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Gift Tools for Gardeners
Sarah Browning, Nebraska Extension Educator
 Gift Tools for Gardeners
The Little Dibble is a two-in-one tool for seeding and transplanting. Image from the National Garden Bureau.

It's officially the holiday shopping season! If you have a gardener on your gift list this year, consider one of these tools to make their happiness grow. Good tools make work easier ;and any hobbyist, including gardeners, just plain have fun experimenting with a new toy – I mean tool!

Picture of seed mat.Seedling Heat Mat
If the gardener in your life has advanced to growing their own seedlings, then a heating mat is a great tool to help them achieve better seed germination. A heating mat, which is placed under seed germination trays, creates the warm soil environment plants like tomatoes and peppers prefer, resulting in better and faster seed germination as well as faster seedling growth. Once the seedlings have germinated, the mat can be moved to a new tray. Many vegetable crop seeds germinate best with soil temperatures consistently over 70°F. For more details visit Vegetable Garden Seed Storage and Germination Requirements, Nebraska Extension.

Heavy duty and water-proof construction is critical with any electrical tool used around water, which is what the two products below provide.

Picture of metal bed corners for raised beds.Raised Garden Bed Corners
If your gardener is talented at making things grow, but not so great at construction, then Gurney’s raised bed corners are a great short-cut Raised beds provide many benefits to gardeners including the opportunity to create a better soil media than may exist on site, better water drainage, faster soil warming and easier garden maintenance by reducing the need to stoop and bend.

Each powder-coated aluminum corner is built to last, will not rust and forms a perfect right angle. Simply cut the side boards to length, slide them into the brackets and secure with screws. Rot resistant, 10-inch wide cedar lumber is recommended. The corners can be stacked on top of each other, giving at least 20-inches of height to the bed.

Picture of compost/soil thermometer.Compost Thermometer
If your gardener is into composting, a compost thermometer will enable temperature monitoring of the pile. Temperature is an indicator of whether the pile is getting hot enough for quickest decomposition or when the pile has cooled and is ready for the another turning. Harris’ thermometer is made of stainless steel and built to last for years. The easy-to-read temperature dial measures from 0°F to 220°F and is held on a 19-inch probe. It can also be used to measure soil temperature in turf or landscape beds.

The Little Dibble
Finally, do you need something inexpensive for your gardener’s stocking? Then a dibble is the answer; this simple plastic tool is used to place seeds in the soil at the right depth. It can be used in garden beds or seedling trays. The Little Dibble is actually two tools in one, a dibble at one end with graduated depth markings for precise seed placement and a widger at the other end – a tool used to delicately separate and transplant seedlings. (Pictured above.)

For more ideas on tools and books the gardener in your life might enjoy, visit the National Garden Bureau’s list of garden products.

Reference to commercial products is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Nebraska Extension is implied. Mention does not imply approval or constitute endorsement by Nebraska Extension. Nor does it imply discrimination against other similar products.

Images from the National Garden Bureau.

  • Johnny's seed mat raises soil temperature is seed trays to speed germination.
  • Gurney's raised bed corners take the difficulty out of building your raised bed.
  • Harris' compost/soil thermometer is made of stainless steel and built to last for years.

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Associated Video

Tools - New At The Garden Center in 2023.

Nebraska Extension Landscape Horticulture Specialist Kim Todd takes a tour of a local garden center to see what new products are available.

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