Garden Tools I LOVE for Growing Cut-Flowers

Helping you celebrate the magic of every season!

This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, see my disclosures here.

When I was just getting started growing + selling cut flowers, I was very selective with the things that I bought.

In full transparency, I just didn’t have the extra money to invest in things that weren’t one-hundred percent absolutely necessary..

What’s more, growing flowers, for me it was something that started as a hobby- it was never something that I intended to make profit from- and for that reason especially, I just couldn’t justify spending money that I didn’t have.

Over the years though, my collection of tools + gadgets- things that not only help me to grow flowers but to also grow my business- well, that collection has certainly grown.

Now, with the holidays having just recently passed, I figured that right about now, you may have a few extra gift cards sitting in your wallet, or maybe you have profits from last season that you’re looking to reinvest back into your business for this coming year.

That’s why in this blog post, I want to share the surprisingly helpful tools that have been my most-loved purchases over the past few years.

 I hope that by sharing what’s worked well for me, you’ll avoid spending unnecessary money on those less-than-helpful tools that usually just wind up just collecting dust in the corners of your garage- trust me, we’ve all been there…

So if you’re ready, let’s jump right to it and get started…

Now before we get too far, I do want to clarify that the things I’m about to share with you are things that I bought AFTER purchasing the more essential pieces of equipment that I needed to grow flowers.

So in my early years, my priority was buying the absolute necessities which for me were things like seeds and seed starting equipment- you know, the wire seed-starting racks, the grow lights and the seed trays

It wasn’t until I really had a firm foundation of the basic sort of tools that I began purchasing these more novelty items. These tools that while helpful in streamlining my flower growing process, they weren’t make it or break it type items that the success of my flower farm depended on…

I don’t want to mislead you down this path thinking that you absolutely need all of the same equipment that I have in order to have a successful flower farm… that’s not true! I just want to share what’s helped me in hopes that you too will be helped by these same resources.

Portable Potting Bench:

So, let’s start first, with this unexpected favorite. I’ve truly come to love this portable potting bench that I purchased off of Amazon.

If I’m being honest, I’ve always been one of those people that have never understood the need for a potting bench. Like why would I need one when I can just throw my potting soil in a wheelbarrow and dish it out from there?!

And truly the wheelbarrow method has worked well for me because if you know me or you know how I operate then you probably already know that I do not have any sort of dedicated grow space – I don’t work out of a greenhouse or any other sort of permanent structure.

Most of the time, when I need workspace, I just work out of my garage using folding tables- and like I said, a wheelbarrow to hold my potting soil. It’s simple, it’s always been effective and better yet everything either folds down or can easily be wheeled away when I need to actually use my garage for normal sort of stuff- you know, like parking my car in there…

But I’ve found over the years, when I’m not trying to knock out a full day’s worth of work, I can easily procrastinate even the most simple tasks- I know this about myself, it’s just a fact.

Those smaller tasks like starting just one or two trays of seeds rather than twenty or pre-sprouting my ranunculus corms are things that I can easily put off simply because the thought of creating a large mess in my garage feels like an overwhelmingly large production.

And that’s truly why I’m so in love with this tray. It’s lightweight and portable enough that I can carry soil to wherever I’m working. I can bring soil downstairs into my basement and I can work out of there while maintaining a clean workspace. I even will bring this tray into my kitchen during the colder winter months and I’ll pot up my amaryllis bulbs into their containers without having to stand and freeze my butt off in my cold, unheated garage just so that I don’t make a mess inside…

For me, I love how this tray is sturdy enough that the soil actually stays within the boundaries of the container. I also love how it’s small enough that it can easily be stored when not in use, yet not so small where I feel like I’m constantly refilling it with more potting soil. In my opinion, this tray, it’s just the perfect size- small enough that its convenient to have around, and still large enough where it’s useful

I’ve gotten a lot of use out of this tray over the year that I’ve owned this and it’s definitely something I recommend- I think growers of all sizes can get a lot of use out of this one tray.

