Gardening: For the green thumb on your gift list

Looking for something for the gardener in your life? Head to the local book store. There are numerous shelves of books on gardening from how to improve the soil to how to grow under lights. When choosing a book, remember that the growing zones in Central Alberta range from zone 2 to 3 with a few warmer micro-climates thrown in. A book that discusses growing warmer season plants might not be applicable.

A good pair or two of garden gloves, might be a welcome present as old ones tend to wear out. Different pairs of gloves are used for different activities. Heavier for gloves work well for using a spade but are not practical for finer work such as seeding.

Gardener’s hands are often dry from contact with the earth, plant and moisture. A good hand cream helps keep hands looking presentable.

For those that spend hours weeding, there are two tools that are a must. One is a loop weeder which allows one to cut off the top of weeds just below the soil surface. Its short handle makes it easy to weed in small areas. The other is a short handled digger or a dandelion digger, which works for removing long rooted weeds without disturbing other plants in a vicinity.

Gift certificates to local garden centers can provide hours of fun planning and deciding on what to purchase.

When purchasing gardening tools, choose ones that are light, strong and designed ergonomically. Well-designed garden tools are a joy to use allowing people to accomplish a job quicker and with less effort. The type of tool purchased depends on where it will be used. Rakes, hoes and shovels all come in a variety of designs. Owning every design would clutter up the garage or garden shed, but having a few different models allow for choice and make jobs easier.

A solid, sharp hand trowel is always useful. Strong ones will not bend regardless of what is being dug. A sharp edge makes it easier to pierce the soul or to cut a root. The width of the blade varies with the style of trowel and the size of hole that needs to be dug.

Watering cans come in all shapes and sizes. HAWS watering can, patented in 1885, is still considered one of the best designed watering cans on the market. It is available in the traditional metal or a lighter and less expensive version, hard plastic. Sizes of watering cans range from 1 liter up to 9 liters. Before purchasing the largest one, take into consideration of the weight of the can when full of water; 20 lbs, (9 kilograms).

Gardeners that love to plant early in the season could benefit from polyspun cloth, also called a floating row cover. This light weight cloth allows the sun to penetrate and keeps the plants and soil about 5 degrees warmer than the area not covered. An added benefit is that it acts as a barrier to keep insects, like the Cabbage butterfly from laying eggs on plants.

Peony rings have been used to hold the flowers upright for over a century but they are not the only flower support available. Choose plant supports that will be strong enough to keep, a single stem or complete plant upright. Plant stakes are usually designed to blend into the landscape while trellises tend to support plants and add to the overall landscape design.

Lastly, gardens are for relaxing. Give a comfortable chair or bench that fits the garden’s theme. It will encourage people to sit and enjoy.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturalist that lives near Rocky Mountain House. She can be reached at your_garden@hotmail.com

Just Posted

Walk raises awareness, money for overdose awareness in Red Deer

More than 90 people gathered in Red Deer to break the stigma… Continue reading

Ponoka RCMP looking for missing man

Ponoka RCMP is asking the public to help find a man who… Continue reading

Woman killed in collision west of Rocky Mountain House

A 42-year-old woman is dead after a two-vehicle collision in Clearwater County… Continue reading

Rough camper “tree house” found hidden in Red Deer woods

“This took a bit of work,” says man who discovered it

Central Alberta has one less peacekeeper with death of Nobel Prize-winning vet

The late Wayne Coubrough and Wayne Bevis helped diffuse tensions in the Middle East

WATCH: Snakes, lizards and more at the Western Canadian Reptile Expo in Red Deer

The 10th annual Western Canadian Reptile Expo is this weekend in Red… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Tuesday and Sept. 3 The Tony Connelly Singers provide an opportunity to… Continue reading

Regina police officer charged with impaired driving after hit-and-run

Regina police say a member of the force has been charged after… Continue reading

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

OTTAWA — Samantha Reusch is aiming to help young Canadians identify misinformation… Continue reading

Trade to dominate Trudeau-Trump bilateral meeting during G7 summit

BIARRITZ, France — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived Friday for this weekend’s… Continue reading

Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

RIO DE JANEIRO — Backed by military aircraft, Brazilian troops on Saturday… Continue reading

Economic storm clouds hovering over Trump and global leaders

BIARRITZ, France — Under the threatening clouds of a global economic slowdown,… Continue reading

‘Red flag laws’ offer tool for preventing some gun violence

After a white supremacist discussed plans on Facebook for a mass shooting… Continue reading

Hong Kong police and protesters clash, ending violence lull

Hong Kong protesters threw bricks and gasoline bombs at police, who responded… Continue reading

Most Read