As the holidays approach, gifts specific for the gardener in your family are always winners. From tools to accessories, here are some ideas you can wrap up.
A couple of words of caution when it comes to purchasing garden tools. Shop for quality and durability more than price, since tools can last a lifetime with proper use and care. Possible brands to consider are Ironwood/Horizons, Corona, DeWit, Felco or A. M. Leonard.
• Bypass pruners and loppers — Bypass means the top and bottom blades pass by each other like scissors. A bypass pruner is a handheld tool for close, clean cuts, while bypass loppers require two hands for cutting larger branches. Pruners are probably the gardener’s most used tool.
• Soil knife — This tool can handle multiple tasks, such as planting, slicing through plant roots and weeds, cleaning out sidewalk or paving cracks, prying out rocks, cutting twine or measuring with the etched inch markings.
• Pruning saws — With its narrow blade and various sizes, a pruning saw makes for easy maneuvering in close quarters. Folding models provide for safe and convenient storage.
• Handheld weeding hoes — I hate weeding, but the Japanese hand hoe, or Cape Cod weeder, makes the job easier and faster. Its small, triangular blade slices through the soil as you pull it toward you and allows weeding in close spaces between plants. A dandelion weeder and handheld hoe/cultivator are also excellent choices.
• Pole hoes — There are several types of pole hoes to consider. However, the stirrup hoe (shaped like the stirrup on a saddle) has an oscillating blade that allows you to stand upright and use a simple push/pull action. The sides of the stirrup are not sharp, allowing you to hoe right next to desirable plants. This one’s on my wish list.
If your gardener is interested in turning their grass clippings, vegetable scraps, small twigs and fall leaves into fertile compost, there are several options to choose from, depending on available space, budget and experience. From simple wire bins, to tumbling composters, cedar bins and commercially made compost bins, there is a solution for all experience levels.
Garden Harvest Basket
A garden harvest basket also is referred to as a hod. Every gardener needs a durable harvesting container for vegetables that require washing. Baskets can be made entirely of wire mesh or of a mix of water-resistant material and wire mesh. A great basket allows the gardener to spray their harvest with a hose or dunk the whole basket and use it as a colander. Don’t underestimate the size. An 11-inch by 19-inch basket is a typical large basket that will fill quickly.
DIY Gardener Gifts
Use your own creativity to put together a gift basket for your gardener.
• Start with a harvest basket, then fill it with items specific to their needs and likes. Everyone can use a good sun hat or cap, durable yet flexible garden gloves, plant markers, Velcro plant ties, and a gardening journal.
• Combine a folding padded stool/kneeler with a tool bag or belt and a pair of garden clogs or boots. Don’t forget to add a pair (or two) of fun, comfy socks!
• Pair seed-starting kits with a variety of vegetable and flower seed packets, and a bag of seed-starting mix.
Consider a gift membership to Smith-Gilbert Gardens, Kennesaw’s botanical garden. A membership also provides access to 320 horticultural institutions through the American Horticultural Society’s Reciprocal admissions program. For membership levels and benefits, visit www.smithgilbertgardens.com.
If your gardener is ready for the next level, you always can give them their very own greenhouse. Sizes and prices vary widely as well as vendors.
So, this season give your gardener something they really want, and have some fun putting your gift together.
Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County Inc. (MGVOCC) is a 501(c)3 organization that promotes and supports horticultural education programs and projects in Cobb County. Members have been certified by the University of Georgia (UGA) Master Gardener program. For gardening questions, contact the Master Gardener Help Desk, UGA Cooperative Extension/Cobb County at 770-528-4070.
– Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County is a part of the University of Georgia Extension.