This trusty ole garden bucket goes back a good 25 years! It was by my side at our first home laying a flagstone patio and it was happy to hang with me every spring, planting impatiens and dividing hostas which I miss here in the desert! It was there when I nestled hand picked rocks together to make beautiful walls with sedum tucked in the gaps. And it’s always with me as I’m pruning and dead heading and just making the rounds in the yard.
But it’s much more than just a bucket. It’s well stocked with all my favorite gadgets. There’s something about having everything you need at hand when you’re on your knees far from the garden shed or garage.
When you start your own bucket don’t be lured in by the pre packed ready to go variety. Think of it as your custom tool box for the yard. You want to pick the tools that go into yours, therefore, garden buckets evolve over time as you hone your skills and collect your favorite things.
I want to share some of what I consider are must haves and then some fun to haves!
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THE GARDEN BUCKET MUST HAVES
First, let’s talk containers. If you’re envisioning a quaint, pretty wicker basket, just stop it right now! We need a work horse here! I prefer these sleeves that slide over a nice big 5 gallon bucket because they’re loaded with pockets and can fit all your tools inside and out. This one is similar to mine and looks great!
Don’t forget to get the 5 gallon bucket while you’re at it. You can also pick up a cheap one with advertising on it at the big box stores if you don’t mind it not matching. The great thing about this system is it’s built to last.
You’ll need a good hand shovel or two based on your level of gardening. Check these out.
A decent pair of gloves is a must. There’s two kinds I keep in my bucket. One is form fitting like these which are great for planting seeds and flowers where fine motor skills are needed. Then I like a bulkier leather pair like these which are a necessity especially here in the desert where everything has thorns!
A good pair of pruners is next on the list. I love my ratcheting pair like these especially when I’m cutting thicker branches. You must have a pair of scissors as well. You can find an old pair around the house or I have a cool multifunctional pair like these that come in handy. Mine have a special history as they came from Berkley, a fishing company my dad worked at. I use them when I deadhead my roses, gather produce in the garden and even when I’m doing some light pruning. As you can see, they also open an icy cold bottle of beer when I’m done with my chores! A must have for the fisherman AND the gardener!
I also use my kneeling pad A LOT so I guess I’d better include it in my must haves!
There may be other must haves for you depending on what you do in your yard.
THE HELPFUL TO HAVES
I have some fun gadgets that work hard in my bucket. While they may not be used as much as the aforementioned they are definitely appreciated in my bucket!
Hand rake – great for small clean up jobs in the garden and under plants.
Bulb planter – I use this for planting potted annuals and bulbs.
Dibber – A dibble what? Even I had to look up the name of this favorite! I love love this when I’m planting the small 6 or 8 packs of annuals. Makes just the right size hole.
Hand Tiller – great for loosening up the soil in my flower beds and pots. Just push it in and turn!
Garden Journal – I recently started keeping notes on my observances in the landscape and what works and doesn’t. Great for calendar notes so you remember what you put in and when. I like a simple notebook with grid paper so I can do drawings easily.
Reuseable grocery type bag – convenient for gathering flowers and produce
MISCELLANEOUS OTHER STUFF
String/wire – handy for tying vines to the trellis.
Plastic tape – non binding when staking trees and tomatoes.
Garden staples – I use these to hold down irrigation tubing or lighting wires.
Plant markers – great for labeling new plants and vegetables.
Sharpie – when don’t you need a sharpie??
Old kitchen butcher knife – yes, mine is from an old set of Ginsu knives my little bro got us when we got married! He was 12! So thoughtful and still useful almost 37 years later! I find it especially useful when I’m dividing plants and need to cut roots deep in the soil.
Small pack of Kleenex
Small first aid kit
I hope this helps you put together a garden bucket that will become your best friend over the years! If the idea is new to you, start with a bucket and a few must haves and then add as you go. I’d love to hear about your favorite gadgets and must haves when you work in the garden!
Have a blessed Spring weekend and spend some time in your yard!!