45 Essential Gardening Supplies for Backyard Gardens, Growing Zone, Types

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | November 9, 2023

Person looking at gardening supplies and essential tools for planting, tilling, watering and growing plants at home in raised beds, containers, or landscaping.

A home garden enhanced with the right gardening supplies is very rewarding.

The greenery lends your space more appeal, the presence of some plants can clear the air of breathable toxins, and houseplants can yield yummy fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

But, you can’t begin your indoor or outdoor garden without the right supplies.

This guide will cover everything you need, whether you’re interested in gardening for beginners or seeking hydroponic gardening supplies.

Lawn and Garden: Garden Items for Beginners

Having the right garden tools and supplies will help you not only enjoy gardening more, but also help you tend to your garden efficiently.

Graphics of essential gardening supplies which include garden items for beginners, planting supplies, composting supplies, fertilizer supplies, soil supplies, lawn care supplies, garden must-haves, outdoor décor, and garden pest control supplies.

Here are some of the lawn and garden items for beginners:

1. Garden Seeds

Plants can’t grow without seeds! Well, you can always propagate plants, but that’s a more advanced technique beginners might not feel comfortable handling.

As you shop for indoor gardening supplies, you’ll see seeds galore. How do you possibly choose?

Assorted garden seed packets and labeled jars are arranged on a white surface, accompanied by fresh green leaves.

(Image: Eco Warrior Princess8)

Go for easy-to-grow options like marigolds, coriander, radish, basil, sunflowers, cucumbers, zinnias, tomatoes, or lettuce.

Narrow your options by considering whether you’re growing plants to eat or enjoy. If it’s the former, select a fruit or vegetable, and if it’s the latter, any of those flowering plants will do.

You must also ponder how much space you have available. For example, sunflowers are tough to grow indoors unless you have a large abode.

A set of gardening tools with wooden handles and shiny metal ends laid out on a white background.

(Image: Irina_kukuts15)

2. Garden Tools Set

A good set of tools makes urban gardening easy. Shop for a hoe, garden fork, hand trowel, rake, and spade.

You might not use these gardening tools for every plant, but they’ll come in handy eventually.

3. Gardening Gloves

Gloves prevent direct contact between your skin and the plant, keeping your hands free of sap and reducing exposure to painful thorns.

Some plant species should not be directly touched, which is another handy usage for gloves.

A pair of worn gardening gloves with textured fingertips resting on a wooden surface.

(Image: cocoparisienne16)

A bright blue pair of gardening shears surrounded by freshly cut flowers, including white, purple, and red blooms, laid on a wooden surface.

(Image: fotoblend17)

4. Pruning Shears

Pruning shears or scissors are for fine cuts. You will prune your growing plants at least once per year, and shears will be your best friend.

If you begin propagating plants, shears will also be useful.

Make sure to disinfect your shears in 70 percent isopropyl alcohol or bleach when cutting plants to prevent the spread of disease.

5. Loppers

If you must make larger, more sweeping cuts, you need loppers. These can hack off whole chunks of your plant, making it look like you did a lot with little effort.

It’s always best to prune less than more, as you can’t reattach what you cut off, so use loppers carefully.

A garden lopper with black handles and orange grips, lying on a concrete surface.

(Image: Dvortygirl9)

A vibrant green watering can with a black spout, positioned on grass against a rustic wooden background.

(Image: MabelAmber18)

6. Watering Can

Among the cheapest gardening supplies on your shopping list is a watering can.

They come in all shapes and sizes to disperse water into the soil. Plastic and metal watering cans are the most durable.

7. Spray Bottle

You won’t use a spray bottle to water your houseplants, per se. Instead, the bottle is handy for cleaning plant leaves of dust (so they can effectively photosynthesize) and creating humidity.

You can also administer liquid pest control products from a spray bottle.

A pink transparent spray bottle with a white and pink trigger, set against a white background.

(Image: Mimzy19)

A modern pendant light with metal cage, encircling a lit bulb, with trailing green ivy plants in a white background.

(Image: Paulmann10)

8. Grow Lights

All plants need light to grow, but it doesn’t have to come from the sun. Houseplants can’t distinguish between standard and artificial lights, so grow lights are a must for beginner gardeners.1

The lights generate photons in specific wavelengths, which look blue and red to our eyes.

The colors activate growth and flowering in plants. Grow lights are best for wintertime gardening but also work if a plant requires more sunlight than you can provide.

