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Vermont Garden Journal: Gardening Gifts

There are still worthwhile gifts to consider for your favorite gardener.

This time of year, everyone is in a gift buying frenzy. Gardeners tend to be down-to-earth and are as happy with a bag of compost as a designer handbag. But there are still worthwhile gifts to consider for your favorite gardener.

While the big push to compost leaves, spent garden plants and cut back perennials is over, it's funny how kitchen scraps continue pile up. Shredding them makes sense. The more finely you shred your kitchen scraps, the faster they'll decompose. The Countertop Kitchen Shredder looks like a compost pail, but has steel blades that are hand cranked to shred up the chunks of vegetables and fruits into fine pieces that can be tossed in the outdoor compost bin. Once it gets warm, these pieces will break down fast. If you really can't wait for finished compost, try the Nature's Mill composter. This electric powered composter can process up to 5 gallons of shredded kitchen scraps a week. It heats and aerates them into usable compost in just 2 weeks.

If you're looking for a versatile garden tool for beds and containers, try the raised bed cultivator. This 18-inch long wooden handled tool has a hoe on one end and a three pronged cultivator on the other.

It's always good to get kids interested in gardening and books are a great place to start.  Two professors at our own St. Michael's College just published 'Books in Bloom'. Each chapter focuses on a popular children's book and features easy garden lesson ideas and hands-on activities that marry literature with science. Of course, indoor gardening activities are welcome during winter. The Crystal Clay Soilless Growing Kit features 10 glass growing tubes with a clear gel growing medium. Plant seeds in the medium and your kids can watch the plants grow, roots and all!

And now for this week's tip, if you brought annual flowers such as geraniums indoors to overwinter in a sunny window, cut back the plants and reduce watering until you see signs of new growth.

Next week on the Vermont Garden Journal, I'll be talking about making terrariums. Until then, I'll be seeing you in the garden.

Broadcast on Friday, December 12, 2014 at 5:57 p.m. and Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 9:35 a.m.

The Vermont Garden Journal with Charlie Nardozzi is made possible by Gardener's Supply, offering environmental solutions for gardens and landscapes. In Burlington, Williston and

Kids Gardening

Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. Charlie is the host of All Things Gardening on Sunday mornings at 9:35 during Weekend Edition on Vermont Public. Charlie is a guest on Vermont Public's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.
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