By Debbie Roland and Emmy Ulmschneider
If you feel like you don’t know much about gardening, finding a gift for a friend or family member with a love of gardening can feel intimidating. Read on to help you pick out something that will let them know you were thinking of them with a truly personal gift.
First, know your gardener. Think about whether they like to grow vegetables and fruit or flowers. Perhaps they are native plant enthusiasts and would love a few plants for their habitat. Next decide if they are beginners or advanced gardeners. If they are beginners, they might need basic tools and books, but if they are more experienced, they might appreciate a gift card to make their own choice of what they need. Lastly, are they old school or “techies”? Here are some suggestions:
First, things to wear:
1. Gardening gloves. A gardener can never have too many pair of good quality gloves. Bamboo gloves with elastic cuffs are a good choice because they stretch to fit every hand.
2. Hats. A floppy hat with a wide brim to protect against the Texas sun is a must.
3. Garden clogs. Clogs must be easy to slip on and off. They will get dirty so make sure they can be hosed off.
Second, must have garden tools:
1. Sharpshooter. Designed for digging narrow trenches, this is a great tool for transplanting anything bigger than a quart.
2. An all-purpose tool called a hori hori which can saw, dig, cut and measure.
3. Hand pruners. Bypass pruners will handle up to 0.75 inches. For bigger branches, a looper is the tool.
4. Hand trowel: This is a must for transplanting anything less than a quart size.
5. Thick kneeling pad. Gardeners spend a lot of time kneeling to plant and pull weeds.
Third, miscellaneous garden gadgets:
1. Rain gauge.
2. Indoor composter for kitchen
3. Plant markers that won’t fade or rot.
4. Raised garden bed kit.
5. Potting bench.
6. Grow bags.
1. Seed kits. West Texas gardeners will love a salsa seed kit or a butterfly garden kit.
2. Bee house. If you are a recipient, remember to clean and disinfect after every season.
3. Hardscape. Fountains, birdhouses, wind spinner and sculptures add movement and interest to a yard and garden.
Whatever you choose to honor your gardener, know that gifts from the heart will be felt by your gardener as they spend time doing what they love.
If you have questions, please call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information. Additional information is available at https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu and westtexasgardening.org.