Next Sunday, June 16, is arguably the greatest day in the whole year — Father’s Day. Wouldn’t you like to show Dad how utterly grateful you are for his mere existence? Fortunately, Grumpy is a Dad who gardens, so here is his list of great garden gifts for Dad that Grumpy himself has tested and approved.
Gift #1. The Victorian trowel by DeWit. Over the years, Grumpy has collected a slew of trowels, some good and some not so good. This is his absolute favorite. As the name implies, it’s made by DeWit, a Dutch company known the world over for its high quality tools forged of boron steel. This Victorian trowel (above) simply does the job better than any others I’ve tried. It has a big (3-1/4″ x 7-1/4″), scoop-shaped blade attached to a solid wooden handle. The best feature is the blade’s sharpened front edge that makes digging in clay or cutting small roots no big deal. Cost: $33.45 from the Garden Tool Company.
Gift #2. The Aerobin garden composter (above). As a deeply concerned, dedicated environmentalist, Grumpy rebels against putting garden and kitchen waste out with thye trash. That’s why he loves his Aerobin 400 composter. It’s not an ugly, smelly, fly-ridden compost pile that rodents dig in for a late-night snack. Instead, it’s a green, cube-shaped container made from heavy-duty, insulated plastic. The one shown here measures 47″ tall, 29″ wide and deep, and holds 130 gallons of material. One hundred-thirty gallons may not sound like much, but thanks to the aerating, cone-shaped “lung” inside, material cooks down so fast that’s it hard for Grumpy to keep it filled. Grumpy uses it to compost leaves, stems, shredded newspapers and documents (good luck, IRS!), coffee grounds and filters, clippings, and just about all kitchen waste (except for meat and bones) on a concrete pad out back. (Tip: To kick-start decomposition, sprinkle a shovelful of soil from your garden over the waste. It contains billions of beneficial microbes.) Cost: $325 from amazon.com.
Gift #3. Bayer Advanced Natria Disease Control. Yeah, I know. A bottle of fungicide sounds like a pretty lame gift. But remember — guys like practical gifts that work, so they can feel they’ve accomplished something. Besides, wait until you see the next gift.
Natria Disease Control (above) is a safe, natural, biological fungicide that controls diseases through the use of a beneficial bacterium that exists in the human body– Bacillus subtilis. It controls black spot on roses, powdery mildew on perennials, brown patch on lawns, and can even be safely used on fruits and vegetables. It comes in a 24-oz. spray bottle, but I like the ready-to-use, 28-oz. bottle you can attach to the end of a hose to treat large areas in less than a minute. Cost: around $17.99 at garden and home centers.
Gift #4. Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey. Why do I even have explain the reasons for this? Dad is a manly man. Manly, virile, masculine, manful men who garden deserve to be celebrated with bliss in a bottle. Grumpy is a big Bourbon fan and Buffalo Trace is a favorite. Smooth and sweet with oak and vanilla notes, a gentle sip or two provides immediate relaxation after a hard day’s work of mulching and pruning. Cost: about $25 at a liquor store near you. Pour me a bit over two cubes of ice.