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CULTURE
Spring Gardening Gear
CULTURE
Spring Gardening Gear
Our favorites across rare seeds and hydroponics to smart tools and watering cans
by David Graver
on 22 April 2014

Everyone can be a gardener with a little effort, proper scheduling and a dedicated plot of land. Whether or not you're interested in toying with orach or purple tree collards, or having your plants tweet, maybe this is the year you dig in. The following selections are great options—for inside or outdoors—that are effective, handy and even a little stylish.

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Strathcona 1890 Seed Collections

With a wide range of plant seeds, Strathcona selects from only trusted seed-growers, all non-GMO, non-chemically treated and all sustainably sourced. With inspiration as a motivation and a background in social change, the entire company represents a new wave of thoughtful DIY. And with options ranging from the simpler salsa garden for $19 and quick and dirty for $23 to the wildly imaginative edible flowers for $23 and rare and unusual for $28, you're guaranteed to find and grow something uniquely yours—even indoors.

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SmartSeeds

From Rainbow Carrots to the magnificent Blue Passion Flower, SmartSeeds offers to widest range of hard to find seeds, at extraordinary prices (many from $3). Founded by a master gardener and landscape designer, the origins of all the seeds are entirely transparent—even when they've been hunted from the furthest reaches of the world. These are seeds for people with patience and either an expertise or a want to become more experienced through research and observation. Either way, they are far from the average offerings.

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Nature's Source Plant Probiotic

An all-natural plant food, Nature's Source Plant Probiotic seeks to aid the growth of plants, for fuller, healthier results. Its components allow additional support for nutrient availability, breakdown and absorption and stimulate strong roots. The formula also coaxes plants into a new environment after being transplanted—minimizing shock and encouraging tolerance. Their full range of products are sold in stores; find the one nearest through their distributor listing.

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Parrot's Flower Power

One of the smartest devices for indoor/outdoor gardening, Parrot's Flower Power happens to be a Bluetooth plant sensor, accompanied by a free dedicated app. Utilizing a database of over 6,000 plants (cannabis included), the gadget registers all requirements for what you're growing, from water to sunlight, air temperature and more, and notifies you about necessary modifications. It's easy to set up and easier to use. Not to mention that it's waterproof and operates on AA batteries. It's available on Amazon for $60.

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Haws Watering Cans

With one liter capacity, this stunning handmade copper water can, by Haws is indoor/outdoor gem. It's stunning, but also functional; the long spout allows access into hard to reach places. It's top quality, made by a company that's been producing watering cans since 1886. Available for purchase online for $99 AUD.

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Jasper Morrison Oil Can

The Oil Can we found through Jasper Morrison's design shop—helmed by the acclaimed industrial designer of the same name, who's spearheaded globally successful projects for VItra, Alessi and Cappellini—matches out of the ordinary looks and a little extra functionality. While its design harkens back to oil cans of old, it's made of lightweight white plastic, and carries a total of three liters of water. The nozzle is also flexible and detachable, for full access to tricky roots. All of that and it's only £12 online.

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Terracotta Herb Markers

While browsing through Modern Farmer's web store, we fell in love with these Kaufmann Mercantile Terracotta Herb Markers. A set of eight labels, each marks where herbs have been set in the garden, though they're a nice touch to indoor pots. The set includes sage, basil, chives, thyme, tarragon, dill, parsley and rosemary—all made from English terracotta in Newark, England. The set retails for $18.

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The Ring Weeder

A smart design and very logical invention, The Ring Weeder slips on your index finger for prying up unwantables in densely packed or hard to reach places. Its split tip allows for access to whole roots and it's available in customized sizes—much like any other ring. At just $8, it's a very cheap and handy purchase for any green thumb.

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Kneelo Knee Pads

If you're going to get down on your knees, you might as well enjoy it. At only $35, the comfort offered from Kneelo Knee Pads, not to mention their two vibrant colorways, makes gardening a much easier experience. Anyone who tends an outdoor garden knows it isn't all done on your feet. They're soft, flexible (one size really does fit all) and composed of water resistant neoprene. The internal memory technology allows them to fit and stay fitting. They're also a very modern product from Burgon & Ball of Sheffield, England—a company that's been producing high-quality garden tools since 1730.

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Bulbo Light

The Italian artisans behind lighting company Bulbo have produced the best in single pot illumination. With Cynara they've developed an anodized aluminum and hand-varnished faience terracotta LED lamp for growing medium size plants, especially vegetables and kitchen herbs. The lampshade delicately umbrellas the leaves, emitting the best light for a plant's nutrition. Cynara can either be attached to an aluminum rod and placed directly in a pot, or securely hung overhead. The lamps are available online in Europe for roughly £128, or in store in the US.

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Click and Grow Herb Garden

An extension of their previous Smart Pot, the brand—utilizing NASA inspired technology—now has an entire Herb Garden. For at home gardening, this is one of the smartest options, as internal sensors measure all the conditions within the potter. It's as easy as plugging in and adding water, with the results being fresh basil, thyme and lemon balm. The Click and Grow Herb Garden sells for $100 online. You can also snag mini tomato, rocket and chili pepper refills for the Smart Pot iteration, for $10 each.

Check out our Cool Hunting Gift Guide for even more gardening and eco-friendly items.

Images courtesy of respective brands

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