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Best garden essentials 2021

Essential gardening tools

Spring has sprung: are you ready to start gardening? If you are, pick up a few gardening essentials to make sure this season yields success.

Having the right tools and equipment makes a big difference, especially if you have a large garden project on the horizon. Whether you’re building a raised garden bed or starting a vegetable garden, it’s essential to have everything you need before you begin. Even if you have the basics covered for these projects and others, it’s worth investing in a few upgrades.

Have a blooming start to the season with these garden essentials, including some of our top picks from our favorite brands.

Planting essentials

At the top of many gardeners’ shopping lists this season are planting essentials. Choosing the right ones will help flowers, vegetables and herbs thrive. Here are a few that should top your shopping list:


Whether you’re planting herbs, vegetables or flowers, you’ll need to invest in topsoil for in-ground planting. We like Miracle-Gro All-Purpose Garden Soil, enriched with continuous-release plant food that helps plants grow big and healthy.

Potting soil

For those that prefer pots or planters, potting mix is another important investment. Burpee Premium Organic Potting Mix, for example, remains a crowd favorite for its all-natural formula. It’s made with coconut coir, a sustainable resource aids in moisture retention.


If you’d like to see more growth this season, invest in a quality fertilizer like Miracle-Gro All-Purpose Plant Food. It can be used on flowers and shrubs as well as edible plants like vegetables and herbs. 


It’s essential to aerate and till garden beds, which is best done with a cultivator. For more extensive garden beds, we like Ames 4-Tine Forged Cultivator for its extra-long prongs. It’s 54 inches long, which means it may save you considerable bending while you work the soil.

Watering essentials

Watering remains one of the most critical aspects of tending a garden. These watering essentials will cover water jobs large and small, whether you need to sprinkle window boxes or irrigate large areas. 

Watering can

Invest in a simple watering can, like Bloem Aqua Rite Can, for isolated watering of potted plants and window boxes. It’s made from FDA-approved resin for contact with edibles and food. The can is seamless, so you don’t need to worry about leaks. 

Garden hose

If you are watering multiple areas in your garden, pick up a durable water hose that holds up to the rough and tumble of regular use. Continental Commercial Grade Rubber Hose, made with reinforced rubber, is a solid choice for its weather-resistant design and crush-proof brass fittings.


A nozzle, like Melnor Rear-Trigger 8-Pattern Nozzle, is ideal if you need customized watering. It transitions quickly between streams, thanks to its twist design. As a bonus, it’s comfortable to hold given its lightweight aluminum construction and textured trigger grip. 

Drip irrigation kit

Drip irrigation is considered one of the most efficient watering systems for particular gardens. If you already have a sprinkler, you can use Rain Bird Pop-Up Drip Irrigation Conversion Kit. Its conversion head has a convenient built-in pressure regulator and filter for a no-fuss setup. 

Planting containers

Many gardens have a growing collection of planting containers. If you’re ready to add a few more to your collection, here are some options worth considering:

Terracotta pot

Terracotta is a porous material that allows moisture and air to penetrate, making pots an ideal option. Pennington 6.75-Inch Terracotta Pots, for example, are ideal for smaller plants. They already have drainage holes, so you won’t need to punch it out yourself. 

UV-resistant planters

If you’re investing in resin planters for your deck, patio or porch, make sure they’re suitable for outdoor use. Bloem Freesia Plastic Planter is made from UV-stabilized resin that won’t warp or damage from extended exposure to direct sunlight. 

Garden beds

If you’re partial to garden beds instead of in-ground planting, consider City Pickers Plastic Raised Garden Bed Kit. It’s equipped with a built-in watering system and an aeration screen to help plants thrive. The garden bed is on wheels for easy portability across decks and patios.

Tomato cage

A tomato cage isn’t just for tomatoes; it’s ideal for other climber veggies like cucumbers or beans. One of the most popular ones on the market is Gardener’s Blue Ribbon Heavy Duty Tomato Cage, which measures a whopping 42 inches high to support tall-growing plants. 

Plant markers

Plant markers are an easy way to tell when and where you’ve planted crops. We like Whaline T-Type Plant Labels because they’re durable and water-resistant. The set comes with two gel pens, so you can start labeling as soon as you open the box. 

Lawn care essentials

Like gardens, the grass in your outdoor space needs special attention. If you haven’t already invested in lawn care essentials, add these items to your shopping list:

Grass seed

If you’re ready to regrow your lawn, pick up grass seeds that work for your region. Those with northern lawns, for example, should try Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed. It’s designed for full-sun and dense-shade areas, plus the seeds hold onto twice as much moisture for quicker growth.


Weeds always seem to find their way in gardens and around outdoor spaces, so invest in a weed killer that works all season. Ortho Groundclear Clear earns praise for its fast-acting formula that starts killing weeds within one hour and prevents regrowth up to one year.


Maintaining a healthy green lawn involves regular watering. Gardeners appreciate Melnor Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler for its quick-connect design and two-way adjustment. It has 20 precision nozzles and covers lawns up to 4,500 square feet. 

Self-propelled lawnmower

Take the hard work out of moving by investing in a self-propelled lawnmower. We like Ryobi 40-Volt Cordless Walk-Behind Mower, which has a convenient push-button start. You can adjust the handle to seven positions for a more comfortable operation.

Essential gardening gear

Before rolling up your sleeves and heading into the garden, make sure you have essential gardening gear. These protective accessories are smart investments in safe, comfortable gardening:

Gardening hat

The majority of the time spent gardening is in direct sunlight. Wearing a hat, such as Tough Headwear Boonie Sun Hat, has a UPF 50+ rating and may protect skin and eyes from UV damage. It has breathable mesh panels to keep wearers cool on hotter days. 

Gardening boots

Wear waterproof footwear on watering days. Crocs Jaunt Shorty Boot is a decent option with its 6.75-inch shaft and textured outsole. The boot is made from lightweight Croslight material, so you won’t feel like you’re dragging your feet across the garden. 

Gardening gloves

Some gardening gloves are bulky, making precision work somewhat of a challenge. However, the sleek design of Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Working Gloves offers more sensitivity for delicate or detailed work without compromising on protection.

Gardening knee pads

Tending to gardens often involves kneeling, so save your knees with a pair of knee pads. We like NoCry Gardening Knee Pads for their cushioned foam lining and slip-resistant shell. They’re equipped with hook and loop straps for easy off and on.


Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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