Let’s face it: Christmas shopping is hard.
It can be tough to come up with gift ideas for friends and family if you don’t share the same hobbies. If you’re not a gardener, how are you supposed to know what’s a good gift or what will end up collecting dust in the corner of the garden shed? And buying stocking stuffers is even more difficult.
Now, not only do you have to figure out a garden-related gift, but it’s got to be inexpensive and small enough to fit in a large sock.
Lucky for you, I’ve put some serious thought into this. I’ve come up with a list of great stocking stuffers that are sure to delight every gardener on your list. (Even if that gardener is you. Sometimes, it pays to be your own Santa.)
Useful, Above All Else
I’ve chosen these items because they’re useful and will make gardening a little easier or more pleasant. Most gardeners tend to have a practical streak, especially when it comes to playing in the dirt. It’s easy to fill a Christmas stocking with gadgets and cheap items that are easily forgotten after the rush of Christmas morning.
And lord knows there are plenty of gimmicky items aimed at gardeners, but the items on this list are different because they will get used.
I’ve also made sure to choose a range of items that cost anywhere from a couple of bucks up to around $30 to help fit every budget. You can even DIY a few of these options if you’re crafty for a personal touch.
1. Seed Packets or Gift Cards for Seeds
Seed packets are excellent stocking stuffers for the gardener in your life. However, we tend to be picky about what we grow, so do a little sleuthing to find out what seed varieties they may like. You can ask in casual conversation what tomatoes they plan to grow this year or what that variety of kale is they gave you this summer. Ask if they’re planning on growing anything new this year.
Of course, if you want to make it easy on yourself, pick up a gift card from their favorite seed company. A few well-known and loved seed companies:
For a truly lovely presentation, I’m a huge fan of Hudson Valley Seed Co’s Art Packs. These are a selection of popular seeds where the seed packets have been made into collectible miniature pieces of art from various artists.
Gardening is tough on the hands, and gloves wear out with use. Or, in my case, a single glove in a pair tends to wander off. By the end of the season, I end up with a basket full of single, mismatched gloves.
In either case, the hard-working gardener will surely appreciate a new pair of gardening gloves. Rural Sprout author, Cheryl, tested some of the most popular garden gloves and this pair by Wells Lamont were the clear winners.
Related Reading: The Best Gardening Gloves For Women – I Tested 5 Of The Most Popular
Plant labels are great. But only if you can read them. There are some beautiful plant labels out there, but beautiful doesn’t always mean practical. Plant labels need to stand up to hot baking sun, day in and day out, as well as rain. These plant labels fit the bill.
Give your gardener a gift that will last for seasons to come with stainless-steel plant labels. If you really want to wow them, add a weather-proof permanent marker, too.
4. Gardening Twine & Scissors
Twine is dead useful in the garden. There are always plants that need tying up to prevent them from falling over. You can use it to create trellises for peas or beans to climb. It’s handy to tie up bunches of herbs for drying. I always have garden twine in my gardening box each year, and it’s gone by the end of the season.
A nice pair of scissors is also handy, and not just for cutting the twine. Scissors can be used to snip herbs, light pruning, open fertilizer packages, cut flowers – the list goes on and on.
Choose a smaller pair of scissors to be nested inside the ball of twine. This handy duo will surely be a gift used daily in the garden.
5. Sugar Scrub
Gloves are great, but some jobs simply require you to get your hands in the dirt. It only takes a few minutes of no-glove gardening to come away with caked-on dirt in every crease of your hands. And if you’ve ever pruned tomatoes, you know the frustration of trying to get that black, gooey mess off your hands. Gardening can be downright dirty.
Enter a good oil-based sugar scrub.
My daughter makes a jar of peppermint sugar scrub for me every year, and it’s invaluable in getting my hands good and clean after a day in the garden. Here is a handy recipe from Perry’s Plate to make your own sugar scrub for gift-giving.
If you buy a ready-made sugar scrub (I like Dr. Scholl’s sugar scrubs, too.), be sure it contains an emollient oil, which helps to break down the icky mess tomato plants can leave on your skin. It will also remove stubborn pine sap.
