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Gardener’s Holiday Wish List Day 7 – Ultimate Plant Clips

Posted by on Dec 12, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I have absolutely fallen in love with these little green things.  These innovative plant clips are perfect for gently holding tomato branches up to stakes or cages.  They are roomy enough to steady the central stem without cutting into the plant like some materials will.Ultimate Plant Clips

Ultimate Plant Clips snap together easily and attach to plants without any tying or twisting. One of the reasons that’s important is it’s hard to tie or twist with gloves on but attaching these really is a snap!  Removing them when they’re no longer needed is just as simple. The best part, though, is that they are reusable.  Use them from one season to the next so there’s less clean up and waste from your garden.

These wonderful little plant clips were designed by Global Garden Friends who you can easily find on Facebook.  In addition, they’ll soon be available for purchase here at Tomato Matters!

No matter where you buy your plant clips, you’ll want to be sure to order more than a few. Your favorite gardener will love using them all over the garden.

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Gardener’s Holiday Wish List – Day 6 Pruners!

Posted by on Dec 11, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I love my pruners!  I use them all the time and I like to have several pair. 

I have the long handled ones that I use for pruning roses or cutting back grape vines.  It’s the short handled ones, though, that I use every day in some way.  Also known as secateurs, these pruners have short handles and are operated with one hand.  A spring between the handles causes the jaws to open again after closing. When not in use, the jaws are held closed by a safety catch or by a loop.

Why do I have so many pruners?  One lives in the tool box in the car so I always have it at the community garden.  One lives in the shed out back.  One is under the kitchen sink and the other one always seems to be lost!

I really do use my pruners every day.  I use them to deadhead roses, and cosmos, and dahlias and every other flower I grow.  I use them when I cutback the hydrangeas in fall and roses each winter.  I use them to harvest tomatoes. Yes, you read that right! Sometimes tomatoes can be very easily plucked from the plants but to be safe, I like to cut them. If not, it’s too easy to accidentally remove the stem and tear into the skin.  This is especially true of cherry tomatoes.

There are several really good brands of pruners and they’re available at most of the garden shops. Felco, Corona, Fiskars are all great lines that offer various sizes.  Some have a slightly padded handle, which I like.  There are some made just for left-handers.  The shape is most important to me as I want them to have a small enough point to be able to get into small places.

My Mother once told me that if you give someone something sharp as a gift they need to give you a nickel.  It’s something about not severing a friendship.  I really don’t know the full details about that superstition but here’s what I do know – every gardener loves to get new pruners.  Just make sure they have a nickel ready.

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Gardener’s Holiday Wish List Day 5 – Canning Supplies

Posted by on Dec 11, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In August I find my kitchen counters overflowing with tomatoes. I try to arrange them neatly on platters, trays and in baskets.  Inevitably, counter space becomes so minimal that there’s not even room to slice up one of my tasty garden gems.  This is when the canning supplies come out.  Every gardener that grows more than a few tomatoes needs to have this!

Supplies for canningCanning supplies can be purchased individually or in sets.  The sets are so worth it – you know the rack is the right size for the pot and that makes a huge difference!  You don’t need anything fancy, but you do need all of the items…the magnet, rack, pot and specially shaped canning tongs, jars and lids are all necessary to do the job properly and safely.  A good book about canning (there are many) is really helpful as the science here is an important factor.

Canning supplies are easy to find. Some grocery stores carry it all. I’ve seen sets at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Smart and Final and of course, all of the cookware and restaurant supply shops.  This is a great gift – you will enjoy the delicious results as much as the person receiving the gift!

 

 

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Gardener’s Holiday Wish List Day 4 – Garden Aprons and Tool Belts

Posted by on Dec 9, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Garden aprons and tool belts help me keep it together!

I don’t go out to the garden empty handed…ever! At the very least I’ve got a bottle of water, cell phone (so I can take quick garden photos) and pruners.  More often than not I’ve got garden tape, clips of some sort and a paper and pen as well.  Sure, I could keep a lot of those things in a tool box, but I want them on my person so I can just grab them and use them when the need presents itself.

So, how do I manage all this stuff?

Garden Aprons and Tool beltsI like to wear some kind of adjustable gardening apron or tool belt – something that isn’t binding or cumbersome.   This needs to have lots of pockets – at least one wide and deep enough for a bottle of water and one shorter so I don’t have to go digging around for my phone.  Then there are more pockets for gloves or my notepad – whatever I need to get your garden work done.  Some aprons also have clips which are really handy for holding scissors or other tools.   Garden aprons can be pretty and cute or strictly utilitarian in appearance.  As long as it does the job, I’m not too concerned with what it looks like.

I have several aprons/tool belts but I can’t say I ever bought one for myself.  No reason, really…I do think they’re brilliant and that every gardener would love to have at least one.  So go ahead and buy an apron for the holidays – your gardener will love you for it!

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Gardener’s Holiday Wish List Day 3 – Wonder Soil

Posted by on Dec 8, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

 

Wonder SOil Expanding Bricks of Garden Mix

I discovered this at a recent trade show and I think it’s a really cool concept.  WONDER SOIL is a water saving gardening solution of expanding bricks, blocks, wafers and biodegradable pots. These state of the art products are made in various sizes and formulas for different gardening applications.  The mixes are 100% biodegradable and promote faster germination with stronger root systems, better growth and healthier plants.Wonder Soil products expand up to 9 times their volume when water is added, thereby eliminating the need for big bags of soil. 

I haven’t used Wonder Soil yet but I have seen it expand in demonstrations and also plants growing in it.  I’ve read the literature and the multiple benefits described. I’m intrigued enough to say that I will definitely order bricks to use in some areas of my tomato gardens and containers.  Part of the fun of gardening is the experimentation and discovery of new products.

From a practical standpoint, I know many gardeners complain of achy backs and the last thing they want or can do is haul several bags of soil around the garden. This could be just the answer.  I think it’s an inventive idea, something out of the ordinary and a fun and unique gift to give or receive.

Wonder Soil is available at local nurseries or online at www.wondersoil.com.

 

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