Get Your Garden In #OXOSpringGardening

by Dorothy Reinhold on May 11, 2015

Print This Post Print This Post Getting Your Garden In | Spring Gardening in Southern California |

Mother’s Day saw me gardening in the bright Southern California sunshine, my expectations raised for a delicious summer of strolling out to the back yard  to pick vegetables for that night’s dinner.

That’s the goal, but it’s also getting ahead of the game. First I had to fill my weed bucket with gnarly overgrown nonsense, get my nails gritty, my knees caked in dirt and my forearms scratched from plants I should have removed last fall but didn’t. Ah, the joys of the soil!

#OXOSpringGardening tools on

Luckily, my friends at OXO sent a box full of gardening implements to encourage me to get out there and muck around, and to urge you to do so as well.

First things first: My mom had pointed to a vacant pot on her balcony and asked me to fill it with succulents for her. Aye aye, captain!

Succulents waiting to be planted on ShockinglyDelicious.comLuckily, I had been keeping a starter area of little succulents. They were ready.

Succulent pot on ShockinglyDelicious.comThis was easy! This plants should grow in nicely, and won’t take much water (a big plus in dry So Cal). I love how the big purple one dominates, and the smaller ones below offer color and texture contrast. Come back and see this pot in 6 months.

Weed digging on ShockinglyDelicious.comNext up was clearing some weeds from  around my kumquat tree. This area used to be planted with strawberries.

Weeds getting dug up on ShockinglyDelicious.comMy favorite tool for this is the cultivator, which has three prongs. You dig it in, and it loosens the dirt enough to allow you to hand pull the weed AND its roots. If you simply pull the green part of the weed off, the roots are still in the soil and the plant will regrow, stronger than ever. No bueno, as we say here.

Strawberries being planted on ShockinglyDelicious.comOnce the area was clear, the new strawberry plants went in. I used the trowel to dig the perfect sized hole. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, like walking out to the yard and picking a few choice ripe strawberries to pop into your mouth. I have to get them before the squirrels do, though.  😉

Planting bell peppers on ShockinglyDelicious.comThe trowel also made quick work of planting my three new colored bell pepper plants — get ready for purple, red and yellow in some recipes this summer!

Raking leaves on ShockinglyDelicious.comNext up was a little raking, with the cutest and most practical hand rake I ever used. Flip a switch on the handle, which extends the shaft, and the tines spread out. You can adjust it to service the width of the area you are working in. This, above, my friends, is a tangle of kale leaves. I let that kale plant get really out of control this year! Where has this rake been all my life?

Pruning the kale plant on

Finally I did a little pruning, using a bypass pruner. Every gardener needs one of these, whether it is for snipping errant branches…

Cutting flowers on

…or cutting a flower stalk to bring inside to a vase. The pruner needs to be sharp, fit your hand well, be comfortable and most of all, when you squeeze it, it needs to have lots of power to cut through a branch. This one does.

If you’d like to spruce up your garden and need some handy, practical, comfortable tools to help you along, I recommend these:

Outdoor Gardening with OXO

  • Constructed of high-quality stainless steel for durability and strength
  • Comfortable handle is non-slip, even when hands are wet
  • Cushioned handle absorbs pressure while digging
  • Large measurement markings at one-inch and one-centimeter intervals are easy to read
  • Trowel head is large for efficient digging and serrated edges make it easy to open bags and cut roots


  • Constructed of high-quality stainless steel for durability and strength
  • Comfortable, two-position handle provides extra strength and reach while striking
  • Serrated edge for cutting roots and opening bags
  • Sharpened string cutter


Hand Rake

  • Easily adjust and lock tine spread at any position
  • Retract to 3 inches for tight spaces and compact storage
  • Expand to 12 inches for clearing larger areas
  • Two-position handle for comfort and reach
  • Comfortable handle is non-slip, even when hands are wet

Outdoor Pour and Store Watering Can

  • Spout rotates back toward the body for easier filling and space-efficient storage
  • Water levels in the clear spout line up with measurement markings on the body for easy measuring
  • Continuous soft, non-slip handle for a comfortable, secure grip when carrying and pouring at all heights
  • Removable rose attachment stores conveniently in the back of the Can
  • 2.11gal/8L capacity
  • Comes in green, blue and fuchsia


  • Perfect for stirring and loosening soil, and pulling up weeds
  • Constructed of high-quality stainless steel for durability and strength
  • Two outer prongs longer than center prong to easily maneuver around plant stems
  • Comfortable, two-position handle provides extra strength and reach when striking and pulling

Bypass Pruners

  • Versatile bypass hand shears with 3/4-inch-diameter cutting capacity
  • Hardened, Teflon-coated, steel cutting blades provide maximum cutting strength
  • Conveniently located locking switch is accessible by both left- or right-handed users
  • Convenient for gardening and various yardwork projects
  • Soft, comfortable non-slip grip

Disclosure: OXO sent the garden tools for review. 

