12 Gift Ideas for Gardeners
Whether the gardener in your life likes to till the soil, operate cool gear, or mostly relax, you'll find some good suggestions here
Fiskars's souped-up machete has an ultra-sharp 18-inch blade that makes fast work of roots, branches, and overgrown brush. You can swing the blade with one hand or two, and use the ax-like tip to slice off tree suckers or clean out patio joints. The contoured handle makes it comfortable to hold; a finger guard adds protection. Comes with nylon carrying sheath.
Machete Axe, $55; Fiskars
The Turbine Fusion Leaf Blower pushes 525 cubic feet of air per minute at 65 mph. That’s enough power to move a brick, so imagine what it can do to a pile of leaves. Plus, the device converts easily to vacuum mode, allowing it to suck up all that debris. But before the leaves are deposited in the attached bag, they're pulverized by two metal impeller blades, a process that can reduce 24 bags to just one. Clear your yard in minutes—and get mulch while you're at it!
Turbine Fusion Leaf Blower, Mulcher & Vacuum, $90; Worx
Your recipient will be extra grateful when warm weather comes around. The Haven Backyard system doesn't just illuminate your yard. When lit, these 40-lumen landscape lights vaporize enough EPA-registered, odorless blocker to keep mosquitoes away from a 110-square-foot area, repelling more than 90 percent of the bugs carrying West Nile and Zika. Each cartridge lasts about 216 hours. Comes in black or bronze finish.
Haven Backyard Light & Mosquito Repellent System, $149 per fixture; NuTone
Who doesn't love a brand-new pruner? Thrill your resident gardener with this PowerGear Bypass pruner from Fiskars. What makes it special? The PowerGear technology gives three times more cutting power, requiring less effort to lop off branches; the Softgrip handles ease the burden on your hands.
Fiskars PowerGear II Softgrip Bypass Pruner, $25; Home Depot
A pole saw is indispensable for serious tree pruning—and for the right person, it's the perfect gift. This 16½-pound cordless model extends to 8 feet long, spins its chain as fast as some gas-powered models, and has enough run time to make 200 cuts through 3½-inch-thick branches. The chain tension is easily adjusted on the fly, without reaching for a socket wrench. The automatic oiler keeps the bar and chain lubricated; a translucent tank lets you monitor the oil level.
80V 10-Inch Garden Pole Saw, $289, including battery and charger; Greenworks
Some gardeners prefer to operate tools under their own steam, rather than rely on gas or electric power. Consider this stand-up weeder, a back-saving device that lets you weed your garden without bending over. Just press down with your foot and pull up; its spiral teeth grip and twist, extracting taproot and leafy growth all in one motion. Then pop the pesky plant loose with a satisfying pump of the handle.
Ames Stand-Up Weeder, $30; Home Depot
Installing a Wi-Fi-enabled sprinkler controller isn't just environmentally sound—it can save big bucks on your water bill, a gift in itself. The device, made by Rachio, allows you to control your yard irrigation using your smartphone. But it barely needs your help, since it gathers data from local weather stations and adjusts the watering schedule according to rain levels, humidity, and temperature. You'll be green and your lawn and garden will get the precise amount of water needed.
Smart Sprinkler Controller, $200 for 8 zones, $250 for 16 zones; Rachio
You shouldn't have! This multipurpose rake is designed to do a little bit of everything, from gathering leaves to moving rocks, spreading mulch, and de-thatching lawns. While the plastic tines found on most leaf rakes are prone to snap, that won’t happen with this model's flexible, tapered steel claws.
Multipurpose lawn rake, available in December, $20; True Temper
How handy: a cultivator, a fork, and a trowel, each with an on-top-of-the-handle grip to keep your wrist in a neutral position. Each weighs about half a pound; the bright yellow handles make the tools easy to locate wherever you set them down.
Fist Grip tools, $17 each; Life With Ease
BackJoy's lightweight kneeling pad reduces gardening knee pain, even on hard bumpy ground. It's also useful for DIY projects or floor exercises that require kneeling. And your back will thank you, too!
Kneeler, $20; BackJoy
A nifty present for anyone who can't resist doing a little snipping and weeding and tidying while roaming about the garden. (And isn't that all of us?) Strap on this wearable debris sack, called "the Gardener's Hollow Leg," to hold your clippings as you wander—or maybe some harvested apples or carrots. (It's also perfect for collecting eggs!) There's even a velcro-closed pocket for your smartphone. The 21-inch-deep nylon pouch holds more than 5 gallons and comes in 3 colors; there's also a 12-inch junior version.
One last cool gadget to round out the list. This powerful cordless string trimmer can deliver the torque of an 80-volt tool with just a 40-volt battery. The secret? A revolutionary, featherweight motor powered by a spinning circuit-board disk, not the heavy copper windings found in standard motors. That means it's light enough for almost anyone to operate. It'll cut a swath 16 inches in diameter; the boost mode helps you slice through thick grass, even if it's wet, and the illuminated display shows how much power remains. Nice touch: It arrives assembled, except for the handle.
TB4200 String Trimmer, $279; Troy-Bilt