When I first decided to start out on this flower farming adventure, I knew immediately the farm was going to be called Sow N’ Seeds and had a vision of what we were going to do. I truly did not understand what all went into gardening on a larger scale. I immediately started pouring into classes and workshops to learn more. I’ve taken classes with some of the best flower farmers in the business. Joined many social media groups, local groups, and developed some awesome friendships with other growers, florists, and wholesalers across the world. One thing I always enjoy, with this interaction, is there is always something new to learn. I had so much to learn when it came to commercial farming, tools, and tricks of the trade.
One day I was with my mom and we were cleaning out my great grandmother’s basement, who was also a huge gardener. My mom came across this old broke hoe that had a long wooden handle broken in half with a rusted hoe at the end. My mom said “I found a tool for you” and held the broken hoe up. She then laughed and said “you should name the farm “The Old Broke Hoe” and have this as your logo“. I was like really mom?!? I’m not going to name my farm and advertise “come to a u-pick at the old broke hoe farm”. We will save the rest of that story for another post. LOL!
It was that day that I thought about my great grandmother’s tool, the sentimental feeling behind it for the fact they did not throw it away. How much work it had endured and the age of it. Quality is huge and they don’t make things like they used to!
So, I thought I’d put together a top 10 list that I have compiled of some of the top gardening and personal items that have been found to be useful. With the holidays coming up, I hope you find this useful for the gardener in your life.
(MLH Farms in an Amazon Affiliate. The below items contain links to Amazon products and will take you to Amazon)
Craftsman Weedwacker and Leaf Blower
I can attest that my Craftsman weedwacker and leaf blower are my number 1 obsession. You would think I viewed the blower to be equivalent to a vacuum cleaner in the yard. It’s so satisfying for me to take the freshly charged battery, place on blower easily, and fire that sucker up with a push of a button and vrrrrr! Leaves are gone, dirt on my porch is gone, the dogs and cat run, you name it.
When my son sees me load that battery on that sucker he just shakes his head and asks if I’m heading to therapy. LOL! It’s so useful to building our compost pile with leaves.
When it comes to weedeating, I used to hate it. When I first became a homeowner my neighbor had the pleasure of hearing my melt down in the backyard and me launching the weedeater because I suck at pull start equipment. So thank you 2000’s for the invention of cordless, electric weedeaters (que the choir). Now this weedeater is not a bushhog. I have tried to use it as if it were a bushhog and that does not work.
Again easy to use, lightweight, easy string reload/rewind, good battery life that allows me to get around the beds, landscape without stopping to recharge. I will never pull start one again! Guys if I can use this, you can too.
Not talking about an old broke hoe or your standard shovel, pitchfork, spade, or rake that you’ll need.
Japanese Hand Hoe – I have not used the Japanese hand hoe but many in the flower farming community rave about the Japanese hand hoe. It’s a shorter tool that can be used for weeding, digging, etc. Hoping Santa remembers me this year (Hint! Hint!).
Shear holder – I’m always loosing my pruners when harvesting. The first year you’d see me aimlessly wandering around in search. Then I received the following year, on my birthday, a felco shear holder. Now I look like a wild west gun slinger when I whip my shears out in the field! Floret also has an awesome one in their online store that even holds your cell phone.
Pruner and Shears – ARS is my go too. They are sharp, durable and get the job done as along as I remember to put them back into shear holder or apron! Geez.
When it comes to planting thousands of seedlings in the ground, the best tool is a butter knife. I promise you! Stick the butter knife in the ground, pull the soil back, slide seedling in and remove knife. Soil goes right back in place and saves so much time! Now when it comes time for dinner and there’s no dinner knives in the utensil drawer, don’t blame me! We find them all the time outside in my garden. I’m terrible about that. Some of you may have just decided you aren’t coming over for dinner now either.
For those that the butter knife will not do, the hori-hori knife is another highly raved about gardening tool that can be used in weeding, planting, seeding along with other outdoor activities.
Atlas gloves hands down! Specifically Atlas NT370 gloves. I wear a medium size. They are not bulky and take the wear and tear of the elements of working outside. I also like a universal glove that I can get in bulk that my boys can also use when working around on the farm.
I have never wore an apron until I started farming. When I’m harvesting, it’s so handy. It’s like my very own fanny pack in the field when slinging dirt. I stuff my cell phone, shears, irrigations tools, you name it. I also use it a lot in the shop when working in the cooler and putting together bouquets. They come in some really cute styles and varieties. It’s really what a persons preference in and how you will be using for what fits your need. I prefer a half apron with 3 pockets. The more pockets the better. Perfect also for a crafter.
