1. Green Velcro tape. This comes in handy for staking flowers and helping vines get started. It is imperative for climbing petunias because the more you stake, the better and taller they grow. I used to have to special-order this but can find it now both at Bruce Company and Home Depot.
2. High-quality watering wand with a shut-off valve. This is great because it is easy to spot, and with the 2nd turn-off feature, you don’t have to go back to the source to turn it off. Go ahead and get distracted while watering–pull a few weeds or stake and deadhead some flowers.
3. High-quality loppers. These were a gift from my dad to my husband 12 years ago, and they are the best and get the most use from me. They are great for trimming trees with a nice, clean cut. They are also superb when you run into serious roots while digging a large hole for planting a tree or shrub or larger perennial.
4. Choppers. I love my choppers. I have to sharpen them every summer, sometimes twice, but I use these a ton. They work great for large, quick clean-ups of spent perennials, for creating a nice edge to your lawn, and for maintenance with shrubs.
5. The Cobra. My dad discovered this great tool. He kept telling me summer after summer You’ve got to get a Cobra. I kept thinking I knew better and could live without it. Finally I splurged, and it is great. I could not weed without it! It works great for both weeding and planting.
6. Strong shovel with a curved point. It is great to invest in a high-quality shovel like a Fiskars that has a lifetime guarantee. I use my shovel with every kind of job, small or large. Having a shovel with a curved point makes it easy to dig in the dirt or create a clean edge.
7. 2-in-1 hatchet/rake. This is an interesting tool I grabbed at Jung Garden Center when I was there buying the Cobra. It works great cleaning up the garden and tearing through tough weeds and roots, and I use it alongside the Cobra.
8. Fiskars pruners. These pruners are great for tough jobs like roses, where you need to get so close to the plant that the loppers are too cumbersome.
9. Kitchen scissors. I love a really great pair of strong scissors that are dishwasher-safe.
10. Wheelbarrow. I couldn’t function without my large wheelbarrow. I use it to mix my specialty grass mixture of soil and seed. It is great for saving your back with loads of sand or humus. I use my wheelbarrow with every single garden job, both in my yard and clients’ yards.
Honorable Mention: fishing line, dandelion picker and Hunter Boots