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The beauty of gardening is there’s something for everybody. If you don’t like flower beds, you can build a sleek patio area for alfresco entertaining. If perfectly manicured borders don’t appeal, you can enhance your outdoor space with water features, sculptures and vertical planters. If wildlife is your thing, there’s a world of practical products designed to help homeowners get close to nature.
Perhaps you’re not an avid gardener at all. Maybe you know one, currently live with one or just want to make one smile. If so, we’ve got all the advice you need to pick out beautiful, inexpensive gifts for gardeners who matter dearly to you. We’ve put together a list of unique and interesting garden gadgets that make superb tokens at Christmastime or on any other special occasion.
Let’s take a closer look at some gardening gifts that definitely offer value for money:
1. Elbow Length Leather Gardening Gloves
Leather has been the material of choice for avid gardeners for many decades. It is tough enough to withstand the sharpest of thorns and provide protection while pruning, cutting, shearing and weeding.
Curiously, lots of leather gardening gloves only extend to the wrists even though the forearms are vulnerable too. It’s why we recommend garden gloves that extend to the elbow. They allow wearers to get right in the middle of flower beds even if they contain thorny plants like roses and cacti. You can do the gardening in a short sleeved top and still get excellent protection.
2. Kitchen Compost Tin
This next gadget is not strictly for use outdoors, but we think it’s far too practical to leave off our list. Kitchen compost tins are small containers – usually made of metal – which sit on the kitchen counter collecting food scraps. When they’re full, they can be carried outside to a larger compost bin or aerator.
We like these clever little buckets because they solve a small but annoying problem: the daily walk to the outdoor scrap heap. Instead of heading outside every time you peel a potato or shell an egg, just put the scraps in an odour proof seal. It’ll dramatically reduce the number of trips you make to the garden.
3. Digital Soil Tester
When you consider how inexpensive digital soil testers are, it’s hard to believe every single gardener in the country doesn’t own one. For less than $25, you can pick up a device that’ll read your soil’s consistency in seconds. This is a really important part of planting.
If the nutrients in the soil aren’t compatible with your flowers, they’ll grow stunted or fail to grow at all. So, it’s very handy to have a device that can tell you whether your soil is rich in phosphorous, nitrogen or potassium. The best testing devices can give gardeners everything from nutrient percentages to moisture readings, current temperatures and PH numbers.
4. Herb Cutting Scissors
If you’ve got a skilled herb grower in your family, they might appreciate a pair of specially designed herb cutting scissors. Unlike regular scissors, they contain five tightly packed pairs of blades to make removing batches of fresh herbs quicker, neater and easier.
They’re one of the most unusual looking gadgets on our list but, once you’ve handled a pair, it’s hard to see how you lived without them. The inclusion of five sets of blades means users can cut much larger amounts in a single action than they can with traditional scissors. These make perfect inexpensive gifts for gardeners.
5. Lawn Aeration Foot Spikes
When it comes to inexpensive gifts for gardeners, few are as practical as wearable lawn aeration foot spikes. These curious looking ‘slippers’ are strapped to the feet, over the top of shoes, and used to put evenly spaced holes in a lawn.
The traditional way to do this is with an aeration stick which needs to be handheld. With these spikes though, there’s no need for manual labour, no bending over and no struggling when your aeration stick gets stuck in the ground. It’s as easy as taking a walk over the grass which is useful because aeration is the fastest way to get water and oxygen into tightly packed soil
6. Grow Your Own Hot Chilli Peppers Gift Box
The daredevil gardener in your life might appreciate a grow your own chilli peppers gift box this year. These self-contained kits provide everything the user needs to grow healthy chilli plants including hot chilli seeds, peat discs, a drip tray, plastic pots and more.
Most ‘grow your own’ kits are designed with beginners in mind, so the growing process is straightforward and purposely simple. It won’t be the most complex gardening challenge, but your recipient does get to wow their friends with their chilli eating skills when they’re done. You’ll find scotch bonnet, habanero, jalapeno and cayenne chillies in most growing kits.
