A Little Paint Is The Foolproof Way To Find Your Garden Tools In The Soil

If you've ever spent 20 minutes looking for a gardening tool among your beds of flowers or rows of vegetables, you've probably spent at least a few minutes wondering why companies don't design them to stand out against garden soil. Fortunately, Martha Stewart looked at this problem back in 1993 and decided the solution is built into the problem: If the color is inconvenient, change the color. Thus was born the first "Good Thing" on "Martha Stewart Living," reprised here on Stewart's TikTok channel. Her idea was simple: Paint your tool handles a bright color that's easy to spot against a background of soil and greenery.

In the video, Stewart mentions painting the metal handles of some Japanese scissors. However, it's probably a good idea to paint some part of everything you are likely to leave lying around on the ground, starting with your essential everyday gardening tools. Consider beginning the process with those that can use extra protection from moisture, like shears with unprotected wood handles. You should also prioritize the ones that need to be found fast, like that ultra-sharp hand hoe you use for weeding that is liable to sever a toe if it goes missing for too long.

Make this garden tool hack youproof

Stewart appears to paint her tool handles a different color every year, but you can approach this task however works best for you. Ultimately, the trick should work as long as the paint contrasts with the garden environment. However, you might want to cultivate some consistency by using the same color for everything. Imagine being able to pick up all your poppy orange tools and put them in the poppy orange garden shed. (If you do use the same color everywhere, take the time to prep your shed before painting. Unlike your tools, it is supposed to be in the weather all year.)

Of course, you don't have to use paint. You could knot a bit of surveyor flagging tape onto the tool. Flagging tape comes in colors designed specifically to stand out amongst nature's browns and greens. Plus, a roll of this should last you roughly forever. But if you worry that little strips of bright yellow tape fluttering everywhere will make your garden look like a crime scene, paint is the way to go for a more refined look. Before you grab your paintbrush, feel free to mix in sand or a floor paint additive specifically to promote grip to avoid slippery painted handles.