Forget coffee mugs and bookmarkers. The best stocking stuffers for gardeners are practical and durable.
And a gardener may not buy the items on this list for herself because she spends all of her money on plants. They’re the kind of gift a gardener needs to make gardening easier or more productive. Which makes them perfect gifts.
Yes, gardeners need gloves. No, we can never have enough pairs. One set gets dirty or rips or is misplaced in the shed. Insulated work gloves … super grip mud gloves … nitrile gloves … you cannot go wrong by getting a quality pair of garden gloves for the gardener in your life.
Extra tip: choose the gardener’s correct glove size. This may take a bit of detective work, but it’s well worth the effort you take to sneak into the garage, find the gardener’s gloves, and glance at the size label. An incorrect size means gloves will either be too small and thus too tight (making them uncomfortable to use) – or too big ( meaning they will slip and slide, making them awkward to use). Either way, ill-fitting garden gloves are more hindrance than help for a gardener.
Hand snips (or pocket clippers) are a small, hand-held tool with two short blades, designed to trim or prune garden plants and flowers. Hand snips are different than pruning shears or loppers. They’re made for detailed work. A good set of hand snips is useful for light pruning, deadheading, and for harvesting veggies, fruits, flowers, and herbs.
Choose a set that is ergonomic and has super-sharp blades. That allows a gardener to make clean cuts without damaging other parts of a plant.
All kinds of twining materials can be used to tie plants to supports, including string, fishing line, plastic cable ties, garden clips, and strips of fabric. But do a gardener a favor. Get him some reusable, self-securing ties that can be cut to the length he needs. Reusable, self-securing ties (like those made from Velcro) won’t get twisted or knotted. And they can be used over and over.
Simple plastic or wooden markers … vertical markers made of long-lasting galvanized wire … slate markers with a chalk pencil … copper metal markers … custom, handmade plant markers: gardeners want to label their crops with plant markers.
Markings that gardeners write on plant garden labels are notorious for fading from sun, wind, heat, drought, and exposure. Sharpie Industrial pens may work in the short term, but any gardener will appreciate a garden-specific permanent marking pen that weathers outdoor extremes and won’t fade.
A garden trowel is like a set of garden gloves: a gardener welcomes having more than one. A trowel is used for everyday gardening tasks like digging holes, mixing compost into the oil, and transplanting seedlings. And cheap trowels can bend and break. Spring for a few extra dollars to buy a quality trowel. A strong, durable trowel penetrates compact soil and will last years and years.
Its 3-inch blade makes a mini-trowel look like a kid’s gardening tool. But as stocking stuffers for gardeners go, it’s a particularly useful gadget. Gardeners use a mini=trowel to scoop out seedlings from starting trays and re-pot them or set them in larger containers.
This nifty watering gadget allows you to track how much water you’re giving your plants through your watering system. Information from a water usage meter is particularly useful for tomato gardeners because the meter shows you how much water you are using either in a single watering or cumulatively over a period of time. It’s a great gift for gardeners because it’s so practical, yet a gardener may not want to spend seed or plant money to get one.
Also called a soil moisture sensor, this tool measures water content in the soil. Gardeners use it to see of soil is too dry, too wet, or to track different levels of soil moisture in different patches of the garden. Like a water meter, a soil moisture meter is an incredibly useful tool for a gardener. A soil moisture meter helps him know when to water accurately.
What’s the garden soil’s acidity or alkalinity … and how does the soil’s pH shift in content from one part of the garden to another? A pH soil tester provides those answers so a gardener can know how to amend the soil to make it an optimum home for tomatoes and other crops.
Gardeners use a soil test to determines your garden soil’s nutrient content. The results show what amendments to add to the soil to make it the healthiest environment for plants. Soil tests are available as DIY versions and through a local lab – both which you can purchase for the gardener in your life.
Pests: we don’t like them on our plants and we don’t like them on our skin. Gardeners are especially fond of natural insect repellents, which keep bites away from us and toxins away from plants.
Gardeners can make their own paper pots for seed starting with a simple paper pot maker, which saves money and is environmentally-friendly. Paper pots are biodegradable, which means pots can be transplanted directly into the garden once seedlings are large enough. The paper breaks down in the soil and roots spread. The paper pot maker can be used over and over each season.
Seeds make great gifts for gardeners! You can choose unique varieties that the gardener has not tried before or give seeds for plants that the gardener may not be able to afford when they’re full grown. Plus, when you give seeds as gifs, you save gardeners the time and hassle of ordering. They can start seeds indoors right away … or at the very least, be ready to plant as soon as the weather warms. (One of the best tomato seed sources is TomatoFest.)
Gardening enthusiasts like to save annual seeds from one year to the next so they can plant their favorite varieties once again next season. And they can save both annual and perennial seeds to trade with other gardeners. Seed envelopes help with the seed saving process. Gardeners can use envelopes to save and label seeds safely for next year.
Even if you don’t fill stockings during the holiday season, you can create a customized gift by combining together two or three or more of these stocking stuffers for gardeners.
Or maybe you’re simply looking for a small gift -- or an affordable one -- to give to a gardener. If that’s the case, choose a gadget from this list.
And then wait for your gardener to open your present, grin, and say, “Thank you. How did you know?”
More Gifts for Gardeners
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