Attach a good nail brush to the jar for a duo that will be sure to please.
Once those dirty hands are cleaned and scrubbed, they will need to be moisturized. Soil naturally pulls the moisture from your hands. Once you come in from the garden, a good hand cream is a must to keep hands smooth.
There are so many formulas and brands to choose from. Pick a hard-working, unscented cream for the no-nonsense gardener. Choose one with a fresh scent for a refreshing mini-spa treatment after weeding. Or choose a peppermint oil-infused cream that will invigorate tired hands.
Dibber, dibble or dibbler, no matter what you call it, these charming little spikes make quick work out of planting fiddly seeds each spring. Use it to poke holes at the right depth for easy seed sowing or bulb planting.
Choose a nice wood one, and it will become a treasured tool for years to come.
Digging, scooping, lifting and more! By far, the most reached-for hand tool is a garden trowel. Sure, you can find cheap ones at your local big box home improvement store every season. However, if you want to tuck a gift that will last into someone’s stocking this year, consider purchasing a sturdy, wood-handled trowel made of quality steel.
With the proper care, these tools will last generations.
Trust me, I know the name sounds weird, but every gardener needs a few packets of this strange powder tucked into their Christmas stocking. Mycorrhizae are naturally occurring fungi that create a symbiotic relationship with the plants. The end result is healthier plants and bigger yields.
If your gardener doesn’t know about the amazing benefits of adding mycorrhizae to the soil, they’ll be back to thank you once they start using it.
Make up a batch of wildflower seed bombs. These are fun to make, especially if you have little hands who want to help. But be careful; you might unleash the rebellious side of your favorite gardener. They could go on to start a guerilla gardening revolution, regreening abandoned spaces wherever they go.
Everything you need to know to make up a batch is here:
And if you’d rather buy ready-made wildflower seed balls, you can do that here.
11. Hori Hori Knife
Introduce the gardener in your life to one of the most useful gardening tools ever created – the Japanese Hori Hori knife. I got one of these for myself last year, and it’s the only gardening tool I use anymore.
A good Hori Hori knife has a sharp edge for cutting, is indented so it can be used as a trowel as well, and has measurement markings on the blade.
This may well be the last gardening tool they will ever need. It cuts through dirt, lifts stubborn weeds, doubles as a trowel and is all-around handy. Here’s everything you can do with it.
12. Soil Thermometer
Sure, most gardeners rely on their area’s first and last frost dates to know when to plant. But this handy little thermometer takes much of the guesswork out of spring gardening. Many seeds will only germinate once the soil reaches a specific temperature. Tuck this little thermometer into a gardener’s stocking, and they’ll be able to tell the soil temperature at a glance.
The Gardener Who Preserves
If the gardener in your life spends a good deal of their summer in the kitchen preserving what they grow, I’ve got a few stocking stuffers right up their alley.
13. Canning Lids
Trust me. I know it’s just a little box with a dozen lids, but if the gardener on your list is also a canner, they will thank you. Canning lids can’t be reused, so you always need to buy more each season. Some years, finding canning lids when you need them can turn into a wild goose chase, running from store to store. Consumable items like this always make excellent stocking stuffers.
If you’ve got an herb gardener on your list, consider a set of nice herb storage jars with labels. Herbs must be stored in airtight containers to maintain flavor and freshness. Once they are dried, having a nice place to store them makes growing them worthwhile.
Hoo boy, dissolving jar labels are one of my favorite “new” canning finds. I wish my grandmother could have seen these. There’s no more soaking and scrubbing to get sticky label goop off your nice mason jars. These labels dissolve in water. Tuck a roll or two into each gardener’s stocking for a thoughtful gift to make their life easier.
There you go! You’ve got plenty of thoughtful stocking stuffers sure to put a smile on the face of every gardener on your list. And I’ll leave you with one last pro tip: pick and choose a few items from this list, and you’ll have ideas to last for several Christmases!