Astrid Newenhouse, Environmental Resources Center
Department of Biological Systems Engineering
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Garden gift tips for Christmas
3:04 – Total Time
0:22 – Gift ideas for the beginning gardener
0:51 – Reading for the beginner
1:16 – Gifts for the seasoned gardener
2:01 – Benefits of gardening
2:51 – Lead out
Sevie: Looking for a gift for the gardener on your list, this holiday season? We’re visiting today with Astrid Newenhouse, Environmental Resources Center, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin, in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Madison, Wisconsin… and I’m Sevie Kenyon.
Sevie: Astrid, welcome to our microphone. Astrid, what kind of gifts do you recommend for someone who’s a beginning gardener?
Astrid: Just starting out, I would be sure that person had a trowel for planting and weeding, a spade for digging up those big, ugly weeds and working your soil, pruners, which is for brush, and clippers which is for the herbaceous plants, like flowers. And then also, simply, a sheet and a bucket to be carrying all the stuff around your garden.
Sevie: And Astrid, for the beginning grower, is there some good reading material?
Astrid: For a beginning grower, go to your county Extension office and you would be amazed at the booklets that can help that grower get started. Booklets about how to start a vegetable garden, how to put in a flower garden that attracts butterflies, birds, wildlife…it’s an amazing resource.
Sevie: Astrid, for the person who’s been gardening for a while, what kind of gifts should you consider for them?
Astrid: I would go for season extension, which is where you want to cover those crops, let’s say it is lettuces or salad greens. Cover those crops with floating row covers… it’s a fabric of spun, bonded polypropylene fabric…and it’s white, looks like cheese cloth, and give that to the gardener who wants to lay that over the vegetables and extend that harvest season—either longer into the fall or earlier into the spring. It’s like a warming blanket for the vegetables. I would find that floating row cover at your local garden center. Or, online, look for “row cover,” “vegetable crop row cover.”
Sevie: Astrid, what are some of the benefits people get out of gardening?
Astrid: I think a number one benefit is a link to nature. It’s so fun to plant that tiny, little seed. It just amazes me, every year to plant that tiny, little seed and watch it turn into, first… an entire plant, and then maybe a flower, and then, “wow, something I can eat!” It’s amazing!
Sevie: For the person on your list that’s got limited space, what kind of gardening gifts do you have in mind for them?
Astrid: I love something called an “Earth box,” which is a brand, but there’s all different ones out there. It looks like a large window box. It can sit on your deck, it’s a system that holds soil and it has a water reservoir… because you can fill it with the best quality soil…just manage the water so easily. You can get an amazing yield from that tiny, little box.
Sevie: We’ve been visiting with Astrid Newenhouse, Environmental Resources Center, department of Biological Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin, in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Madison, Wisconsin… and I’m Sevie Kenyon.