5 Items to be a Better Gardener

These garden helpers will ensure you get all the growth you could want from your garden this summer.

A bee house will provide shelter for your gardens pollinators, encouraging them to stick around your plants and help them grow. Photo courtesy of Merle Lefevre.

You’ve bought all the plants you wanted and they’re are firmly planted by now, but the job of a gardener is never done. From excessive weeds to lack of pollination, there are many things that can hinder your work. Luckily, there are just as many items that can help you out, so we’ve asked Merle Lefevre of Plantation Garden Centre which items she recommends to make a green thumb greener.

MaxiKap Pots

These pots contain a 50 litre water reservoir that allow you to grow plants on your deck, in a greenhouse or wherever they’ll get the most sun, while reducing the need for watering down to about once every two weeks. If you’re away from your garden a lot, or just want to ensure your plants get proper care, this self-contained pot is for you. “Tomatoes like it because it’s warm. Basil loves it,” says Lefevre. “Anything you can plant in there does well.”

Bee Houses

Pollination is essential to any good garden, so encouraging pollinators to stick around is a must. Setting up real estate for your tiny, winged neighbours is a smart way to make them feel welcome and these tiny homes filled with tubes will do the trick. “It’s like a bird house for insects,” says Lefevre. “It provides shelter for them, and the bees fill up the tube with pollen and seal in. I think they’re laying eggs in there, so they will be in your garden next year as well.”

Butterfly Nozzle

If you’ve only got one hose, the Butterfly nozzle is your new favourite attachment. This clever little device works as a normal nozzle, but thanks to the pair of wings that fold out from its handle, you’re able to turn it into a sprinkler without having to switch attachments. “It’s one less thing [to do]” says Lefevre. “People are loving them.”

Garden Bandit

This is a hand tool used for weeding that will allow you to get in and around all sorts of obstacles easily. Available in both a long and short handle format, the Garden Bandit has a small metal loop for precision hoeing, allowing you to scoop under the roots of weeds and take them out in one go without damaging nearby beneficial plant roots.

Weed Mats

Weed mats, or weed barriers, are rolls of fabric you can install to keep weeds from growing wherever you install them. “There is a place for that in gardens, though some of us prefer to plant heavily as opposed to using a weed mat, since it doesn’t allow plants to expand,” says Lefevre. If you’re doing low maintenance planting, like a shrub bed, and you’re never planting there again, this might be a smart way to lower the amount of weeding you have to do. Lefevre cautions that once it’s set, weed mats can be hard to remove years later, as roots tend to grow through them.

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