7. Encyclopaedia of Garden Plants
Is there anything more useful for a gardening fanatic than a bumper encyclopaedia of garden plants? We don’t think so which is why it’s on our list of great gifts for gardeners. There’s actually a lot of different encyclopaedias out there, each with a slightly different tone and objective.
So, take some time to think about your recipient will find most valuable, a book containing lots of high resolution, full colour photographs or an encyclopaedia with more interesting facts, growing tips and information on species identification. One of our favourite examples is the RHS A-Z Encyclopaedia of Garden Plants because it covers a staggering 15,000 ornamental plants.
8. Electric Heated Seed Propagator
Electric seed propagators are kind of like heated blankets for young plants. You put your seedlings in the accompanying grow pots, place them on the propagator tray and plug it in to provide a constant warmth of around 16-19 degrees centigrade.
Not only does this artificial warmth accelerate germination, it’s a great way to give heat loving varieties (like tomatoes) a bit of extra encouragement to grow. If you live in a cold climate, seed propagators like this may be the only way to successfully grow certain plants and vegetables without the use of a fully insulated greenhouse.
9. Secateurs and Gloves Gift Box
There are lots of inexpensive gifts for gardeners which are designed to be given as straightforward gifts rather than practical purchases. For instance, to keep a gift relatively formal and traditional – perhaps you’re buying for a colleague - you could give a secateurs and gloves set.
These mini gift boxes come beautifully packaged and include a pair of secateurs with a rubber grip and some attractive garden gloves. The only downside is most of these gift sets offer just one size of glove. Gardeners with extra small or large hands might find it a problem. It’s worth considering before you pick this as your next gardening gift
10. Grow Your Own Bonsai Gift Box
For less than $15, you can pick up a grow your own bonsai box. Every one of these kits includes starter seeds, compost discs, growing pots and plant markers for labelling. Bonsais are notoriously difficult to get past the germination stage which is why having a self-contained growing kit is a very clever idea.
Follow the kit’s instructions meticulously and you could achieve a feat many gardeners fail to complete – the successful growth of a mature bonsai tree. It’s nothing to scoff at; we recommend you only buy this as a gift for a gardener who is extremely patient and values attention to detail. Only the toughest survive in the world of DIY bonsai growing and these make great inexpensive gifts for gardeners.
11. Solitary Bee Hotel
Solitary bee hotels remain one of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to attract pollinators to a garden. They cost next to nothing because they’re actually very simple structures. Bees hotels are a similar shape to bird boxes, but they are much smaller and covered in holes.
These little holes allow solitary bees to crawl inside and use the hotel’s interior as a safe location for nurturing larvae. Most bee hotels are made up of two or three parts. The roof or back of the box can be removed to allow users a look inside. If you’re fascinated by solitary bees – which are not aggressive – welcome more to your backyard with a bee hotel.
12. Gardening Hand Care Essentials Hamper
Skincare gift sets make wonderful gifts for gardeners because even lightweight pruning and weeding can be a burden on the hands. Gardening without leather safety gloves is likely to lead to minor cuts, grazes, abrasions and dry skin.
Even gardening with safety gloves can quickly sap the skin of moisture. So, put some love back into those hands with a hand care essentials hamper designed to enrich skin using ingredients like shea butter. If you pick a hamper with mini lotions, they’ll fit right in the pocket of a gardening apron or tool belt.
13. Gardening Hand Tool Case Set
DIY fanatics have extensive tool kits. Why can’t keen gardeners have their own boxes of practical devices and gadgets? With a gardening hand tool case set, they can. Like most tool kits, they come in a variety of sizes. Some are as small as five pieces.
Others extend to as many as twenty different gardening implements. We think it’s worth investing in a larger tool case because the bigger sets contain more than just the basic tools. Alongside things like a trowel, secateurs and a hand hoe, you get items like a weeding knife, herb scissors and even a folding saw in some products.
