It’s a known fact that gardening is a rather satisfying hobby. It gives you something to do when you’re feeling restless and bored, but it also allows you to connect with nature. Those who don’t happen to have a green thumb won’t be able to understand the immense satisfaction of watching your garden flourish. Of course, gardening takes quite a bit of work. So, take a look at some of these useful gardening hacks that will make your garden the best it’s ever been!
DIY Weed Killer
Keeping weeds at bay is a crucial part of gardening. If you want a quick and easy way to get rid of those pesky plants, you’re probably going to use a weed killer. While store-bought weed killer works, it’s also filled with chemicals that can damage your garden rather than help it. Not to mention, the cost of weed killer can add up over time. To solve these issues, make your own weed killer at home by using natural ingredients. Mix a little dish soap, vinegar, and salt. Put it into a spray bottle, and just watch those weeds disappear!
Weedkiller can rid your garden of weeds once they pop up. However, making use of some newspaper can keep the weeds from appearing in the first place. As you plant your garden, layer the soil with a few pieces of newspaper. This will allow moisture to reach the roots of the plants while also creating a barrier to keep the weeds from popping up. The weeds won’t be able to establish themselves in the soil while your own plants will thrive.
We all know that fertilizer is an essential part of keeping your plants healthy. However, you might not know that Epsom salt acts as a great fertilizer for your shrubs. Epsom salt contains magnesium which allows your seeds to germinate and the plants to absorb the vital nutrients they need. It’s a cheap and easy-to-use solution that will keep your garden nice, green, and healthy. Use about two teaspoons of Epsom salt mixed with one gallon of water each month. Pour the mixture onto the base of the plants.
DIY Spray Collar
Weed spray is the simplest and easiest way to get rid of those unwanted plants that pop up in the garden. However, the spray has its own challenges. Every time you spray, you’re risking getting weed killer on the rest of your garden in addition to the weeds. Luckily, a spray collar solves that problem. Find an old can or a small plastic bucket and cut off the bottom and top, creating a long cylinder. Then, place it over the weed you want to kill before spraying the weed killer directly inside the collar. Not only does it limit over-spraying, but it also makes sure you’re sparing the rest of your garden.
Save Plastic Containers
If you don’t happen to have soda bottles around to make your own mini greenhouse, use plastic to-go containers from restaurants. Plastic clamshell containers are the perfect spot to get your seeds started. Wash the container well after finishing your food and fill the bottom with soil. Then, place the seeds inside with enough space in between each one to grow. Close the container and put it near a winder where it’ll get sun. The container keeps moisture locked inside while still allowing the sun to reach the plants.
Repurpose Toilet Paper Rolls
After finishing with a roll of toilet paper, you’re left with a cardboard tube. You can use it for your garden when starting your seeds! Take a waterproof container and fill it with empty toilet paper tubes. Fill each tube with potting soil and plant the seeds inside the cardboard. When the time comes to move them to the garden, you can plant the cardboard right into the ground since it decomposes over time. Leaving it will help keep the seeds safe while they germinate.
Weeds aren’t the only thing that might cause damage to your garden. Hungry slugs can also ruin your plants for good. With a little beer, you can take care of this problem for good. Put a dish of beer into the garden near the area where you see slugs the most. The slugs will be drawn to it and the liquid will kill them, leaving your garden free of slugs.
Convert Coffee Filters
When you’re planting shrubs in pots, you want to let the water ooze out of the bottom. However, you don’t want the dirt to come out with it. If you close off the bottom completely, you risk water-logging your plants. The solution? A coffee filter. Place it at the bottom of the pot before filling it with soil. The filter will allow the water to flow through while keeping the dirt where it needs to be.
Weed When Wet
Have you ever tried lifting weeds from dry ground? It’s not easy, to say the least. Dry ground is pretty unforgivable, so trying to tug weeds from their roots is a difficult mission. It’s better to weed while the ground is wet. Go out to your garden after a rainy day or wet the soil by drenching the garden with a hose. You’ll find pulling weeds out of the wet ground is worlds easier than doing so with dry ground.
Brew Fertilizer Tea
Weeds can be more than just annoying. They interfere with the growth of your plants and also soak up nutrients from the soil that they desperately need to survive. When pulling out weeds and throwing them away, you’re basically throwing away the nutrients too. However, you don’t have to. Instead, throw your weeds into a bucket of water once you pull them out. A few hours later, you can pour the water back onto your plants and throw the weeds away. This process returns some of the nutrients back into the soil.
Double Your Pots
When starting to plant your garden, it’s very difficult to imagine the finished product. While taking care of plants is the highest priority, you also want your garden to look nice. It’s so disappointing when your plants mature and ruin the image you had in mind. To fix this, plan ahead before you even start planting. When placing your plants, bury them at ground level in two pots. As they grow, you can easily lift out the top pot and rearrange the garden. You can change out seasonal plants and mix up colors and placements too all while keeping the plants alive.
Change Your Tools
When you’re planting a vegetable garden, you probably spend a lot of time on your hands and knees while digging the holes you need to plant the veggies. After doing this for a while, it will take a toll on your body. To improve this process and make it easier, use a pothole digger to quickly create a few holes deep enough for the plants. This method will take a lot less time than digging each hole. In any case, your back and hands will thank you.
Plant Soda Cans
If you have a deep planter, fill the bottom with old soda cans before you place in the shrub. The cans create small air pockets that will aerate the soil and keep the ground healthy for your greenery. With healthier soil, your plants will thrive. This applies to the deep planters as well.
Even though your plant often grows in one designated pot, it definitely doesn’t mean it will stay in that pot forever. At times, you’ll bring home store-bought shrubs that you want to replant, or you might want to move your own plants around. Pulling the plants up risks tearing the roots and damaging the shrub. To avoid this, take a sharp knife and cut down the sides of the pot. Once you have enough room, you can wriggle the plant out while keeping most of the surrounding soil intact. By using this method, your plant will be ready to be replanted with its roots intact.
Make Edging Easier
While you’re edging your garden, the biggest challenge you face is creating a straight line to surround the space. Luckily, the solution to this problem is very simple. Lay down a 2×6 board where you want the end of the garden to be. Make sure the board is straight and place your foot on top so it won’t move. Take a spade and shove it into the ground right at the end of the board. Move the spade down the line until you reach the end of the board. Continue doing this all around the garden, moving the board as needed. Once you’re done, you’ll have a clean and straight line!
Use Old Sponges
Overwatering plants can be just as damaging as too little water in the garden. If water starts settling at the bottom of the pot, it can rot the roots, causing the plant to die. To maintain a healthy balance of water, put old sponges on the bottom of the pot. They will soak up any excess water that might damage the plants while maintaining enough moisture to keep the plants healthy.
Take Care of Your Tools
To take care of the garden, you need to also take care of your tools. If you want to make sure your tools are always ready and clean, all you have to do is get a bucket, mineral oil, and clean sand. Put the sand in the bucket. The sand will allow you to stick your tools right in to stand upright. All you’ll have to do next time is grab the tool you need and go. Once you’re done with the tool, spray it with a bit of mineral oil and put it back in the sand. The oil will keep the tools clean and sharp.
Create a Little Greenhouse
If you tend to have a hard time starting your seeds or cuttings in the garden, a tiny, at-home greenhouse might be a good solution. Take an empty 2-liter bottle and take off the label. Then, remove the bottom of the bottle and place it over the soil that the seeds are in. This will create a small greenhouse that will allow the seeds to grow while protected from environmental factors that might interfere. