Getting the perfect gift for a gardener can be a challenge. Giving a scuffle hoe to the spouse might send the wrong message. Making the perfect gift decision is sometimes best left to the receiver. Cash is not the most exciting gift, but it is still of value.

Perhaps you received a cash gift this holiday season and need to make the perfect decision on a purchase. Plants are personal. There is a whole list of suggestions on K-State’s website. Search K-State recommended plants for Kansas for potential future planting.

Tools are important in getting the necessary job done without frustration. The scuffle hoe is the best tool for killing weeds in the garden. Cutting off the weeds at ground level with this tool or the similar stirrup hoe reduces the weed competition. By not stirring up the soil, less new weed seeds germinate which would make more work.

One gift that I have purchased for myself and others is a soil knife. I’m using mine at this time of the year for opening bird seed and pet food bags. It is used more efficiently in planting bedding plants in place of a garden trowel. There are endless uses for a soil knife.

A useful reference publication to own is the “Kansas Garden Guide.” It is available for viewing and printing online. However, if you don’t want to print the 76 pages on your printer, we do have printed copies available for purchase at the office.

The owner of a soil probe would be the envy of the neighborhood. Not only can the most accurate soil samples be obtain for testing, which is another use of holiday money, but your soil moisture level can be evaluated for irrigation timing.

If you have money to spend and need more ideas, I would be glad to discuss potential uses for your money.

You can find out more information on this and other horticulture topics by going to the K-State Research and Extension website at And you may contact Gregg Eyestone at the Riley County office of K-State Research and Extension by calling 785-537-6350, stopping by 110 Courthouse Plaza in Manhattan or emailing

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