Gifts for gardeners [UPDATED]Published 9:33am Monday, December 17, 2012 Updated 11:37am Monday, December 17, 2012
Gardeners are the easiest people to buy gifts for. Gloves are always welcome.
For the rose grower there are gloves with cuffs that come nearly to the elbow to protect against thorns.
Soft leather gloves are great for many gardening jobs. They should be soft enough to hold a tool easily and well fitting. Too often the fingers are too long for smaller hands.
If she/he starts his own plants a heat tape is a perfect gift. An even better one, though more expensive, is a plant stand with incorporated lights.
Plant moist granules or a mat help keep the soil damp on those hot, dry days. Wonder brick, a compressed brick of coir and soil moist is great for seed starting.
The brick expands to about nine times its original size.
A garden scooter is nice for the older gardener. Not only can she sit and weed, it has a tall handle to help her get up again. The telephone always rings when you are on your knees.
Or how about a compost bin? If you’re handy, build one, however for those unhandy people, there are a multitude of them on sale.
There are always ornaments for the garden if she leans that way.
They range from real looking birds and frogs to gnomes, fairies and planters with faces. On a more practical side, if critters in the garden are a problem, there is a motion activated rig that squirts a shot of water at the invader. There are also a number of sprays that are designed to do the same thing.
If your gardener is a ‘canner,’ nothing is better than a large stainless steel pot. They will also need a magnetic lid lifter, a jar lifter and a jar funnel.
If they do a lot of tomatoes, Stokes seed catalog, has the perfect machine. They call it a food strainer. You dump raw, washed and quartered tomatoes in the hopper, turn the crank and pureed tomatoes come out one side and the skins and seeds come out the other. Run the skins through two more times and you have a very small pile of dry skins and seeds and a large amount of thick juice to process.
For applesauce, cook washed and stemmed apples, drop in the hopper and perfect applesauce comes out one side, skins and seeds out the other. You can also purchase a berry screen, perfect for seedless raspberry and strawberry jam or jelly.
Because you don’t need to cook a berry to get the juice, your product will be much more flavorful.
If you don’t have a Stokes or a Jung catalog (they have many of the same products), just call for one. Stokes number is 1-800-396-9238. For the Jung catalog call 1 800-247-5864. Since this is their slow time, you should have your order by Christmas.
Make your gardener’s life easier and you will be well rewarded, one way or the other.
Bev Johnson is a master gardener in Otter Tail County.