Home & Garden

Essential Gear for the Southern Gardener

Get your hands dirty this spring with the help of these five great picks

Getting outside proved a tonic last spring, and this year will likely be very much the same. To help you prep, here are five tested and vetted items that will make getting your hands in the dirt and your mind off your cares a breeze.


Work Boots

Last summer I discovered I have a deadly allergy to bees, fire ants, and generally anything that stings. My neighbors (and my husband) think I’m eccentric for wearing these new knee boots from the Original Muck Boot Company in our garden beds but they lessen my chances of having to use epinephrine. (They also roll down to more rational heights depending on the activity you’re partaking in.) $110; muckbootcompany.com 


Raised Bed

After years of experimentation, raised beds have become a favorite at our house for all things edible, and the unique construction of the Vegtrug beds are just about foolproof for drainage. $299; gardeners.com


Smock

Most garden aprons are totally useless, in my opinion, because they come untied easily, and waist aprons are the worst offenders because they can’t truly hold heavy garden tools well. My solution? An old-school, shirt-style Sivvan art smock. Think grocery clerk meets green thumb. The deep front pockets are perfect, and the silhouette stays where it should thanks to the side ties. $13; amazon.com


Long Gloves

For the same reason I like tall boots in the garden, I also like long gloves: They keep stings at bay and also prevent scratches from thorns and sunburn, which is exactly why I stock up on these over-the-wrist-length gloves from Terrain. As a bonus, they are silky soft and breathable. $30; shopterrain.com


Hummingbird Feeder

As someone who values aesthetics, I’ve had many pseudo arguments with my husband over his taste in kitschy hummingbird feeders. But we were able to happily agree on this lovely copper design from VivaTerra, which weathers to a beautiful, blends-in-with-the-plants verdigris over time (while also attracting the most delightfully colorful hummingbirds). $109; vivaterra.com


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