Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Gift Guide 2018: For the Backyard Farmer

Search

Gift Guide 2018: For the Backyard Farmer

December 3, 2018

There’s a backyard farmer in everybody’s life. Family, friend, or neighbor, this person is easily identified as the one trying to foist gigantic zucchinis on passersby in late summer.

This holiday season, say thank you for all those zucchinis (and lay a foundation for getting some of your backyard farmer’s best beefsteak tomatoes next year) with a gift that says, “I appreciate all that you grow in your edible garden.”

Here are 10 holiday gifts any backyard farmer will appreciate:

Slate Plant Markers

Above: Similar to the slate plant markers shown in the top photo in the Obama White House edible garden, a hand-cut Nutscene Slate & Twine Gift Set quarried in Scotland  includes an assortment of reusable slate plant markers, two spools of three-ply twine, and a jute sack for storage. The set is £26.50 from Ceci Paolo.

For US gardeners, a set of 12 Slate Garden Plant Labels by Garden Basix comes with two chalk pens and 15-inch-tall stainless steel poles; $28.99 at Amazon.

Row Marking Line

Two wooden pegs and a long string make a low-tech (and classic) edible garden tool. A Garden Row Marking Line identifies a row where you&#8\2\17;ve just planted seeds. It &#8\2\20;lets humans know where not to step, and helps deter birds from pecking out your painstakingly placed seeds.&#8\2\2\1; It is \$\1\2.95 from Gardener&#8\2\17;s Supply.
Above: Two wooden pegs and a long string make a low-tech (and classic) edible garden tool. A Garden Row Marking Line identifies a row where you’ve just planted seeds. It “lets humans know where not to step, and helps deter birds from pecking out your painstakingly placed seeds.” It is $12.95 from Gardener’s Supply.

Portable Greenhouse

Give tender seedlings a head start by protecting them from chilly winds in early spring. With two hinged lids, a Portable Wooden Cold Frame Greenhouse by Giantex measures 35.4 by 3\1.3 by \23 inches; \$67.99 from Amazon.
Above: Give tender seedlings a head start by protecting them from chilly winds in early spring. With two hinged lids, a Portable Wooden Cold Frame Greenhouse by Giantex measures 35.4 by 31.3 by 23 inches; $67.99 from Amazon.

See 10 Easy Pieces: Portable Greenhouses for more pick-up-and-go greenhouses where backyard farmers can sprout seeds in early spring.

Potato Grow Bag

A good gift for an apartment farmer is a soft-sided nine-gallon Potato Planter Grow Bag from Bloem with a side flap to harvest potatoes. A self-contained vegetable garden, it is available in eight colors, including Union Red as shown. It is \$\14.99 to \$\2\1.99, depending on color, at Amazon.
Above: A good gift for an apartment farmer is a soft-sided nine-gallon Potato Planter Grow Bag from Bloem with a side flap to harvest potatoes. A self-contained vegetable garden, it is available in eight colors, including Union Red as shown. It is $14.99 to $21.99, depending on color, at Amazon.

See more choices at 10 Easy Pieces: Potato Growing Kits.

Heirloom Seeds

Above: A packet of from 45 to 50 Orient Wonder Yard Long Beans seeds is $3.79 at Kitazawa Seed Co. Photograph by Janet Hall.

From its inception in 1917 in a San Jose, California warehouse, Kitazawa Seed Co. has specialized in selling  seeds of traditional heirloom vegetables of Japan. With a selection of hundreds to choose among—including Purple Vienna Kohlrabi and Ichiba Kouji Japanese Melon—you can surprise your favorite backyard farmer with edibles she or he has never grown before.

At prices below $5 apiece, a packet of heirloom or organic seeds makes a great stocking stuffer. Often the seed packets themselves are works of art, with lovely illustrations and colorful copy to describe the food you are about to grow. See more of our favorite seed companies at 10 Easy Pieces: Heirloom Seeds.

Seed Spacing Ruler

From Intervale, a Seed and Plant Spacing Ruler labeled for common edible plants comes with a dibbler to make it easy to plant seeds at the correct depth. &#8\2\20;Moisten planting area, place ruler where you want seeds to grow, poke dibbler through the appropriate hole to create an indentation, then drop one or two seeds through the opening. When you&#8\2\17;ve reached the last hole, remove the ruler, cover your seeds with a thin sprinkling of compost or soil, and wait for them to sprout,&#8\2\2\1; notes retailer Gardener&#8\2\17;s Supply; \$\1\2.95.
Above: From Intervale, a Seed and Plant Spacing Ruler labeled for common edible plants comes with a dibbler to make it easy to plant seeds at the correct depth. “Moisten planting area, place ruler where you want seeds to grow, poke dibbler through the appropriate hole to create an indentation, then drop one or two seeds through the opening. When you’ve reached the last hole, remove the ruler, cover your seeds with a thin sprinkling of compost or soil, and wait for them to sprout,” notes retailer Gardener’s Supply; $12.95.

Bamboo Hand Rake

As anyone who ever has tried to tease out tangled leaves from beneath a strawberry patch can tell you, a Bamboo Hand Rake is the right tool for a delicate job; £\10 from Niwaki.
Above: As anyone who ever has tried to tease out tangled leaves from beneath a strawberry patch can tell you, a Bamboo Hand Rake is the right tool for a delicate job; £10 from Niwaki.

Watering Cone

A Terracotta Watering Cone is a useful tool because it &#8\2\20;will water a plant when one is away on a short holiday or is otherwise unable to perform the task,&#8\2\2\1; notes retailer Manufactum. &#8\2\20;The cone is equipped with a connector that fits onto most commercial water bottle caps. One simply makes a few holes in the cap, screws it on a bottle filled with water and pushes it into the cone, which together with the water bottle is pushed into the earth in the pot.&#8\2\2\1; It is €\10.
Above: A Terracotta Watering Cone is a useful tool because it “will water a plant when one is away on a short holiday or is otherwise unable to perform the task,” notes retailer Manufactum. “The cone is equipped with a connector that fits onto most commercial water bottle caps. One simply makes a few holes in the cap, screws it on a bottle filled with water and pushes it into the cone, which together with the water bottle is pushed into the earth in the pot.” It is €10.

Plant Labels

Does your backyard farmer like color-coded organizing tools? A set of 68 Plant Labels made of beechwood comes in a metal box with a wax crayon to write plant names; €\20.50 at Manufactum.
Above: Does your backyard farmer like color-coded organizing tools? A set of 68 Plant Labels made of beechwood comes in a metal box with a wax crayon to write plant names; €20.50 at Manufactum.

Planting Guide + Seeds

Above: A Fall Forager Kit comes with a year-round garden planner with a sliding frost date feature that makes it useful for all regions in the US. It also comes with eight packets of heirloom vegetable seeds (handpicked for a fall and winter garden) and five seed-saving envelopes; $35 from Seattle Seed Co.

Still shopping? See more of our Gift Guides and don’t miss:

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

v5.0