9. Humidifier

The average relative humidity in a home or office is 30 to 50 percent. Some plants require higher humidity between 50 and 80 percent.

Introduce moist conditions by using a plug-in humidifier. You might consider one humidifier for each of your gardening zones.

Garden Pest Control Supplies

Got bugs? Hopefully not, but apartment gardening attracts its fair share of pests.

These products will take care of ‘em without blasting your yard or home with noxious chemicals.

10. Neem Oil

Margosa, or neem oil,2 is a natural plant pest solution from neem seeds and fruits. The vegetable oil smells like sulfur but has no dangerous fumes.

It’s also pet-safe. Neem oil can kill whiteflies, thrips, mealybugs, leafminers, leafhoppers, lacebugs, caterpillars, beetles, and aphids, including some pests in their larval stage before they can propagate across your precious plants.

A bottle of neem oil placed on a bamboo mat, accompanied by fresh neem leaves and green neem seeds.

(Image: Ninetechno20)

A bottle of ethyl rubbing alcohol, standing on a wooden surface against a light-colored wall.

(Image: ajay_suresh12)

11. Isopropyl Alcohol

Many insects that munch on your garden plants are killable with isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol.

The formula should contain at least 70 percent alcohol for effectiveness. Dilute with water, dip a cotton swab, and say goodbye to pests.

12. Dish Detergent

You likely needn’t even purchase dish detergent, as you probably have some in your kitchen. The detergent does more than scour messes off cookware.

It’s also awesome at killing pests. You can exchange isopropyl alcohol for dish detergent or use the ingredients together for stubborn bugs.

A clear bottle filled with yellow dish liquid soap, topped with a white and yellow spray nozzle, set against a gradient blue background.

(Image: ds_3021)

A pile of fine, white Diatomaceous Earth powder spread on a dark surface, with some particles scattered around.

(Image: SprocketRocket13)

13. Diatomaceous Earth

Kieselguhr or diatomaceous earth is a soft, sedimentary, silica-containing rock that crumbles easily into powder. You can scoop this powder and place it on the soil to take care of pesky spiders, mites, fleas, worms, beetles, and slugs.

14. Bucket

The bravest gardeners have few qualms about flicking bugs off their plants and into a bucket using a tool like chopsticks or a pencil.

The insects must be large enough to see, which is tough for some species that are mere millimeters.

Stacked old metal garden buckets with wooden handles, placed inside a larger metal basin, showing signs of wear and use.

(Image: congerdesign22)

Garden Must-Haves

Add these items to your shopping list as you expand your home garden aspirations.

A digital hygrometer displaying temperature and humidity readings on a clear screen, in a white background.

(Image: ron202523)

15. Hygrometer

Since the relative indoor humidity varies, a hygrometer is helpful in your gardening arsenal. This measuring instrument gauges the amount of humidity in the air.

Digital hygrometers produce a reading as a percentage on the screen, while non-digital instruments have a needle that moves toward the equivalent value.

16. Hand Weeder

Weeds are the worst! Banish them from whence they came with a hand weeder.

This tool cuts weeds without harming the plants that comprise your garden. A good hand weeder will remove thistles and dandelions, pulling them out by the root rather than the stem, where they can regrow.

A woman wearing a striped garden apron kneels in a lush garden, using blue and orange pruning shears on a plant.

(Image: Mariakray24)

17. Gardening Apron

You might not mind some dirt under your fingernails, but you’d rather it not be all over your clothes.

A classic gardening apron puts you in the mood to pull and prune and preserves your favorite outfits so they stay clean.

18. Garden Hose

You’ll keep your garden hose coiled like a snake until it’s time to water your plants. Then it gets lots of action.

Select a hose with multiple spray settings to lightly mist your plants or blast away unwanted critters.

A coiled green garden hose with a yellow connector is neatly hung on a wall-mounted holder against a brick wall, with a backyard and wooden fence in the background.

(Image: Mikes-Photography25)

A green wheelbarrow filled with freshly picked pink and red flowers in a vibrant garden, and a gardening apron draped over one of its handles, with a background of blooming white, orange, and pink flower beds.

(Image: PublicDomainPictures26)

19. Yard Cart

Large yards are a blessing until you have to carry heavy plans from Point A to Point B.

A yard cart can contain several plants at once that you can haul to their new, more permanent place in your yard.

Fertilizer Supplies

A good dose of fertilizer springboards plant growth. Here are the ingredients healthy plants cannot go without:

20. Nitrogen

Nitrogen is the most important macronutrient since it assists in photosynthesis,3 the process plants undergo for energy to grow. You should see a greater yield when supplementing a plant with nitrogen versus foregoing the nutrient.

