Gardening Gifts


by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener



If you have an interest in gardening, you’ll want the best possible tools for all of your garden tasks.  Gardening can be easier, more fun, efficient and maybe a bit safer with the right tools in your hand.

Maybe you are looking for a gift for a friend who likes to garden.  These suggestions may be just what you or your friend need.

One of my gardening staples are gloves.  It’s good to have two kinds: one pair that is light and fits snugly and another more heavy pair that can take some roughness from tougher jobs.  The lighter pair are good for jobs like weeding, planting and potting.  Heavier gloves are best used when digging holes or heavy duty clean-up.  I would suggest a pair with gripper material on the palm side and extra protection on special areas.

Have you ever set your pruners down and then forgot where you laid them? Slipping a tool belt around your waist can keep those pruners, scissors, phone or pencil and paper close by.  I recently ran across one that comes with four separate pockets that snap onto an adjustable belt.  You can use as many as you need at a time.  Give the whole thing a slide to the back so it’s out of the way when bending or crouching. I am going to put this one on my wish list for Christmas.

The older I get, the more I appreciate gifts that bring me comfort.  One of those comfort items is a kneeling pad.  There is one kind that can be used as a kneeler and with a flip it can be used as a padded bench.  Great for taking a chatty phone call while you’re in the garden.

A folding pruning saw is used for cutting small limbs.  I really like to use mine when cutting apart clumps of ornamental grass roots or rhizomes such as canna lilies.  Mine has an eight inch serrated blade made of steel and safely folds away into the handle when not in use.  This is a must-have in the garden.

A bulb auger can turn your power drill into quite an efficient planting tool.  There are several different kinds on the market.  One is a bladed and the other has a cylindrical shape.   Using either one can save your back and save quite a bit of time when planting bulbs.  This too is a must have in the array of garden tools.

Instead of Happy Gardening, this time it’s Happy Shopping!


More information about gardening and related subjects is available online at  The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service can be reached at 499-6334 in LaGrange Co., 636-2111 in Noble Co., 925-2562 in DeKalb Co. and 668-1000 in Steuben Co.



Managing Squash Bugs

  by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener     An infestation of squash bugs (Anasa  tristis)can inflict quite a bit of damage in the garden.  They feed primarily on fruits such as pumpkins, melon and squash and can destroy the plant by sucking its sap from stems and leaves, causing the leaves to wilt and …

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Growing and Using Sunflowers

  by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener     In my opinion, the happy-face of the plant world is a big, beautiful, yellow sunflower.   They can be grown as a cash crop for their edible seed and oil or for the sunshine they add to a floral arrangement. Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) grow rather rapidly producing …

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Organic Pest Control in the Garden

  by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener     I have come into contact with gardeners who are seeking information on organic pest control for their gardens.  Their reasons range from wanting healthier options for their own consumption to environmental concerns. There are chemical free control methods that can be used to keep chemical use …

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