Did you run out again!? Problems keeping your gardening supplies in stock? Know exactly what you need and get a free checklist so you never run out again.
Is your garden shed/greenhouse/garage filled with empty containers of fertilizer, dried up bottles of some unknown liquid, broken pots and missing supplies?
Do you start every spring realizing that you’re missing some important supplies and have to run out to the nursery or garden centre?
Do you make do and wonder why your plants are not thriving because you ran out of fertilizer early in the growing season and keep forgetting to buy more?
Even if you think you have a good handle on what is on hand, do you really want to find out just as you’re eagerly seeding that you’ve run out of potting soil?
The list below is a selection of important gardening supplies you’ll want to stock up on so that you’re ready to tackle next year’s growing season well prepared. You may not need everything depending on what you grow.
Pest and Weed Control
If you’re concerned about chemicals ending up in your food you are growing, you’ll want to stick with organic pest and weed control.
This is the only thing I spray onto my fruit trees when they are dormant as it is considered to be an organic control (it simply smothers the pests instead of using a toxic chemical). Dilute according to the directions on the bottle.
While you can make this up anytime you need it, it is handy to have a spray bottle ready to go at the first sign of aphids. Recipe: 2 tablespoons liquid soap (preferably environmentally friendly) into 1-gallon water.
Rinse out empty eggshells well, let them dry and then crush them up. Sprinkle around young plants to deter slugs and snails (they don’t like to crawl over the sharp shards)
A good weed killer. Mix with very hot water and pour on weeds. Avoid getting it on the plants you want to keep!
Copper tape, pennies or mesh
Use as a slug and snail deterrent. They don’t like crawling over it as it induces an electrical charge.
Suppresses weeds and also helps to retain moisture. You can buy it in bags for convenience at your local home centre, garden centre or nursery but if you need a lot, order it by the truck-full. Avoid the coloured mulch – it can contain chemicals that you don’t want leaching into the food you are growing.
These are season extenders and can allow you to plant earlier than your last frost date. Many kinds available.
Protect individual plants. The best ones have some kind of vent on top that let’s you control how hot it gets inside. It’s easy to cook your plants on a sunny day, even if the air temperature is still cool.
These can be used as season extenders so you can sow or transplant earlier in spring and later into the fall. Or used to keep aphids and cabbage loopers away from your brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, etc.).
Also you may need some shade cloth to drape over plants in the heat of the summer.
More info is available in this post on why you need plant protection.
Need a handy garden supplies checklist to keep track of what you have and what you need to buy?
Just one of the many cheatsheets, worksheets, checklists and guides in the Homegrown Resources Library.
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Made from waste fish. Some brands say they are odour-free but they all smell like rotten fish. Dilute with water. Great for tomatoes (and no, your tomatoes won’t taste like fish if you apply as instructed!)
Made from seaweed. A nicer smell than fish fertilizer. Dilute with water. Great for leafy vegetables.
Preferably get an organic mix. Slower acting than the liquid fertlizers but great to add to a planting hole before you plant seeds or transplants. You can also side-dress your plants as they grow. Organic usually won’t burn plants but good to mix it in with the soil a bit and water it in.
Plant Supports and ID
Plant tags or labels
There are many styles of tags/labels available. I use cut up sections of old venetian blinds. Some people use popsicle sticks.
You can also buy plastic plant tags.
Or if you have children you can make these cute plant labels that I have for sale as a printables download.
To tie up plants to stakes, trellises, etc. Green is a good colour as it will blend in with your plants. And best to have twine that will compost and break down.
You need good sturdy stakes that won’t break under the weight of a plant. For beans setting up three stakes in a teepee shape connected at the top with 3-hole connectors is best.
Tomato plants need sturdy supports around them as they don’t have tendrils like beans to grip onto stakes or other supports.
If your soil is naturally acidic, you may have to sweeten it up for certain plants to thrive. Brassicas especially need alkaline soil. Dolomite lime is preferred.
This you can purchase in bags or in bulk. Great to mix into the soil of container plants. Buy locally as it is quite heavy.
Yes, this is worm poop! Again great for containers or if you’re transplanting vegetables into your garden.
A good quality, moisture-retentive sterilized potting soil for starting seeds and for container plants. I would buy the one without added fertilizer.
Square pots are most space efficient but circular ones will work too. For starting seeds and repotting transplants.
To avoid getting water everywhere when you water your pots. You can get trays designed to hold a certain number of pots or just use whatever you can find such as well-washed styrofoam meat trays or take out containers.
Seeds are usually the most cost-effective way to grow most food plants. The variety and types of seeds are almost endless.
Learn more about the differences between using seeds or seedlings in this article: Seeds or Seedlings? Which is the Better Choice?
SeedsNow has a great selection of seeds and I’m an affiliate for them.
Get your free Garden Supplies Checklist, part of the Homegrown Resources Library.
Now it’s time for you to go out to your garden shed, greenhouse or garage and check what gardening supplies you have and what you need to buy. Don’t procrastinate on this as you want to be ready for spring!