Ten Last-Minute Gifts for the Plant Lover in Your Life


Still have a few folks left on your holiday shopping list? Fret not, reader: Modern Farmer’s preferred pros (plus a few of the magazine’s staffers) are here with their favorite gardening gift ideas, from pruners to vegetable seeds to herb potters—ensuring that every plant lover on your list receives the field-tested best. Just keep in mind: If you’re buying last minute, you may have to pay for expedited shipping in order to receive your items before the holidays.

Field Notes and The New Organic Grower

Field Notes (left) and The New Organic Grower (right)

“To keep records and jot down random ideas, I stash pocket-size Field Notes journals in my car, in my backpack, and at my winery. Luckily, they come in sets of three.” (31/2" x 51/2" ruled memo books, 3 for $10; fieldnotesbrand.com)—Kenny Likitprakong, Founder, The Hobo Wine Company; Santa Rosa, CA

“Eliot Coleman’s The New Organic Grower, first published in 1989, remains the authority on chemical-free horticulture. The book’s take on succession planting transformed the way we manage our crop plan.” (amazon.com)—Maya Velasco, Culinary Gardener, Greyfield Inn; Cumberland Island, GA

Felco #8 pruners and CobraHead Weeder

Felco #8 pruners (left) and CobraHead Weeder (right)

“My Felco #8 pruners still execute clean cuts, through thick branches and delicate flower stems, after a decade of rough use. They fit my hand like a pair of well-worn gloves, and the red handles mean the tools never get lost.” (#8 pruners, $58; felcousa.com)—Naomi Starkman, Editor-in-Chief, Civil Eats; Petaluma, CA

“Every gardener needs a CobraHead Weeder in their life. This thing slices through tough, rocky dirt like butter and it’s perfect for small spaces—whether you’re making rows in the garden or weeding cracks in the driveway.” ($24.95; cobrahead.com)—Erin Scottberg, Digital Director, Modern Farmer

Garden-in-a-Can kit

Garden-in-a-Can kit

“This cute Garden-in-a-Can kit keeps me in homegrown cilantro, basil, sage, and dill all winter. Package it with Prepara’s Herb Savor—a small storage container that triples the life of fresh cuttings—to deliver long-lasting season’s greetings.” (Garden-in-a-Can herb set, $24; backtotheroots.com. Herb Savor, $30; prepara.com)—Nicole Bernard Dawes, Founder and CEO, Late July Snacks; Boston

​Hudson Valley Seed Library seeds and Jump Start Seedling Heat Mat

Hudson Valley Seed Library seeds (left) and Jump Start Seedling Heat Mat (right)

“I have a huge heart for the farmers behind Hudson Valley Seed Library. Ken Greene and Doug Muller specialize in open-pollinated vegetable seeds and commission original works of art for each packet.” (Seed packet, $4; hudsonvalleyseed.com)—Naomi Starkman, Editor-in-Chief, Civil Eats; Petaluma, CA

“Since I purchased these electric mats, almost every seed I’ve started has thrived, with germination time cut in half.” (Jump Start Seedling Heat Mat, $84.95 for 48" x 20" size; hydrofarm.com)—Emily Turner Baebenroth, Urban Homestead; Minneapolis, MN

mason jar herb potters

mason jar herb potters

“These easy-to-hang mason jar herb potters are perfect for those who are more into decorating than they are getting dirty. The soil-less ‘passive hydroponic’ system means there’s never any worry about death-by-over-watering—and the vintage tint ensures they look lush and bright hanging in a sunny window.” ($20; uncommongoods.com)—Jo Ann Liguori, Managing Editor, Modern Farmer

detox soap and starter hive

“Lump of Kohl” detox soap (left) and Sugar-pine two-deep box starter hive (right)

“This ‘Lump of Kohl’ detox soap from the Beekman 1802 will have every gardener hoping they’re on someone’s naughty list. Bamboo charcoal helps draw out impurities and goat milk keeps the skin moisturized and pH balanced. Perfect after some time in the soil.” ($15; shop.beekman1802.com)—Sarah Gray Miller, Editor-in-Chief, Modern Farmer

“Encourage a love of honeybees with this starter hive. Its two handy viewing windows let beginners check on the pollinators’ progress without disturbing the colony.” (Sugar-pine two-deep box starter hive, $229; beethinking.com)—Lee Jones, Farmer, The Chef’s Garden; Huron, OH