Gifts For First Time Gardeners (7 Beginner Gardening Gifts)

Do you know a novice gardener who is excited about “digging in” to their exciting new garden? With gardening increasing in popularity over the last few years, I’m willing to bet you know more than one beginner gardener.

There’s something inspiring about starting fresh (and cultivating fresh and inspiring plants.)

However, if you’re feeling uninspired and fresh out of ideas when it comes to what gift to give a beginner gardener, don’t fret. 

I know gift-giving can be overwhelming (for any occasion), but the *Upside* is that you’ve come to the right place. 

So, without further ado, let’s go over 7 of our favorite gardening gifts for beginner gardeners. 

Gifts For First Time Gardeners:

  • Root Trainers
  • Hardy Seeds
  • Soil
  • Gardening Tools
  • Garden Caddy or Tote
  • Pots or Raised Beds
  • Gardening & Recipe Books

Root Trainers

Root trainers make an excellent gift for first-time gardeners because they train a plant’s roots to grow downward — rather than in a messy or circular direction around the container.  This is perfect for first-time gardeners who are starting their seeds indoors and transplanting the seedlings later.

Let’s face it — a lot of plants don’t like being moved around, or transplanted. In fact, they don’t just dislike it…they actually tend to die. 

Some root trainers will set the beginner gardener up for early success!

Of course, the goal for any gardener —young or old — is to grow healthy, thriving plants and to keep them that way. 

The Upside of root trainers is that they assist with this important goal of plant survival.

Root trainers allow seedlings to stretch their roots both inside and outside of the training pot. The roots that grow outside of the pot will inevitably dry out — a process called air-pruning — but that’s actually a good thing. 

The process of air-pruning “hardens” young plants so that they’ll be more resilient in the future — particularly after being transplanted.

Another great thing about root trainers is how easy they are to use. Some even pop open to reveal perfectly in-tact roots for ease of planting — a much-appreciated feature for beginner gardeners.

Plant Roots
Plants started in root trainers are easy to transplant to your garden!

So, if you’d like to help the new gardener in your life grow plants with healthy, hardy roots, root trainers are a no-brainer.

Hardy Seeds

You may be starting to notice that this article puts a decent amount of emphasis on hardiness. This is with good reason as beginner gardeners (or beginners with anything, really) tend to build more confidence in their skills when they have positive experiences and tiny victories early on.

Some hardy, viable seeds will do a beginner gardener — and their garden — plenty of good!

In other words, it’s extremely helpful to set novice gardeners up for success by giving them seeds for plants that are relatively easy to grow. When new gardeners start with hardy seeds that germinate well and survive when transplanted, they have something to feel good about right off the bat.

Conversely, if a beginner gardener is given seeds for plants that aren’t particularly resilient to their hardiness zone, they may blame themselves for poor germination or survival rates and become discouraged. 

We don’t want that. We want every gardener to feel encouraged, empowered, and accomplished so that they’ll continue to grow life-giving food — and enjoy doing it — for a lifetime!

That’s why we recommend giving beginner gardeners seeds for hardy vegetables, like peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, peas, green beans, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots.

Additionally, our favorite easy-to-grow herb is basil. 

We highly recommend getting these easy-to-grow seeds as a gift for beginner gardeners. 

Save the fig or wasabi seeds for when they’re a bit more seasoned. 


This might sound like an odd gift —but ironically — dirt ain’t cheap.

My first year going all-in with gardening, I was given several bags of perfectly light, fluffy, pH-balanced soil — and let me tell you — I was a happy planter. 

Having good, nutrient-rich soil makes a world of difference in a beginner’s garden!

I loved that the soil they gave me was a little sandy, a little loamy, and extremely nutrient-rich — and my seeds loved that, too. 

I later went and bought similar bags on my own at $30 a pop and it made me realize even more how thoughtful that gift really was.

Now, I know I’ve talked about hardiness with plants quite a bit already, but let’s make sure that the soil is top-notch, too. Even the most viable seeds can run into some trouble if they’re planted in soil with poor nutrient content.

You’re best bet? Get them some nutrient-rich, well-drained soil. I like sandy loam-style soil. 

If you’re curious about what soil I (LMadGz) like best when starting seeds, it’s this organic potting mix from It’s great for potting, but also perfect for starting seeds (indoors) that you intend to later transplant to the good old outdoors.

Many novice gardeners don’t realize the importance of proper soil (or what makes it so) just yet. So as long as you find the new gardener in your life a nutrient-rich seed-starting soil or potting mix, they’ll likely be better off than they would be without your thoughtful gift.

So yeah, don’t be afraid to surprise your beginner gardener with a couple bags of soil. They’ll be grateful, for sure.  

Gardening Tools

Gardening tools are a must — but surprisingly, there are a lot of beginner gardeners who try to get tedious jobs done without the proper tools.

I know because I was one of these people. I was pruning my tomatoes with household scissors and transplanting my seedlings with a kitchen spoon.

You’re probably thinking, “yeah, right.” — but I’m 100% serious. 

