Submitted by Faye Mahaffey
OSUE Brown County Master Gardener Volunteer
It’s official! It’s time to think about the gardeners on your gift list. I have had a few discussions with my husband, and I hope that the only Christmas present I receive this year is the promise to build my raised bed gardens in the spring! I have been working on the design and am gathering information. I am looking forward to a new stage of gardening that hopefully won’t involve as many weeds!
Gardeners are always looking for that new garden tool that will make their life easier in the garden. The tool corner in my potting shed tells the history of my gardening. I have my grandpa’s hoe, a spade, a round point shovel and then a variety of “new” garden tools that made promises to cut off weeds quicker or chop up those clods in the garden. The high wheel cultivator is stored in the barn since my grandpa had always bragged that it had never been left out in the rain!
When asked what their favorite garden tools were, my gardening friends were quick to share their answers: pruners with gears that allow you to cut a good size limb with little strength, a seed planter that evenly distributes the seed and speeds up the process, a Rogue Hoe that is made of agricultural disc blades and is made in the USA, a folding pruning saw, because it is compact, fits in your pocket, and has sturdy blades that are replaceable, and a poly bedding fork that is handy to use when you are spreading mulch.
Do you have a gardener on your list this year? Here are some other gift suggestions that you might consider: Rain gauge, composter, computer software, yard cart, soil knife, Harvest basket, Wireless Remote weather station, or a gift certificate from a local merchant, nursery, or garden center. Gardeners love to wander the aisles with “cash in hand” looking for that special tool, comfortable pair of gloves, or a special piece of art that will add a splash of color to their landscape.
What about a book as a gift? The books that are on the top of my “reader’s list” this year include: Raised Bed Revolution (Tara Nolan), Good Garden Bugs (Mary M. Gardiner), Gardening with Perennials (Noel Kingsbury), 100 Plants to Feed the Bees (The Xerces Society), Planting in a Post-Wild World (Thomas Rainer and Claudia West) and Raised Row Gardening (Jim and Mary Competti).
My husband has learned that even old shovels, tractor parts, and other metal “treasures” can find a new life in my flower beds. I have a garden creature that we created out of an old spade, pitchfork and some miscellaneous spare parts and named him Heathcliff. There is a John Deere M radiator that is waiting in the barn that I hope will become the body of a garden scarecrow that will be installed in the center of my new raised bed garden.
Are you planning your new garden while the snow flies?