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Andi @ The Weary Chef May 16, 2015 at 7:00 am

This is so useful! And aaw, look at that cute little rake. 🙂


Alyssa @ Simply Quinoa May 13, 2015 at 5:38 am

So jealous that a) you can have a beautiful garden like that – I’m in NYC and space is somewhat limited 😉 and b) that you can have strawberries whenever you like!!


Dorothy Reinhold May 13, 2015 at 7:46 am

Thank you! Strawberries are pretty darn special. I am jealous that you live in the most vibrant city in the world!


Ashlyn @ Belle of the Kitchen May 12, 2015 at 11:34 pm

I loved seeing how you used your new tools! I have never gardened before but have always wanted, too. I think it’s so cool that you have a kumquat tree by the way!


Dorothy Reinhold May 13, 2015 at 7:48 am

In So Calif., we take many things for granted (like the ability to have a kumquat tree in the back yard). I encourage you to garden in whatever way you can…in a pot on the balcony, borrowing your neighbor’s unused side yard…whatever works. It is so gratifying.


Elena May 12, 2015 at 6:05 pm

I just got my garden in right before the tropical storm hit us. I’ll be doing a bit of clean up work this week for sure!


Jaren (Diary of a Recipe Collector) May 12, 2015 at 4:32 pm

I love this time of year because of I love to plant new things. Now I need some new tools!


Dorothy Reinhold May 12, 2015 at 10:02 pm

A new trowel is like a new pan…it inspires!


Michelle | A Latte Food May 12, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Oooh! I’ve been wanting to start gardening to grow my own herbs! Those tools look so helpful too!


Dorothy Reinhold May 12, 2015 at 10:03 pm

This is the year. Do it! Herbs are a high-impact thing to grow…they make such a difference in your cooking.


Joanie @ ZagLeft May 12, 2015 at 12:58 pm

This post is great and perfect for me. I don’t have much of a green thumb but my husband does and he has been doing all the planting of vegetables, herbs and flowers. I’ve told him that this is the year for me to help him out so I’m happy to have this post with all the information handy to refer to. Thank you.


Dorothy Reinhold May 12, 2015 at 10:03 pm

Maybe once you muck around a bit, your thumb will green right up!


Ashley | The Recipe Rebel May 12, 2015 at 10:59 am

I can’t wait to get my garden in! Those look like some super handy tools!


Dorothy Reinhold May 12, 2015 at 12:28 pm

They are great tools, and one of the hallmarks of OXO tools, whether for the kitchen or garden or bathroom, is that they fit in your hand and are comfortable to use. I like that.


Kacey @ The Cookie Writer May 12, 2015 at 9:59 am

I really wanted to get my vegetable garden going this year, but with all the other renovations, I may have to postpone it a year. I am excited to see the produce you have by the end of the summer!


Dorothy Reinhold May 12, 2015 at 12:28 pm

I hear you. One big job at a time!


Kristina May 12, 2015 at 7:18 am

what great tools! we are just about ready to begin our planting for the year, we have had some great warm days…


Dorothy Reinhold May 12, 2015 at 9:15 am

I have gone through a lot of pruners in all my gardening years, and this is one of the best! Also, that little rake turned out to be so handy. It fits in small and narrow spaces.


Sue Lau May 12, 2015 at 7:09 am

I do a lot of herb gardening in containers. My knees don’t like me going to ground to dig out all that stuff. My husband takes care of that part. LOL But still, nice tools!


Dorothy Reinhold May 12, 2015 at 9:15 am

Yep, containers can cure a lot of ills, eh?


anna@icyvioletskitchen May 11, 2015 at 9:59 pm

aww such sweet little succulents! what a glorious garden! i am jealous. we are only starting to be able to grow some of the real sun-loving crops up here in oregon!


Dorothy Reinhold May 12, 2015 at 9:16 am

Well, you might be jealous of my sunshine, and I shall be jealous of YOUR RAIN!


Sippitysup May 11, 2015 at 8:55 am

I got my garden going this week too. Sadly, because of the drought, I’m only going to do herbs this year. GREG


Dorothy Reinhold May 12, 2015 at 9:16 am

I am only planting things that can be eaten. No ornamentals of any kind. That succulent pot for my mom was it!


Lizthechef May 11, 2015 at 8:24 am

I’m cutting back a bit on my garden this Spring and Summer due to the drought – but I refuse to give it up entirely. Your post makes me eager to play in the dirt!


Dorothy Reinhold May 12, 2015 at 9:17 am

The drought is cramping my style. That sounds glib, and I don’t mean to imply I don’t understand just how serious it is. But I need to grow some vegetables! I am only only only planting things I can eat. And I will go without a shower so I can water my tomatoes. Deal?


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