The abundance of summer might be waning, but there are still many things to do in the garden—fall bulbs, I’m thinking of you—before the ground freezes and you can kick back and dream big with your stack of seed catalogs. Here is some handy gear that will help you tackle your tasks with ease.
Carbon-steel Hori Hori Knife
This carbon-steel hori hori knife is indispensable. It has to be the most-used tool in my garden kit. The sharp point pierces the ground easily, and the serrated edge cuts through pesky roots. I use it to transplant seedlings, weed, and I especially love it for planting bulbs.
Sneeboer Garden Spade
Now is an ideal time to plant a tree. (Pro tip: If you become a member (starting at $10) of the Arbor Day Foundation, they will send you 10 free trees.) Fall planting gives saplings a head start in getting established before the heat of summer hits, which can stress out new plants. To get digging, grab this sharp border spade from Sneeboer, the gold-standard of tool brands. It is versatile for a myriad of tasks like tree planting, transplanting perennials, and edging borders. And thanks to its manageable size, it’s not too heavy.
3L Waterproof Gardening Hat
I always make sure my head is protected when I’m gardening to keep the sun away and deter insects from buzzing or biting my face. This chic hat has an extra wide brim and a chin strap to keep it snug on my head during wind gusts. Plus, it’s waterproof and packable. Available in multiple colors including this vibrant blue, red, and mossy green.
Winter’s freeze-and-thaw cycle can be murder on clay and ceramic pots, causing them to crack and chip. Before freezing temperatures set in, I bring them inside and scrub each one with this brush to remove any soil and debris before storing them for the winter.
Bionic ClassicGrip 2.0 Garden Gloves
These sheepskin gloves are form-fitting (even for small hands) and will mold to your fingers, so you can tackle detailed work with ease. They also feature strategic pads on your fingers and palm for comfort and to prevent calluses. When you’re done, just toss them in the wash and air dry.
Cedar Wood Composter
“Leave the leaves” is the new fall mantra, especially when it comes to planting beds where they will provide habitats for insects over the winter. But in areas where you do want to remove them, such as paths and driveways, don’t bag them up and send them to the landfill. Instead place them in a compost bin, like this one, to create leaf mold, a rich mulch made from decomposing leaves. (To hasten the process, shred them with a mulching mower before composting.) When the leaves have broken down to a dark, crumbly consistency—anywhere from a year to three—spread this invaluable mulch on beds or mix it into your soil.
Collapsing Garden Rake
This lightweight, steel rake can extend from 3 feet to 5 feet with a quick twist of the handle. The tines also open to 22 inches and close to 7 inches to maneuver tight spots.
Every fall, after my major outdoor jobs are done, I thoroughly clean and dry each of my tools and then rub a thin layer of camellia oil on them to prevent rust.
- Your Vegetable Garden: Now’s the Time to Plan for Fall Crops
- Fall Gardening: Can You Stop Watering Now? (And 5 Other Burning Questions)
- Gardening 101: How to Use Fallen Leaves