21. Phosphorus

Photosynthesis doesn’t happen as efficiently without phosphorus. Plants also rely heavily on this macronutrient for genetic information transfers, energy transfer and storage, and sugar metabolism.

22. Potassium

Potassium activates enzymes within plants, triggering the production of adenosine triphosphate or ATP. Plants use ATP to determine how often to photosynthesize.

Potassium also enables plant tissue to receive carbohydrates, nutrients, and water.

Planting Supplies

The right home is everything, especially when it comes to the success of your plants. Don’t skip these supplies:

A row of colorful flower pots, including purple, blue, green, and orange, are mounted on an old wooden fence, each holding green plants.

(Image: rihaij27)

23. Planters

Garden planters or flowerpots are where almost all plants are destined.

Whether a hanging planter, a planter box, or a simple pot on your windowsill, this plant home needs soil and drainage holes to facilitate a suitable environment for indoor and backyard houseplants.

You can select from many planter materials, including ceramic, clay, plastic, terracotta, and metal. Some materials are more porous than others, like terracotta.

The pot will absorb the water quickly, requiring more frequent watering.

Nonporous materials like plastic can leave water trapped for longer. This is fine for some plants, but others could suffer from root rot if left waterlogged.

24. Containers

When growing plants from seed, a planter is too large of a starting point. Select simple plastic containers instead.

Container gardening requires adding just enough soil and water to maintain moist conditions, and increasing the humidity by putting plastic wrap over the growing seedlings.

A red gardening trowel rests on dark soil inside a green plastic container on a paved surface.

(Image: Memoryloon28)

Lush green foliage intertwines with a rusted metal trellis in a blue sky with scattered clouds background

(Image: GLady29)

25. Bamboo Stakes or Trellises

Climbing plants don’t always master the art of ascension without some help. Mini trellises or bamboo wrapped around the tender shoots will help them remain upright.4

Tie the stake to the plant using twist ties, but don’t pull too tightly.

26. Transplanting Mat

All plants will outgrow their pots eventually. When that day inevitably comes, you’ll be glad you bought a transplanting mat.

The mat can move your plant, fresh soil, gardening tools, and pot to its new home in the yard without undue stress.

Lawn Care Supplies

A green, healthy lawn requires maintenance across seasons and plenty of love and care. These supplies also help:

27. Grass Spray

Has the condition of your lawn badly deteriorated? Consider grass spray.

This hydroseeding solution sprays on where the dead grass was to facilitate new grass growth. You can apply the product yourself or hire a professional for the job.

A red wooden shed with white trim and large windows in a sunlit garden, adjacent to a paved pathway and lush greenery.

(Image: fietzfotos30)

28. Gardening Shed

As your backyard garden has expanded, so has your collection of gardening supplies. You can’t toss your supplies all willy-nilly in the yard when you aren’t using them, as they can get lost or rust.

Invest in a quality garden shed for keeping your tools, soil, and supplies.

29. Epsom Salt

Do you want your flowering plants to have a brighter, more appealing color? How about a greater yield of flowers or a bushier appearance?

A sprinkling of Epsom salt on the soil every now and again can achieve those results and more. Epsom salt is also a handy combatant against pests like slugs.

Garden cloches, both bell-shaped and miniature greenhouse-style, protect young lettuce plants in a garden bed beside a brick house with white-framed windows.

(Image: Steve F11)

30. Garden Cloches

A humidifier induces moist air indoors, but what about outdoors? Use a garden cloche.

This bell-shaped glass cover fits over a plant and will generate warm air by enclosing the environment. Cloches also protect your plants from wind, rain, snow, and sun exposure.

Composting Supplies

Go green and compost your household waste. Vegetable and fruit scraps, yard trimmings, grass clippings, paper filters, and coffee scraps contain macronutrients like nitrogen and potassium your plants crave.

Here’s how to begin composting:

A row of wooden compost bins placed, surrounded by lush trees and greenery, beside a wooden fence visible to the left.

(Image: Andy Li14)

31. Composting Bin

Where do you put your ever-increasing compost pile?5

In an outdoor bin where the smell (compost doesn’t exactly smell great; it’s decomposing, after all) won’t invade your nostrils while trying to relax.

32. Kitchen Composter

Breaking down kitchen waste isn’t always easy, which can discourage would-be composters. A countertop kitchen composter will reduce those peels and scraps so they’re ready to go into the compost pile, with no further effort required.

