If you’ve spent any time on my blog or social media, you know I moved to the country about five years ago and accidentally became a gardener.
I say “accidentally,” because I specifically told my family that even though my grandparents were prolific gardeners, I would not be continuing the tradition when I moved into their house.
I made it one summer before I started gardening. Now I’ve got four huge beds, freezers overflowing with food for the winter, and a garage and kitchen full of gardening supplies.
That escalated quickly.
Here are my favorite garden or garden-related products. If you know someone who gardens, wants to gardens, or just likes to make their own food, I think there’s something here they’d be excited to receive this holiday season.
(Full disclosure: You need very few things to grow a garden. All it takes to grow your own food is good dirt, some seeds, sun, and water. You don’t have to make this complicated or expensive. But like most things, I eventually did. But that first summer all I had were two boxes rescued from an abandoned rental house and some seeds. It was enough, and I grew lots of good food. So while it’s fun to get garden gadgets, it’s also not necessary. People have been growing their own food since the beginning of time. So take all of these suggestions with that in mind!)
(Another disclosure! Some of these links are affiliate links!)
Rain Gauge (link)
Nothing more exciting for a gardener than some rain. And then after the rain, checking your rain gauge to see how much rain you got. Then telling others about the rain. It’s a process. Get your favorite gardener a rain gauge if they don’t have one. They’ll love it.
Roo Gardening Apron (link)
I got this as a gift last year, and I’m obsessed with it. It holds my shears, ties, harvest, whatever I need. It’s washable and has pockets for everything you’d want while you’re in the garden. When I’m wearing this, you know I mean business.
Speaking of business, Crocs are garden business. Listen, I own a few pairs of Crocs. I’m not proud of it, but here I am, 40 years old and living my truth. And my truth is Crocs. I have a pair for gardening (with flowers on them, obviously) and a pair I wear around the house like house shoes. I’m a few years into wearing Crocs, and while I still don’t wear them in public, but I definitely wear them at home all the time. Do what you want with this important information.
Hand Shears (link)
I carry these in my apron when I’m gardening. They’re the perfect size and really strong. I’m always trimming something or tying something, and these are the best ones I’ve ever owned.
Rain Barrel (link)
Gardeners love measuring rain fall, and we also love watering things. I bought this rain barrel about four years ago, and we hooked it up to a downspout near the porch. It catches tons of water, and I use it to water my garden and flowers the whole season. It doesn’t provide a ton of pressure so I’m not sure if would be good to hook a hose to, but I fill a few watering can with it. It works well for saving water.
Homegrown & Handmade by Deborah Niemann (link)
I refer to this book all season long. It helped me learn to compost, how to make the pizza sauce my family loves, and so much more. Truthfully, this book has a lot of information I don’t need (I have no interest in raising livestock!), but the chapters I do use make it worth purchasing. I found this book at the library years ago and fell in love it with. And if someone is interested in making soap or cheese, this book can help!
Watering Can (link)
You can never have enough water jugs. Yes, I’m serious.
Tomato Cages (link)
I spent the first few years gardening with cheaper, flimsy tomato cages. Last winter, I finally invested in some nice ones, and they’re a game changer. This summer—for the very first time—I didn’t have to handle tipping cages or reinforce leaning ones as the fruit got bigger and heavier. These square ones from Gardeners.com are worth every penny.
Garden Arch (DIY link) (arch link)
Okay, so if your gardener grows any vining plant (like squash), they know how messy and out-of-control things can get. After a few years of trying to contain the chaos in beds and around them, I bought plans to make our own arches last spring. The plans are $5, and we made two with about $100. They worked wonderfully, and I loved how they looked as the plants creeped their way over them this summer. I grew butternut squash for the first time this year, and trained them to grow up one of these arches. Not complaining at all, but I had so many heavy butternut squash on the arches that one started to bend. They’re made with PVC pipe (and I spray painted them black) so they don’t break, but one of them definitely leaned a lot. So this year, I’ve asked for one of these more expensive (like shockingly pricey!) garden arches. I’m still going to use my DIY ones next year, but I’m upping my game with one of these fancy ones as well.
Cucumber Trellis (link)
I also tried a cucumber trellis for the first time this summer. It helped manage the cucumber spread, and it was pretty cool to see cucumbers hang from it. It made picking them super easy, too. If your gardener is short on space, this can help keep spread to a minimum. And they can plant stuff under it to maximize space. I planted a row of basil under the trellis this year, and it did really well.
Garden Baskets (sturdy basket link) (plastic colander basket link)
I am passionate about a garden basket. My aunt next door uses old buckets to carry her produce to the house, so this is absolutely not necessary, but I love filling a cute basket with peppers and tomatoes. I have two thrifted baskets almost ready to retire. I leave them outside on the porch, so they get weathered and eventually destroyed because they’re not technically made for outside & dirt. So I’ve been on the hunt for a new basket, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. The basket I’m going to buy when it’s time is the food-grade wire basket linked above. I love it and found a similar one when we were traveling this fall. I’m also in love with the colander baskets you can bring inside and immediately set in the sink to rinse your veggies. I grow cherry and grape tomatoes by the bucket-full in the summer, and this plastic basket will make cleaning and prepping them a breeze. If Chris Graham is reading this, please buy me both of these for Christmas. Thank you.
Compost Bin (link)
One of the tricks to good dirt is composting. As soon as I started gardening, I invested in a compost bin. From April to October, all our coffee grounds, fruit and veggie scraps, and egg shells get thrown in with yard waste. We mix it every month or so, and then I let it sit for all of November and cook. Around the first of December, we spread all the goodness on the beds and let it sit for months until it’s time to plant again in May. It adds a ton of nutrients to the soil and makes it so rich. I have no doubt this is one of the reasons my gardens do so well year after year. (Tip: Keep this away from your house. The first year I put it next to my porch for convenience, but mice like compost. Whoops. Now ours sits behind our shed at the edge of our property.)
Compost Container for the Kitchen (link; this is not the one I have, but it’s fun!)
Again, do you need this? No. I used a large Folgers coffee canister for years to hold our kitchen scraps that needed to be taken to the compost bin outside. But this year, I bought a cute container to sit next to the coffee maker. I actually bought an ice bucket to hold our scraps. It came with a removable plastic liner, and it’s easy to cleaning. It is the perfect size to keep on the counter and take out every few days.
Food Strainer (link)
I love this strainer for tomato sauce, pizza sauce, etc. Set up is easy and running the food through is fun. You can use this for applesauce and tons of other food (if you make baby food, this would be great to have!), but I use it solely for sauces, and I have no regrets. It works great.
Food Containers for Freezing (link)
I’m just not on board with canning because I’m still scarred from the huge amount of canned goods we have in our garage from my grandma. We’ve been here five years, and we still have SO MANY jars of tomatoes and green beans and peppers on our shelves. And we literally give them away all the time and throw away stuff as it goes bad. Seriously, I’m traumatized by the amount. So I don’t can our produce, I prep and freeze things to last one winter. I’m not preparing for end times; I just want enough salsa and soup and frozen veggies to last until the garden starts producing stuff next summer. It’s a manageable amount to store in our small chest freezer, and it still allows us to give away a lot of what we grow. I use these containers to freeze stuff. I can give them away and not worry about getting them back or reuse them for a few years. They hold up well in the freezer and the dishwasher, but they’re not precious enough they can’t be thrown away if we’re camping when we use the last of something.
DISCLOSURE: AFFILIATE LINKS USED