Before you laugh — I ask that you give me a brownie point or two for being resourceful.

In all seriousness though, I can’t tell you how much easier it is to use pruners and pocket snips to prune my tomato vines.

& I’m really happy that I finally got myself a proper gardening trowel.

I only wish I had just bitten the bullet and bought my tools sooner! (I mean, they’re not that expensive and they’re totally worth it.)

Friends don’t let friends garden without proper tools! Combine gardening tools and seeds packs for a top-notch gift for any beginner gardener!

So, in a nutshell: 

You should absolutely invest in some proper gardening tools for your beginner gardener so that they can work smarter and not harder!

Garden Caddy or Tote

Personally, my favorite gift idea for beginner gardeners is a garden tote or caddy filled with gardening tools. You can find nice-looking, practical garden totes online for between $20-$30.

In other words: Do it. You know you want to…& the beginner gardener in your life will be eternally grateful (at least I would be). 

If you want to add some other goodies, like tools and supplies (spade, shovel, hand hoe, gardening gloves, etc) — that will definitely go a long way! 

If you prefer to keep it simple by starting with just the caddy or tote itself — that’s a great choice, too! It’ll encourage and motivate the novice gardener to start shopping around for their own much-needed gardening supplies if they haven’t grabbed them already. 

canvas bag garden beach tote
A gardening tote will make it much easier for the beginner gardener to carry around their tools, seeds, and gardening notepad!

One of the classiest garden totes I’ve seen is this beautiful, personalized canvas tote from the PersonalizationMall Etsy shop!

If you prefer a caddy over a tote, check out this simple and lovely garden caddy from the BirchFamilyDesigns shop on Etsy!

If you decide on a tote or caddy as your gift of choice for your favorite first-time gardener — I’m confident that they’ll be a happy planter!

Pots or Raised Beds

This is a lovely gift idea for any gardener, but especially a new gardener.

Even the most experienced gardeners tend to run out of places to put their plants, so you can imagine how a first-time gardener feels when they have a dozen seed packets in their hands and nowhere obvious to plant them.

pallet raised bed
A raised bed will make a perfectly suitable (and practical) gift for any novice gardener!

So, if you’d like to make their gardening life a little easier, why not get them a nice raised bed or a couple of lovely pots?

It doesn’t matter so much what type of raised bed, pot, or container you choose. Really, it’s the thought that counts.

However, if you’re looking for some cool and innovative raised bed ideas, look no further than this article all about raised bed ideas and alternatives.

The first-time gardener — and their plants — will thank you.

Gardening & Recipe Books

There’s so much to be learned about gardening that even the pros make mistakes sometimes. They may forget to cover their seedlings before a frost — or they may forget to add water to their pots when the soil gets a bit on the dry side.

Long-time gardeners sometimes even find themselves feeling uninspired in the kitchen with more abundant harvests than they know what to do with. 

A recipe book makes a terrific gift for new gardeners who are in need of some inspiration in the kitchen!

Gardening books and recipe books are a great way to provide some “food for thought” — if you will.

& if these types of books are useful for even the most seasoned gardeners, then they’ll be a highly valued asset to a beginner gardener. 

There are so many wonderful gardening books — and types of gardening books — out there. All you have to do is conduct a quick search and I’m confident that you’ll find one that the novice gardener will love!

The beginner gardener in your life will be truly grateful to have a good start to their library of gardening literature!

If you’d like a recommendation, though, here is a wonderful gardening book to inspire gardeners:

The Heirloom Life Gardener by Jere Gettle, Emilee Gettle & Mary Sutherland.

Jere and Emilee Gettle of Baker Creek are passionate about rare, heirloom (& non-GMO) seeds as well as the protection of the people’s right to trade and save them.

& if you’re interested in grabbing The Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook by Jere & Emilee Gettle, that’ll also make a lovely gift for a gardener of any experience level!

You can also visit the Baker Creek website, for heirloom seeds, gardening tools, seed catalogs, and other information!

Feel free to do your research to find the gardening or recipe book that’s the best fit for the first time gardener in your life.

An enlightened gardener is a happy gardener!

You can never be too enlightened — especially when it comes to something as complex as gardening!


Now you have 7 fabulous gift ideas for your favorite beginner gardener!

If you liked reading this article as much as I liked writing it, please share it with someone who might find these ideas interesting!

You might also enjoy this post with our favorite Vertical Herb Garden Ideas. (Many of these ideas will also make wonderful gifts!)

If you’re interested in building a unique garden trellis for the beginner gardener, you’ll love this post about Unique & Unusual Garden Trellis Ideas.

You might even want to read this article on gardening gifts for Master gardeners or this article on wedding gifts for gardeners.

If you’d like to check all your gift-picking for the season off of your To-Do list, check out this post on gardening gifts for Mother’s Day and this post on gardening gifts for Father’s Day. 

& if you want to read some of GreenUpSide’s popular posts, check out the “Best of GreenUpSide” page here.  Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed this guest post by LMadGz!

Happy gifting!

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