Soil Supplies

You can enrich plant soil in more ways than by fertilizing it. This collection of organic gardening supplies is a full checklist for how to grow healthy, supported, nourished plants.

33. Soil

Some plants can grow hydroponically, but many require soil. Not all soil is created equally.

Loamy and sandy soil support arid plants like succulents.

Clay-based and silty soil is also drier. Traditional soil is more than dirt but must be amended to support plant growth and nutrient absorption.

A close-up of a well-used garden trowel, in a soil within a wooden planter.

(Image: walkersalmanac31)

A top view of a glass jar filled with activated charcoal granules, set against a warm wooden background.

(Image: KawikaFilms32)

34. Activated Charcoal

Fungal and bacterial diseases are quick plant killers. Incorporating activated charcoal into the soil reduces the rate of fungi,6 as the charcoal has antimicrobial properties.

It’s especially recommended for enclosed plant environments such as terrariums.

35. Soil Test Kit

Plants prefer differing soil pH, with some enjoying an acidic environment, other species keeping it basic, and others still enjoying soil right in the middle (neutral). You can’t gauge soil pH by eyeballing it, so a soil test kit must be in every gardener’s toolbox.

36. Soil Moisture Meter

Stock up on water gardening supplies like soil moisture meters. As the name implies, this meter denotes the moisture level deep in the soil where you can’t see it.

It has a needle-like tip you insert into the dirt to gauge whether your plant is underwatered, watered just enough, or overwatered. You can amend your watering habits once you understand how much hydration your plant needs.

37. Watering Bulb

Speaking of hydration, no garden watering system is complete without a watering bulb. These glass bulbs go into the soil like a moisture meter, gradually releasing water.

They’re the ideal tool if you travel for work or pleasure but still want a thriving garden. As an added bonus, watering bulbs are decorative!

A person holds a large clump of peat moss, displaying its intricate and fibrous texture.

(Image: HeamnaManzur33)

38. Peat Moss

If your soil test kit reveals your plant’s soil is neutral and shouldn’t be, amend it with peat moss. This spongy, decomposing moss can reduce or increase soil alkalinity; it’s mostly used for the latter.

Azaleas and blueberry plants are great candidates for peat moss.

39. Coco Coir

Coconut coir,7 or coco coir for short, is a soil amendment sourced from coconut husks. It comes in many forms, including bricks and fluffy bedding.

The large size of the coir improves soil aeration and drainage, stopping waterlogging.

40. Lime

Powdered limescale rock can treat acidic soil, reducing the pH closer to neutral levels. As a bonus, lime also contains magnesium and calcium, two micronutrients plants require.

However, it doesn’t contain enough of either to be usable as a fertilizer.

A shovel embedded in a pile of garden sand, with a mix of coarse grains and small pebbles.

(Image: Alexei_other34)

41. Sand

Adding sand to the soil will make it more water-retentive. The particles will also increase aeration, so water doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Succulents like cacti appreciate a sandy environment.

42. Perlite

Resembling popcorn, the volcanic rock known as perlite can bulk up to 20x its volume when warmed. Its water retentiveness is off the charts, and it’s also a useful amendment in clay soil and potting mix, as it benefits the texture.

Outdoor Decor Garden Items and Gardening Accessories

Your garden grows so sweetly you might as well make the space more appealing with contemporary design touches that make your guests ooh and ahh.

A garden with flower pots filled with succulents and a decorative stone tower, all nestled among an assortment of landscaping rocks.

(Image: koma-r35)

43. Landscaping Rocks

Landscape gardening is that special edge your space needs. Enveloping your garden with landscaping stones or rocks will make your plants the focal point.

Perhaps you add some accent lighting to the area so you can appreciate your plants even after dark.

44. Wind Spinner

Although wind spinners are handy for determining the direction the wind is emanating, they’re mostly favored in gardens for their appeal.

Listen to your plants rustle on a blustery day and watch as the spinner rotates rapidly, creating a kaleidoscope of colors.

A vibrant wind spinner with different colors standing beside some blooming red flowers, overlooking a landscape of rolling hills, a pond, and distant structures.

(Image: Sermpong36)

A garden gnome dressed in bright green and pink attire, with sunglasses and a hat, flashes a peace sign in a garden with yellow flowers.

(Image: stux37)

45. Gardening Gnome

A gardening gnome or several is a tongue-in-cheek addition to your garden, making it fun, whimsical, and playful.

