Practical gift ideas for gardeners

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 28, 2012

By Kathy Richards
Master Gardener Volunteer
SALISBURY – In this article, I will list some practical gift ideas for gardeners. In part II, I will give some suggestions for educational gardening gift ideas including books/magazines, and in part III, I will discuss decorative/frivolous gift ideas for gardeners. First the practical…
1. A good pair of hand pruners. Price range $30 to $60. For those with smaller hands, try Felco’s small pruner.
2. A compost bin. $70-plus – smart way to recycle kitchen and yard waste and improve soil fertility/texture.
3. A compost turner. $15-$30 – a neat device that expedites the composting process by increasing aeration. This has really shortened my composting time.
4. A quality, non-kinking hose. $30-$60. This is worth the extra money as it lasts much longer. Remember to empty residual water out of any hose, especially in summer.
5. Hose guides. $40. Get one at least 12 inches; shorter ones, though cheaper, are useless. Metal preferred.
6. Fireman’s nozzle. $39. This is absolutely the best nozzle I have ever used.
7. Plant markers. I like the ones from Bosmere. They are bit pricy, averaging $14 for 12; however, they last for years, can be reused, and don’t get damaged by the weather. Plus, they don’t poke you like some of the old galvanized types do.
8. A quality steel shovel, one that won’t break in our clay. $30-$50-plus. Did you know a long handled shovel is better for your back than a short one? Even though the longer shovel may weigh more, the leverage is better, so it makes the job easier. Make sure the shovel has a “step” on it. This is a small ledge that allows you to use more force.
9. A shrub or “floral” shovel. $20-$35. This is a narrower shovel which allows you to dig around shrubs without harming the roots of adjacent shrubs.
10. How about several bags of compost? This would be particularly appreciated by those who are older and/or who do not have the strength to lift the bags.
11. Water crystals for container plants. $10. These crystals hold onto water (hydrophilic) and release it when needed. They help to prevent plants from drying out. These have made a huge difference for my pots.
12. Plant stakes, including poles, rings, hoops and trellises. Various prices.
13. Ergonomic wheelbarrow which makes it easier to haul and dump. $130 plus.
14. Ergonomic watering can which makes it easier to fill and carry water. $22.
15. How about a gift basket made up with several of the above items?
Kathy Richards is a 2012 Master Gardener Volunteer with Cooperative Extension in Rowan County.