Larry Sagers Horticultural Specialist Utah State University Extension Service Thanksgiving Point Office © All Rights Reserved
Can you suggest some good garden gifts for this season?
To help with the answers to this garden question, our guest is Diane Ashby from J and L Garden Center in Bountiful.
For more information on garden Christmas gifts read my column in Friday’s Deseret Morning News.
What group could be easier to buy for than gardeners? Admit it---who else would get excited over a Christmas gift of a pickup load of manure? Other gifts are even more likely to get an enthusiastic nod from the tiller of the soil who is the recipient of the gift. When you think Christmas gifts for gardeners, think gardening gifts for your favorite gardener.
Garden shopping in the spring is like the Christmas rush at most places right now. The safe haven from all of the above frustrations is garden shopping. Since gardening is America's #1 hobby, it's likely you have a gardener on your gift list.
There are many different kinds of gifts to consider. Tools, plants, books and seeds are just a few of the categories you might consider. For tools the list is almost endless.
European gardeners have long known the advantages of digging forks. These are much better tillage instruments than shovels in the flower garden or in the vegetable garden. Turning soil takes less effort and is less likely to make huge clods when turned with a fork. The tool makes it much easier to dig potatoes, carrots or beets as well as prepare the beds.
A heavy duty trowel is a garden necessity. The most durable trowels, as with all hand tools, are made of one continuous piece of metal. I've had high quality trowels I have used for years while cheap stamped metal ones usually bend or break the first time you use them.
Every gardener needing a couple of types of good pruners. Buy quality brands such as Felco, Corona, Fiskars or Sandvik and you will not be disappointed. They are durable and replacement parts are available. Treat them well and never let them get rusty and they will last a lifetime. There are even models for left handers.
A good set of hand pruners will cost about $25 and up while a set of loppers may cost twice that or more depending on the size. Some giant lopper that could cut branches up to two inches cost over $100 per pair if your favorite gardener is into heavy duty pruning. (and muscle building) Remember they are a lifetime investment for someone who appreciates them.
Most gardeners prefer scissor-type pruners to the anvil type. It is difficult to keep anvil pruners (those with a blade on one side and a flat surface on the other) sharp since they are constantly hitting the flat surface. Anvil pruners also tend to crush the stem instead of cutting it cleanly like scissor-type pruners.