Green Garden Gifts

Green gardening has increased in popularity as people become more aware of the damage to the environment of synthetic chemicals and poor resource management practices. Green gardeners rely on composted organic materials to add nutrients for plants, earthworms to enrich and aerate the soil and minimize requirements for supplemental water. Giving a gardener a green gardening gift is thoughtful---and helps the environment.

Hydroponic Herb Garden

Small hydroponic growing kits for herbs are simple to set up and resource efficient. A small herb growing system uses either a wick or a simple pump to provide nutrients to plants. The system is small and attractive, so it can be set up near the kitchen for quick access to fresh herbs for cooking. The systems use low energy-consuming grow lights to optimize growing conditions. For example, AeroGrow---a popular hydroponic herb gardening system---claims the power consumption of their system is equivalent to a 60-watt light bulb.

Garden Weasel

Turning the garden soil before planting and weeding around plants is the hardest physical work of maintaining a home garden. Many people use electric or gasoline-powered tillers to prepare beds and remove weeds. A more green-friendly approach is to use a hand cultivator such as the Garden Weasel. The Garden Weasel has three interlocking sets of tines that turn the top one or two inches of soil quickly with a back-and-forth motion. The tines are individually detachable, allowing you to clear weeds around plant rows without harming the plants. Since the Garden Weasel only disturbs the top layer of soil, it is less disruptive to earthworms and the deeper soil structure than powered tillers. As a green-gift hand tool, the Garden Weasel does not contribute to noise pollution or carbon emissions.

Composter

Compost is black gold for gardeners; a composter is a container that speeds the breakdown of green and brown organic material into usable compost. Adding composted organic material to the garden provides plant nutrients, improves soil composition and helps correct soil pH. Using compost routinely minimizes the need for synthetic fertilizers, many of which are not green-friendly. The Barrel Composter made from plastic or metal barrels can be easily turned to mix the raw materials and speed the process of creating compost. A gardener adds brown raw organic materials such as dried grass and dead leaves and green raw materials such as vegetable waste to the barrel. With the addition of moisture, natural processes break down the raw materials and produce usable compost often in two or three months. As a green-garden gift, a barrel composter helps the environment in two ways: Using raw organic materials in the composter keeps them out of landfills and the resulting compost replaces synthetic fertilizers and other chemicals in the garden.

Keywords: gifts for gardeners, green gardening, environmentally friendly gifts

About this Author

Barbara Brown has been a freelance writer for four years. Prior experience includes 15 years as a writer, project manager and knowledge analyst in defense systems advanced information. She is acknowledged for contributions to three books: Leadership Elements, Knowledge Acquisition, and State-of-the-Art for KA. Barbara has a masters in psychology from SMU and training in artificial intelligence and project management.