House & Home

36 Genius Gifts for Gardeners They’ll Really Dig—Handpicked by a Gardener (Updated 2022)

Holiday gift guide: gifts for the backyard farmer

We all know a gardener or backyard farmer in our lives.

They’re the ones who arrange for chicken sitters the way other people arrange for dog sitters. They avoid taking vacations in summer when their gardens are going off. They give away jam made from fruit they’ve grown, and foist massive zucchinis on anyone who will take them.

So it goes without saying that a backyard farmer—whether it’s a friend, a neighbor, or a coworker—is someone good to know!

Say thank you for all those zucchinis they keep giving you (and get on their radar when they have a glut of juicy heirloom tomatoes to share next summer) by sending one of these thoughtful gifts they’ll love.

And if you’re stumped on what to stuff their Christmas stockings with, check out my other gift guides for 26 Perfect Stocking Stuffers for Gardeners Under $25, 17 Awesome Adventure Gifts for the Outdoor Lover, and 19 Unique Non-Cheesy Gifts for National Park Lovers.

Disclosure: All products on this page are independently selected. If you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

The best gifts for gardeners, backyard farmers, and urban homesteaders

The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbok

1. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook: I’m starting off with a recommendation for a book that every vegetable gardener should have. It’s the perfect gift for anyone who grows their own food and wants to find out what to do with it all.

These are the kinds of easy and approachable recipes you won’t find anywhere else, with delicious tips and inventive uses for all the odds and ends of plants you never knew you could eat. Think: radish tops, carrot greens, pea shoots, squash shoots, pepper leaves, and fava bean leaves.

By knowing exactly what to use and how to prepare the plants you already grow, you can essentially double your harvest every season without adding more work, more plants, or a bigger garden.

Dwarf Meyer lemon tree in a container

2. Improved Semi-Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree: I’m always a fan of edible gifts (because I know they’ll actually get used!) and this is an edible gift that keeps on giving.

How excited would you be if a loved one gave you a lemon tree?! I know I’d be over the moon! And this improved semi-dwarf variety, if kept indoors in a container, will stay around 3 to 4 feet tall but still produce loads of delicious lemons. It’s a cheerful and unexpected houseplant that fits in with any decor.

Sun print dish towel

3. Sun Printing Kit With Dish Towel: This crafting kit uses only the sun and water to create a photographic print of a plant specimen from your own yard, right onto a dish towel.

Great for adults and kids alike, I think this is a really neat way to immortalize a sentimental leaf, flower, or other botanical treasure from a home, hike, or other special moment. You can also opt for the paper version to make cyanotypes that you can hang on a wall.

Black iron watering can

4. Iron Watering Can: I’m always on the lookout for a modern and minimalist watering can I can keep indoors for houseplants, and this one fits the bill perfectly!

It’s such a sleek sculptural piece that you’ll want to leave it out all the time next to your plants. While it can also be used outdoors, this watering can holds just the right amount of water for a round of houseplants.

Dog-shaped planters made from coconut coir

5. Coconut Fiber Dog Planter: Okay, I can’t resist a little kitsch. But these adorable planters light me up every time I see them, and I think they’re a really fun gift for any quirky plant (and dog) loving friend. I’m partial to the pug, but you can also choose from a dachshund, schnauzer, Westie, English bulldog, French bulldog, or poodle.

The planter is made of coconut coir and is just the right size for a houseplant, succulent, or potted herb. Package it with your favorite plant and get ready for all the grins.

Kinco insulated leather gardening gloves

6. Insulated Leather Gloves: There’s nothing flashy about these gloves, and that’s one of the things I love about them. They’re classic leather gloves and feel sooo soft and buttery on your hands! (I own two pairs.)

It isn’t easy to find a good warm gardening glove that also isn’t bulky or ugly, but this set has a surprisingly thin profile for being so well-insulated. I use mine in fall, winter, and spring to keep the chill off when I’m working outside.

Floral-print arm-saver gardening gloves

7. Arm Saver Gloves: If you really want to cover all your bases, a gift that includes both a short pair and arm-length pair of gardening gloves will always be met with enthusiasm.

Long gloves like these help protect against thorns, bug bites, and sun exposure, and the pretty botanical illustration makes mundane chores feel more fun.

Deluxe seed saver kit in galvanized steel bin

8. Galvanized Seed Saver Kit: This deluxe kit contains everything you need to save and store a tidy collection of seeds.

You get a sturdy galvanized steel bin with five compartments, glassine envelopes to keep seeds dry, and cardstock dividers to organize things at a glance. There’s also a mini seed saver kit for new or younger gardeners.

