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The Greener View: Holiday Gifts, Planters, Augers and Trellises

Jeff Rugg on

You still have a couple of weeks to buy presents for the gardener on your gift list. Here are a few more ideas that will be appreciated:

A lot of people grow herbs indoors in small pots over the winter. The small pots are hard to take care of. They dry out too fast and tip over easily. A larger -- but not too large -- pot would be helpful, but how do you grow several herbs in one spot? The Cacti Pot Ceramic Planter from Exaco is 8 inches in diameter and 10 inches high, so it fits comfortably on any counter or works as a centerpiece on a kitchen or dining table.

The pot has more than a dozen little pockets where small plants of all kinds can thrive, both indoors and outdoors. It has a Push-Out drain hole to let you decide when to use it. It's shaped like a traditional strawberry pot, but it can be used with any decor. Just fill the container with potting soil and tuck a small plant into each pocket. It's a perfect place to grow cacti, succulents and herbs.

The Cacti Pot Ceramic Planter is available in stores and online at www.exaco.com.

As some of us get older, we find it harder to dig small holes for flowers and bulbs. You can stand up and use a long handled shovel to make big holes, but to make small holes, you have to get down on the ground. Digging small holes is now easy.

The Plant Auger Starter Pack from Power Planter has two augers. The Garden Planting Auger and Grass Plug Tool digs holes that are 2 inches wide and up to 7 inches deep, which is good for planting annual bedding plants. The larger Bulb Auger and Bedding Plant Tool digs 3-inch-wide holes up to 7 inches deep, so it's perfect for digging holes for larger bedding plants in the spring and flower bulbs in the fall.

The augers have a 3/8-inch nonslip drill bit end that fits into any standard cordless or corded power drill. Simply insert the auger into the drill and tighten it up. Then use the power drill to quickly drill a hole, and lift the auger out of the hole. Drop a plant or bulb in the hole, and then refill the hole with the loose soil the auger removed.

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This pack of two planting augers sells for $39.50 on PowerPlanter.com.

What do you do with your empty hanging baskets during the winter? Some are recycled, and some are stored for use next spring, but I doubt that many are still in use over the winter. The Scroll Trellis company changes that with hanging basket hangers that are pre-wired with solar-powered LED lights. During the growing seasons, most hanging baskets aren't attractive after dark. With the lights already strung on the hanger, the pots become attractive during the summer.

Many people put up lights during the winter. All you have to do is take out the dead plants and add some silk poinsettia flowers, holly branches and a shiny bauble or two, and the basket is pretty again.

There are 80 lights per pot. The solar charger charges the battery in about six hours. The lights stay on for about six hours at night. They can be set to blink or remain on. AA batteries can be used if you want more power.

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Email questions to Jeff Rugg at info@greenerview.com. To find out more about Jeff Rugg and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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