Dibbler Tray for Seed Starting:

Sticking with the sort of seed starting theme- this dibbler tray is another tool that I have gotten a surprising amount of use out of.

In fairness, I will admit that this tray was an impulse purchase- I can’t remember even how I came across it. I swear it must have been a recommended product when I was checking out on Amazon because I wasn’t seeking this product out.

And however it came to me- it’s irrelevant now because I use this dibbler tray all of the time.

So all this tray is, is a hardened piece of plastic; there’s handles on top for you to grip and then on the bottom it has sturdy pegs that when inserted into a 72-seed cell seed tray, it will indent the soil, creating space for you to drop your seeds into each cell.

Now in the past, I’ve simply taken my finger or the end of a sharpie marker and I individually indented each cell when I’m planting seeds. I then drop the seeds inside and cover my holes with more potting soil before moving on to the next tray. 

In the grand scheme of things, the time I save using this dibbler tray versus individually indenting each cell myself-  I will admit, it probably only saves me a minute or two of time. But here’s the thing, when you multiple that across the hundreds of trays that I plant in a season- suddenly that time saved adds up to a significant number!

And that’s what I love- this tray streamlines my seed starting process and ultimately just helps me to plant more seeds in less time.

This dibbler specifically is designed to work with a 72 cell tray– which is what I use to start close to ninety-five percent of our seeds. If you use different sized trays you would need a dibbler tray that matches your desired cell tray size. 

The planting depth of this dibbler tray is really great for your larger seeds- meaning when I fully press the dibbler tray into my soil, the resulting indent is what I used to plant large seeds like zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers, etc.

If you want a more shallow indent, the only way you’ll be able to control that is by not pressing down as hard on the tray. So for things like basil, or celosia where I want my seeds closer to the surface, I press more lightly on the tray- and that works good enough for me.

Overall, I think this dibbler tray is a great, inexpensive buy that will help you be more productive with your seed starting endeavors- especially if you’re a small or medium scale grower that hasn’t worked up to the need for a more expensive vacuum seeder; this tray is really a great intermediate step that will save you time and money.

Easy Temperature Monitoring and Control Tools:

Now the next tool or group of tools is truthfully what finally gave me the confidence to grow spring flowers…

Here’s the thing, I have always loved spring flowers, things like ranunculus, anemones, and tulips but I’ve always felt intimidated because I was so unsure if I could provide them the necessary growing conditions to flourish and thrive. 

I mean, starting warm-loving tender annuals in my kitchen prior to our last spring frost is one thing; I always knew that these sort of seeds would be forgiving enough that they would do fine with whatever temperature my house maintained in the winter… 

But creating sort of micro climates for cool-season things left a little more doubt in my mind.

I had the space where I could be a little resourceful and grow things in crates in the empty stall of my two stall garage, but with the garage being unheated and me living in West Michigan where the temps can dip quite low in the winter- how cold was it really in there?

The same thing with my basement, it’s a cooler, unheated area of my home- would the difference in temperature be enough where I could somehow grow a cooler season crop during the earliest parts of the year?

Now, I wish it hadn’t taken me so long, but I finally set up temperature sensors within my different spaces and my whole perspective on growing spring crops- it changed because suddenly I had real-life factual data to backup my suspicions- my garage and basement COULD supply adequate growing conditions for some early season flowers when it was otherwise too cold to grow anything outside!

If you find yourself in a similar position where you’re contemplating how to use the various spaces that you have available to you- do yourself a favor and get some temperature sensors so you can stop second guessing yourself.

My temperature sensors run on two double A batteries and I place them within the different grow spaces that I want to monitor. The sensors communicate wirelessly to a weather station that I keep on my kitchen counter.

My specific weather station allows me to connect and monitor 3 different spaces at once. So I have 3 channels on my weather station, each that can connect to its own separate sensor that I can then place where I like. 

I enjoy being able to scan the various channels of my weather station and right there in my kitchen I can know the humidity and temperature of those grow spaces. I like having that info in one place rather than having to go to each space and individually read out a more traditional temp and/or humidity monitor. It’s just easier having all that info in one place.

