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6 Ways A Wheelbarrow Is Perfect For Gardening

The humble wheelbarrow ranks among the most useful, yet underrated pieces of equipment on a productive hobby farm. And wheelbarrows are particularly useful for gardening.

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by J. Keeler JohnsonJanuary 12, 2021
PHOTO: Daniel Johnson

Wheelbarrows rank among the most useful, yet underrated pieces of equipment on a productive hobby farm. They’re not as flashy as tractors or ATVs, but they get a lot of mileage because they’re easy to use and convenient for shifting supplies and materials around the farm.

Dirt, rocks, manure—you name it, and wheelbarrows probably carry it.

Whether your wheelbarrow has one wheel or two (and there are pros and cons to each design), simplicity is a big selling point. Wheelbarrows run on the power of your muscles, so there’s no need to fuss with annual engine maintenance. Plus, they’re small enough (and light enough) to access places that tractors and trailers can’t reach.

Wheelbarrows are particularly useful for gardening and can be put to use in a wide variety of garden-related tasks. Here are just six of the many gardening tasks wheelbarrows can accomplish.


Read more: What’s better, one wheel or two? Well, it depends…


Carrying Tools

I keep many of my garden tools under cover (inside a garage or shed) so they won’t get rusty from sitting out in the elements.

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If you’ve got a big day of prepping or planting ahead, it’s helpful to gather up all your tools, toss them in the wheelbarrow, and wheel them out to the garden all at once. It saves a lot of trips!

Moving Compost

Good soil is one of the secrets to a productive garden. And compost is often the secret to good soil.

Buying compost from an outside provider? Producing it on your own farm? Either way, a wheelbarrow is a convenient way to move the compost to your garden and dump it straight into your garden beds.

Harvesting crops

When harvesting certain crops (potatoes, onions, etc.), a wheelbarrow comes in handy.

You can maneuver the wheelbarrow into the garden and harvest directly into the bucket. Then, you just wheel the harvest back to your house/root cellar/etc. for storing or processing.


Read more: What do you store in a root cellar? Roots, of course—and here’s why.


Planting Flowers

A worn-out wheelbarrow with a broken handle or cracked bucket can be repurposed as a portable garden planter! Drill a few holes in the bottom of the bucket for drainage, then fill it with dirt and plant a pretty collection of flowers.

Your attractive planter-on-wheels will be easy to move around the yard if you want to shake things up.

Gathering Mulch

Are you in need of mulch to surround a young fruit tree? Never fear!

Whether you’re stealing a bit of gravel from your driveway or gathering leaves/grass clippings from your yard, a wheelbarrow is perfect for gathering the mulch materials and transporting them exactly where you need them.


Read more: Collect you own irrigation water with a garden rain barrel!


Collecting Rainwater

We’ve all seen how quickly wheelbarrows can fill with water during a heavy rainstorm. So why not take advantage?

It’s not hard to reroute the downspout of a gutter to direct rainwater off the roof of a building directly into a wheelbarrow, turning it into a portable rain barrel. A large wheelbarrow can hold dozens of gallons of water, which can then be used for watering your garden during dry spells.

How do you put wheelbarrows to use in your garden?

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