These garden gifts offer fresh ideas for the practical gardener in your life. From plant propagation supplies to unexpected gear that makes gardening easier, everything is thrifty (most under $100) and available at the click of a mouse.
For more ideas, also see the Empress of Dirt Shop where you’ll find a printable garden planner, ebooks, and more.
Gifts For Gardeners
If you are looking for thrifty yet welcome gift ideas for your favorite gardener, this should help. With a few exceptions, most items are well within a $100 budget.
While we kick off this guide with hummingbird essentials—for those beloved, winged friends who delight us each year—if you want to skip the niceties and give something fundamentally useful, jump to back to basics.
We’ve also included some recent books with an emphasis on eco-beneficial gardening and the return to growing native species to support life on earth.
If your gardener has an interest in propagation, indoor seed starting supplies shares the inexpensive grow lights I recommend.
Because there is no need to repeat commonly recommended garden tools, unusually helpful gear has a few items that are—you guessed it—unexpected yet excellent problem solvers.
But, as mentioned at the start, when in doubt, never underestimate the value of a load of top-quality compost and a cheery, hard-working volunteer to spread it in the garden. We gardeners really are simple folk at heart.
- Hummingbird Essentials
- Indoor Seed Starting Supplies
- Eco-Beneficial Garden Books
- Unusually Helpful Gear
- Back to Basics
Price ranges were accurate at time of publication.
Price Range: $10 to $20
There are several things to look for when choosing a good hummingbird feeder. It should be attractive to hummingbirds (not bees), easy to clean and refill, and provide a secure perch.
These feeders require frequent washing and refilling so get at least two so one is always ready to go.
This explains more about what makes a good hummingbird feeder and how to keep bees away.
A motion-activated wildlife camera (also called a “trail cam”) placed near a feeder can collect photos and video clips of hummingbirds at the feeder—and any other wildlife that happens by.
I have not tested any but there are also all sorts of all-in-one birdfeeder cameras.
Price Range: $50 to $200
If you’re buying a hummingbird feeder, include a print out of these free hummingbird tips including the best recipe for making sugar water to include with your gift.
Indoor Seed Starting Supplies
Price Range: $40 to $110
While it is possible to start many types of seeds on a sunny windowsill, there are many advantages to using basic grow lights instead.
For seed starting, Barrina LED super bright white lights are very good. They come in 2, 3, and 4-foot lengths.
If your gardener grows flowering, tropical houseplants, consider getting Barrina full-spectrum lights as well.
This shows my entire seed starting setup if you would like to see everything I use.
If you are gifting the grow lights, these are useful companion gifts.
A watering can with a nice long, slender neck is perfect for watering indoor seedlings.
Price Range: $30 to $50
A shelving unit on wheels makes it easy to access seedlings as they grow. The recommended grow lights can be suspended from the underside of each shelf.
Price Range: $80 to $130
A basic moisture meter takes the guesswork out of watering. I use mine all the time. And no batteries required!
Price Range: $7 to $12
A timer like this one automates when grow lights turn on and off each day. I’ve tried digital ones but they were not as reliable and long-lasting as this style.
Price Range: $10 to $20
This ebook, Seed Starting for Beginners, shares everything I do to successfully sow seeds indoors at home—propagating hundreds of new plants each year. It’s written for beginners who want all the details.
Price Range: under $10
If I could only have one garden book, I’d choose a good illustrated guide featuring different plant propagation methods. One of my evergreen favorites is Grow Your Own Plants by Carol Klein.
If you want to give something timely and inspirational, these titles guide us toward wildlife-friendly gardening with native plants. It’s an important topic as we (collectively) realize how important our gardens are within local ecosystems.
Price Range: $14 to $50
A Garden for the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee: Creating Habitat for Native Pollinators: Ontario and Great Lakes Edition | Lorraine Johnson, Sheila Colla | All the information gardeners need to take action to support and protect pollinators, by creating habitat in yards and community spaces, on balconies and boulevards, everywhere!
Unusually Helpful Gear
If mosquitoes are making gardening impossible, a bug jacket with hood can be a gamechanger. I was getting eaten alive last summer until I got one.
Price Range: $20 to $30
I wish I had bought my waders years earlier! Now I can stay warm and dry with my feet firmly planted on the pond floor while going about routine pond maintenance.
Price Range: $50 to $150
A wheelbarrow that does not topple over when full is worth every penny.
Price Range: $60 to $130
Back to Basics
If you don’t know what to give, ask!
Or, go back to basics:
- Money for plants and seeds
- Soil, compost, mulch —by the truckload
- Skilled help —a cheerful volunteer or two to spread that earthy goodness
Let’s be real. It would be quite a treat for someone to say, here—choose what you want from this plant nursery or seed catalog. Yes, please!
On a most practical level, many of us would be thrilled to have bulk deliveries of good quality soil, compost, and/or mulch along with volunteer help to distribute them throughout the garden. Heck, yes!
Or send over an expert weed remover with the patience to remove invasive species. Dreamy!
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛
Themes include butterflies, bees, vegetables, herbs, peppers, and more.