BY KAY MOHLING
The gift giving season provides a perfect opportunity to shop for traditional garden items and for the latest new gadgets. If you have a gardener on your list, now is a good time to look at gift lists especially for gardeners. Better Homes and Gardens and The Spruce both have a “10 Best” list of ideas for gardeners. One of my favorite websites is Gardener’s Supply Company where the merchandise is divided by type of gardener (flower, vegetable, indoor, urban, senior, and young gardeners). Amazon is also an option for garden tools and accessories. In addition to these websites, remember to stop by your local garden centers this holiday season. Popular gift ideas include clippers, shovels, soil knives, hats, gloves, and kneeling pads, but it’s always interesting to see what new products are available each year.
Wheelbarrows and carts are great gifts to make garden work easier; this year Gardener’s Supply is promoting a new Summer Sled (pictured above right) as more versatile and maneuverable than a wheelbarrow, with runners that allow for easy hauling of bulky loads like landscape items and mulch. For those who like an orderly garden and straight rows, their new Garden Row Marking Line (pictured at left) comes with wooden pegs and a line that adjusts up to 20-feet long. Stake one peg at the start of the row, unravel the twine, and stake the other peg at the end of the row to plant straight rows quickly and easily. If you want to try square foot gardening, Amazon offers a Square Foot Gardening Template (pictured below).
A seed spacing template, ruler, seed spoon and planting guide are included. Pressing the square template into the soil creates a garden grid, and the color-coded holes show where to plant seeds or seedlings for correct spacing.
A silicone seed-starting tray (pictured right) is also new at Gardener’s Supply. The reusable tray is durable and flexible, so seedlings pop out easily. To sanitize between uses it can be washed in the dishwasher.
Gift certificates to local gardens, arboretums, and garden stores also make great gifts, and they fit in stockings. Other stocking ideas include nitrile gloves, magazine subscriptions, plant labels, and garden plant ties.
The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Garden Calendar is always on my list. The calendars, which feature beautiful photographs and monthly gardening tips, can be purchased for $8 at the online Extension Store or at our ISU Extension and Outreach office. Sometimes the most exciting gifts are the ones not on a typical list. One of my favorite gifts was a stack of posts and rails that I received years ago to replace an aging fence line. As I look out my window at that fence today, I’m reminded of the thoughtfulness of my family. Your gardener will appreciate any gift chosen with them in mind.