Gardening tool storage caddy made of galvanized steel

9. Galvanized Garden Tool Storage Caddy: I bought this last year on a whim, and loved it so much I ended up buying another one!

If you’re the type to misplace your tools in the garden, or always wish you had a few things handy when you’re out watering or harvesting, this storage caddy helps you keep the most useful items close by. I have mine hanging on my raised beds on opposite ends of the garden.

Walnut-handled scissors for pruning, trimming, and other gardening tasks

10. Walnut Handle Scissors: Scissors are my #1 gardening tool above pruners and clippers. Why? Because they’re small, easy to clean, and easy to tote around.

I have several that I use for harvesting, pruning, cutting twine, opening bags, and other everyday tasks. Some of them are pretty plain (office-type scissors) but this walnut-handled pair makes an ordinary tool look and feel special.

Limited-edition Niwaki rattan-handled secateurs (pruning shears)

11. Rattan Handle Secateurs: Sometimes, a tool serves as both function and fashion. And these limited-edition secateurs (pruning shears) have an artful, heirloom quality about them.

Niwaki tools are hand-forged in Japan and truly set the standard for quality and value. These pruners are on the high end, but they’ll outlast any gardener with proper care.

North Spore lion's mane mushroom kit

12. Lion’s Mane Mushroom Kit: You’ve probably seen similar mushroom growing kits-in-a-box, but this is the first time I’ve seen one for shaggy lion’s mane.

If you have a friend who’s always wanted to try growing mushrooms (or maybe you do as well), this indoor kit makes for an easy, mess-free experiment. The same company also makes boxed mushroom-growing kits for pink oyster, blue oyster, and golden oyster.

Oyster mushroom log kit

13. Phoenix Oyster Mushroom Log: If growing mushrooms in a box isn’t your thing, try growing them in a more natural environment: a hardwood log.

This elm log is inoculated with phoenix oyster mushroom spores; all you have to do is soak it in water, then watch it grow. You can harvest multiple crops from the same log for up to three years!

Foraging tool kit

14. Foraging Tool Kit: For beginning mushroom foragers, this kit contains almost everything they’ll need for a successful hunt: mesh bag, canvas bag, and foraging knife.

Add this awesome pocket guide to Western mushrooms by David Arora, and you’ll be set! Maybe this can be a combo gift with one of the mushroom-growing kits above?

Niwaki tool maintenance kit in a bag

15. Tool Maintenance Kit: Anyone who’s serious about their tools can use a high-quality tool maintenance kit like this one. (It doesn’t hurt that it’s also packaged beautifully.)

This simple kit contains everything you need to keep gardening tools sharp and clean: a scouring block, sharpening stone, camellia oil, and handy oil dispenser.

Womanswork hip holster for gardening

16. Womanswork Hip Holster Tool Belt: Sometimes I just don’t have enough pockets on me to tote around the various gardening tools I need, and this is when something like a tool belt would come in handy.

I like that it’s not too unwieldy—small and light enough to live comfortably on your hip, but roomy and versatile enough to hold a few tools and other necessities.

Flower pot bread baking kit

17. Flower Pot Bread Baking Kit: How’s this for adding some rustic charm and whimsy to a weekend brunch?

The kit includes four terra cotta pots, plus all the dry ingredients to make a batch of bread and lavender butter. There’s enough to make four bread pots, but you can save the recipe and reuse pots for future batches. You can also try their other “flower pot” baking mixes for garlic herb bread, cinnamon swirl bread, and spice cake.

Flower pot cupcake kit

18. Flower Pot Cupcake Kit: This adorable baking kit comes with six silicone “flower pot” baking cups, baking mix, frosting mix, and dried lavender so you can make your own potted lemon lavender mini cakes!

If you’ve got a skilled hand with cake decorating, they’d also look amazing with piped buttercream flowers or green foliage on top.

Masontops fermentation kit

19. Mason Jar Fermentation Kit: I’ve tried a few airlock systems for my fermenting projects over the years, but these are far and away the best for how easy they make it, even for beginners.

The kit comes with a wooden tamper, glass weights, and airlock tops to turn any mason jar into a fermentation crock for kimchi, sauerkraut, and other ferments.

Gardening tools tea towel

20. Garden Tools Dish Towel: You can never have enough dish towels, and this one deserves a place in any gardener’s kitchen.

