With just a few short weeks left until the holidays, we want to help you check off all the nice gardeners on your shopping list! We know that quality tools and gear make all the difference when you’re seeding, planting, weeding, watering, pruning, digging, and doing all the many tasks that we do to keep our gardens looking their best. Since 1978, Lee Valley Tools has been a go-to store for American and Canadian gardeners and below you’ll find our own picks for favorite garden gear. For even more gift-giving ideas, check out Lee Valley’s terrific online gift catalog.
A last-minute Lee Valley garden gift guide
From our bug-loving horticulturist, Jessica Walliser: Raspberry Cane Cutter
“When I spotted this handy cutting tool on the Lee Valley Tools website, ideas immediately started swirling around inside my head. Though it’s marketed as a raspberry cane cutter, my husband and I have found a myriad of uses for this bad boy. Not only do we cut down and clean out the old raspberry canes with it every spring, we also use it to help manage multi-flora rose, honeysuckle vines, barberry stems, weed brambles, and lots of other invasive plants in the woods at the back of our property.
The telescoping handle is awesome; you can adjust the height of the handle with just a twist. And, since both of us have back problems, we love not having to bend over to cut plants down like we do with a lopper or a pair of pruners. You just grab the top of the stalk you want to cut, and then slice it off at the base with the cane cutter’s hooked blade. The cut plant material gets tossed right into the wheelbarrow or tractor cart—you don’t even have to bend down to pick it up!”
“My two picks could also double as a gift bag. (That’s my eco-friendly tip of the day!) The first is a Tubtrug. I use this ALL THE TIME. I’m either tossing weeds in it, using it to move soil around the yard, filling it with the tools I need for a certain task, or using it to hold plants I’m transplanting or dividing. The other day I used it to collect all the branches I cut from my property for my holiday urns and bring them to the front of the house. It’s lightweight and makes it easy to lug around whatever I need.
My second pick is a fabric pot. At Lee Valley they come in a few different sizes. I recommend fabric pots in my book (Raised Bed Revolution) because you can get them in different shapes and sizes, including the size of a small raised bed. Apparently they’re great for air circulation (the air flow promotes a healthy, strong root system). The best part? They’re lightweight, which is perfect if you have a balcony or deck, and you can shake ’em out and fold them up to store for the winter. I’ve used mine to grow potatoes and they’d be great to contain spreaders, like mint.”
From our expert on DIY gardening projects, Amy Andrychowicz: Hand Rake
“If you’ve ever owned a garden hand tool from Lee Valley, there’s no doubt about the quality of their products! I’m lucky enough to have a few in my collection, so it was hard to choose just one as my favorite. But, their hand rake is such a cool and unique tool that it really stands out in my mind. It’s a great tool to have on hand during garden cleanup tasks, and I especially love it for cleaning the leaves out from around my dwarf barberry bush and my roses (those thorns are sharp!). The first time I picked up my hand rake, I could see and feel the quality of the tool. I’ve been using it for over a year now, and it still looks brand new. This one will be in my garden tote for many years to come.”
From our year-round vegetable growing expert, Niki Jabbour: Adjustable Flow Drip Spike
“Confession time: I’m a neglectful waterer! It’s true, just ask my houseplants. However, thanks to the Adjustable Flow Drip Spikes, my indoors plants are no longer wilted or crispy. The spikes are inexpensive, effective, and pair up with any plastic drink bottle, up to 2 litres (4 pints) in volume.
Just fill the bottle, screw it onto the spike, and adjust the water flow according to the moisture needs of your houseplants or herbs. The water supply lasts around two weeks at which point, I pop them out of the soil, refill, and the cycle begins again. Easy peasy! The spikes are super helpful if you’re going away on vacation for a week or two, and you can even use them in your outdoor container gardens on decks and patios.”