Posted on: November 27, 2019 | Written By: Doug Oster |
It’s always fun to put together the annual gift guide for gardeners. They (we) are easy to buy for, so here’s a list of some of my favorite things that will make you a hero when they unwrap these unique gifts.
Growing vegetables and flowers from seeds is fun, easy and provides unique varieties to plant. Park’s Bio Dome system has everything needed to start seeds indoors. It keeps moisture in but has vents for air circulation. The dome has a floating planter, which actually wicks moisture from the bottom tray, providing water directly to the seedlings. There are a variety of sizes that use nutrient rich bio-sponges to help plant growth. All the gardener will need is a few packs of seeds.
Centurion has three interesting, innovative folding items for gardeners. Their 10-inch D-Grip TripleKut Folding Saw was designed for gardeners with weak hands or mobility problems. It uses a hardened carbon steel blade that folds and locks into place for safety and storage. It’s a great gift for any gardener who has some pruning to do.
The Collapsible Watering Can has a folding waterspout with removable showerhead that fold closely to the collapsible transparent body for both easy storage and mobility. It holds up to one and a half gallons of liquid. When not in use, it can be folded down to approximately three and a half inches wide.
The Collapsible Bucket is made from heavy-duty flexible nonporous silicone, making it both durable and leak-proof. The easy pour rim directs liquid where you want it, and the plastic base and rim make it extra sturdy, while keeping its bucket shape and ensuring it will not collapse when in use. This bucket folds flat to only two inches wide and has a hanging hole for storing. The bucket holds up to two and a half gallons of liquid.
The following items are available at the Everybody Gardens Store.
For years, Sloggers has been making me a unique version of their Rain and Garden Shoes, and I wear them everywhere. They are “special” because the shoes have a bright and colorful artistic pattern on them, which are only available in women’s sizes. The men’s colors are much tamer. These shoes are comfortable, waterproof and slip on and off so there’s no tracking in dirt and mud from the garden. This year’s shoes, by the way, are blue with pretty daisies and honeybees visiting the flowers. They also offer nice rain boots and a pretty Woman’s Braided Sun Hat.
My new shoes will look perfect when worn with the yellow Bee and Hive Mismatched Crew Socks from the Friday Sock Company. These fun socks don’t match (love it!) and are made in Italy from 85% Egyptian Combed Cotton, 12% Nylon and 3% Spandex.
You’ll often see two different Root Assassin shovels used during my In the Garden videos. The larger version weighs only four pounds, is 48 inches long and has 16 double-edged sharp, serrated teeth on each side. The tool is made of industrial grade steel and will dig through roots and tough soil.
The Mini Root Assassin Serrated Shovel is probably the most used tool in my garden. I’ll never forget when I first saw the 32-inch tool and wondered what this little shovel would be good for. I found out quickly, and this lightweight (two pounds) tough tool has replaced most of my other digging tools. It’s small enough to use while working on your knees, but it can also be used for digging while standing.
One thing gardeners always need is another set of good pruners. Dramm ColorPoint Compact Pruners are one of my favorites. They are sharp and indestructible, and the colorful handles are easy to find when left in the garden during the heat of battle. I have one in a toolbox out in the garden and another on the kitchen windowsill, ready for action.
Every gardener can use a rain gauge to keep track of moisture. Conventional wisdom tells us that most plants need one inch a week to thrive. The EZ Read High Visibility Jumbo Rain Gauge is inexpensive, easy to use and most importantly can be read from up to 50 feet away.
The AccuSharp GardenSharp Garden Tool Sharpener has been in my tool shed for more than 30 years. One way to make garden work easier and have tools last longer is to keep them sharp. This foolproof tool runs along the business edge of shovels, pruners, hoes, trowels and other garden implements to give them a good edge. I still use many of my grandparent’s garden tools, and one way to make them last is keeping them sharp.
I was smitten at the annual Mid-Atlantic Nursery Show in Baltimore last January when I saw the Flowering Seeded Gift Wrap Kit. The recycled wrapping paper is embedded with flower seeds. Unwrap your garden gift and then plant the paper. The kit contains four pastel color sheets (enough for eight shirt boxes), six gift cards, a nest of raffia and instructions.
Speaking of seeds, the Doug Oster “Save the Planet Collection” is 10 packs of pollinator-friendly seeds. Every one of them can be direct sowed in the soil in spring. Tithonia Torch (Mexican Sunflower), Butterfly Flower Orange, Zinnia Cut and Come Again Mixed Colors, Wildflowers Pollinator Honey Bee Mix, Cosmos Dazzler, Common Milkweed, Showy Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed, Monarch Butterfly Mix and Sunflower Mammoth Greystripe seeds.
The Nature’s Way Multi-Chamber Beneficial Insect Bee House is another way to help pollinators in the garden. It has all sorts of different-sized cavities, which good bugs can use for nesting. I’ve had one up since the spring, and it’s exciting to see the house start to fill up with pollinators looking for a place to overwinter.
I first saw large fabric pots being used in a public garden while visiting Quebec City in Canada. These lightweight, reusable containers store flat during the offseason. In the fall, I planted a 200-gallon Root Pouch with cool weather crops for this video. There are many different sizes though, including a 15-gallon version that would be perfect for growing tomatoes or other vegetables or flowers. The pots are made from recycled water bottles, and some have two handles to make moving them easier. I’m often asked about growing tomatoes in containers and always recommend a container that holds at least 15 gallons of planting mix.
I had so much fun with the Chef’n Microgreen Grower last year that I got a second one to use for growing tasty, nutritious microgreens on the windowsill. The kit comes with soil, seeds and instructions. It’s a great way for gardeners to spend the winter harvesting these yummy treats.
Get your favorite gardener something that will remind them of you this season.
Doug Oster is editor of Everybody Gardens, a website operated by 535Media, LLC. Reach him at 412-965-3278 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See other stories, videos, blogs, tips and more at everybodygardens.com.