My yard before I landscaped looking very rough and in need of some TLC

Let’s Get Dirty! Shopping for Garden Supplies

No products or stores mentioned here have sponsored this post in any way. All products were purchased by me for normal use. This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. This does not impact my reviews or opinions expressed in this post.

As mentioned in my “So I bought a house” post the yard was very much in need of some TLC. The woman who lived here before me was 85 and not able to take care of the yard anymore. It was being overtaken by salmon and blackberry bushes (so spiky and invasive!!) and overgrown with weeds. Nothing was really thriving except some old tulips. The soil had not been worked in a long time so it was hard and, overall, not able to really support much life.

My overgrown backyard in need of a lot of TLC
The yard when I got the house – This was spring!

I had always wanted a yard. I grew up in the garden with my mom and I loved being out in the soil, digging around and watching my plants grow. My tiny apartment balcony had as many plants as I could (reasonably) fit, but it’s just not the same.

Let’s go shopping!

With COVID-19 and being stuck at home, I figured I would make the best of it and get my hands dirty! Coming from an apartment I had nothing for gardening supplies, so thankfully the Home Depot near me was still open. You will notice all the products below from here for that reason. But these are just the types of items I would recommend getting that were useful. Pretty sure my first trip to get garden stuff cost more than a compact car, but I did try to limit myself to the necessities.

Fiskars tiller from home depot makes breaking up hard ground a breeze
Fiskars Tiller

There is one tool that I 100% recommend if you’re doing a garden overhaul. I aptly named it the “digging stick thingy” but you will have better luck with the actual name Tiller, if you want to be fancy and all. This is the one I bought and it is a back saver! My soil turned out to be mostly clay so it was really solid. This tool easily broke up the top few inches so I could mix some better soil and compost in.

Sea Soil bag
Sea Soil

And speaking of compost… I was told to try this one and my goodness is it a winner! My plants LOVE it. If you have trouble soil it is a game changer. Just mix it into your existing soil with a bit of top soil and boom – happy plants. Sea Soil is available pretty much everywhere so just ask for it if you don’t see it. Learn more about Sea Soil here.

What other useful things did I get from ‘the Depot’?

  • Wheelbarrow (obviously!) – this one is lightweight and not super pricey. So far it has move a ton of weight in soil, rocks, mulch… The reviews are not great on it but I have no concerns with it at this time. I’ll update if needed.
  • Shears:
  • Shovel (another obviously here I would say) – I ended up having to get 2 more because I broke the first 2 within a couple weeks (this cheap shovel) and ended up spending more to get one that’s better quality that I’ve used for 3 months now and still have.
  • Real aggressive rake – for moving the soil around and getting unwanted plants out
  • An old piece of foam to kneel on, but you can buy them (see my wish list item #1 below)
  • Hand tools – all the little things you need to get down in the dirt and plant some friends.

The last thing was a HUGE win. As mentioned my yard was being overtaken by viscous berry bushes. Anyone who has been around a blackberry bush knows what I mean. They really are awful and basic garden gloves will not make the grade. BUT THESE GLOVES ROCK! NoCry really make the grade. Some of the really big thorns poke a bit, but you can actually work with them without bleeding. The cover your forearms and are thick enough to withstand a lot of “poking”.

Me pulling out a ling blackberry vine from the trees wearing NoCry gloves
Fighting the blackberry bush that grew up through the trees

What’s on my wish list?

You can’t have it all. OK, I can’t have it all… So what is on my wish list for things that, looking back (and forward) would be awesome to have?

As an Amazon affiliate I may receive compensation for purchases made through some of the links below.

  1. Memory foam kneeling pad – I mean COME ON! this would be a game changer but it cuts into the plant budget.
  2. Seeding Square: Seed & Seedling Spacer Tool – “Perfectly Spaced Vegetables, Reduces Weeds, Conserves Water & Maximizes Yield – Square-Foot-Gardening Seed Spacer with Dibble, Spacing Template & Funnel” These are all good things!
  3. Hori Hori knife – this tool does it all; cuts, weeds and digs into hard dirt and measures depth.
  4. 3-in-1 Soil PH, Moisture and Light Tester – this would have been VERY helpful for figuring out my soil and who best to stick where. I went through some trial and error on this one. May still get one of these so I’ll review it when I do!
  5. Silicone Thumb Knife – this would be amazing for deadheading!

Well, that’s it for my shopping but stay tuned for the next post where I talk to planning and implementation, and be sure to follow along with the rest of my garden changes! Some DIY projects are coming your way.

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