Master Gardener: A List of Good Gifts for the Gardener in Your Life | Lifestyles


I figured I would release the “Gifts for Gardeners” article a little earlier this year, in case you decided to start your Christmas shopping.

Hope this gives you some ideas for the gardener on your list, or if you are the gardener, things to put on your list. I don’t know of a gardener who doesn’t like receiving gardening-related gifts at any time of the year. Clue, clue.

A gadget recommendation from master gardener Brenda F. is the “BackEZ Back-Saving Tool Handle Attachment”.

I had to look for this one. It’s a plastic handle that you can put on just about any tool with a long handle, like a rake, snow shovel, broom, or hoe.

According to the product description, the offset handle helps you stand taller and reduces flexion by 30%, putting less strain on your body. According to the manufacturer, you can place the BackEZ handle anywhere on the tool handle to make it comfortable for you.

Brenda said it really saves her back and elbow during fall mop chores.

Is your gardener left-handed? If so, you might want to consider buying them a pair of Felco left-handed pruning shears.

They have several left-handed versions of their standard models. Some have a unique twist grip which is said to be more ergonomic and easier to cut.

Felco also manufactures pruning shears for three different hand sizes: small, medium and large. If you visit their website, they have a hand size guide that you can use.

Their website also has a series of YouTube videos on how to clean and maintain your pruning equipment.

However, beware of Felco fakes. Apparently, counterfeit Felco tools are one thing.

A couple of master gardeners, who love to plant fall bulbs, mentioned that they were requesting a “bulb auger” this year.

If you have an electric drill, this is an accessory you can use, basically a very large drill bit. It digs the hole for you, so all you do is put the bulb in the ground.

They are not recommended for extremely rocky soils. They come in a variety of sizes and hole lengths.

Before you buy, make sure they match your drill and that you have enough drill power. Some brands of electric drills may sell it as an accessory.

If you are planting daffodils or hyacinths, make sure your auger will dig a hole at least 6 inches deep, 8 inches would be better. They are also available in a variety of widths, but for bulb planting, a 2-3 inch auger should be fine.

Another use you might not have thought of, this hole would be just about perfect for planting annuals!

Remember how bad mosquitoes were during the summer? Ugh. You couldn’t go out without being assaulted.

They got into your ears and your eyes. They were just plain boring. It wasn’t even fun to walk around the garden to see what was in bloom.

I finally gave in and ordered two “Mosquito Head Nets”.

There is a large assortment, so you can choose your price range. Some come with a hat – more expensive – most will fit your own hat, or you can wear them without.

The net is also available in a variety of colors – gray, olive, beige, white and black. I’m not sure if there is much of a difference in your ability to see through, but I got the light gray and it was fine.

I choose one with a drawstring around the bottom so I can close it closer to my neck and keep mosquitoes out.

It also comes with a transport / storage pouch. It would make a great Christmas stocking.

Help spread the word about native plants – add a sign to your garden. If you’ve been busy creating a pollinator garden or adding native plants to your garden for birds and bees, add a sign to let your neighbors know.

Some organizations like Audubon and the Xerces Society offer signs for donating to their organization.

Audubon has a “Plants for Birds” sign. The Xerces Company has a “Pollinator Habitat” sign and just released a “Leave the Leaves” sign.

Beyond Pesticides has two “Pesticide Free Zone” signs. Signs can help explain to your neighbors why you are making some of these important changes to your garden.

Many gardeners spend the winter with a good book or two, so here are some titles for the winter reading list:

m “The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees” by Doug Tallamy is an interesting read. This book takes us through a year in the life of an oak tree and exposes us to some of the complex relationships that oaks have with local insects and other wildlife.

m “Planting Native Plants to Attract Birds to Your Garden” by Sharon Sorenson shows you how to attract birds to your garden with native plants during all four seasons.

m The Xerces Society’s “100 Plants to Feed the Monarch” contains beautiful photos and plant profiles as well as step-by-step instructions on how to design and create landscapes suitable for monarchs.

m Heather Holm’s “Pollinators of Native Plants” illustrates the specific interactions between native plants and insects. If you want to know what butterflies or bees are using Liatris, he will tell you. I also like the easy to see graphics for flowering time, sun / shade, soil type, and a plant range map. Plus, there are a lot of great photos to look at.

Still not sure what to get your gardener? When in doubt, gift cards to their favorite garden center or garden supply store are always appreciated.

Reference in this article to a specific commercial product or company is for general information purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any kind by Genesee County Cornell Cooperative Extension or the Master Gardener program.

A question about gardening?

The volunteers of the master gardeners are normally in the office from 10 a.m. to noon, Monday to Friday.

You can stop by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County office at 420 E. Main St. in Batavia.

Join us at noon on December 2 via Zoom for our last Garden Talk of the year. Our Master Food Conserver volunteer, Catherine, will present a new edition of “Kitchen Gifts”.

Master Gardeners in Genesee County will be collecting new unwrapped books for the annual Toys for Tots campaign in conjunction with the Harvey C. Noon Legion. You can drop off books at the Genesee County Cooperative Extension office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

We will have a collection bin near the reception. Book donations can be made until December 6.

The Master Gardeners thank you in advance for your support. Contact Jan at (585) 343-3040 ext. 132 if you have any questions.


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