Reviews

Holiday Gift Guide for Gardeners – 2015


Best-Holiday-Gifts-for-GardenersIt’s that time of year again … time to find the perfect holiday gift for that special gardener in your life! Whether that person is an experienced gardener with a garden shed full of tools or is just starting out and has only a few implements to work with, there’s something in our Holiday Gift Guide for everyone.

To make it easy, we’ve broken out our recommendations based on price.

And, by the way, we’ve personally tested and reviewed each of these products. Just click on the image or title to read the full review.

What do YOU want this year??

Best Stocking Stuffers

Book Review of Foodscaping by Charlie Nardozzi Gardening Books

We’ve reviewed many new books published in 2015, any of which would make a terrific gift. Some examples are: Foodscaping-Practical and Innovative Ways to Create an Edible Landscape, Essential Perennials: The Complete Reference to 2,700 Perennials for the Home Garden and Building Soil: A Down-to-Earth Approach

Best Gardening Gifts Under $25

Dramm Revolution 9-Pattern Spray Nozzle 
$14.99
Dramm Revolution 9-Pattern Spray Gun
Dramm makes my favorite watering wands and nozzles. This one has their fantastic One Touch Valve to turn it on and off with your thumb (no need to squeeze a trigger) and 9 different spray patterns with just a twist of the nozzle (fan, stream, shower, rain, center, cone, angle, mist and flat). It’s ergonomically-designed, easy to hold, made of heavy-duty metal, comes with a lifetime guarantee and is available in six fun colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and berry). For other excellent spray nozzles, see our article on Best Garden Hose Nozzles and Sprayers. 
Shovel Sling Review
$24.95
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Shovel Sling
This unique invention lets you easily carry up to 70 lbs of long-handled tools with just one hand. If you’ve ever tried to carry a whole bunch of gardening tools, you know what a juggling act it can be. Made in the USA with high quality materials, the Shovel Sling comes in bright colors (so you won’t lose it in the garden) and solves a common frustration for gardeners with a well-designed product that’s easy to use. I’ve used it to carry rakes, shovels, loppers, and even a string trimmer! Best of all, the hot pink version is 50% off for the holidays!!

Best Gardening Gifts Under $50

ARS General Purpose Hand Pruner
$29.74
ARS General Purpose Hand Pruner (HP-130DX)
This is a fantastic everyday, go-to choice for lighter duty gardening work. They’re sharp, comfortable, lightweight and cut beautifully. There’s very little in my garden that I can’t easily cut with these pruning shears, although I wouldn’t try cutting anything over 1/2 inch. And at this price point they’re a great value. For more options, see our review of the Best Pruning Shears.
Review of Bear Wallow rose gauntlet gloves$49.95 (Original) or $43.95 (Basic) Rose Gauntlets from Bear Wallow Gloves
These comfortable, durable, and well-designed gauntlet-style gardening gloves are made in the USA with goatskin gloves and cowhide sleeves. While they may look a little strange, they’re excellent for handling any type of thorny plant or anything that’s likely to scratch (cats?). These are perfect for the rose gardener!
PotLifter review
$29.95
Plus Shipping
PotLifter
The PotLifter is definitely one of those “I didn’t know I needed this but now that I have it I can’t imagine how I managed without it” products. It’s incredibly well-engineered, made with quality materials, and makes a difficult job easy. If you find yourself trying to move containers or other heavy gardening items, the PotLifter is a must-have.
GrowBox review
29.95, plus $6.95 shipping
GrowBox
The GrowBox makes it easy to grow vegetables and flowers in a small space, even on a balcony. It’s relatively simple to put together (if you do it carefully), small enough to move when needed, and works as promised. I love the fact that you can fill the water reservoir and not have to water for several days (or longer, depending on where you live). The Nutrient Patch takes the guess-work out of feeding your plants as they grow and prevents weeds.
Earth Talon shovel review
$47.57
Earth Talon Shovel
The Earth Talon Shovel has excellent penetration in hard, rocky soil (meaning that it takes less energy to dig), is well-built, comfortable to use, and does what it’s meant to do incredibly well.
Bionic ReliefGrip garden gloves
$33.00
Bionic ReliefGrip Gardening Gloves 
A lot of thought has clearly gone into the design of Bionic ReliefGrip gardening gloves. They’re tough yet supple, comfortable to wear for long periods of time, and keep your hands clean and protected. For general gardening tasks, these are my go-to gloves. Definitely a 5-shovel pair of gloves!

