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Christmas is for Gardening

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Gardeners are loyal to their favorite “florescent, lavender-scented whatcha-call-it” used for planting the “dumafitchit.” In other words, if you have a gardener on your Christmas buying list you have it made, especially for last-minute gifts.

The right tool makes a difficult task into an easy task. A basic Christmas tool list for a gardener would include an all-purpose round point shovel, a garden rake, a bow rake, a leaf rake, a trowel, pruners, an oscillating hoe (like a hula hoe), loppers, dibble, and weeder. If your gardener grows plants in large black nursery pots, they can be heavy and hard to move. The best and easiest way to move those pots is with a hay hook. Just put the hook under the pot lip and slide the pot across the ground. No more heavy lifting!

Gardeners are easily spotted by their attire. Sturdy shoes, layered up in the winter, covered up in the summer for protection from the sun, a hat to save the nose from burning, and that consistent pair of gloves hanging out of the back pocket. Gloves are an interesting accessory. They range from leather, cotton and nitrile, to above-the-elbow rubber rose pruning gloves, and thermal gloves. Gloves do more than just protect from thorns. Nitrile gloves keep hands dry, cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and protect from plant liquids that could be sticky or burning. Nitrile gloves keep dirt from wedging under fingernails and embedding into skin. They can be tossed in the washer and hung to dry. Nitrile gloves now have a thinner rubber palm base that feels like no glove at all.

There are so many gardening books you could fill a sleigh. There is a plant book for everything from apples to water.  Gardening books provide year-round information and entertainment, especially during the rainy season when your gardener is suffering from cabin fever. The Sunset Western Garden Book contains a complete description of planting zones and plants. The California Master Gardener Handbook provides plant information and instructions for all plant needs. If you can only buy one garden book this gift-giving season, get the California Master Gardener Handbook (http://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/Details.aspx?itemNo=3382).

Gardening supplies will be a hit. Who wouldn’t want a load of premium compost delivered to their driveway? Raised beds constructed from redwood will delight a gardener. A roll of high-quality weed barrier will make a gardener jump for joy; less weeding is a true gift!  Solar lights make the garden safer to travel at night.

Gifts for gardeners are easy. To do the work a gardener needs knowledge, the right tools, protective clothing, and supplies. Gardening is a passion. You absolutely cannot go wrong with gifting to a person’s love and passion.

Julie Silva is a University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener of Tuolumne County.

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