Make your outdoor space summer-ready with these affordable landscaping picks

·5 min read

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Our gardens, front porches, and backyards have become a huge extension of our homes this past year. “Social front yards,” where folks can host festive, but less formal gatherings, and “immunity gardens,” where food and herbs that boost immunity are the focus of harvest are huge trends that aren’t going anywhere. 

Ready to get down and dirty? We've got you covered. Save money, your back, and your sanity with these techie, yet affordable, gardening and landscaping picks starting at just $6.

Waterproof Garden Gloves With Claw

These might terrify your pet, but they work. (Photo: Amazon)
These might terrify your pet, but they work. (Photo: Amazon)

While it might be tempting to use this to strike fear upon your unsuspecting kid (I know I’ve thought about it), claw gardening gloves are a genius addition to your gardening toolbox, no matter your level. I really can’t believe I hadn’t ever seen these before! 

The built-in plastic claws on each hand make it super easy to dig and plant and gives you precision as you pull out weeds and their pesky roots. It protects your hands from cuts, broken and dirty fingernails, and the nylon knitting is waterproof and breathable to keep hands cool. 

Over 6,600 positive reviews and I love that they eliminate the need to bring out a shed’s worth of tools to depot a new annual. Starting at just $7, you’re not just saving time, you’re saving your hands and money, too.

Shop it: XJYAMUS Garden Genie Gloves, starting at $7, amazon.com

Classic Home and Garden Fiberglass Planter Pot

What a cute home for your flowers! (Photo: Amazon)
What a cute home for your flowers! (Photo: Amazon)

There’s nothing more luxurious than gorgeous, weighty, ceramic and brushed stone planters. I’ve always crushed on my daughter’s godmother’s magazine-worthy deck, peppered with gigantic planters that looked like they were carved in Italy. Since her setup is swoon-worthy, I asked her for some of favorite gardening products as I was prepping this story – and she raved about fiberglass planters. I interrupted, “wait a minute – is that what’s on your deck?” Oh yes, folks, these lightweight pots completely fooled me, and now I’m ordering 10.

She loves that they can be easily moved since they are so light, and these have over 7,000 positive reviews from other savvy and wallet-minded folks who are out to dupe the rest of us. Very funny, guys!

Shop it: Classic Home and Garden Patio Pot Honeysuckle Planter, $21 (was $23), amazon.com

Auger Drill Bit for Planting

Plant bulbs in a snap. (Photo: Amazon)
Plant bulbs in a snap. (Photo: Amazon)

You should see my infectious kind of happy when I’m picking out plants at our local home improvement store — which hours later, unfortunately, transition to sad sighs of defeat as I map out how I’ll dig a hole deep enough to transfer my new plant baby. Enter: This planting auger, which attaches to my husband’s electric drill and helps me dig holes exponentially faster, even on hard rocky soils. It works for bulbs and spikes, too, and I love that the extended length allows me to stand, preventing back strain!

It serves double-duty, too – bring it to the beach to anchor your umbrella – I’ve considered myself lucky not having knocked anyone out yet, so this is definitely taking a trip in my beach bag from now on!

Shop it: Auger Drill Bit for Planting, $15 (was $18), amazon.com

TomCare Foldable Garden Kneeler

An expert-recommendated pick. (Photo: Amazon)
An expert-recommendated pick. (Photo: Amazon)

This next pick was recommended highly by a landscape designer who loves this garden kneeler not only because it’s foldable and has convenient pockets to stash tools – but also because you can turn it over to use as a seat. 

I love how multi-purpose it is, you can take it from the garden to fishing to hanging out! It also has a foam-padded cushion to keep pressure off knees – one reviewer raved that it helped her garden again after a knee replacement, and the bars help you ease back up to standing – plus it folds down to store. Genius.

Shop it: TomCare Garden Kneeler Seat Garden Bench Garden Stools, $50 (was $58), amazon.com

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler

The kids and pets will love this — and so will your plants. (Photo: Amazon)
The kids and pets will love this — and so will your plants. (Photo: Amazon)

Make your lawn the talk of the neighborhood by delegating your lawn care to Artificial Intelligence. Rachio’s Smart Sprinkler Controller replaces your old controller and connects directly to your smartphone to save you money, water, and time.

Their exclusive weather intelligence automatically skips unnecessary watering, making calls based on daily weather, and allows you to run sprinklers and observe your outdoor water usage. It’s also all based on specific needs of your lawn including plant types, soil type, sun exposure and more. 

You can even run customized zones around your yard depending on what’s growing. It’s like a personal lawn care expert set up shop at your house! You might also see savings of 30 to 50 percent off your monthly water bill, too.

Shop it: Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, $280, amazon.com

Thermacell Mosquito Repeller

No more pesky mosquitos! (Photo: Amazon)
No more pesky mosquitos! (Photo: Amazon)

I’ve done the candles, the bracelets, the sprays – none work to deter those pesky mosquitos, especially around my most delicious ankles. Thermacell’s Patio Shield Mosquito Repeller is DEET, trap, and sonic-free and offers a 15-foot zone of protection against mosquitos with no cords or batteries, so you can safely bring it with you anywhere your gardening takes you! It’s powered simply by a fuel cartridge and heat-activated repellent mats that change color when it’s time to refill, there’s no noise and no scent. It also gives me piece of mind around my kids – it’s EPA reviewed for safety and effectiveness – and 26,000 reviewers - who aren’t Googling to find home remedies for bug bites - love it too.

Other expert-approved tips include planting strong-scented herbs that are known to deter pests, like garlic and coriander and cultivating flowers that support beneficial insects like honeybees and lady bugs! You can also consult a local arborist to find out what kind of soil you have – clay, sandy, etc. – and adjust watering schedules and plant options from there!

Shop it: Thermacell Patio Shield Mosquito Repeller, $20 (was $25), amazon.com

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