What’s really cool too, is that most of these weather stations can then connect to an app on your phone and you can receive real-time data from the various areas of your flower farm by simply glancing at your phone. 

Now in full disclosure, my weather station model is so old that it has since been retired and it does not connect via app to my phone- but I believe all of the newer models that this company offers does have that handy phone connect feature so you can see what’s going on at home even when you’re not there.

I do know, from seeing the app which a friend of mine has that you can even use the app to set alerts for when sensor readouts go above or below pre-determined temperatures – so maybe you set an alert for yours to notify you when the temp in your high tunnel gets too warm- this could be a good way for you to be notified of when you should vent your tunnel so you don’t smother your plants to death.

Similarly maybe you set an alert to let you know if or when your dahlia storage place gets below freezing- again, this could be a great way for you to potentially avoid loss of your dahlia tubers from improper storage conditions.

There’s a bunch of different ways that you could put these temperature sensors to work for you.

And if maintaining a certain temperature is really important to you- you can take this one step further

I use not only these La Crosse temperature and humidity sensors but in spaces where I need to maintain a certain range of temp- like in my basement where I’m forcing all of our tulips this winter season- I’ll use an Ink Bird digital temperature controller in combination with a small greenhouse heater.

Now, I know this probably sounds like a lot, but it’s a straightforward and simple set-up that allows me to grow so much more than I thought possible on my small flower farm. 

So the Ink Bird is a thermostat controller. It senses temperature- and yes, you can even purchase ink birds with humidity sensors as well- but mine senses temperature and it turns the outlet for my small greenhouse heater on or off when the temperature falls below the acceptable target range of temps that I have set myself.

There’s also an outlet for cooling. So if instead of trying to keep an area on your farm from getting too cold, you could keep an area from getting too warm by using this ink bird with a cooling unit. 

Or if humidity was especially important to you, like for a lot of growers that store large amounts of dahlia tubers- you could use an ink bird with a humidity sensor to turn off or on either or humidifier or dehumidifier depending on your unique circumstances.

This combination of Ink Bird Controller with this small greenhouse heater means that I can easily maintain a minimally heated space on my farm without a lot of work.

I love the piece of mind of not really having to do a lot because truthfully once this is set up, unless I want to change the settings, I don’t have to do any additional work- I love how this combo safeguards my tulips and gives me the peace of mind of knowing that I’m actually hitting those temperature targets that I’m after.

Tripod for Flat Lay Captures:

Okay- let’s switch gears to one of my favorite tools that’s not directly related to the growing of cut flowers; this one more relates to the growing of my business.

I’ve share this before, but in case you didn’t know, capturing beautiful flower content, whether that be photo or video- it has truly helped me to be able to better market my flowers to potential customers and expand the reach of my business. 

Related: Will Better Photos Help You Sell More Flowers?!

Now, I don’t know about you but one of the things that always catches my eye and that inspires me is seeing the flat lay work that is often shared by other flower farmers across social media.

There’s something so stunningly beautiful about these sort of images.

Over the seasons I’ve sort of dabbled myself with capturing photos and video overhead but I’ve just never really had a great set up for it. To me, the process always felt clumsy- I was always trying to stand on my tip toes, and hold the camera level above whatever I was trying to capture- it was just a mess.  

And then I found this tripod that is not only just a really great heavy duty phone tripod, but it’s also a tripod that has an extendable boom arm which makes capturing flat lay work so much easier.

Even if flat lay work isn’t something of particular interest to you, this tripod adjusts in so many unique ways- it swivels and rotates and tilts- it has a lot of versatility to it, and I can see this being helpful across a wide variety of situations.

Personally, I’ve been on the hunt for a tripod like this for a while now, but tripods like this, especially ones with this horizontal boom arm are usually on the pricier side. 

This specific tripod at the time of writing this post clocks in at under fifty dollars- which is a steal of a deal.

I do think a large reason for this is because this tripod is only compatible with phones. It only has a phone holder attachment; there is no screw mount for you to attach an actual camera. Now you can still capture both vertical and horizontal video or photos as the phone holder does rotate but I want to be clear this is solely a phone tripod- nothing else.

