Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies usually ranking either 1st or 2nd in the surveys. This makes gardeners a perfect group for you to turn for. What can you turn for your gardening friends? Here are five projects that will get you started. I’m sure you will come up with more ideas for woodturning for the garden.
1. Turned Garden Dibblers
A garden dibbler is perfect to help the gardener plant seeds in their garden. You have a nice point to create a clean furrow. It also has lines to help you judge how far apart you need to place your seed. This project shows you how to turn three dibblers of different sizes.
Turning a Garden Dibbler. From a micro dibbler that is perfect for apartments or small containers to a transplanting dibbler for large seedlings and bulbs, there are dibblers available for every gardener.
2. Turned seedling pot form
A trip in the Spring to the local gardening store or nursery usually has us bringing home a bunch of new plants all in plastic pots. This turning project gives you a way to make newspaper pots to plant your seeds and seedlings in. The part I like is that you can plant the newspaper in the ground and it will decompose. No plastic to worry about.
Turning a Seed Pot Form. This is a pot form that I turned from maple. The newspaper is wrapped around the top form and then folded over the bottom of the form. Then press the bottom of the pot onto the base and press hard to make a good fold. Slip the newspaper off of the form and you have a new garden pot.
3. Turned Row Markers for the Garden
Keeping your veggies all in order and lined up in the garden is not as easy as it seems. I’ve tried making a freehand furrow for seeds with a stick and while I got pretty good it was never really straight. Resorting to sticks and twine helped a lot but these turned row markers are excellent. The twine rests on the top of the stick which is pressed into the ground at one end of your row. Tie the string to your other row marker and walk out the distance of your row. Place the other marker in the ground and tie the string tight. Now you have a line for a perfect row of lettuce or radishes.
Turning Garden Row Markers. The bottom portion goes into your prepared soil so you don’t want any fancy decorations here. The top end has to support your ball of twine so it will be pretty basic as well. This is a good project for practicing making two similar turnings. You want the same length, similar diameter, and the supporting whorl should be at the same height on each marker. Two markers and twine and you are ready to organize your garden.
4. Turn a Wooden Mushroom Box to decorate the garden
A little decoration to add some interest to your garden. This project is a simple box but the shape is that of a mushroom. Of course, if you just want to plant mushrooms in your garden you can ignore the instructions on making a box. Making a mushroom with an extra room gives you a place to put small items in the garden. You could hide a key to the house or the garden shed in the mushroom and you wouldn’t get locked out again.
Turning a Garden Mushroom Box. This was turned from a branch and the bark left on. I would recommend a fairly hefty bottom on the mushroom so that it won’t fall over in your garden. If you like mushrooms then you can use them in other places besides your garden!
5. A Turned Heart Vase
Most gardeners have a few flowers (or more!) scattered in their garden. A wooden vase is perfect to display your flowers. The heart shape is the result of how the vase is turned. The narrower you can make your wood the clearer the heart shape comes out. This project will need some hand carving to emphasize the heart shape.
Turning a Heart Shaped Vase. The trick to this vase is to turn a narrow piece of wood rather than the typical square turning blank. This gives you two challenges. You need to be very precise to get the vase centered on your lathe. Because the vase is rectangular any off-center positioning will be very obvious beside the hole for the flowers. The second challenge is turning air. As you can see in the vase above you are only cutting on the edge of the turning blank, not all the way around. So take your time to make the cuts and take fine cuts. You’ll get an awesome result.
Business and Marketing Ideas
These turning projects are great for any gardener, yourself, your friends, or your customers. Selling these products would be very good for a Spring Farmer’s market. The garden dibbler, seed pot form, and row markers help directly in the garden. So the earlier in the year that they are available the more likely you will find gardeners needing these items.
The mushroom box (or not), and the heart vase are complementary projects. These would look good in the garden or holding flowers or dried seed heads. You could turn other types of “weed pots” as well. You can check out my Pinterest page on vases for more ideas. This would give you a range of “Garden Products” for your booth or table.
Determination of prices is always a challenge and this post “The nuts and bolts of pricing your work” covers some extra details. Consider the amount of time to turn the project. A two-part project, the row markers, or the seed pot form, should have a higher price point. Try to spread out the price range for your products. You could also buy a supply of twine from your local dollar store and include that with your row markers. Make sure you adjust the price accordingly.
Make sure you have a good display with a variety of products for the gardeners that you are looking for. You might not make a sale today but hopefully, you can build up some relationships and when they want a garden tool for a friend hopefully they will think of you.
I hope you have enjoyed these ideas. Mixing two hobbies like turning and gardening is fun and gives you something to do when it’s too wet to be outside. Have you turned anything for a gardener? Let me know.
Turning For Profit
If you have any questions about turning, the business of turning, or a suggestion for another garden project, please leave me a comment at the bottom of the page.
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