Garden Plots: Last Minute Gift List for Gardeners | News

If you have a gardener on your gift list this holiday season, you’re in luck. Garden accessories are popular items in many stores and nurseries.

The Oregon State University – Columbia County Extension Service can be reached by calling 503-397-3462.

Here are some last minute gift suggestions for your green thumbed family and friends. And to all of my Garden Plots and Clatskanie Grows readers, may you have the happiest of vacations.

• A gift certificate for plants or tools from a favorite nursery, garden center, hardware store and / or feed and seed store. With just a few days, it’s fast and convenient. Also, a gift certificate from a favorite seed or fruit tree company.

• Gardener’s diary to record planting dates, varieties, successes (and failures) from year to year.

• Leather gardening gloves to prevent injuries and chapped, rough skin.

• Soft rubberized cotton gloves keep fingernails clean and hands dry.

• A soil thermometer is very useful. The same is true of moisture meters with probes of around 12 inches. Both are inexpensive gifts.

• Q Knot reusable cable ties are convenient for poking tomatoes or trellis. Buy them at a local hardware store.

• Reusable cut-to-length rolls of Velcro tape that can also hold tomatoes, apple sprouts or other parts of garden plants on structures.

• Manual or electric water hose timer. This device can be attached to any faucet and automatically shuts off the water after a certain time. Get a single or double model at a hardware store.

• Water bubbler with flow control or other interesting sprinklers.

• High quality hand pruners or pruners to make winter pruning a pleasure; Folding pruning saws are ideal for pruning, but also practical for camping or hiking. Fiskers, Barnel or Corona are good brands.

• Corona rapid tool sharpener. A pocket tool for sharpening secateurs, shears and blades.

• Well-made garden fork (a personal favorite) or specialized hoes and shovels;

• Floating blankets are lightweight blankets to put on vegetables that help trap heat and protect plants. May be available at the extension office in February / March. Call us.

• Heavier row covers for the protection of the pots against the winter cold: We now have these in the extension office at a retail price.

• A Hori Hori knife is a Japanese grafting knife, both trowel and knife. Also, good for shipping slugs. It is a great tool.

• The LED headlamp is a handy tool for gardening or for locating slugs at night (if desired). If you have close neighbors, let them know about your new hobby. Also good for looking for evidence of carpenter ants under your house.

• Chain saws, pruners and weeders powered by lithium battery. There are a number of new types and the quality has improved significantly over those sold a few years ago. For occasional users of these tools, they perform well and don’t have the maintenance challenges of gasoline versions.

• Identification book for insects, fungi, weeds or native plants.

• Easy-to-grip hand tools for gardeners with arthritis.

• Long spout watering container for easy care of houseplants.

• Garden scissors always sharp for cutting herbs and flowers.

• Large, sturdy garden cart for transporting tools and soil amendments to the garden in one trip.

• Knee pads or gardening stool to facilitate weeding and working at low temperatures.

• A heavy apron with pockets to keep gardening tools close at hand or a cart with pockets for your garden bucket.

• Aluminum plant labels (write on them with pencil) to hang or attach to woody plants.

• The OSU extension office is fully reopened. Masks are always mandatory indoors.

• Donate products and / or money to the food bank, senior centers or community meal programs. It’s very appreciated.

• The Extension Service offers its programs and materials equally to everyone.

If you have any questions on any of these topics or other questions about the home garden and / or the farm, please contact Chip Bubl, Oregon State University Extension Office in St. Helens at 503-397- 3462 or at [email protected]. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The Oregon State University Extension Office in Colum-bia County publishes a monthly newsletter on gardening and farming topics (called County Living) written / edited by yours truly. All you have to do is request it and it will be mailed or emailed to you. Dial 503-397-3462 to be added to the list. You can also find it on the web at and click on newsletters.

Numerous popularization publications available online

Are you putting on salsa, saving seeds, or thinking about planting grapes? OSU has many of its publications available for free download. Just go to Click on the posts and start exploring.

  • Oregon State University Extension Service – Columbia County
  • 505 N. Columbia River Highway St. Helens, OR 97051
  • 503-397-3462

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