04December 21, 2017

At about this time every year, we have people who come into the garden center, looking for inspiration. They usually have someone on their gift list that happens to be a gardener. We can usually make a few suggestions to them about things that a gardener may need. This week’s column will be about gift inspiration. If you are the gardener, you may wish to cut the column out of the paper and circle a few things.

Gardeners use a lot of different types of tools. One of the things we will do at the garden center is to sharpen gardening tools. People will bring in hand pruners to be sharpened. In some cases, the pruners are beyond repair. My suggestion at that point is to tell people to buy a new pair of pruners. Truth be told, gardeners tend to lose pruners in the yard. My guess is that the pruners wind up in the compost pile or they may wind up being covered with mulch in the garden beds. There are many styles of hand pruners and some of them are specialized in how they are used. If you buy a pair of anvil pruners and a pair of bypass pruners, you will have given the gardener on your list all that they need.

A kneeling pad can be a wonderful thing if you have to spend a lot of time kneeling in the garden. This is particularly true if you are kneeling on stone covered walkways. The pads come in a couple of sizes and thickness but all will keep the rocks at bay and will help to keep the knees dry when working in the garden.

Gardening gloves are a great thing for keeping your hands dry when you are gardening. Luckily, the days of cheap cotton, one size fits all gardening gloves have all but disappeared. Many glove companies now make gloves in sizes from extra small to extra large. A line that we carry is called Mud Gloves. The gloves are coated with a plastic coating on the fingers and palm of the gloves. Some styles are coated on the top too. This helps to keep your hands dry and it also keeps the dirt at bay. There are summer weight gloves to help to keep your hands cool in the warm weather and there are styles that have a heavy coating for the spring clean-up of soaking wet leaves. Do your gardener a favor and replace those old worn out gloves with one or more new pairs of gloves.

Many gardeners like to start seeds indoors during the winter months. People will start vegetable plants from seed or they may start flower plants from seed. The problem that many people have is that there isn’t a sunny enough window to allow the plants to grow properly. There are grow light systems that come in 2 foot and 4 foot lengths. The grow light is on a stand and the light itself is adjustable to allow the light to be the required several inches above the plants. By keeping the light close to the seedlings, the plants grow thick stalks. If you add a heating mat to keep the seedlings warm, your gardener will have beautiful plants that are ready to plant in the spring. We have the grow light stands in stock at our store.

If your gardener has houseplants, the winter months are a good time to re-pot the houseplants into bigger pots. You may not know what size new pot that the plant needs, but if you have access to the plants, all you need to do is to measure across the top of the pot and add 1 to 2 inches to that size to get the correct new size pot for re-potting the plant. You also want to remember to buy some potting soil that would be suitable for indoor plants. You would be surprised at how many people tend to forget to buy potting soil when they are re-potting houseplants.

Most garden centers sell gift cards. If you have a gardener on your gift list, they probably buy plants, fertilizer, potting soil and mulch in the spring. If you buy them a gift card, they can put that money towards buying the materials that they need in the spring. I hope that you will consider a Harbor Garden Center gift card this year.

Well, that’s all for this week. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate the Christmas season and a joyous holiday to all who celebrate the other holidays that occur at this time of the year.

I’ll talk to you again next week.

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