20 Great Garden & Harvest Tools

Let this fresh crop of design-savvy planters, tools, and harvest helpers add some spark to your gardening

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Gardening gloves

West County Gardener’s landscape gloves ($32) are supple enough for planting, and reinforced with Kevlar for tougher chores too.

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Nonstick shovel

Muddy clay soil sticks to most shovels. But it slides right off this perforated one ($66.17), which makes big digging tasks a cinch.

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Lightweight hose

The Slim & Light hose ($65.17 for 50-ft.) is lead-free, so you don’t have to worry if people or pets drink from it.

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All-purpose bucket

We use the flexible Tubtrug ($16.35 for 3.5 gallon bucket) for everything, from carrying tools and soil to carting clippings to the compost pile.

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Ergonomic hand tools

These essentials (from $10) come in bright colors that are as easy on the eyes as the tools are on your muscles.

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Food-growing books

In addition to the basics, The Essential Urban Farmer (Penguin, $19), 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, $17). Willi Galloway’s Grow Cook Eat (Sasquatch Books, $21) gives a recipe for each crop, for those who like to eat as much as you like to garden.

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Self-watering pots

At last, some good-looking self-watering pots ($20) for not-quite-green-thumbs. The pots come in a variety of bright colors to add punch to your yard or entry.

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Mobile planter

This mobile planter ($159)―ideal for decks and balconies―is made from recycled plastic milk jugs.

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Artsy planter

Let this tiny modern planter ($51) stand alone as a sculpture―or add some greenery to create a living roof.

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Watering can

Alessi translates an old standby ($58) into a punchy marriage of form and function, sturdy metal spout and all.

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Portable spout

This portable spout ($6) and inspired space saver converts a used two-liter plastic bottle into a watering can.

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Inspired by 1960s Buckminster Fuller buildings, this geodesic-dome birdhouse (8 in., $95) designed by Kelly Lamb has a backdoor for cleanout.

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Metal basket

The galvanized mesh wire basket ($40) from Peaceful Valley lets you hose off your produce right inside before carrying it, soil-free, indoors.

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Berry cartons

Reusable ceramic replicas (from $13) of traditional farmers’-market baskets provide good air flow to keep your harvest fresh.

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Herb drying rack

This foldaway rack ($20) is so useful. Before you make tea or sachets out of your lemon verbena or lavender, you’ll need to dry the herbs, of course.

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Drying rack

Herbs such as basil, mint, parsley, and sage dry well in single layers on a mesh rack ($19); clean window screens also work. When fully dry, store in airtight containers.

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Orchard rack

When your crops just won’t quit, set up this wooden stand—with sliding drawers—to handle the overflow (available in 6-drawer version, $179).

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Vegetable baskets

These willow baskets ($50 for set of 2) are the perfect place to store your harvested potatoes, which like to breathe; let them do so in a nice cool spot.

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Root storage bin

This bin ($40) is perfect for beets, carrots, or turnips. Fill it with alternating layers of damp sawdust and root veggies, and store in a cool, dark place.

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Pesto cubes

These airtight, BPA-free baby-food freezer trays ($15) are perfect for freezing portions of homemade pesto.