12 Urban Gardening Tools To Help You Transform Any Small Outdoor Space Into A Blooming Oasis

Turning a small space into a beautiful garden doesn't have to be a challenge — especially when you have a few key urban gardening tools to help you out along the way. British actor Emilia Fox has said, "When I go into the garden, I forget everything," and her assessment of a patch of dirt and leaves as a place of total freedom is delicious. Don't let a lack of space deter you from the experience of getting your hands dirty and your mind clear — if you have even a couple of square feet and a little determination, you have the most important things you need to start a small-space garden.

Of course, as you watch your plot progress inch by inch and row by row, there are lots of great products to help make small-space gardening just a little bit easier, and help you get your garden zen on just a little bit faster.

Take a look at 12 gardening essentials every beginner should have, grab an urban gardening book for inspiration, and then get ready to make your small space bloom even brighter.

Image: A Beautiful Mess

Hanging Planters

How adorable are these hanging pocket planters? Way more adorable than almost any other balcony planters out there, and available in all sorts of colors and patterns. I’d want these even if I had space for something larger.

Hanging planters, $14.99, Etsy

Double Duty Planter

Made in Germany of recyclable plastic, this ingeniously designed planter/table is a dream come true for those of us who want to garden, work, and relax on uber-tiny balconies. Export from Europe means a bit of a hefty shipping fee, but it’s worth every penny.

Balkonzept balcony desk/planter, approx. $150, rehphorm

Seed Kit

Tomatoes do incredibly well in containers, so they’re the perfect plant for your small-space garden. These non-GMO, sustainable heirloom seeds will ensure responsible growing and a nice variety of tasty fruit.

Heirloom tomato seed kit, $10, Etsy

Raised Planter

Smart design is key with this unassuming little raised planter. The sloped profile of the VegTrug™ means that the front is perfect for shallow-rooted plants, while the back is ideal for deep-rooted plants.

Compact VegTrug raised planter, $79, Lee Valley Tools

Compost Tea Bags

Chances are, if you only have room for a small-space garden, a composter is out of the question. But you can still give your soil some natural fertilizing love with compost “tea bags” made of natural worm casings. Just steep, pour into your planters, and make your soil happy.

Compost tea bags, $5.50, Etsy

Vintage-Inspired Wash Basin

Repurposing antique fixtures is a great way to make a big impact in a small garden. Buckets, crates, and even vintage birdbaths make excellent planters that are sure to differentiate your garden from all the rest.

1930s enamelware wash basin, $42.50, Etsy

Outdoor Bench

The only problem with Ikea is that I always spend about $100 more than I want to when I shop there, but that’s because they come up with ingenious pieces like this potting bench/tool shed/storage bin that’s small enough for a balcony, and cheap enough for any budget.

Applaro outdoor bench, $125, Ikea

Tool Basket

Garden baskets are romantic and inspiring, aren’t they? This basket and tool set will motivate you to do the hard work, and then you can enjoy filling the basket with the fruits of your labor.

Garden basket with 3-piece tool set, $44.99, Target

Vertical Planter

When you don’t have a lot of space, there’s nowhere to go but up. Vertical planters are a small-space planter’s dream, reaping a great yield with a tiny footprint. This planter is architectural and customizable. Dog not included (I’m guessing).

Vertical cedar planter, from $148, Etsy

Plant Markers

Things can get crowded in a small garden, so it makes good sense to keep track of your plants with markers. But don’t just use a popsicle stick and a Sharpie — your little garden deserves all the bells, whistles, and custom pottery plant markers.

Stoneware plant markers, 3 for $23, Etsy

Utility Apron

There’s a practical implication to looking so stylish while you tend to your garden — it’s a messy job, and you definitely need somewhere to wipe your hands and store your seeds. This utility apron goes nicely with a straw hat.

Linen utility apron, $24, Etsy

Bistro Set

Take a load off — you’ve earned it. And imagine how great it will feel to sit at this perfectly-sized bistro table and eat the salad you grew yourself. Well done, you.

Malaro bistro table + 2 chairs, $119.99, Ikea