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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Ten Great Holiday Gift Ideas for the Vegetable Gardener: From Free to a Nice Chunk of Change

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Ten Great Holiday Gift Ideas for the Vegetable Gardener:
From Free to a Nice Chunk of Change

Gardening is a global activity that is made up of, dare I say, some of the most wonderful people on the planet. We are happy with sunshine and dirt but gift giving can sometimes be a challenge. What do you get people that like the smell of compost, get excited by worms in their garden beds and can chat for hours about 1 inch tall seedlings?  The short answer is anything garden related. And we all know its not the gift but the act of giving and that you care enough to try that truly matters. I did say "most wonderful people." Here is a list of ten ideas that make trying a little bit easier.

Gift One - Seed Catalogs

Let's start with free. If you don't have the extra money to spend but have time, a wonderful gift and I might even say the best gift, is signing up the lucky gardener for a dozen or so free seed catalogs. We love them! Sometimes we don't have the time to sit down and subscribe. If you are concerned about using their address, use yours and bring them the catalogs when they arrive. Nothing beats the winter blues more than looking through seed catalogs. I have a list down the right side of my blog (I'll drop it here too) if you want to check them out.  You can also just do a simple search and find a lot of seed companies that offer color catalogs.

Abundant Life Seeds Catalog/Territorial Seed Company
Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Catalog/Rare Seeds
Botanical Interests Seed Catalog
Bountiful Gardens Seed Catalog
Burpee Seed Catalog
Dixondale Farms Catalog
Gardens Alive Seed Catalog
Gurney's Seed Catalog
Henry Field's Seed Catalog
High Mowing Organic Seeds Catalog
Kitazawa Seed Co. Catalog
NESeed Seed Catalog
Park Seed Co. Catalog
Richters Herb Plant and Seed Catalog
Seed Savers Exchange Heirloom Seed Catalog
Seeds of Change Organic Seed Catalog
Select Seeds Seed Catalog
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange Catalog
The Online Greenhouse Seed Catalog
Thompson and Morgan Seed Catalog
Urban Farmer Seed and Plant Catalog

Gift Two - Organic Fertilizer Galore (Find Store Discounts Now!)

October, November, December are the months when places like Home Depot, Lowes and Walmart start putting all their garden products on sale. Here is a video that discusses it from my YouTube Channel - The Rusted Garden. You can really find products up to 75% off. It is a great way you give your gardener a gift of supplies for their soon to arrive spring gardening needs.

Gift Three - Cold Pressed Neem Oil from  The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

Well... (shameless plug) I have a seed and garden shop where I sell a lot of garden products. One great organic product for stopping chewing insects is Neem Oil. It must be 100% cold pressed Neem Oil with Azadiracthin. This is so important because it is the Azadirachtin that kills chewing insects. This oil is considered organic. This video explains the difference in Neem Oil products. A lot of what you buy off the store shelves is a hydrophobic extract of Neem Oil. It is garbage. The video explains the difference. If you buy it from my shop or online, make sure it is a 100% cold pressed Neem Oil. All gardener's could use help in stopping damaging insects.

Gift Four: Spray Bottles and Spray Tanks

We can never have enough sprayers in quart and gallon sizes. I sell an inverted sprayer and a 360 degree sprayer for quart containers at my seed and garden shop. Here is a video that shows you what they do. You can also pick up any of  the different  hand pump, 1 gallon or 2 gallon sprayers. We love them. Here are some sprayers you can find on Amazon or use as a guide. The 'hand' pump sprayers are outstanding as the are pressurized and allow for easily spraying the undersides of leaves. The ones I include here are the most common and needed types.

Gift Five: New Varieties of Seeds: All America-Selections

Seeds, need I say more. What kind do you buy? Well the easiest way is to buy seeds that will surprise the gardener you know.  You can do this by getting something that is new to the market. I've done work with All-America Selections and they do yearly seed trials to find the best new plant varieties on the market. They don't sell the seeds, they just declare plants AAS Winners. Why not get some AAS Winners for your gardener. I linked in their website. You can go there and look for the newest winners. They also have seed companies listed there that sell the winning varieties. Here are some videos I have done on AAS Winners. I recommend Sehychelles green beans, an oak leaf lettuce called Sandy and my favorite radish called Roxanne.

Gift Six: Seed Starting Supplies

Sometimes it is confusing to gift buyers when it comes to seed starting supplies and that is because the words cell, flat and trays are often used interchangeably. The basic supplies are seed starting mix, seed cells for holding the starting mix and seeds and seed flats to hold the seed cells. The best way to understand this is to show you. A gift box of seed starting mix, seed cells and flats make a wonder gift. I included my video so you can see how they are used.

Gift Seven: Grow Lights

We use grow light to start seeds indoors for garden transplants. Tomatoes and peppers are often plants gardeners start indoors. The reason we do this is to get 6-8 weeks of growth indoors while the outdoors is still cold and full of frost. You can't effectively grow seedlings on a windowsill. They just don't get enough light. Grow lights will fix that problem. If you are handy, check out my video on how to build a grow light station and you can make a gift. I also included some systems you can buy from Amazon. You can get a single system for the first time indoor seed starter or a more elaborate system that will let them manage hundreds of seedlings and transplants.

Gift Eight Twine and Hand Tools

We always need twine which is often Jute. A natural product that breaks down. Tools such as a soil knife, pruners and hand shovels are always loved. You don't need to spend a lot on them. A mixed box of twine and tools will make a great gift.

Gift Nine: 'Good Dirt' The Best Bagged Container Mix 

I have many videos on making your own potting or container mixes. But often people don't have the time to do that or they just want to have a wonderful container garden and get right to planting. I also have done plenty of videos on what makes the best container mix for our vegetables, herbs and flowers. The answers can be found in a single product called Good Dirt. I like to say it meets the three P's. It is the best product you can buy in a bag. Just Pour it, Plant it and Pick. It makes container gardening much simpler. It is perfect for the first time and seasoned gardener. Sometimes you just want to get to planting and don't want to worry about amending container mixes. Good Dirt solves that problem. Just pour it plant it and soon you be picking from it.

Gift Ten: TruDrop Self Watering Containers by Crescent Garden

Absolutely the best self watering container on the market and it comes with a 10 year warranty. I put it to the test and grew a cucumber tomato garden in a single container. It could go weeks without being watered. If you are looking for a quality high end gift that is absolutely fantastic, a TruDrop system is what I recommend. Here is my video on the system. The container every gardener wants.

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