Garden Preparation

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Garden Preparation

As you sit reading this article, you're likely to look out your window and see the grass greening, trees budding, maybe even tulips beginning to peek their heads from beneath the ground after many long months of slumber.

But as I'm writing the article, I'm looking out my own window at a winter wonderland, my son bundled from head to toe, shoveling the stairs that lead to our house. I can see my garden buried under a heavy blanket of snow.

Although it appears there's not a hint of life out there, I know better. I know that the planning and preparing we've done as a family for the approaching growing season means there are strawberry plants nestled under a protective layer of straw, waiting to burst forth with a profusion of blooms. There are tiny cool weather vegetable seedlings working their way to the surface of the soil to reveal their existence to the world. While we look forward to soon reaping the benefits of the improvements they're making, there are microorganisms from the compost we turned into the soil last week hard at work.

The garden itself is not the only focus of our preparation. As we've been taking inventory of our successes and failures from past years' growing seasons, one topic that continually arises is our collection of gardening tools. Since we garden as a family, it's a recurring complaint that, because we have only one shovel (or pitchfork or rake,) we're often inefficient in our work. It seems someone is always left standing idle waiting for someone else to finish with a tool they need. This year we're heading into our gardening season well supplied. We now own multiples of the most often used tools.

As I compiled my list of tools we would need, I reflected on past summers, remembering how arguments would often arise between my kids over who got to use which hoe (the one tool of which we happened to own two.) It occurred to me that ownership is a powerful motivator. As adults, we're more likely to take pride in our work when we feel a sense of responsibility is attached. This is equally true of children. So rather than just get two of everything to insure no one is left standing idle, I took it a step further. While my husband and I will share a set of hand tools, our boys will each have their own. Of course this means a bit of added expense but the fact that our 8-year-old who cried in the past at the mere mention of going to the garden has been begging nearly every day to get out there with his new tools, I'm already confident this is a good investment!

The Fiskars Garden Bucket Caddy is perfect for housing each collection of tools. Everything is kept neatly organized and visible and there are even pockets for a water bottle and a cell phone. For each caddy, I purchased a 5 gallon bucket which will serve as a personal receptacle for collecting weeds or vegetable harvests. This is more efficient than our previous method of running back and forth to a community collection point, AKA the wheelbarrow.

Providing our boys with their own tools also allowed me to get tools that are customized to their needs. While my 8-year-old has small hands making the Softgrip Floral Bypass Trimmers right for him, the Powergear Large Bypass pruner was better suited to my more responsible and now bigger-than-me 15-year old.

If you have plans to garden this year, as I hope you do, I encourage you to take an inventory of your supplies now. Then browse through the Yard and Garden Products section of the Fiskars website and get your 2010 gardening wish list started!