What Will Santa Bring the Gardener in You This Year??
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Well, the frost has laid bare the garden crops and the tools are put away for winter. But another spring is in the offing. What might Santa put in your stocking this year that will bring you delight when the warm days of spring beckon you to the garden once again.
Oh, of course there’s the usual new trowel and spade, a garden apron or knee pads, but what about something you haven’t had before. What are the elves cooking up that might strike a cord in your backyard paradise?
How about some farmers sleeves. You know how those long-sleeve shirts can be hot while you protect yourself from the sun, insects and skin irritations. These sleeves are made of moisture wicking and lightweight to keep you cool. You can stay cool, dry and protected at the same time.
How about a soil moisture meter. That’s right. Check you soil moisture at any time to see if you need to give those delicate plants a drink. Simple to use and inexpensive, these meters require no batteries and give you a quick reading on the moisture level of your garden soil. From too dry to too wet, the meter gives you a general idea of when you should water and when you shouldn’t. Just put the probe into the ground and get an instant reading.
Obviously, you can’t eat all that produce you are growing. So, you’ll definitely want to can, freeze or ferment some of it for later use. Stock up that freezer and can shelf and avoid the shortages at the grocery store. Get you gardener a copy of “So Easy to Preserve” published by the University of Georgia and available from many booksellers. This popular publication is an authority on food preservation and covers topics on preserving food, canning, pickled products, sweet spreads and syrups, freezing and drying.
Is your gardener tired of dragging garden hoses and setting up sprinklers to keep the garden moist. How about a drip irrigation system for the garden. These kits are ready to use. Simply hook them to a garden hose and just turn the water on and off as needed. You water the garden plants and not the row middles. Drip irrigation reduces weed growth and keeps the foliage dry to keep down plant disease. Fairly inexpensive and reusable from year to year, drip irrigation kits can set you up to water a fairly large garden all at once due to the low pressure needed. It saves water, too.
Finally, how about a gift certificate to your local garden center or for your gardener’s favorite seed catalog. It will soon be time to start those seedlings. Getting those seeds during the winter can allow you time to select what you want and get them in time for planting. By ordering early, you can make sure to get the most popular varieties and have them delivered in time for planting.
Whatever Santa leaves in your garden stocking this year, enjoy the winter months planning for next year and in anticipation of the great things your garden will produce in 2022. Merry Gardening.