Thermal Printer for Shipping Labels:

While we’re on the subject of business tools, I have to share another favorite of mine which has been my Rollo thermal printer.

Originally I wanted this printer as it was a goal of mine to serve a greater reach of customers by offering shipping on some of our products.

During our fall bulb sale we were able to serve more customers by shipping our tulip and daffodil bulbs. During our winter season, the same thing, we were able to serve more customers by shipping our wreath kits and even our amaryllis bulbs across the U.S.

The map below illustrates how much of a wider audience beyond our local community we were able to serve last year thanks to the power of shipping!

From everything that I had researched about small business shipping- the consensus seemed to be that I would need a thermal printer to print shipping labels quickly and easily at home.

And this Rollo Printer has worked great for that purpose; however I wasn’t expecting this printer to have uses beyond just shipping- and so you can imagine that I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could use it to add customized stickers to just about anything!

Now to make sure we’re on the same page- let me be clear a thermal printer does not use ink- like its name implies it relies on heat and applies that heat to heat sensitive paper which in turn creates your designs on your labels for you… what this means is that the only color your printer prints out is black.

You can introduce different colors to your labels and stickers by printing on colored ones, which I will get to in a moment, but the print itself will be in black.

The advantage to all of this is that since you’re not having to purchase ink cartridges, this way of printing can be quite cost effective because once you have your printer- the only additional purchase you need are the labels or stickers that you intend to print on- and these labels are usually between 2 and seven cents each depending on if you buy in bulk and what sort of label you’re printing on.

So yes, I print plenty of shipping labels with this Rollo printer– but I also use this printer to print circle stickers and use those stickers on our bouquet sleeves. I used circle labels to differentiate the different tulip and daffodil varieties we were selling this past fall during our fall bulb sale. And, I also used this printer to create customized labels for our amaryllis bulbs which we sold during our winter market…

I love that whenever I need a design- I can easily create it in Canva- and then I just print it out on my thermal printer. It’s a really inexpensive way to dress up your products and ensure that you can put your branding just about anywhere. 

Having the option to have customized stickers for about 3 or 4 cents a piece has been such a gamechanger for me and I know that I will continue to find more uses for this thermal printer, the longer I have it.

The only thing I would change about my current thermal printer is that I do wish I would have opted for the slightly more expensive wireless option. The printer I have now, while less expensive, it does need to plug into my computer via a USB cord . Sometimes I wish I could move my computer elsewhere without having to also move my thermal printer with me. In the grand scheme of things this is only a small inconvenience- but I’m just being completely honest.

Flower-Related Books:

Nothing would round out this list of flower-related Amazon favorites better than the flower-related books that I have collected throughout the years. 

In full disclosure, I own an embarrassingly large number of flower books- and rather than have you sit through me explaining why I love each and every single one of them- I’ll make it easy on us both.

I’ve actually shared all of my favorite flower books- and I’ve even broken them down by category in a separate blog post which I’ll link here.

Related: Our Absolute Favorite Flower-Related Books!

In case you’re not big on reading, let me encourage you to pick up the habit. Books are such a gift! When you think about it, a book is a small cost for the insane amount of information that you receive from it.

What’s more, books allow access to industry experts and people you may not otherwise have access to- I find it so incredible that we can get a look at the thought process and learn the strategies from so many insanely talented flower growers, florists and more simply because they took the time to create a book on the matter.

Conclusion

So there you have it, the unique and slightly unconventional list of Amazon finds that have helped me not only grow more flowers, but also grow my business over the years.

If you have a favorite Amazon find that has helped in your flower growing journey- let us know about it by sharing it in the comments below.

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Hey there, I'm Britney!

A dairy farmer turned flower farmer growing + selling specialty cut flowers in West Michigan! I think flowers are the best way to savor the magic that comes with every season- that’s why at Two Sisters Flower Farm we grow everything from daffodils in the spring to pumpkins + dahlias in the fall!

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