the best time to sprout your seedlings in a protected environment. Forget the wasteful plastic seed starter flats you see at Home Depot and upcycle your own seed starting pots, using this LifeHack post as your guide.
2. Bambu Garden Tools
Bambu, a company well-known for making household essentials out of quick-growing bamboo, recently expanded into the gardening genre. These natural and hand-crafted gardening supplies include a solid bamboo fork and trowel set, along with bamboo gardening stakes. The tools are extremely light and shaped to fit your hand, making them a joy to use.
3. Gardening Gloves
We romanticize the notion of getting our hands dirty, but really that’s only fun for about a minute. After scrubbing them and picking soil out from under your fingernails just once, you’ll be searching for some quality gardening gloves. We’re particularly fond of these recycled plastic mesh gloves by West County Gardener, and these bamboo fiber (biodegradable, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal) all-purpose gloves by Go Greens.
4. Soaker Hose
Irrigation is essential to any garden’s success, but sprinklers and hoses are notoriously wasteful. First of all, they deposit the water on top of the plants and soil, meaning much is lost to evaporation. You’re not trying to water the entire world, just give your plants a drink, right? The best way to do that is to deliver the water right to the roots by using a soaker hose that’s buried just under the surface.
5. Cork Flower Pots
Planning a container garden? Corkits are recycled cork pots that are great for small plants such as herbs, spices, and flowers. The pots’ cork construction makes them antibacterial, extremely durable, reusable, and sustainable. Each Corkit pack ships with seeds, coir soil and a flowerpot with an optional drainage hole!
6. Recycled Plastic Rain Barrel
Another easy way to conserve water in your Spring garden is to collect rain water. Sure, you could just set a bunch of buckets around in your backyard, or you could use one of these stylish recycled plastic rain barrels instead. When it rains, water flows from your gutter through a screen and into the barrel. Then, when watering time comes along, the included spigots make it easy to attach your hose and give your plants a drink without using a drop of municipal water.
7. Upcycled Herb Garden Markers
Once your seeds have sprouted, you’ll get to think about laying your Spring garden into the ground. Many plants look alike when they’re small, which is why you’ll need to label the rows or pots to keep track of what’s what. These upcycled herb garden markers we found on Etsy are possibly the cutest way to stay organized.
8. Eco Garden Tool Tote
When heading out for a weeding or pruning session in your Spring garden, it can be hard to carry everything you need. To eliminate unnecessary trips back and forth from garden to shed or garage, stash all your tools in these garden totes from The Hunger Site. Made out of recycled rice and feed bags by female artisans in Cambodia, they help reduce both waste, and poverty.
9. DIY Watering Globe
If you’re planning a container garden for your porch or balcony, watering becomes an even more important issue. Unlike plants in the ground, water can collect in the bottom of containers, rotting the roots and killing your harvest. Protect against over-watering by upcycling your own self-watering globes that dispense water as the plants need it. Use this handy tutorial by Rad Megan to get started.