101 Garden Essentials for Beginners and Experts (2023)

Must Have Garden Essentials
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With the right garden essentials, you’ll maximize your harvests while minimizing your effort. 

Here is a list of the 101 garden essentials you need to make sure your garden is as productive as possible. 

You can also bookmark it and come back to it as a gift guide later!

Seed Starting Containers

  1. Bootstrap Farmer. These seed starting trays are a bit of an investment, but they will last YEARS. Purchase these and never have to think about buying more. I have had mine for four seasons, and they feel brand new.
  2. 4” Seedling Pots.  This size is great to start your seedlings in or to transfer them into once they have a few true leaves so they can grow more. I can get a couple of seasons of use out of them if I’m careful, so they are a great value. You can also give these away and feel good since they are such a good value.
  3. 6-cell Seedling Containers. If you are thinking of selling seedlings, these 6-packs are easy to purchase in small quantities, and the cells are large so you can easily grow larger seedlings in these as well as smaller plants. I start crops like cabbages, broccoli, and scallions in these.
seed starting containers in greenhouse

Seed Starting Soil/Mix

  1. Purple Cow Organic Seed Starting Mix.  This is this perfect seed starting mix to get you going with seed starting. It’s very fluffy so your seedlings will push right through the surface, and it’s fortified with nutrients so your seedlings get off to the best start possible.
  2. Pro-Mix. When you decide you want to increase your seedling quantity or you want to bring your costs down, buying a bale of Pro-Mix is the cost-effective way to go. This is a deliciously fluffy mix, and at this size, it’s a great value. 
  3. Miracle-Gro Potting Mix. This product is easy to find and relatively inexpensive. Many people start with a basic bag of Miracle-Gro.

Seed Sources

  1. Botanical Interests 
  2. Hoss Tools 
  3. High Mowing Seeds 
  4. Seeds for Generations 
  5. Seeds Now 
  6. Johnny’s Selected Seeds
  7. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
  8. Hudson Valley Seed Company
  9. Territorial Seed Company
  10. Baker Creek
  11. Gurney’s
  12. Pinetree Seeds
Stack of seed catalogues.

Grow Lights

 
  1. LED Shop lights. These lights will get your grow room going strong for $40. With just 2 shop lights ($40), you can grow 140 seedlings. With this kind of growing space, you’ll likely never have to buy expensive transplants again.
  2. CFL Lights. Buy a couple of these CFL lights to start your seedling grow room for less than $26. 
  3. MarsHydro. If you want to take your growing to the next level, add this full-spectrum light to your set-up. With this light, you can grow plants from seed to fruit, or turbo-charge your seedling growth.
Rack of Grow Lights with Seed Trays Underneath

Seedling Fertilizer

Seedlings need a more gentle fertilizer than grown plants. These fertilizers are perfect for fertilizing seedlings. No list of garden essentials is complete without seedling fertilizer.

 

  1. Neptune’s Harvest. Neptune’s Harvest is a balanced organic fertilizer that can be sprayed on the leaves, in the soil, or used to help activate compost. It is very gentle, which is why I use it for seedlings, but it is also strong enough to be used in the garden. One ounce of concentrate liquid will make a gallon of fertilizer.
  2. Vermisterra Worm Tea. Worm tea is made by soaking worm castings in water and then filtering the liquid out for use as a fertilizer. Vermisterra Worm Tea is a very popular option.

Container Garden Essentials

Growing your garden in containers is a great way to have a productive garden without requiring substantial in-ground garden space.

I’ve used containers for years to grow gardens in small spaces, so they are definitely on my list of garden essentials.

  1. Maui Mike’s 
  2. Smart Pots 
  3. YardZen
Garden Essentials

Digging & Cutting Tools

You’ll need to be able to snip, prune, and dig in the garden, and the tools below give you options on any budget. I currently use all of these in my garden, and I couldn’t garden without them. In my opinion, they are the definition of garden essentials.

1. Hori Hori ToolsI use these for digging deep through landscape fabric to plant tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant seedlings.

2. Fiskars 3-Piece Garden Tool Set. perfect for digging holes for dahlia tubers, working in a top-dressing of fertilizer, weeding, and tons of other uses. 

3. Fiskars Snips. I use these for pruning plants. Their pointed end allows me to get the scissors close to the main stem so I can cut suckers without fear of cutting the main stem off. 

4. Fiskars PowerArc Shears.Great for cutting flowers from my flower garden for arranging. 

5. Felco. My Felco’s were a Mother’s Day gift a couple of years ago, and I use them when I need extra leverage to cut through woody stems of plants that may have gone to seed. The leverage and power I get from them when cutting is amazing.

Landscape Fabric Garden Essentials

Use landscape fabric as weed barrier to eliminate weeds in your garden and save hours of time. You can use these weed barrier options year after year.

I don’t have anything addition to say about these options. They are just good workhorse products that will give you a weed-free garden so you can spend more of your time growing amazing food!