Gardening Gifts Under $75

Black & Decker High Performance Blower/Vac/Mulcher (BV3600): Product Review
$55.08
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Black & Decker High Performance Blower/Vac/Mulcher (BV3600)
As a leaf blower, this is excellent. The variable speed allows for good control, it’s easy to hold with either one or two hands, and it really moves leaves! The vacuum works well and the two speeds are nice here. The mulcher chops up leaves at a 10:1 ratio.
ARS HP VS8R Pruning Shears Review
$52.00
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ARS Pruning Shears
ARS produces some of the best pruning tools on the market (in my opinion they’re even better than Felco). These have a rotating handle (practically a must-have if you do a lot of pruning) but are also available with a regular handle and come in three sizes. I love the single-handed “squeeze-open-lock system”, incredibly hard blades (meaning less sharpening required), and easy availability of spare parts. These are my go-to pruning shears and are well worth the price. For other good pruning shear options, see our review of the Best Hand Pruners / Pruning Shears.
Armachillo Long Sleeve Shirt from Duluth Trading: Product Review
$64.50
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Armachillo Long Sleeve Shirt from Duluth Trading
I like this shirt better for gardening than any others I’ve tried. In fact, I wear it nearly every time I head out into the garden (I think I’m going to have to get a few more!). It fits well and is comfortable to wear, underarm gussets give you plenty of room to move freely, it keeps you (relatively) dry, and is stylish enough for a quick trip to the grocery store without having to get changed first. Available in a variety of plaid and solid colors.
Living Wall Planter 2 from Woolly Pocket 
$69.99
Living Wall Planter 2 Self Watering Vertical Gardening System (4-pack)
This system really does work. The individual planters are hung using a simple support that’s easy to screw into any solid surface. There’s room to run a drip irrigation line into each water reservoir located at the back of each planter. Air holes in the front of the planter eliminate the overwatering and root rot that can happen in other “self-watering” systems (if you overwater, it’ll drip out the front of the planter so it’s best not to use it indoors). Made from recycled plastic milk jugs. Available in 3 colors and in either 2- or 4-packs.

Gardening Gifts Under $100

ARS LPB30M Loppers
$89.95
ARS LPB-30M Orchard Lopper
You’ve probably noticed that we recommend a lot of ARS pruning tools. That’s because we think they’re the best quality cutting tools on the market. These loppers are beautifully balanced, keep an extremely sharp edge (and the replaceable blades can be easily sharpened if necessary), and at only 2.1 lbs are surprisingly lightweight for such strong loppers. They’ll cut through almost 1.5 inches with ease, even deadwood. For more great loppers, check out our review of Best Loppers for Pruning.
WORXAIR Blower
$96.00
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WORXAIR Blower
A compact, lightweight, battery-powered blower that makes those annoying sweeping and cleaning tasks easier and faster. This is not a heavy-duty leaf blower but if you want a convenient tool to clear off your deck, patio, garden beds, etc., then it’s a good option. I use it all the time and my yard has never looked tidier!

Gardening Gifts Under $150

Navigator Hose Reel review
$112.50
Navigator Rotating Hose Reel
The Navigator Rotating Hose Reel is stylish, sturdy, and easy to use. The hose winds up and unrolls smoothly no matter which direction the reel is facing. The leader hose has high quality connectors and the storage shelf is a nice bonus.
GreenStalk Stackable Planter: Product Review
$99.95-149.95
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GreenStalk Stackable Planter
The GreenStalk planter is a nice solution to a common problem – effectively and efficiently growing plants in a small space. It’s well-designed, easy to use, allows you to grow a huge number of plants in a very small area, and keeps those plants evenly watered. Just stack the planters (3 or 5 levels, depending on the model), plant in the extra deep pockets, and then water from the reservoir on top. The unique watering system really does water each level evenly. I grew 30 different pepper plants in mine and had a bumper crop!

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