Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Multi-Use Gift Ideas For Gardeners

Gifts wrapped in paper and twine with sprigs and a pinecone and blank nametag
Need a holiday gift idea for a gardener? Charlie Nardozzi provides a few ideas in this 'All Things Gardening.'

Gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi suggests several gifts for garden fans on your holiday shopping list. These items are multi-use and can be great ideas for gardeners who are particular about their favorite tools.

Multi-Purpose Presents For Gardeners

Nardozzi shares a few suggestions of multi-use gifts for the gardener in your life: 

1. Rubber tub with handles: These rubberized plastic tubs can hold about 11 gallons of material in them — whether it be produce, weeds or compost. Your gardener will find them to be sturdy and long-lasting.

2. Long-handled weeder: This garden tool comes in two sizes: mini and bigger. Because of its curved snakehead-like shape, it is perfect for digging out deep-rooted plants, weeds and saplings.

3. Plant ties: These are great for shoring up roses or tomato plants. You can also wind these ties around weeds and kindling for easier transport. They also come in handy for lots of non-gardening uses, like wrapping up cables and cords on your electronics.

Q: "I recently heard that for my compost to be effective, it needs to contain certain fungi. How can I see if it has them and add them if needed?" — Philip, in West Lebanon

You'll know if you have the right mix of fungi and bacteria when your compost pile breaks down, heats up and gives off an earthy odor.

If it smells more like sulphur, you might have an anaerobic mix of too much moisture or an incorrect balance of green and brown materials. In that case, you need to kind of re-do your pile a bit.

Q: "The roots of Norway maples — 40 feet from my garden and not on my property — have begun to invade my cedar-sided raised beds. ... Is there anything I can do, like trenching around the garden, to stop this?" — Philip, in West Lebanon

Norway maples, willows and poplars all have agressive root systems which seek out healthy soil — and they might find it in your raised beds! To combat this issue, in the spring you can trench around the bed and dig down into the soil to sever any roots you see around your raised beds.

The other (more extreme) method is that you could pull up your raised beds, move the soil and put down some hardware cloth or metal mesh on the ground, then build your raised bed on top of that metal. This prevents the roots from invading the soil in your raised beds.

Either way, unfortunately expect it to be an ongoing battle.

A thin grey line.

All Things Gardening is powered by you, the listener! Send your gardening questions and conundrums and Charlie may answer them in upcoming episodes. You can also leave a voicemail with your gardening question by calling VPR at (802) 655-9451.

Hear All Things Gardening during Weekend Edition Sunday with VPR host Mary Engisch, Sunday mornings at 9:35 a.m.

Mary Williams Engisch is a local host on All Things Considered.
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.
Latest Stories