Basic Equipment

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1. Personal equipment.

This chapter is really dependent on your situation: your climate, as well as your physical needs and your character. Not everything will apply to everyone, but I’ve included below a list of very useful items for gardening, as well as the preparation work.

As this program spans 40 weeks, we’re aiming to walk you through all the processes that might precede the actual planting; that means you might want to start early, even as early as winter. But everything you do in advance, will also improve the situation, and make you feel confident about starting to grow your own Edible Garden.

 

Shoes:

I break them down by categories: warmer season / colder season / wet times. They don’t necessarily have to be separate from your « normal » shoes, but you should make sure you don’t ruin your Sunday shoes while going out in the garden.

For the warmer season I prefer light and flexible shoes, but those that have a firm fit. I don’t want to be too loose in them, but other than that it’s important you feel comfortable.

For the colder season, I still prefer flexible shoes, but keeping my feet warm is also paramount.

For when it’s wet, all throughout the year, I know I need to use my boots. You might not have to stay too long in the garden if it’s raining, or the soil is wet, but it’s better not to ruin the other pairs.

 

As a bonus, if I’m in the garden for more than 4 hours at a time, for a more important task, I use professional hiking shoes. Staying dry, and not slipping, is of great importance.

 

Clothes:

Flexible pants, and even kneepads if you’re preparing to transplant into the garden. For all weather, I prefer a t-shirt that evacuates transpiration, tights underneath pants to protect from ticks.

What I will almost always have with me is a light windbreak coat; a waterproof coat is also useful in spring and autumn; for my hands, I have at least two types of gloves – thin, rubber gloves for when working with seedlings, young plants etc.; thicker gloves, or with a tight grip when working with hand tools.

 

Miscellaneous:

Head gear, either for protection from the rain, or the sun. Both apply in my case, and most of the time a hat is not much to carry around in terms of weight, but it reduces stress in certain situations.

Sunglasses might also be useful, depending on where you are.

2. Shared Equipment

This refers to to equipment or tools you might use in other contexts as well, or you might share it with other gardeners, because it’s not needed on an everyday basis.

 

Headlight or lamp.

 In the midst of summer, when the days get hot, you might find it more comfortable to water your plants right after sunset; this can apply if the heat is extreme, as you don’t want to damage your plants by shocking them with cool water, but at the same time you don’t want to leave them under stress them until next morning.

The light will also be useful to avoid hurting yourself with tools, or if your terrain is not completely flat.

 

pH Tester. 

Useful a few times per year, if you have reasons to believe your soil might be too acidic or too alkaline. If that is the case, you can probably bring it back to balance with compost and mulch, and should come back and text it 2 or 3 weeks later.

 

Other items: Measuring tape, cutters, scissors. rope,

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