  1. Dewitt Landscape Fabric
  2. Johnny’s Selected Seeds
  3. AgFabric 4ft X 300ft
Dragon Tongue Beans in Landscape Fabric

Watering Needs

Being able to water your garden efficiently and consistently has never been more important. Here are top choices for watering your garden efficiently:

  1. Drip Depot  A one-stop-shop for everything you need related to drip irrigation. 

  2. Rain Bird Drip Irrigation

  3. Container Drip Irrigation Kit

  4. Watering Soaker Head for Seedlings

  5. Clay Jars for Watering Garde

Garden Fertilizers

 Using garden fertilizers to amend your garden soil is a great way to increase your harvests. These are all fertilizers that I use and swear by. 
  1. Biotone Starter Plus The best fertilizer to add when first planting a seedling or direct sowing seeds.
  2. Espoma Garden Tone The best all-purpose vegetable garden fertilizer to use during the growing season.
  3. Down to Earth Blood Meal 12-0-0 A great natural source of nitrogen. I use this to side dress during the green- growth phase of growing onions.
  4. Down to Earth Bone Meal 3-15-0 A great source of phosphorus and calcium to help improve flower, fruit, seed, and vegetable production. 
  5. Down to Earth Langbeinite 0-0-22 Contains potash, which is a great source of potassium for plants.
My personal organic fertilizer stash

Staking Tools & Vegetable Supports

  1.  Gardener’s Supply Tomato Cages, 4-pack. These cages are an economical, yet sturdy option. 
  2.  Titan Tall Tomato Cages
  3.  Cattle Panels I grow over 40 tomato plants every year, and grow them on 4 cattle panel trellises.
  4. T Posts The cattle panels are attached to T-posts that are pounded into the ground every 4-5 ft. This is the basic structure of the trellis.
  5. Zip Ties Use heavy duty outdoor zip ties to attach the cattle panel to the T-post. 
  6. Tomato Tape This tape stretches as the plant grows so it doesn’t cut into your plant like other support tapes can. Use it to support any kind of plants in your garden.
  7. Tomato Clips I use these clips to fasten tomato plants to the cattle panel trellises so they don’t go anywhere.
Cattle Panel Trellis

Protection From the Elements

Gardens need protection from the sun during the summer and from the windy cold in the winter, and these options are great for making sure your garden is protected from the elements AND pests.

  1. Sunblock 70-80% Garden Shade Cloth 
  2. Gardeners Supply Shade Nets
  3. Agribon AG-15 Row Cover/Frost Blanket
  4. Low Tunnel Hoops
  5. Hoop Clamps
  6. Mesh Netting for Protection from Insects
Row Cover Protects Early Potatoes

Vertical Gardening

Vertical gardening is more popular than ever, and for good reason! Vertical planters allow you to grow a ton of food in a small space. Any area can be turned into a garden with a few vertical planters!

  1. Garden Tower
  2. Vivosun 2-pack 5 Tier Vertical Stacking Planter
  3. Greenstalk 
Vertical Garden

Raised Bed Gardening

  1. Vego bed

  2. Rise beds

  3. Click and Grow

  4. Outdoor Raised Beds

  5. Cedar Raised Bed 4′ x 2′

Raised Garden Beds

Gardening Clothes

Wearing the right clothing can keep you comfortable in the garden whether you are there for hours or just a few minutes. Start with a hat, wicking shirt, and comfortable boots for your clothing garden essentials.

  1. Wide Brim Gardening Hat
  2. SPF Wicking Shirt
  3. Gardening Boots

Harvesting Tools

Not having the right harvesting tools with you in the garden will add a ton of time and effort to harvesting. 

These tried and true harvesting tools make your harvesting a breeze. 

  1. Fiskars Harvest Basket
  2. The Roo Apron
  3.  The Roo Apron- The Joey
Harvesting Containers

Books

There are so many valuable books that you can read that share information on how to grow your favorite vegetables. These are the ones I love and refer back to almost every week.

 

  1. The Winter Harvest Handbook by Eliot Coleman
  2. The Market Gardener by Jean Martin Fortier
Harvesting Containers

Bee & Pollinator Friendly Garden Essentials

  1. Pollinator Friendly Seed Collection
  2. 100 Plants to Feed the Bees Book
  3. Seeds:
    1. Anise Assop
    2. Borage
    3. Chives
    4. Garlic Chives
    5. Mountain Mint
    6. Oregano
    7. Common Thyme
Bees on Hydrangea

Natural Insect Control

Control insects and pests in your garden a couple of different ways. Use Natural predators or organic pest control. 

Natural Predators

  1. Bat BnB
  2. Nature’s Good Guys General Predator Garden Pack- Ladybugs, Lacewing eggs, Nematodes

Organic Insect Control

  1. Thuricide BT Concentrate
  2. Diatomaceous Earth
  3. Neem Oil

Seed Potatoes

  1. Hoss Tools
    1. French Fingerling Potatoes
    2. German Butterball Potatoes
    3. Yukon Gold
  2. Grand Teton Organics
  3. Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Seed Potatoes from Grand Teton Organics

Sweet Potato Slips

  1. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
  2. Urban Farmer
Sweet Potato Slips from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

Bare Root Strawberry Plants

  1. Johnny’s Selected Seeds
  2. Jung Seeds
Bare Root Strawberry Plants from Johnny's Selected Seeds

Labeling Tools

  1. Gaffer’s Tape
  2. Landscape Staples
  3. White Paint Pen
Durable Plant Labels From Gaffer's Tape, Paint Pen, and Landscape Staples

Grow Your Own Cutting Garden

  1. Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden
  2. Flower Seeds
    1. Botanical Interests
    2. Eden Brothers
    3. Johnny’s Selected Seeds
    4. Baker Creek
  3. Vivosun Plant Trellis

Bulbs

  1. Swan Island Dahlias
  2. K van Bourgondien 

Trees

  1. Fastgrowingtrees.com

Conclusion

So if you’re looking to start or improve your garden, stock up on these essential garden supplies. Gift-giving for the gardener in your life will be easy with this garden essentials list.

With the right tools and products, you’ll be able to achieve amazing results in no time!

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