Getting more organized in the garden starts with having the tools that you use most often close by and easily accessible — because there’s nothing more frustrating than needing that one tool and not being able to find it. In this video, I’m sharing simple ways to get more organized in the garden.
My potting benches are convenient places to spread out seed trays, tools and plants while I work. They are also a good place to lay out your garden tools and identify what you use most often. Once you’ve settled on the most important tools, next is coming up with a way to keep them conveniently standing by, whenever you need them.
The Best Containers for Small Garden Tools
There are two criteria for a container to store your go-to garden tools and supplies: It has to be big enough, and it has to offer protection from the rain.
An extra-large mailbox is just the thing for most hand tools. It’s a good size, and it sheds water. I got mine for around $36, and it was well worth the small investment.
The other option is a plastic storage tub. These come in a variety of sizes, so find one that’s the right fit for your garden and your needs. However, while a storage tub will keep the contents dry, the downside is that the top of the lid is going to hold water. Just be sure to dump the water after rainfall.
Between my big storage tub and my big mailbox, there is plenty of room for the things that I need access to all the time.
Tools & Supplies to Keep in the Garden
While my garden mailbox is principally used to store tools and supplies, let me suggest off the bat that it’s also a great place to keep your phone while you are in the garden. If it starts raining, you won’t need to worry about your phone getting wet, and if you’re doing dirty work, your phone won’t get filthy.
Two tools that I use all the time are my pruners and my soil knife. It’s nice to know that they’re right there when I need them. My precision snips come in a close third. While I am working with these tools, they stay on my hip, and when I’m done, they go right back in the mailbox.
You should also have at least one pair of gardening gloves standing by at all times. I keep several, so I always have a backup or a pair to share.
In addition to my main tools are a number of important garden accessories:
- Velcro tape: To support tomato vines, peas going up a trellis or any other plant that could use them, I have a roll of velcro tape. This tape can be cut into the lengths you need and then used again and again.
- Surveyor’s tape: To identify projects that I need to get to later, I use surveyor’s tape, or flagging tape. That way, I won’t forget.
- Marking tags: For identifying seedlings, I use plant tags with a UV-resistant marking pen, which has ink that doesn’t fade in the sun. Having these handy ensures I can always identify what’s planted where.
Safety Items to Keep in the Garden
Keeping items for your comfort and safety in the garden means not having to break your momentum and run back in the house when you need something. That’s why I always have these in the garden:
- A hat
- Safety glasses
- Bug repellent
- First aid kit (band-aids, antibacterial cream, hydrogen peroxide, etc.)
More Go-Tos to Keep in the Garden
In my large storage tub, I keep a variety of useful items that I pull out a little less frequently than others but are still super-convenient to have within reach:
- Small plastic pots: You don’t want to go searching for a pot after you’ve taken a plant cutting. Keep a variety of sizes on hand.
- Potting soil: Fill those pots with good-quality potting soil that you keep with the pots. You only need a small bag.
- Watering can: I do most of my watering with drip irrigation and soaker hoses, but when I am mixing liquid fertilizer, I need a watering can to disperse it.
- Fertilizer: Whatever your fertilizer of choice is, whether granular or liquid fertilizer, it’s great to have close by.
- Measuring spoons: You should never guess how much fertilizer you are applying. Keep an assortment of measuring spoons of different sizes with the fertilizer.
- Soil thermometer: When sowing seeds or transplanting seedlings, it’s good to know what the soil temperature is. A soil thermometer removes any guesswork.
How to Organize Tools That Don’t Live in the Garden
Long-handle tools like rakes and shovels will be easier to find when you need them if you pick one place in your landscape for them to live. Rather than dropping tools off just anywhere, always return them to the same area. This will save you time and the frustration of searching.
What solutions do you have to stay organized in the garden? Let us know your keys to success in the comments below.
Links & Resources
Some product links in this guide are affiliate links. See full disclosure below.
joegardener Online Gardening Academy™: Popular courses on gardening fundamentals; managing pests, diseases & weeds; seed starting and more.
joegardener Online Gardening Academy Beginning Gardener Fundamentals: Essential principles to know to create a thriving garden.
joegardener Online Gardening Academy Growing Epic Tomatoes: Tomato expert Craig LeHoullier joins me in leading this course on how to grow healthier, productive tomato plants and how to overcome tomato-growing challenges.
Disclosure: Some product links in this guide are affiliate links, which means we would get a commission if you purchase. However, none of the prices of these resources have been increased to compensate us. None of the items included in this list have any bearing on any compensation being an influencing factor on their inclusion here. The selection of all items featured in this post and podcast were based solely on merit and in no way influenced by any affiliate or financial incentive, or contractual relationship. At the time of this writing, Joe Lamp’l has professional relationships with the following companies who may have products included in this post and podcast: Rain Bird, Corona Tools, Milorganite, Soil3, Exmark, Greenhouse Megastore, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Territorial Seed Company, Wild Alaskan Seafood Box and TerraThrive. These companies are either Brand Partners of joegardener.com and/or advertise on our website. However, we receive no additional compensation from the sales or promotion of their product through this guide. The inclusion of any products mentioned within this post is entirely independent and exclusive of any relationship.