We use Carhartt clothing around the farm. The boys hunt, play in the snow, use the tractor, ride around in their Carhartt all the time. I prefer the bibs and raingear when working on muddy days in the field. Definitely their jacket and sock hat for the winter months when checking on the fields.
When I do not have Carhartt on, I prefer a long sleeve, lightweight, UV sunblock shirt. I usually have on my Lime Out shirt from St. John and dreaming about sitting in the Caribbean, eating a taco, sipping on Hunter’s Passion with a tamarind bomb on the way, laying on their float. I love and miss my island friends! Ok. Back to gardening!
I never thought about a gardening seat till I went to plant that first year, my first 10,000+ seedlings, and remember rolling off the landscape fabric because I hurt so bad. Or those times in July/August when you are so hot and tired but have to harvest. Sometimes, you need to take a seat. Protect your knees when kneeling.
A Master Gardener friend attended a voluntary work day at a local garden and I was there to also volunteer. She pulled out this awesome gardening seat and kneeler that could also be adjusted to a knee pad. I was like where did you get that! She said that it had really helped her to continue to garden. I do have a garden roll cart that I sit on and can roll down the landscape fabric aisles with my smaller tools, irrigation items in tow. The links in this paragraph will give you some examples of similar styles.
You never realize how important it is to have a good pair of shoes until you are on your feet all day. My day to day shoes are Brooks. Matt swears by Hoka’s for those that are standing on your feet all day and have any form of knee/back pain. I struggle with them because the soles are so thick but that’s also what makes them feel like you are walking on air.
In regards to the farm, Brooks aren’t feasible because I need something more waterproof due to the morning dew, mud, rain, etc. That’s when I rely on Bogs waterproof and insulated boots! So many cool styles for men, women, and kids. When I don’t have boots on you have to check out KEEN slip on shoes. They make those hot summer months so much better.
Don’t forget your hat! TRUST ME!!! I am always in a ball cap or a breathable big brim hat. Which brings me to the next items on my list: sunscreen and skincare protection.
You may be in the doghouse if you only get your favorite gardener sunscreen. At least don’t tell them I told you to do that! I have a reputation to uphold. LOL! It does make a perfect stocking stuffer or filler for your gardening gift basket and is SO IMPORTANT for those of us who love being outside and in the garden. We travel, boat and are outdoors all the time. We love Kiehl’s and Neutrogena sunscreen.
We think that just because we applied sunscreen that we’ve taken care of our skin. That’s not the case. I tan VERY easy and have been asked what I use on my skin. I really did not start taking good care of my skin till I was in my early 30’s. It’s one of those things, I wish I did sooner but better late than never. While I ensure I have my sunscreen, hat, protective clothing when in the fields, I also make it a practice to take care of my skin using ZO skin health products that were recommended by an Aesthetician in Nashville.
I specifically use ZO Exfoliating Cleanser. It’s a lightweight exfoliant that removes the grim of the day. I follow it with ZO Exfoliating Polish which is grittier and smooth’s the skin leaving it feeling fresh. Use a little ZO eye serum to get the dark circles to lighten and finish it all off with Aveeno/Vaseline lotion to lock in the moisture before bed. This has worked for me and given me results.
If the gardener in your life is looking for something a little bit more, find a really good spa nearby and look at a chemical peel in the off season to get a smooth glow. I promise you will hate the peel, the first couple days, but just wait and magic happens! I love a good peel. However, everyone’s skin is different and you should do what is best for you or talk with a dermatologist/Aesthetician for more information.
Now for the gardening man in your life, check out Dr. Squatch. It’s organic, smells amazing, and their black pine tar exfoliant soap is unbelievable! Like I for real use this all the time. Matt’s like stop taking my soap!!! I guess I’m obsessed with exfoliants.
Ok, I’m going to add an extra. When working with soil and plants, your hands get so dried out and seriously just nasty. My legs can also get very dry during the summer and THE BEST hand and body lotion is goatmilk based. I’m telling ya’ll it’s the best. I hope to be able to offer some in the shop next year.
That’s my top 10
So friends, that is my top 10 list for the gardener in your life. I just love practical gifts that I’m going to use. Every time your special person uses their gardening gift, they will think of you. We have to have good tools, durable clothing and shoes, and take care of ourselves in the process. I hope this top 10 list makes the gardener in your life happy too.
(MLH Farms LLC is an Amazon Affiliate. The links in this post will take you to