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By: Garden Gate staff
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Garden Gate Issue 156 - November/December 2020

Houseplants for All

Whether you’re an experienced plant parent or have never owned anything other than a fake ficus, Houseplants for All (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Danae Horst is a handy guide to filling your home stylishly with happy, healthy, beautiful plants. From the founder of the Los Angeles-based plant boutique and styling studio Folia Collective, this slender volume walks you through the process of how to assess your own home for essentials like light and humidity and then introduces you to the right plants for your indoor environment.

GrowFrame by Modsprout: This framed plant shelf includes a growlight.

GrowFrame by Modern Sprout

This indoor growing setup solves all of the classic indoor gardening woes with a built-in grow light that provides enough light for plants to thrive and a beautiful framed design. Choose from multiple colors and sizes, like the landscape GrowFrame shown here. It can fit 3 to 4 small potted plants, which creep out of the frame like living art. Or choose a more slender portrait GrowFrame to showcase a single plant.

Orbit Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler

This motion-activated sprinkler keeps animals and pests out of plants, yards and gardens using a harmless spray of water. With options for day only, night only, or 24 hour protection, the Yard Enforcer gives you the flexibility to only activate it when you need it. Sprays up to 70 feet in diameter, covering 3,840 square feet when set to a full circle

The Scarecrow

This motion-activated sprinkler attaches to the garden hose. Place it in the area to be protected and it sprays the deer with a stream of water.

Check out more products to deter deer in your garden here

Garden Gate Issue 155 - September/October 2020

GelPro Pad-It Comfort Mat kneeler

GelPro Pad-It Comfort Mat

Notice how this foam garden kneeler has (soft) raised projections and an open grid pattern — this design provides massaging comfort and helps keep your legs from “falling asleep.” It’s lightweight but durable and stays in place without slipping. The 11×18-inch size means it works for more than gardening: a seat cushion for stadium bleachers or extra padding for your car, boat or kayak seat.

Attracting Birds and Butterflies

Transforming your garden into a habitat for birds and butterflies does not need to be difficult. You’ll find specific details about designing a nurturing habitat, and then three sections: one each for birds, hummingbirds and butterflies. Each section has plant, shrub and tree recommendations and care information. Following that are hundreds of profiles for specific birds and butterflies, each species given an entire page with easy-to-read, bite-sized but thorough information.


Custom phone cases

Carry your own Garden Gate art with you wherever you go. Our phone cases can be customized with a number of gorgeous photography, digital designs or watercolor paintings of your favorite plants and flowers. The cases have a durable, slim profile with flexible edges and are impact resistant. Cases are available for several iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models.

Bulb auger

Make planting bulbs easier when you use a bulb auger, here are a couple we recommend:

Garden Gate Issue 154 - July/August 2020

Garden Alchemy

Get your science goggles on! Stephanie Rose has lots of fascinat-ing projects, experiments and concoctions that can help boost your garden’s health and produc-tivity. There are make-your-own potting mixes, natural granular and liquid fertilizer recipes, an antifungal spray and even pH and soil tests to conduct using items around your home. This kind of DIY is a benefit to every gardener.

Tape gun

If you have a lot of staking to do, try a tape gun. Make quick work with this pro tool to wrap a tie around a stake, staple the ends and cut one-handed.

Garden Gate Issue 153 - May/June 2020


The Lifelong Gardener

The beauty of gardening is that there are many outlets to suit every stage of life. Toni Gattone uses her personal experience and expert green thumb to create a resource of practical encouragement for gardeners who are looking for new ways to continue their hobby as they age. From basic growing principles to useful adaptations to specific exercises — this is a helpful book!


Gardener's Problem Solver

Our newest book is here to help make gardening a lot less tricky. From easy-to grow plants to tool recommendations, you’ll find loads of gardening wisdom. Get inspired through tours of small spaces and rose gardens. There are even ideas for landscaping for your favorite furry friends with our dog-friendly gardening tips. We’ve thought of it all!

Garden Gate Issue 152 - March/April 2020


Food Cycler

It is unbelievable, but this small machine turns most food scraps into compost in just 3 hours. The end result is a dried, crumbly product that can be added to the garden to improve soil drainage and nutrients. Scrape your scraps into the bucket, close the lid and push a button; the process is even odorless. The removable bucket needs to be cleaned every six or seven uses. 