Besides the fun, simple print, I love the neutral color (anything but white is great in my book, since it doesn’t get grimy as easily) and the larger-than-average size. Use this dish towel as a fabric wrap for another small gift, like a scrubby botanical gardener’s soap or healing garden salve, or one of the garden tools I recommend above.

Meadowland simple syrup set

21. Set of 4 Simple Syrups: Simple syrups are some of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen. I use them in cocktails, sparkling water, coffee, tea, lemonade, and desserts.

This set is from a local Bend, Oregon, maker that I adore. (I try different flavors every year and always buy more as gifts.) The artwork on the bottles is divine, and the bundle includes their latest holiday concoctions: Winter Forest, Gingerbread, Sugar Plum, and Candy Cane. So delicious.

Zwilling magnetic knife block

22. Magnetic Knife Block: I’m currently lusting over this chic beechwood knife block, which looks like a traditional knife block but actually holds knives in place with hidden magnets.

It holds 10 knives and takes up little space on the counter. If you click through to the link, you’ll see a few other variations, such as round, square, upright, or white beechwood.

Coppery metal half-wreath base for crafting and decor

23. Swag Wreath Base: Got a crafty friend who also loves to garden? Then they’ll love this half-wreath base for all their foraged art creations.

The coppery metal frame looks just as good on its own as it does with stems, branches, pinecones, feathers, or string lights hung on it. Keep it up year-round and change it out with the seasons! (There’s also a circular wreath base—in the same cool copper pattern—if you prefer a more traditional look.)

Hammered steel water lily birdbath

24. Water Lily Birdbath: This lovely hammered steel birdbath is low to the ground (which birds prefer) and comes with three shallow dishes so you can watch your feathered friends drink and splash in the yard.

I also like this as a bee watering station (just add a few pebbles or marbles so they have a safe landing pad to take a sip) as well as a water source for frogs and other garden visitors.

Merry People natural rubber boots in yellow

25. Natural Rubber Boots: As a gardener, I’ve tried all kinds of muck boots and rain boots.

These ones, by far, are my favorite. (I have the Alpine Green pair, but am really hankering for another color.) The boots are made of natural rubber and are so comfortable to wear not only around the yard, but out on the town, too.

Now that temps are dropping, I’ve found them to be surprisingly warm down to 35°F (so far… we’re not that cold yet). And that’s saying a lot, since my toes always freeze in regular rain boots. Best of all? They’re unisex.

Leather and straw market backpack tote

26. Leather Handle Market Backpack: I have a thing for handwoven market totes, and I especially love this version because the double leather straps are designed to go over your shoulders like a backpack.

It makes it so much more convenient to ride your bike to the farmers’ market or carry a large haul of vegetables, hands-free, while wrangling a toddler. (I also like using this as a “gift bag” to hold other garden- or food-centric gifts.)

Ooni Fyra pizza oven

27. Ooni Fyra Pizza Oven: What do you get for the person who has everything? Their very own backyard pizza oven, of course.

My favorite kind of pizza is vegetarian, and I love to load mine up with food from the garden: fennel, onions, peppers, peas, corn, tomatoes, basil, squash, spinach, arugula, anything really!

I have my eye on this compact, wood pellet-fired Ooni Fyra which makes 12-inch pizzas in less than 2 minutes, but Ooni has a few other sizes and options, including larger models that make 16-inch pizzas and ovens that run on wood, charcoal, propane, or natural gas. Don’t forget the pizza peel, infrared thermometer, or carry cover either!

Mod Hod garden basket

28. Mod Hod Gardening Basket: Here’s an updated take on the traditional garden hod, which adds foldable feet and handles to a more streamlined and durable design.

But the feature that seals the deal for me is how you can stick this in your sink to wash off vegetables, or rinse it with a hose before you bring in your harvest. If you buy several of these Mod Hods, they even stack to save space while storing your produce.

I have all three sizes of Mod Hods and use them frequently for harvesting as well as carrying tools and other things around the yard.

Gardener's Supply Company garden cart

29. Garden Cart: This is a pretty spendy item, but for that special someone who’s a passionate green thumb, it’s the best gift you can possibly get them.

How do I know this? Because I have one and can’t live without it. (And yes, I have that fabulous purple color.)

The medium cart is plenty big for the average garden, and I find it much more useful than a wheelbarrow for everyday chores like hauling plants, tools, soil amendments, and piles of leaves and sticks for my compost. (It’s even great for carrying a kid or two to hang out in the garden with me.)

In my humble opinion, every garden needs one.

