Extension and Ag Research News


Dakota Gardener: Gifts for gardeners of all ages

A gardening-inspired gift might be just what you're looking for this holiday season.

Esther McGinnis, Horticulturist

NDSU Extension

The holiday season is upon us. Do you struggle to find the right gift for loved ones and friends? Do you wander aimlessly in the mall hoping that something will catch your eye? While we can’t help you with your basement-dwelling, video game obsessed nephew, Dakota Gardener is here to provide a carefully curated collection of gifts for gardeners of all ages and abilities.

Your mother, whom is a little slow to standup from a kneeling position, may appreciate a folding garden kneeler bench. This is a kneeling pad on steroids! The foam padding cushions the knees but the best feature is the side arms that help push you to a standing position. This multifunctional object can then be flipped over to serve as a bench for sitting in the garden. The garden kneeler bench folds for easy storage.

Your brother, Matt, is new to vegetable gardening and is having a hard time keeping up with the weeds in between rows. Give him a stirrup hoe. Built differently than a standard hoe, the steel blade is shaped like a hollow rectangle. The blade oscillates and cuts the weed’s roots just below the soil’s surface. Best of all, the stirrup hoe will cut on both the push and the pull strokes. Admittedly, long-handled tools are hard to wrap but a nice bow may suffice.

Madeleine, your Gen Z niece, is jungle scaping her apartment with tropical houseplants. She struggles with watering and occasionally overwaters a plant. Before she gives up her newfound hobby, give her a plant moisture meter. This is a probe that is inserted directly into the potting soil. Some moisture meters come with a guide that lists houseplants and their preferred moisture level.

Twelve-year-old Zack is really into nature and critters. Encourage his ecological bent by buying him an indoor worm composter. Vermicomposting can be done indoors when your outdoor compost pile is frozen solid. Prepare the worm bedding with a mix of kitchen waste and brown material (dry leaves or paper). Composting worms are ordered separately and can only be shipped when temperatures are above a certain threshold.

Your best friend, Carolyn, has an irreverent sense of humor and wears casual clothes. Gardening T-shirts have exploded in popularity and have an amazing array of slogans that can fit any gardener. My favorite gardening t-shirt states, “Sometimes I wet my plants.” If you think that’s a little crass, you can buy Carolyn a shirt that reads, “Plant Lady”.

Don’t forget to buy yourself a gift. Who isn’t guilty of buying items for themselves as they shop for others? If you are into growing and cooking with herbs, check out the specially designed herb scissors. They have multiple blades for quickly mincing herbs.

One of my favorite gifts to give are metal gardening labels. People frequently forget the names of their plants. Not only do the labels serve as a reminder, they also help turn your garden into a miniature botanical garden.

Happy Holidays!

NDSU Agriculture Communication – Dec. 6, 2023

Source: Esther McGinnis, 701-231-7406, esther.mcginnis@ndsu.edu

Editor: Kelli Anderson, 701-231-7006, kelli.c.anderson@ndsu.edu

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