14. Professional Pruning Saw
After years of awkward pruning, a specially designed pruning saw can change the game for gardeners. These folding saws are around 33cm in length, though you can buy smaller or slightly larger versions. Most have a curved blade to allow for easier cutting of taller bushes and hedges.
Where you might struggle to reach with clippers, you can use a pruning saw to reach up and over the top of a tall hedge. The curve means you can safely trim without necessarily being able to see the spot you’re shearing. The fact these pruning blades are tough like traditional saws makes them great for cutting down tree branches too.
15. Garden Scarecrow
For some gardens, a scarecrow is essential. It doesn’t need to be a full sized effigy like the ones used on farms. It can be a small, low impact deterrent for hungry birds who want to snatch up all your verdant veggies. You’ve put months into growing juicy tomatoes, lettuces and cabbages– keep them safe with a fun looking (to you, at least) scarecrow guardian.
They don’t cost much, they’re easy to erect and they add interest to an outdoor space. Some products even come with two scarecrows for the price of one. If a single scarecrow doesn’t cut it, bring his friend out and watch the magpies scarper. These cheeky scarecrows make great inexpensive gifts for gardeners.
16. Flamingo Watering Can
Sometimes, buying a gift for a gardener is as easy as picking something to match their vim and vigour out in the yard. We love this flamingo watering can because it’s inexpensive but utterly charming. It’s only small, holding enough water for around five plants at a time, but it’s light hearted and fun. In fact, it’d make a superb gift for a secret Santa exchange or for a gardener that you only know casually. Or, give this colourful watering can to a friend with a younger child who wants to help them out in the yard.
17. Gardening Umbrella Hat
You’ve seen those golfing hats with the mini umbrellas on top. They’re also great for keen gardeners. At the first sign of drizzle, they can pull out their handy little hat and save themselves from a soaking. Who cares about looking silly in your own backyard? Plus, they’re multifunctional.
You can take an umbrella hat fishing, hiking, cycling, on a picnic or out berry picking in the summertime. Most products have an adjustable strap to ensure they fit comfortably on all head sizes. Also, don’t forget a ‘hands free’ umbrella like this is just as invaluable in strong sunshine as it is rain.
18. Gardening Tool Apron
There are plenty of gardening tool belts and gardening tool aprons on the market. Whether you decide to give a belt or an apron as a gift will depend on the habits of its recipient. Of course, the big benefit of an apron over a belt is the fact it keeps clothes clean.
With a tool belt, you’re getting a handy utility pouch. With a gardening apron, you’re getting a protective layer for your front as well. The downside is most gardening aprons don’t come with tools included as a belt does. So, consider this when browsing for a gift. Perhaps your green fingered friend already has a full box of tools but is missing a sturdy apron?
19. Gardening Knee Pads
We highly recommend a pair of inexpensive gardening knee pads, particularly for older gardeners. They don’t cost much but they can make a big difference to comfort while planting and tending to flower beds. They come in several different types, but our favourites are the ones which strap directly onto the knees rather than being placed on the ground.
They’re a lot like motorcycle kneepads. Strap them to your legs and avoid placing your knees on dirt, stones, thorns and other uncomfortable surfaces. These inexpensive gifts for gardeners will take care of their knees during every gardening task. If it’s mud and soil you’re primarily concerned about, look for knee pads that are machine washable.
20. Gardener’s Bits and Bobs Gift Tin
Even if you’ve got a reliable gardening belt or apron, it might be worth picking up a ‘bits and bobs’ tin for storing smaller items like twine. Most boxes come with twine, wire, simple ties, markers and a pencil so they’re perfect for when you’re planting seedlings.
These mini gift sets are among the most inexpensive gifts for gardeners and make a wonderful token for somebody you know who’s always potting and planting.
That concludes our list of the best inexpensive gifts for gardeners that are currently on the market. We hope you’re feeling inspired to find the perfect gadgets for the beloved gardeners in your life.
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Paulo Andreas is a garden & outside gadget guru searching, testing and reviewing the latest and best Cool Garden Gadgets. Feel free to comment on any of the gadgets posted here. Paulo