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Gear up for the 2024 garden season


It’s never too early to prepare for the garden season ahead. Having the right tool for the job saves time, reduces the frustration of trying to make the wrong tool work, and allows you to garden longer with less muscle fatigue.

Take an inventory of your tools. Be sure to check the shed, garage or tool caddy. Make a list of those that need to be replaced or need an update. This is also a good time to clean and sharpen those tools you plan to use in the coming growing season.

As you update your tools, you may want to purchase a few hand tools with comfortable wooden handles and carbon steel heads. The wood adds a natural aesthetic that goes hand in hand with gardening.

Make sure you have the right shovels for those frequent digging tasks. Perhaps it is time to invest in a long-handled shovel with a narrow head that allows you to dig in small spaces. Corona’s DigMaster Nursery Shovel has a hardened steel blade and a handle for durability and long life. The ComfortGel grip allows you to keep working longer.

Like digging with the right-sized shovel, deadheading flowers with the right tool makes it easier and you’re more likely to get the job done. For those with a lot of deadheading, select one with an ergonomic design, a finger loop for better control, and an easy-release lock like Corona’s Ergo Dead Header Snips.

Late winter and early spring are also the time to do a bit of trimming and pruning on indoor plants. Pruners and snips with specially shaped blades, like the Corona BP14623 Houseplant Pruner, make trimming individual leaves and stems easier, ensuring you make the cut where planned.

A scoop comes in handy when placing potting mix or fertilizer in containers. The more you use it, the more uses you will discover for scoops like Corona’s Multi-Scoop with a stainless-steel scoop and ComfortGel grip.

If you struggle to haul soil, mulch and plants to the garden bed, it may be time to invest in a garden cart. Wheelbarrows are a traditional favorite but how about a four-wheeled cart with pneumatic tires to make moving the load over rough ground easier? Consider one with sides that fold down for easier loading and unloading. Or perhaps one with a dumping mechanism, like Corona’s CR1000 Poly Dump Cart, that makes it easy to empty loads of mulch and soil where it is needed.

And don’t forget about the young gardeners in your life. Having their own set of properly sized hand tools, long-handled tools, and of course, a wheelbarrow will make working with you in the garden even more special. Kids, like adults, benefit from spending time in the garden. Give them their own garden patch or row to dig, plant, and tend. You’ll all have more fun.

When upgrading your garden tools, consider donating those that are still in good working order to a nearby community garden, school garden, or master gardener group. They can always use extra tools to help them grow gardeners of all ages. And those that have reached the end of life can be turned into garden art. It’s a great way to save memories of gardens’ past.

Melinda Myers has written more than 20 gardening books, including the recently released “Midwest Gardener’s Handbook,” 2nd Edition and “Small Space Gardening.” She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” instant video series and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Corona Tools for her expertise in writing this article. Myers’ website is

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