Last minute gifts for a gardener

If you’re a last-minute shopper and struggling to find something to get for the gardener in your life, or if you’re a gardener and looking for a few things for your wish list, I came up with a list of things that I like/love and even a few items that I have on my wish list for this year.  Hopefully it will help spark a few ideas.

  • Pruners – Nothing beats a great set of pruners! Bypass pruners (look much like a scissors) are better for green material (live plants), while anvil pruners are better for woody material.  (Anvil pruners will crush and damage live plants.) My favorite bypass pruners are made by Felco.  If you’ve never shopped for them before you might get sticker shock, they aren’t cheap, but they are definitely worth the money.  The thing I like about Felco pruners is that they are made to last.  You can easily take them apart to clean and sharpen them, if the blades are ever too beat up or worn down to sharpen any more you can also buy replacement blades.  Felco also sells small sharpeners for the blades as well as cleaner/lubricant to keep them in good shape.
  • Diamond Files – These are great for filing pruners of all kinds!
  • Spade – Nothing beats a good sturdy (and sharp!) spade.  Spades don’t come sharp.  You’ll need to sharpen them.  This can really make all the difference when gardening.  It’s like transforming a spoon into a knife blade, and if you sharpen it right, it will work the same way.  You can cut through soil, roots, etc. like “butta”.  If you don’t feel comfy doing the sharpening yourself, buy them a couple of files to go with it.
  • Files – These are another garden tool no gardener should go without.  Keeping tools sharp takes the back-breaking labor out of gardening!
  • Soil Thermometer – This comes in especially handy for those who are doing veggie gardening.  One of the keys to seed germination isn’t so much the weather as the soil temperature.  Every type of seed germinates at a particular soil temperature.  A soil thermometer can help gardeners gauge whether the soil is at the right temperatures for germination.  Or… at least know whether it’s warm enough to start planting. 🙂
  • Garden Journal – Ahhh… the book that every gardener needs.  You can read a million books or information online to get information on plants, but this is what serves as a gardener’s memory.  It’s what helps all of us learn what works, what doesn’t, what the weather was like and where did I plant that Lenten Rose?  Journals can be as simple as a notebook or hardcover book with a template to serve as a reminder of what to record.  No gardener should go without one.
  • Compost bin – If you eat and garden, then you should have a compost bin.  Whether it’s made of wood, plastic or chicken wire, this little gem is what turns kitchen scraps, lawn clippings, leaves and plant cuttings into black gold.  This will help create the best fertilizer any gardener can ask for.
  • Plant stand & Grow lights – If you’ve thought about growing plants from seed or tried it and he windowsill doesn’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a plant stand and grow lights.  There are many styles and types out there, but they can also be built from scratch.  Basically you need one or two shelves to set plant trays on and a hanging, adjustable height, shop light.  A timer is also handy to make sure the plants get the necessary light to grow well.  The bulb itself needs to be a grow light or plant light.  (A standard fluorescent doesn’t have the full spectrum of light necessary to grow plants well.)
  • Timers – Good addition to a plant stand and grow lights.
  • Bio-dome – This is handy way to start seeds, it’s an enclosed domed plant/seedling tray with adjustable ventilation windows at the top.  Instead of using a standard potting or seed starting medium (soil), the Bio-dome comes with sponge plugs.  You plant the seeds right into the plugs, then when the plants are larger, the plugs get planted into small pots until the plants are ready to be brought outside.  Additional sponge plugs can be bought separately.

For additional gift giving ideas, think Local .

Kate

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