Botanical Interests pollinator seed set

30. Pollinator Garden Gift Set: For the friend who wants to start her own pollinator-friendly flower garden, give her this beautifully packaged gift set that includes three flower mix seed packets, a tote bag, and a sticker.

As with all other Botanical Interests seeds, the packets contain a wealth of planting info including spacing, watering, light requirements, and best times to start seeds indoors or outdoors.

Organic heirloom seed bank

31. Organic Heirloom Seed Bank: What do you get someone who’s interested in gardening but doesn’t know where to start? A whole bunch of seeds to get them on the right track!

This collection includes 24 packets of popular heirloom varieties like Beefsteak tomatoes, Scarlet Nantes carrots, Bloomsdale spinach, Lacinato kale, Blue Lake pole beans, and Cherry Belle radishes.

There’s a little bit of everything, and Botanical Interests has the best seed packets on the market with how much growing information they include.

Salsa garden seed starter kit with pots, potting soil discs, plant markers, and seeds

32. Salsa Garden Starter Kit: When it comes to gardening how-to gifts (especially for beginners), I like to make it as fun and easy as possible to succeed.

This salsa garden starter kit takes a somewhat fickle process (seed starting) and makes it nearly foolproof with an all-in-one box set that includes compostable peat pots, organic potting soil discs, plant markers, organic seeds for growing your own salsa ingredients, and a growing guide.

What I especially like about this kit is that it comes from a family farm in Oregon, so the varieties they chose for the kit (early cherry tomatoes, early jalapeños, and slow-bolt cilantro) will work for any climate. You might also like their herb garden kit, indoor vegetable garden starter kit, or indoor lettuce and greens starter kit too.

Rustic barnwood planter microgreens kit

33. Barnwood Planter Microgreens Kit: As you can guess, I love a good DIY kit. This one is tailored specifically to people who want to try their hand at indoor gardening—specifically, microgreens.

The starter kit includes a reclaimed barnwood-style planter, coconut coir growing medium, drip tray, humidity dome, mister, and purple radish microgreen seeds. There’s enough for multiple plantings and you can add on other microgreen seeds to grow in the same planter.

I personally like their purple shiso (perilla), black oil sunflower, and spicy salad mix, but if you’re new to microgreens, this colorful seed assortment (featuring eight different varieties of microgreen seeds) is a great option.

Staub enameled cast iron dutch oven

34. Staub Dutch Oven: Hands down, this is the most-used pot in my kitchen, especially when it’s soup-making weather! I love my 7-quart dutch oven and use it for not only soups, but also roasting, braising, and making big one-pot meals

What sets Staub apart from similar pots (like Le Creuset) is the design of the lid: the underside features little spikes that drip the juices back down onto the food, retaining moisture and flavor.

DIY reclaimed redwood planter and succulent kit

35. Succulent Letter DIY Kit: Choose your favorite person’s initial and gift them this DIY succulent planting kit!

The kit includes a reclaimed redwood planter, a bag of decorative moss, and 14 adorable succulents that you can arrange and plant however you like. There’s a redwood heart-shaped planter option, too.

Kokedama ball with jade plant

36. Jade Plant Kokedama: This is a really interesting way to display a plant, and the kit contains everything you need to create your own kokedama ball: soil, string, moss, and a jade plant.

Once you’ve finished your creation, place it on the included clay saucer or suspend it from the ceiling for an eye-catching display. To water, simply soak the ball once a week.

View the Web Story on best gifts for gardeners.

About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring—all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »


  • Irene S
    November 24, 2022 at 5:26 pm

    so many great ideas … I have many gardeners to shop for, and this really helps! as always, spot on, Linda!!! Thank you!!

    • Linda Ly
      December 4, 2022 at 8:53 pm

      You’re very welcome Irene!

  • Robert
    November 6, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    Linda, you have become so pathetic. Little actual content, just a shill. You should be embarrassed.

    • Linda Ly
      November 8, 2021 at 7:00 pm

      That’s funny. I put out plenty of free, high-quality content on my blog every week. You can bookmark this page, which lists all of my recent posts (newest first):

      You can subscribe to my email list, where I share helpful resources (exclusive to my list) and links to seasonally appropriate posts:

      You can also use the search function (the magnifying glass at the top) to help you locate relevant content on the blog. With over 600 posts and more that are added/updated constantly, you might be able to find the help you need. And I’m always happy to take suggestions from readers for future topics they want to learn about.

  • Sally Christiansen
    November 24, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Great list! Congratulations on the new book!

    • Linda from Garden Betty
      November 25, 2019 at 12:09 am

      Thank you Sally!


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