Gift Ideas for Gardeners

Gift Ideas for Gardeners
Gardeners may enjoy growing mushrooms at home, indoor, or outdoor. (Anastasiia Skorobogatova/Shutterstock)

If you have a gardener on your shopping list, it can be hard to find something new. Here are some new products that the gardener on your list might not have heard about.

As a kid, you probably picked some mushrooms and wondered if they were deadly or not. As an adult, you have probably seen mushrooms growing on the lawn and had that same question come back to mind. Before you pick your next mushroom, you should read the new book, “The Beginner’s Guide to Mushrooms” by Britt Bunyard and Tavis Lynch.

( Bob Kast)
( Bob Kast)

There are detailed sections on mushroom identification and mushroom cultivation, plus a lot of information on culinary uses and preservation. Mushrooms covered in the book are frequently found in North America, and many are also found in Europe. The book is fascinating to read, as it is not just an identification guide book.

The book was just published in November by Quarto Publishing and has a suggested retail price of around $25.

If picking wild mushrooms is not your style, but you still like eating them, you may want to grow your own. In that case, try one of the many indoor or outdoor mushroom growing kits from Field & Forest Products. There are tabletop kits that will produce several pounds of mushrooms by just setting the kit on a table at room temperature. There is no work necessary at all; the mushrooms will just grow as soon as the kit warms up.

There are outdoor kits that inoculate logs or stumps in your landscape. You can turn your rotting woodpile into a culinary treat pile. There is a wide price range, but the tabletop kits start at under $20. Check out the Field Forest website for more information.

If eating mushrooms doesn’t sound appealing, how about microgreens? What is a microgreen, you ask? It is halfway between a sprout and a plant. Plant some seeds and the first thing that emerges is the sprout. A few days later, there is a small (micro) plant with tiny leaves, and a few days after that, you have a plant that just needs to grow bigger. Many people stop and eat the sprouts, but as the plant grows another few days, it produces more nutrients.

Microgreens are very nutritious and can be eaten raw or used in soups or salads. Plants used as microgreens include broccoli, cabbage, clover, kale, mustard, radish, wheatgrass, and a variety of salad greens.

Hamama’s microgreen growing kits are almost as easy as growing indoor mushrooms. First, add water to the tray. Next, lay a paper quilt that has the seeds tucked inside on the water. That’s it. A week later, you are eating microgreens.

To make your salad-growing even tastier, Hamama has green onion growing kits. Find out more on the Hamama website.

A lot of people started growing houseplants for the first time this year. At the same time, many of those people are having a hard time taking care of those plants. William Davidson comes to their rescue with the new book titled “Dr. Houseplant.” It covers the ideal growing conditions on 42 of the most common houseplants. There are photographs of damaged leaves or flowers that help identify specific problems that houseplants get. It’s published by Cool Spring Press for under $20.

Email questions to Jeff Rugg at [email protected]. To find out more about Jeff Rugg and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at Copyright 2020 Jeff Rugg. Distributed by Creators Syndicate.

Email questions to Jeff Rugg at [email protected]. To find out more about Jeff Rugg and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at Copyright 2023 Jeff Rugg. Distributed by Creators Syndicate.
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