Well, it is that time of year again: gift-giving season. So let's dig in and see what is new and useful for gardeners this year.
Just about every gardener needs their tools sharpened. Knives and pruning tools are safer if they are sharp and can make a clean cut. The smooth cut will cause less damage to the plant, which means it can heal faster. Even shovels work better if they are sharp. Your local hardware store will have a sharpening stone. Get a two-sided one that has a coarse side to make the initial sharpening and a finer side to finish removing any burrs from the edge of the blade.
For those of us who get a stiff back from bending over to dig, there is the ProPlugger 5-in-1 Planting Tool. It lets you dig planting holes from a comfortable standing position. You can plant small things like annuals, bulbs, ground cover and lawn plugs. Using the interchangeable depth rings lets you dig holes from 2 inches to 6 inches deep. Soil gets stored as you work and empties easily by turning the tool upside down. It will also allow you to dig out weeds like dandelions and thistles. It is made in America. Check it out at your local garden center or on the ProPlugger website.
It seems that everyone has access to a smartphone, but how many people have access to a microscope? Now you can turn your mobile phone and its camera into a high-powered microscope. This very simple-to-use tool clips onto your smartphone, aligning with the camera lens, and instantly brings tiny subjects into crystal-clear focus. A 60x magnification and integrated UV and LED lights allow you to meticulously examine your plants, insects and anything else. Record your observations with your phone's camera, or remove the clip to use the microscope without the phone. It comes with a storage cover and batteries. Find it at the Territorial Seed Co. website.
Have you ever been working in the garden and thought how much easier it would be if you had a third hand to hold everything you were harvesting or weeding? You need a Roo gardening apron. It is perfect in assisting you with harvesting your vegetables, weeding and deadheading your garden, or collecting anything that needs to be put away. Simply release the ropes, and everything you have collected funnels out the bottom. It is machine washable. If your garden center doesn't have them, find out more on the Roo Apron website.
Has your gardener wanted to try growing plants hydroponically, but been reluctant to start? Gift them a Jiffy Hydro Growing System. It works on young to mature plants. Designed for indoor use, it is the perfect hydroponic system to learn how to start growing plants without soil. It is available at garden centers and on the Jiffy website.
Everyone who knows me knows I have a glove affair with good gardening gloves. It is often hard to find gloves with long enough cuffs to protect your arms when pruning thorny plants like old-fashioned roses. Edmunds' Roses has grown enough roses to know everyone needs a good rose glove. They have the Extra Long Rose Glove available in several colors. These rose gloves have cuffs that are over 7 inches long. They are made out of synthetic suede that repels even the thorniest roses — yet remains flexible in hot or cold climates. They are machine washable. Find out more on the Edmunds' Roses website.
Email questions to Jeff Rugg at [email protected] To find out more about Jeff Rugg and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: rawpixel at Pixabay