Every spring sees a new crop of gardening products. Some are unnecessary, others are downright gimmicky, but here are six I especially like for 2017.
Short on space, but still want to bring the outdoors in? This adorable little pot feels as much like a pet as it does a planter. Each of its four "palms" is made of micro-suction cups that adhere to windows and other smooth, vertical surfaces, such as your refrigerator. Fill the included 2 1/4-inch pot liner with herbs, succulents or annuals, and use the enclosed pipette dropper to water plants (or remove excess drained water). Originally launched on Kickstarter, Livi is now $18.95 at gardentrends.com in aqua, lavender, lime, sunflower (yellow) or jasmine (white).
Kaleidoscope tomato cage
Gardening is art, after all, with flowers, foliage, fruit and vegetables stepping in for oil paints and water colors. So why not embellish your masterpiece with this art-glass tomato support? Circular panels of blue, green and yellow glass complement nature's hues, while the sturdy, powder-coated steel cage keeps vining plants contained and upright. Consider it the finishing touch; $119 at gardeners.com
Seed Aide CoverGrow mulching pellets
Growing a lush, thick lawn can be a bit of a challenge: You drop your hard-earned money on seed, spread it carefully and water religiously, but oftentimes birds think what you've spread is a buffet, and spring rains wash away your seeds before they can germinate.
Using technology originally developed for large-scale and municipal projects, these biodegradable pellets, made from recycled wood and cellulose fiber, swell when activated by water, and keep seeds and soil moist while protecting them from wildlife, rain and irrigation streams. $20-25 per 10-pound bag at lawn and garden centers (other sizes available).
Mason jars wall plaque planter
Give your space a rustic, cozy DIY feel without having to actually do it yourself. The three glass jars bolted to a wooden plaque don't have holes in their bottoms, but you can ensure proper drainage by inserting two inches of small pebbles into each before adding soil and plants; $24.99 at Kohl's stores and kohls.com
This "water maximizer" increases the amount of water that penetrates into soil. Use it on the lawn or in the garden, and decrease watering by up to 25 percent. More free time for you, fewer resources taken from the environment. Win-win. One jug covers 1,800 square feet; About $10 at lawn and garden centers.
Barebones Living Hori Hori Ultimate Tool
We all know the frustration felt when what should be a simple task turns into a headache due to unforeseen circumstances: Your shovel hits a tree root when you're trying to dig a hole for a new perennial, or your arms aren't strong enough to pull up that stubbornly rooted weed. Sometimes there's nothing in your gardening toolbox that will get the job done easily enough. How about a knife? Hori hori translates from Japanese to mean "dig dig," and that's exactly what this razor-sharp, bamboo-handled stainless steel tool does. The garden knife also will help you hammer, saw, cut, slice, chop, dig and create planting rows and holes for seeds and transplants. And when you get hot and thirsty, you can even use it to open a bottle. The company was created to support the owner's nonprofit, which helps marginalized people -- from providing shelter after natural disasters to helping fund mobile medical clinics. So in addition to helping you in the garden, it's helping others around the world; $30 at thegrommet.com ($50 with cloth sheath and stainless steel belt clip, as shown).