Gardening for Geeks

It’s no news to the gardener that plants are fascinating. But how much do you really know about the science behind them? If you’re an avid veggie gardener or want to know more about the ins and outs of organic gardening, pick up Gardening for Geeks: All the Science You Need for Successful Organic Gardening and learn more about plant biology, organisms in the soil, good and bad bugs and more. 

Fiskars PowerGear2 SoftGrip® Pruner

There are two special features to these pruners: A gear that gives extra power to the cut without extra effort from you, and a contoured grip that turns with the motion of your hand. To keep the handles from slipping, don’t try to cut branches bigger than the recommended ¾-inch diameter. 

Bamboo splitter

Bamboo splitters are an essential tool when working with green bamboo to modify for structures like the trellises you saw in issue 152. Our friends at Longwood Gardens recommend splitters from Hidatool, but you can also find options on amazon.

Garden Gate Issue 151 - January/February 2020


Miracle-Gro® Twelve™ Indoor Growing System

Harvest fresh herbs, lettuce and greens indoors year-round with Miracle-Gro Twelve. This hydroponic grow system has LED grow lights and stands alone as a 16½-inch-by-28-inch end table or can be stacked for even more growing space. The Twelve is bluetooth compatible so you can download the app, sync it to your phone and control the lights, monitor the water level and get reminders to fertilize.


Sectional Hydroponic Microgreens Starter Kit

If the idea of growing microgreens appeals to you but you’re not sure where to start, this kit from True Leaf Market is the way to go. It has all the supplies you need for up to six batches of microgreens — drip trays, inserts, grow pads — and seed for eight different plants. Step-by-step instructions walk you through the process. All you need to supply is some water and a sunny window so you can watch your new greens take off. 

Venom Steel Nitrile Gloves

These disposable gloves are really tough. Latex free, they’re made of two layers of nitrile, a synthetic rubber, for extra durability. They’re chemical and tear resistant so are great to use for applying pesticide or herbicide, if you’re working around poison ivy or even chopping hot peppers. These gloves are touchscreen sensitive and provide plenty of dexterity so you can use them for detail weeding or planting seeds. Venom Steel gloves come in multiple sizes.

Deer-Resistant Design

Deer giving you grief? Check out this book by Karen Chapman. Each chapter takes you on a cross-country tour of a different deer-resistant garden and includes the gardener’s strategies for keeping deer away. There are plenty of inspirational photos in a variety of garden styles and settings that show you just how beautiful a garden can be even with deer in the neighborhood. 

Garden Gate Issue 150 - November/December 2019


Western Chief Step-In Shoes

If you’ve always loved the idea of garden clogs, but needed something that stayed on your foot better, try these step-ins. They’re waterproof, jersey-lined for comfort, and pretty, with three colors and patterns available. The pattern shown here is “Gorgeous Garden.”

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Sweet Peas Tote Bag

Carry your love of gardening wherever you go with this Sweet Peas Tote Bag. It’s 18x18 in. and made of poly-poplin fabric. Machine washable in cold water. Also available in other sizes and prints.


Garden Gate’s 2020 Wall Calendar

We’ve always thought our photos deserved a place on your wall, and now you can enjoy a different one every month with our new calendar. Along with the inspiring images and calendar, you’ll get timely tips and seasonal garden tidbits every time you turn a new page. 


Gardener’s Guide to Compact Plants by Jessica Walliser

Find yourself running out of room but not ready to stop planting? Check out the space-saving plants in this handy new reference book. Look up the best compact trees, shrubs, perennials and edibles, and learn how to grow them best. Learn how to design a small space and solve several common challenges, such as too much shade and lack of year-round interest.

Post-It® Extreme XL Notes

There are all sorts of handy ways gardeners can use Post-It’s waterproof Extreme Notes. Super sticky, even on rough surfaces; no smudging, disin-tegrating or ripping when wet; and now they’re available in a larger 4½ x 6¾ size — perfect for those long to-do lists and harvest counts on the garden shed door.

