As panic sets in during holiday shopping season, here are some ideas for your favorite gardener. We’re actually pretty easy to shop for.
One thing we always need is another set of good pruners. Dramm ColorPoint Compact Pruners are one of my favorites. They are sharp, 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.
One of the favorite tools added to my arsenal this year is the Root Assassin shovel. They have a serrated edge blade that cuts through just about anything in the ground. The original is 48 inches long, and the Mini Root Assassin is only 32 inches long. I use the larger version for big jobs, but have really fallen in love with the smaller shovel. It’s a great tool when you’re working on your knees. Much better at digging holes that a standard trowel, it’s light and easy to maneuver.
For detail work in good soil, I reach for the Soil Scoop. I’ve had one for about 15 years. There’s a version with a wooden handle and a comfort handle. The former is ergonomic and colorful, helpful when left out in the garden. I use the tool a lot and it’s built to last, It’s great for digging small planting holes, cultivating and more.
I get lots of compliments about my Sloggers garden shoes. It helps that I convinced the company to sell me women’s colors in a men’s size shoe. These waterproof shoes slip on and off easily so the garden is not tracked into the house. They are comfortable enough to wear all day as footwear. The shoes are long lasting, too, and rugged enough for digging, planting and all sorts of garden tasks.
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.
(And all the above items are available at everybodygardens.com).
Even though some people don’t consider a gift certificate a “real” gift, it’s one of the best things for a gardener, especially when it’s from their favorite local nursery. They can buy or order exactly what they would like and oftentimes it allows the gardener to splurge on something they wouldn’t normally buy.
Mantis has been making small tillers for decades. They do a great job turning over the garden as they are lightweight with fast-moving tines that prepare the soil. Now the company has released a model that uses rechargeable batteries. In my garden I’ve converted to this type of power for my mower and trimmer. Besides being easy to handle and powerful, they are quiet and always start without a problem. Wouldn’t it be great to get out early and till the garden one Sunday morning without waking up the neighbors?
The company is best known for its tillers/cultivators, but it has been offering rotating composting bins for more than 30 years. Every gardener wants compost, as it gives plants everything they need. These bins are a closed system that can make compost quickly, sometimes as fast as 45 days. There are a variety of sizes including a small Back Porch ComposTumbler, which is on wheels and can be moved around the yard easily to distribute the finished compost. Using the bin to make compost is the best way to recycle as material from the kitchen and garden is no longer sent to the curb and is then converted to a nutrient-rich soil amendment. Both items are available from Mantis.com.
The Cacti and Succulent Pot from Exaco will keep your favorite gardener busy planting and caring for plants during the winter, and then the container can be placed outside in the summer. The ceramic pot is eight inches in diameter and 10 inches high, with 17 planting holes for lots of cool-looking succulents, herbs or flowers. It’s is available at wayfair.com, hayneedle.com and amazon.com.
Give your favorite gardener something they will remember you by when they are working in the garden this year.
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.