21 great garden & harvest tools
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
Ergonomic hand tools
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).
Herb drying rack
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).
Root storage bin
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