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Home Kitchen Garden

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Sprouts

Amazon.com is a terrific source for certified organic seeds intended for home sprouting. Dress up salads, stir-fry, sandwiches, spreads, and other dishes with homegrown sprouts of all kinds. Follow this link to order your sampler or to find home sprouting kits.

 

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Essential Gifts for the Small Kitchen Garden

If you’re shopping for the custodian of a small kitchen garden, perhaps you’re overwhelmed by your options. Here’s a list of essential gifts any one of which is appropriate for a kitchen gardener. For each gift, I’ve included thoughts about why the kitchen gardener in your life will be happy to find that gift under the tree.

Sprouts: an Indoor Kitchen Garden

Anyone with a home kitchen garden will appreciate a complete kit to grow fresh salad sprouts indoors. This is especially satisfying where winter forces gardeners indoors: watching your sprouts emerge and eating them in salads, sandwiches, and garnishes provides a mid-winter lift. If you’re splurging, give the Deluxe Sprouting Starter Kit. If you’re on a budget, your gardener will be thrilled with the Sprout Garden 3-Tray Kit (below).

Click here to order.

Indoor Kitchen Garden on a Budget

If the Deluxe Sprouting kit is a budget-breaker, then give the Sprout Garden Family Sprouting Kit. It’s a great starter kit for a modest budget.

Click here to order.

A Hydroponic Small Kitchen Garden

For the winter-bound kitchen gardener, home hydroponics offers a gardening adventure. Hydroponics is the science of growing plants without soil and it leads to healthier plants with higher yields than you get from traditional gardening. The AeroGarden hydroponic system is one of the most often-reviewed gardening items available through Amazon, and reviewers are enthusiastic! Provide your gardener with a season-stretching scientific marvel: the AeroGrow AeroGarden.

Click here to order.

Compost Helpers for the Small Kitchen Garden

No matter how rooted in tradition a gardener might be, he or she will come to love a compost tumbler. This is the high-technology of garden composting. A lightweight, easy-to-turn barrel can convert kitchen scraps, garden waste, and lawn clippings into compost in four-to-six weeks. Get the popular Tumbleweed Composter here.

Click here to order.

Compost Helper on a Budget

If a compost tumbler is out of your price range, you can still find a great gift for anyone who already has a compost heap, bin, or tumbler: a kitchen compost bucket. This bucket is attractive and functional: it sits on the counter to collect cores and peels until it’s convenient to carry them outside. A good compost bucket includes a tight-fitting lid and charcoal filters to limit odors. This one has been rated well by Amazon.com customers.

Click here to order

Most Outrageous Gift for a Gardener

Want to give a home kitchen gardener a gag gift that’s actually useful? Imagine the look on the face of your loved one when the wrapping paper comes off to reveal a worm farm! Purists call these vermicomposting systems. Such a system can sit on your kitchen floor, in a closet, or in virtually any convenient place. You fill it with worms, cardboard, and kitchen scraps! The worms eat the cardboard and kitchen scraps, leaving behind rich castings: organic gold for a vegetable garden. Few gifts will elicit more dramatic reactions than a worm composting system.

Click here to order

Outrageous Residents for the Outrageous Gift

When you order a worm composting system, make sure you order some worms as well. And, when you click over to Amazon.com to place your order, read the reviews; one reviewer had a particularly creative sense of humor… or was it?

Click here to order

Super High Tech for a Home Kitchen Garden

You don’t need a reason for this one; it’s just too cool to pass up: it provides an interface between your garden and your computer! The EasyBloom Plant Sensor sits in your soil and measures temperature, sunlight, and moisture. Then you plug it into a computer’s USB port and it guides you to ideal plant selections, or it helps diagnose problems with whatever you’ve already planted. New this year, the EasyBloom has enthusiastic users. The EasyBloom web site includes a plant library with information about just about anything you’d want to grow. Give an EasyBloom Plant Sensor to you favorite gardener who is also a geek.

Click here to order

Reduce a Small Kitchen Garden’s Water Bills

Most serious gardeners I’ve asked about it have said they either have or want to have rain barrels. Of course! A rain barrel collects runoff from the roof of your house so you can use it later to water your garden. Installing and using a rain barrel reduces water bills and reduces a garden’s (and a house’s) impact on the environment. Give your gardeners rain barrels and they’ll think of you every time they water their gardens.

Click here to order

Watering Convenience for a Small Kitchen Garden

Except in a very wet climate, or an unusually rainy growing season, all gardeners water their gardens. At the very least, you must add water immediately after planting seeds and seedlings. When you’re running a garden hose, it is crucial to have a good nozzle to control the flow when you’re away from the shut-off valve (the faucet). A nozzle that can produce several spray patterns is especially handy. This set includes three high-quality nozzles your gardener will love.

Click here to order

Digging in a Small Kitchen Garden

Who gives shovels and pitchforks as gifts? People who understand gardeners do. This particular garden fork has received only five-star reviews from customers. It looks nice, it’s inexpensive, and it’s the pitchfork I’d like to replace the one whose handle snapped last spring. Score big points by getting one for the gardener in your life.

Click here to order

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6 Responses to “Essential Gifts for the Small Kitchen Garden”

  • Very nice blog. I found it when checking out a that new feature on Twellow (Twellowhood) that tells you who in a given zipcode uses Twitter, which then led me here.

    We just got one of the Gusanito worm factories via eBay. The company seems to sell them there pretty frequently with no reserve; if you bid low and keep coming back, you can eventually get one cheaper than the Amazon price (well, at least we did).

    eBay also has some wooden ones for sale that look like they could be copied pretty easily by anyone with some cedar boards, some hardware wire, and a basic workshop.

    On the rain barrels, I think the local agricultural extension service was giving them away – at least they were through a November workshop I missed but which they were promoting at the West End fair. BTW, you can also get a nice plastic compost bin for free by attending a composting workshop run by the state. We can hook you up with the lady who does the workshops if you haven’t already collected yours.

  • admin:

    Ray: Thanks for your comments. Making a worm composting system isn’t hard to do, and I’ll do a post or two about how in the next couple of months.

    You’re right about cooperative extension’s seminars. I attended the rain barrel seminar in November and blogged about it here: A Home Kitchen Garden Rain Barrel. I’ll do a post or two about making your own rain barrel, also in the next couple of months.

    In both cases, making your own is way less expensive than buying one already-made. On the other hand, do-it-yourself requires tools and at least some experience with them, so these projects won’t be for everyone.

  • LOL! I love the idea of a shovel and/or worms as gifts. Some of these are really great though! I love the compost helpers. I’ve also heard great things about the Aero Garden. What a great list you have here :)

  • [...] I posted a list that I’d be happy to offer as my picks for this year. You can read it here: Essential Gifts for the Small Kitchen Garden. However, pointing out last year’s list hardly seemed like a big enough job, so I pulled [...]

  • Water barrels are a fantastic way to reduce water use in gardening. We have ours hooked up to the gutter system, with the overlow draining elsewhere.

  • Having a rain barrel can help you harvest lots of water during the rainy season. Learning how to make a rain barrel can help you save money from paying your water bills. For you to water your garden and the lawn, you need lots water which can be quite costly. Making a rain barrel is not expensive. That’s some of the best rain barrel information I’ve seen online. I tried to make a tutorial too, hope it helps.

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