Gnomes come in all shapes, sizes, and themes, so select one that reflects your personality.

How does your garden grow? With all these essential supplies, beautifully!

With the right gardening supplies, you can nurture your plants from seedling to full-grown, whether indoors or out.


1University of Maryland. (2023, February 20). Grow Lights for Starting Seeds Indoors. University of Maryland Extension. Retrieved October 5, 2023, from <https://extension.umd.edu/resource/grow-lights-starting-seeds-indoors>

2University of New Hampshire. (2020, January 22). What should neem be used for on plants? University of New Hampshire Extension. Retrieved October 5, 2023, from <https://extension.unh.edu/blog/2020/01/what-should-neem-be-used-plants>

3Mengel, D. B. (2023). Types and Uses of Nitrogen Fertilizers for Crop Production. Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. Retrieved October 5, 2023, from <https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/ay/ay-204.html>

4MacKenzie, J. (2018). Trellises and cages to support garden vegetables. University of Minnesota Extension. Retrieved October 5, 2023, from <https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/trellises-and-cages>

5University of Illinois. (2023). Composting. University of Illinois Extension. Retrieved October 5, 2023, from <https://extension.illinois.edu/soil/composting>

6University of Florida. (2012). Activated Charcoal. University of Florida IFAS Extension. Retrieved October 5, 2023, from <https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/archive/hot_topics/sustainable_living/activated_charcoal.shtml>

7McMahan, L. R. (2006, June). Coir is sustainable alternative to peat moss in the garden. Retrieved October 5, 2023, from <https://extension.oregonstate.edu/news/coir-sustainable-alternative-peat-moss-garden>

8Eco Warrior Princess. Unsplash. Retrieved from <https://unsplash.com/photos/ewd18_WiYN8>

9Dvortygirl. CC BY-SA 3.0 Deed. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bypass_loppers_pruners.jpg>

10Paulmann. CC BY-SA 3.0 Deed. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Photosynthesis-lamp123.jpg>

11Steve F. CC BY-SA 2.0 Deed. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Organic_garden_cloches_at_Beningborough_Hall_-_geograph.org.uk_-_788128.jpg>

12ajay_suresh. CC BY 2.0 Deed. Resized and Changed Format. Flickr. Retrieved from <https://flickr.com/photos/83136374@N05/51013600587>

13SprocketRocket. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Diatomaceous_Earth.jpg>

14Andy Li. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Compost_bins_in_Brighthelm_Garden_2023-06-16.jpg>

15Photo by Irina_kukuts. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/gardening-tools-set-rake-shovel-6082797/>

16Photo by cocoparisienne. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/gloves-glove-gardening-gloves-332172/>

17Photo by fotoblend. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/pruning-shears-to-cut-sharp-4329109/>

18Photo by MabelAmber. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/watering-can-garden-gardening-water-3547861/>

19Photo by Mimzy. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/spray-bottle-cleaning-supplies-2754171/>

20Photo by Ninetechno. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/essential-oil-neem-herbal-packaging-7051750/>

21Photo by ds_30. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/detergent-plastic-housework-4900985/>

22Photo by congerdesign. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/sheet-tin-bucket-old-stack-vessels-1392023/>

23Photo by ron2025. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/clock-hygrometer-electronic-5141611/>

24Photo by Mariakray. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/woman-garden-nature-outdoors-6795429/>

25Photo by Mikes-Photography. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/hose-pipe-garden-hose-gardening-1536413/>

26Photo by PublicDomainPictures. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/barrow-cart-equipment-flower-2770/>

27Photo by rihaij. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/plant-pot-multicoloured-lavender-2545368/>

28Photo by Memoryloon. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/kitchen-garden-garden-gardening-960542/>

29Photo by GLady. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/climbers-vines-plant-trellis-50996/>

30Photo by fietzfotos. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/garden-shed-garden-sunlight-5975558/>

31Photo by walkersalmanac. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/garden-spade-soil-gardening-work-1176406/>

32Photo by KawikaFilms. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/activated-charcoal-healthy-toothpaste-5834893/>

33Photo by HeamnaManzur. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/moss-peat-garden-nature-forest-6988290/>

34Photo by Alexei_other. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/sand-shovel-construction-break-5086122/>

35Photo by koma-r. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/rock-garden-alpine-slide-young-5229852/>

36Photo by Sermpong. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/wind-spinner-decoration-craft-art-6990102/>

37Photo by stux. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/dwarf-peace-spring-garden-mood-1336495/>