Garden Gate Issue 149 - September/October 2019

The Water-Saving Garden by Pam Penick

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Tapplock One+

When you’re eager to open your garden gate or ready to put tools away after an afternoon of chores, a finicky padlock is aggravating. But this high-tech one opens with the touch of a finger! Program your fingerprint (and up to 500 others) into the padlock using a simple app on your phone, then simply touch the center square to unlock. Setup takes little time, and opening the padlock is a cinch. It can also be opened through the app on your phone or by entering a password using Morse code. 

Raised Row Gardening by Jim & Mary Competti

This is a simple and effective new way to grow your veggies — no need to construct raised beds and no need to dig or till. Instead, just build rows right on top of the ground with layers of compost, straw, potting soil and cover crops. The idea is to create nutrient-dense soil without much work. Want to give it a try? This book will tell you all you need to know. It’s best to start the process in the fall, which will give you a jump start on growing come spring. 

Jobe’s Organics Bulb Food

Sprinkle this granular fertilizer around your tulips and daffodils as you plant this fall, and you’ll probably notice bigger or more plentiful blooms in the spring. In summer, feed your lilies and other bulbs after they bloom to increase the show for next year. The instructions on the bag are easy to follow so you can know how much to use and when, based on the bulb type. It’s organic and beneficial microorganisms help break down nutrients for plants and improve the soil.

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Garden Gate Issue 148 - July/August 2019

Encyclopedia of gardening techniques

This has long been a go-to reference for gardeners. If yours is falling apart, it might be time for the updated version. And if you know a beginning gardener, this would make a much-appreciated gift. It covers topics from basics to wildlife and edibles, and now includes extended info on native plants. Illustrations on every page guide you through the best practices and helpful tips for the modern gardener.

Burro Buddy

Maybe you can relate to the feeling of never having enough pockets when you’re out in the garden. If so, the Burro Buddy rests on top of the wheelbarrow, elevates multiple long- and short-handled tools above the mix of weeds and debris, and has cubbies, a spot for a drink and a protected place for a cell phone, sunglasses or seed packets. To keep tools nearby, lift the Burro Buddy off and carry it to your work site, where it lies flat. 

Rain Bird In-Ground Impact Sprinkler with Click-N-Go Hose Connect

If an expensive irrigation system isn’t an option, but you’re tired of repositioning the sprinkler when you need to water, the RainBird In-Ground Sprinkler is a happy medium: Bury the sprinkler head and connector mechanism, and attach your garden hose when needed. The sprinkler only needs to be positioned once for efficient and consistent watering all season long.

Fiskars multipurpose garden snips

For heavier-duty garden tasks, the Multipurpose Snips have a serrated edge for sawing through rope or small branches. The included protective sheath is a must as this is one sharp tool! 

Fiskars multipurpose garden shears

Guilty of using ordinary scissors for tasks they just aren’t cut out to do? Fiskars’ Multipurpose Shears cut wire, twine, small ropes and open bottles. Remove the black blade and use it as a knife.

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Garden Gate Issue 147

Pruning Simplified by Steven Bradley

Pruning can be complicated. But Steven Bradley makes it simple by showing you exactly how to prune 50 different popular garden shrubs and trees. Each plant gets its own page with key information about the pruning tools, timing and technique, as well as a large, detailed illustration showing you exactly what you need to do. The book also covers the basics of pruning trees, hedges, climbers and more.

Rain Science 3 Gallon White Mesh Grow Bag

Rain Science 7 Gallon White Mesh Grow Bag

Rain Science Grow Bags

If you’ve tried fabric grow bags before and been discouraged by how easily they tear or grow moldy, these Rain Science grow bags are here to remedy your woes. Made out of durable mesh, these bags promote better drainage, allow more oxygen to penetrate the root system and can be cleaned and reused. They are USA made, certified safe for organic gardening and have a lifetime warranty.

Collapsible watering can

It’s not always easy to find a place to store bulky watering cans. But this collapsible one can be stashed away in convenient places, such as under the kitchen sink, in the back closet or beneath the seats in your car. The neck of the watering can can be unfolded when needed, and the flexible transparent body expands when filled, holding up to 1 ½ gallons. The screw-on cap reduces spilling and makes it possible to store with water already in it!

Active Eye Universal Mobile Phone Microscope

A handy microscope that attached right to your smart phone.

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Published: April 8, 2019
Updated: Sept. 30, 2020

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work in the garden. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

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