Thanksgiving is upon us and most people are focused on two things. Delicious food or low, low prices on Black Friday deals. The growers and gardeners in our lives have much more to do with the bountiful harvest on our tables, but there are plenty of savings to be had on garden goods and gadgets.
Unlike the high end electronics that drop precipitously in price this time of year, great gardening items often rise and fall throughout the year. Don't just hit the big home improvement stores searching for a snowblowers or riding mowers. Hand tools and other summer items that have no use in the colder months take up shelf space and are often marked down this time of year.
Big Ticket Items, Small Space Planting
It's good to support your local garden centers, so be sure to call or check them for any holiday sales that may be happening in addition to shopping online. One of the great things about Black Friday electronics deals being so ubiquitous is that home gardening has gone high tech so for every new laptop or television on discount, there's also gems you can use in the garden like a time lapse camera for tracking growth or any number of meters or electronic gauges, many of which pair with phones or computers.
Here are some tools every grower would want to get their hands on this winter:
Digital Hose Gauge
If you have a sprinkler or irrigation system, attach this handy gadget to the hose and schedule the time and duration of water. Also known as water meters, using one of these to grow means no more setting alarms or forgetting to water the garden. And, it is a great tool when the gardeners goes away for the weekend to make sure the plants get some water!
A rain gauge is a simple device that you stick into the ground to measure how much water the plants are getting naturally, and how much you'll need to supplement with the hose or watering can. Depending on the design, they can be as simple as a plastic tube or as precise as a screen that gives a digital readout
Indoor/Outdoor Digital Thermometer
Thermometers are great to have around the house to help you decide what to wear and what to do that day. An indoor/outdoor thermometer will help your dad regulate the temperature (read: energy bill!) inside the house and pay attention to the temperature outside.
Time Lapse Camera
Does your Dad have a lot of fruits and veggies in the garden that are mysteriously getting nibbled on or disappearing? Help him catch the culprit with this awesome time lapse camera, especially when he’s away on vacation and worrying about the garden.
Composting and Soil Care
Kitchen Compost Bucket
Is your family planning to compost those Turkey Day leftovers? A sleek kitchen compost bucket can help cut your food waste, and it won't cause a mess or bad odor in the kitchen. You can even look into compost accelerators, some of which are compact and good for indoor use.
If you're planning to use the kitchen scraps to create a compost bin in the backyard, look for a compost thermometer. This will ensure your compost reaches the ideal temperature to kill seeds, weeds, and break down organic material.
Soil Test Kits
A rapid soil testing kit can be a fun way to learn what nutrients the garden needs and feel like a scientist. You can purchase rapid test kits that are color coded, so they are visual and easy to understand. Pair the test kit with some resources on soil health and this is a gift that can take someone from beginner to expert.
This 15 pound wheel barrow takes the strain off your back. You can flatten it on the ground to load your soil, mulch or composting materials, plus it folds up for efficient storage. On the opposite side of the spectrum from the lightweight wheel barrow is the heavy-duty, battery-powered wheelbarrow. It pushes easily so it still saves you from back pain, but it's definitely bulkier to store. This is exactly the kind of prize that makes Black Friday shoppers buzz.
Hori Hori Knife
This multipurpose knife has both serrated and clean blade edges and can be used for an amazing number of different tasks from digging holes to slicing roots. Make sure you buy one with a holster so you can carry it around the garden with him for maximum utility.
Stand Up Weeder
Gardening is hard work, especially for those who are getting older and aren't as flexible. This handy stand-up weeder allows you to pull the weeds while remaining standing – your knees and back will thank you!
How old are those tools in your dad’s tool shed? When was the last time anything was actually sharpened? Your dad will love this DIY "six -in-one" tool sharpener and will be amazed at the different a sharp tool can make!
Everyone inside the house will thank you for this awesome boot scraper. After a few hours out in the garden, even kids can use this to clean off shoes so no mud gets tracked through your driveway, patio, or home.
Giving a Plant as a Gift
If you want to give someone a plant as a gift, consider their needs and pick something carefully. Is the plant intended for indoors or will they put it directly into the garden? Make sure you know what kind of lighting the plant will need as well as what kind of soil is available. For indoor plants, consider a DIY planter or pot to add a personal touch to the gift!