Let this fresh crop of design-savvy planters, tools, and harvest helpers add some spark to your gardening
West County Gardener’s landscape gloves are supple enough for planting, and reinforced with Kevlar for tougher chores too. $32; westcountygardener.com
Muddy clay soil sticks to most shovels. But it slides right off this perforated one, which makes big digging tasks a cinch. Toolite round point D-grip shovel, $73; midwestrake.com
The Slim & Light hose is lead-free, so you don’t have to worry if people or pets drink from it. From $35 for 25-ft. length; waterrightinc.com
We use the flexible Tubtrug for everything, from carrying tools and soil to carting clippings to the compost pile. From $11 for 13-in. diameter; tubtrugs.com
These essentials come in bright colors that are as easy on the eyes as the tools are on your muscles. From $10; radiusgarden.com
In addition to the basics, The Essential Urban Farmer (Penguin, 2011; $25), by Novella Carpenter and Willow Rosenthal, tackles topics like beekeeping. Backyard orchardists will find help in Colby Eierman’s Fruit Trees in Small Spaces (Timber Press, 2012; $25). Like to eat as much as you like to garden? Willi Galloway’s Grow Cook Eat (Sasquatch Books, 2012; $30) gives a recipe for each crop.
At last, some good-looking self-watering pots for not-quite-green-thumbs. GroBal (71/8 in., $25) and GroBal Baby (4¼ in., $15; velocityartanddesign.com).
This mobile planter―ideal for decks and balconies―is made from recycled plastic milk jugs. Food Map Container (33-in.-long container on 30-in. legs, $255).
Let this tiny modern planter stand alone as a sculpture―or add some greenery to create a living roof. Truss planter (4 in. tall, $51; mollaspace.com).
Alessi translates an old standby into a punchy marriage of form and function, sturdy metal spout and all. Kiwi Watering Can (2 qt., $49; thegardener.com).
This portable spout (and inspired space saver) converts a used plastic bottle into a watering can. Twist & Spout (fits 2-liter bottle, $8; at Stumasa, 415/759-1234).
Inspired by 1960s Buckminster Fuller buildings, this geodesic-dome birdhouse has a backdoor for cleanout. Birdhouse by Kelly Lamb (8 in., $95; areaware.com).
The galvanized mesh wire lets you hose off your produce right in the basket before carrying it, soil-free, inside (from Peaceful Valley; $40; groworganic.com).
Reusable ceramic replicas of traditional farmers’-market baskets provide good air flow to keep your harvest fresh (from aHa Modern Living, from $13; ahamodernliving.com).
Before you make tea or sachets out of your lemon verbena or lavender, you’ll need to dry the herbs, of course. Enter this
useful foldaway rack (from High Country Gardens, $20; highcountrygardens.com).
Herbs such as basil, mint, parsley, and sage dry well in single layers on a rack (clean window screens also work). When fully dry, store in airtight containers. Medium herb, flower, and bud drying rack, from $36; amazon.com
When your crops just won’t quit, set up this wooden stand—with sliding drawers—to handle the overflow (from Gardener’s Supply, from $80; gardeners.com).
Potatoes like to breathe; let them do so in these willow baskets in a nice cool spot (from Gardener’s Supply, $50 for set of 2; gardeners.com).
Perfect for beets, carrots, or turnips. Fill it with alternating layers of damp sawdust and root veggies, and store in a cool, dark place. From Gardener’s Supply Company, $35; gardeners.com
Nothing says summer like fresh pesto. Freeze some for winter in one of these airtight, BPA-free baby-food containers (from Pottery Barn Kids, $30 for set of 4; potterybarnkids.com).
Freeze pesto in these airtight, BPA-free baby-food freezer trays. From Pottery Barn Kids, $20 each; potterybarnkids.com