Basic Equipment For A Container Garden

Basic equipment for a container garden is relatively simple. No lawnmower is required, nor is a spade, fork or rake. Buy the best hand tools and they will last a lifetime!

The small scale of a container garden means that there is no need for a large selection of specialist garden tools. Even a garden fork and spade are surplus to requirements although a spade certainly might come in useful for filling containers with compost or shovelling sand and cement during building operations.

When it comes to garden tools the rule is to buy the best you can afford and keep them clean and in good condition. They will repay this small amount of care with years of service. As a minimum the container gardener needs the following:


Secateurs. For pruning and training trees and shrubs, they can also be used to cut herbs and flowers. Parrot secateurs with the cross beak are the most popular.

Hand fork and hand trowel. For planting out and weeding. Buy the best, stainless steel if you can afford it. This might make a good suggestion for a special birthday present. Narrow trowels are the most useful for you can dig out a deeper narrower hole more easily with them without disturbing other plants in the containers. A hand fork is also helpful for loosening compacted compost and weeding in the summer. Even on a roof garden weeds will arrive unannounced and unwelcome on the city breeze.


Dibber. A good tool for making holes for small plants. Leeks are always planted with a dibber, and it is useful for brassicas and other vegetables.

SEE ALSO:   Garden Hand Tools

Hand rake. This is essential. A miniature cultivating rake smooths over the surface of the compost and helps to remove old leaves and weeds. It can also be used to make furrows when planting seeds.

Hand shears. You will only need this tool if you have large plants that you need to trim in summer or fall.


Garden knife. For cutting pieces of string and raffia, cutting off the tops of carrots and other garden uses.

Pruning knife and saw (optional). You only need a pruning saw if the branch is too large to be severed manually. You can usually prune everything you need with a good pair of secateurs.

Watering can. Get a good quality watering can with a long spout to reach the back of containers.

Spray. One of the smaller spray units will be all that is required.

Additionally: wire, vine eyes, hammer, bolts, ring eyes, screws and various nails, for a wire frame.


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