Mowing lawns was out of the question. The equipment was expensive and the competition fierce. Anyone can mow a lawn. But, perennial, annual and shrub maintenance — that was a totally different ball game. The equipment expense was minimal and the knowledge and experience requirement weeded out the competition.
Tools required for garden maintenance
My essential garden maintenance tool kit, which fit easily into a large duffle bag, included:
- Hand trowel
- Hand cultivator
- Fan rake (folding)
- Shovel (folding)
- Hedge shears
- Saw (folding)
- Collapsible garden waste container
- Kneeling pad
Digging and Planting
Planting or transplanting annuals, perennials and shrubs was easily done with a hand trowel and/or shovel.
For weed control I used a combination of a hand cultivator and a hand trowel. Weeds were collected in collapsible garden waste containers. You can get away without a kneeling pad if your garden is small, but if you garden more than 2 hours a day, a kneeling pad is an absolute must. Your knees will thank you.
Snipping spent blooms is quickly and easily done with secateurs. Antiseptic alcohol cleans up the built-up gum and sterilizes the blades.
I collected landscape debris (i.e. leaves) with a fan rake and placed it in collapsible garden waste containers. All my gardening sites had a compost area.
Hedge shears were a breeze to use on the larger hedges. However, I used the smaller secateurs to trim small topiaries. I collected the leaves in a tarp.
With secateurs, saw and loppers, I was able to prune almost everything. I sterilized blades with alcohol between plants.
And don’t forget the essential personal attire:
- Durable flexible Gloves
- Sturdy shoes
- Wide brimmed, stay-on hat
I didn’t skimp on gloves. With my hands constantly in the dirt, it was essential to have durable, hardwearing, flexible, washable gloves. I settled on leather gloves that usually lasted me a couple seasons.
Sturdy shoes are a must. You don’t know what you will step on or brush past: thorns, glass, nettle, insects…
A large brimmed hat. Well, large enough to cover your face, but not get in the way when you are gardening. And a must: the hat needs to stay on regardless what you do or what the weather conditions.
Writing about my humble beginnings in the garden maintenance business inspires me. Next time I find myself stuck or being negative, I will remind myself I have a “can do” attitude. I just have to dig down for it.