2016 Holiday Gifts For Gardeners
by Ray Novitske, Fairfax Master Gardener
Gardeners love to share the fruits of their labor during the growing season. During this holiday season, you may be in search of a gift to return the favor and thank your favorite gardener. Like many hobbies, gardening has its own set of specialized tools, so non-gardeners may need help finding the right gift.
Here is our annual list of buying ideas for gardeners. This year we concentrated on unique gifts that gardeners may not already have and might really appreciate.
Indoor Kitchen Composter
It’s often too cold to use our outdoor compost pile in the winter, and we rarely have enough material to fill it. Consider this small compost bin. It uses the Bokashi fermentation system to compost kitchen waste in less time than regular composting, making it great for the winter season. Its tight-fitting lid controls odors and flies — a necessity for indoor storage. $55 for the starter kit, $15 for the refill material.
A soilless growing pot with its own grow-light lid allows you to grow salad greens and small herbs on your kitchen counter without a window. The home hydroponic system is constructed with compact fluorescent lights and a control panel that automatically maintains the optimal growing conditions for light, water, and nutrient delivery. The package also comes with a gourmet seed pod kit containing two types of basil, chives, parsley, dill, and mint. $153
Gardener’s Tool Seat
Spare your knees and keep your tools close at hand with a multi-function gardener’s seat. Made of lightweight steel and water-resistant nylon, this handy tote combines the features of a folding chair with a tool bag. The bag detaches from the frame via hook-and-loop fasteners and has two carrying handles, 21 pockets for different-sized tools, and a large single-compartment interior. It is available in a standard height and a tall height. $30, $34
Seed Keeper System
A shoebox stuffed full of envelopes is the most widely used system of saving seed employed by home gardeners. This attractive organizer allows you keep all your seeds separated in one container. The slim holders make organizing your seeds by season a cinch: put early spring vegetables, flowers, and herbs up front; follow them by summer’s bounty; then fill the back pouches with cold-hardy autumn squashes and winter root vegetables. This seed planner has small and large pockets, each with a front window for quickly identifying your plants by name and picture, and it comes with an illustrated guide on how to preserve seeds for the upcoming year. $19
Peacock Bird Bath
This functional bird bath is for the bird lover who abhors the mundane, or for the discriminating gardener in need of a distinctive feature for the yard. The colorful, food-grade glass bird bath with metal pedestal is 11 inches in diameter and 26 inches high. Allow the birds in your yard to bathe in luxury. $27
Colored Garden Hoses
There is no rule that says garden hoses must be green, so liven up the watering chore with some elegant colors. Hoses made by Dramm Company make watering a festive activity. The heavy-duty professional grade hoses are 50 feet long and are made with nickel-plated brass couplings to be crush proof. Orange, red, blue, green, purple, and yellow colors are available. $60
Paper Pot Maker
If you want to start seedlings, you might want small, individual pots for each plant. This pot maker can transform newspaper scraps into little pots that are the perfect size for your growing seeds. Once the seedlings have grown enough, you can plant them right into the ground in the newspaper pot. The kit comes with instructions and a wood base, but you supply your own newspapers. $20
Gardener’s Supply Company
Seed Ball Kit
Use this to do-it-yourself kit to manufacture your own botanical bombs. Plant your seed bombs and watch them explode into native wildflowers when planted. The kit contains non-GMO seeds selected for each specific growing region, as well as compost and clay. You could reuse it with your own ingredients (hey, we have no shortage of clay) to make seed bombs of your own selection. $15