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Jump-Start Your Spring Garden with These Tools & Accessories

A seedling tray on a heating mat; a three-tiered raised garden bed; a cold frame box

Already thinking about your spring garden? It’s a good idea to get a jump-start on your gardening, so you’re not caught off guard when spring finally arrives. Armed with the right accessories and tools, you’ll have your garden ready to go as soon as the frost breaks.

Planting and caring for a garden takes time and planning, which is why getting a head start can make a huge difference. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, though. If you’re armed with the right tools, your plants will be happy, healthy, and ready to move into your garden as soon as it warms up.

Indoor Seedling Planters

Seedling plants in small brown starter planters
Jolly Grow

To prep your spring garden, give your plants a head start in some indoor planters, like these trays from Jolly Grow. They give seedlings a chance to put down roots and grow a bit before you transplant them to their real home: your garden.

Made of biodegradable material, these small pots offer one major advantage over similar products: you don’t even have to transplant anything. These peat seedling planters simply break down in the soil over time.

Because there’s no risk of transplant shock when you move them to your garden, these are a fantastic way to give your plants a chance to put down roots and get strong.

JOLLY GROW Seed Starter Peat Pots

Allow seedlings to take root and eliminate the risk of transplant shock.

A Heating Mat

A planter on top of a heating mat; a man holding up a heating mat next to a woman with a planter

Starting your plants with indoor seedlings? Consider using a heating mat to help boost growth in this early stage of plant life. Especially while the weather is still cold, it’s important that new plants start at the right temperature before they’re moved into a full-fledged garden.

This heating mat from VIVOSUN is a reliable heat source for new seedlings or propagated cuttings. It maintains temperatures between 68-86 degrees Fahrenheit. The protective, infrared heating film allows the mat to provide even heat, without the risk of scorching the roots.

VIVOSUN Durable Waterproof Seedling Heat Mat

Gives seedlings a perfectly calibrated, safe heat source.

A Cold Frame Portable Greenhouse

A woman, a girl, and a dog next to a cold frame with flowers; a cold frame with potted plants inside

If you don’t have a full-scale greenhouse, a cold frame can help protect your outdoor plants from winter weather, while also giving them a head start. These are basically mini-greenhouses, with sturdy wooden frames and clear panels designed to keep out the cold and trap heat and sunlight.

The Giantex cold frame provides plenty of room, has an easy design, and is a fantastic way to protect your plants from the cold weather until spring arrives. It’s easy to assemble, and the hinged lid gives you more control to allow in light and rain.

Giantex Garden Cold Frame

This mini-greenhouse will keep your plants warm and healthy until spring.

A Raised Garden Bed

Two elevated, three-tier garden beds with plants in them

If you’re planning to use a raised garden bed, it’s wise to get a head start on construction, so you can prep the soil and have it ready to go by planting season. There are a ton of varieties and configurations you can try, but we especially love this three-tiered raised bed by Giantex.

Made from 100% cedar, all three tiers are reliable, sturdy, and ready to keep your plants safe no matter the climate. Deeper beds sit on the top two tiers, making them perfect for growing vegetables and other plants with deep roots. Meanwhile, plants that have shallower roots can sit comfortably and thrive on the bottom tier.

Giantex Three-Tier Raised Garden Bed

Three tiers of sturdy cedar create a versatile garden bed.

Soil Testing

Two soil test kits

Before you put all your plants in the ground, you can make sure it’s ready for them. Get ahead by testing the soil, so you have plenty of time to make adjustments if needed. After all, the best plants grow in the best soil.

Technology has made it easy and affordable for everyday gardeners to get insight into the health of their garden soil. A kit like this one from MySoil allows gardeners to send soil samples to an expert lab for analysis. You’ll get results on 13 plant nutrient levels, including pH and nitrogen.

From there, you also get online results and recommendations for improving the soil to get the best results all year.

MySoil Soil Test Kit

Get expert recommendations on how to improve your soil.

A Weeder

A weeder tool holding up a pulled weed
Grampa’s Weeder

Weeding your garden is an absolute must before spring planting. Instead of bending over or crouching down and ending up with a sore back and knees, get yourself Grampa’s Stand-Up Weed-Puller.

You just put your weight on the weeder, and then twist and pull! The long handle and pronged bottom are what make this tool a real winner. Not only does it allow you to work in more comfort, but it’s also more efficient.

The claw end gets a good grip on the roots of a weed, making it a one-and-done process, so you don’t have to repeat it after a few weeks.

Grampa's Gardenware Stand-Up Weed-Puller

Pull weeds without all the pain or hassle.

It’s never too early to start planning your spring garden, and these handy tools and accessories will help you get those seedlings and baby shrubs off to a great start! After you’ve got the greenery going, though, don’t forget to choose some lighting and decorations.

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »
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