The Gardener’s Gift List

By LuAnn Haddad

OSU Ext. master gardener volunteer

If your holiday gift list includes a gardener, I have great news – they may be the easiest person you have to buy for! As a matter of fact, save this list for birthdays or other special occasions for your gardening hero. According to Penn State University Extension and my research, here are some good ideas for your favorite gardener:

Tools: Gardeners love them, especially those that make their gardening work simpler. If your gardener is older, look for tools with ergonomic handles, which are often larger and designed to provide a better grip with less fatigue. Bright colors make them easier to find if left on the ground. Consider tools that have telescoping handles so they can be used either standing or sitting. If your gardener needs to avoid kneeling, many traditional tools such as weed pullers or bulb planters are available with long handles. Perhaps a garden tool belt that can either be worn or tied around a bucket would be a welcome addition. It gives a handy way to keep small tools readily available, minimizing trips back and forth to the storage site. And every gardener can use more gloves, both lightweight for small chores and heavy weight for shoveling.

Seed starting equipment: Is your gardener interested in adding some unusual plants – perhaps varieties not found at garden centers? Starting those from seed may be a fun project and gardening adventure. Depending on your budget, you can purchase simple kits with plastic germination trays and seed starting mix to durable shelving with grow lights and heat mats. And don’t forget those seeds for unique plants.

Mason Bee Kit: Gardens depend on pollinators and the non-aggressive mason bee can be helpful. A kit usually includes a house with paper nesting tubes where females lay their eggs. This also an be a great educational project to introduce children and grandchildren to the world of native bees.

Plant Markers: All gardeners have the best of intentions to carefully identify the plant and cultivar name, but those plastic inserts found in pots just don’t hold up. Metal markers with permanent ink are a gardener’s friend for long-term identification. There are also attractive ceramic and terra cotta markers for many common plants that not only identify, but add art to the garden.

Garden books, Calendars and Journals: From beautiful coffee table books to textbooks filled with details on individual plants, many books are a welcome addition to the gardener’s library. Also consider a garden journal – a place to make notes of what worked and what failed, add photos and create a history of the garden.

A Soil Test: No garden is complete without a soil test, available at the Extension office for under $25. Your gardener will thank you.

Visit for more ideas and details on what to get your favorite gardener.

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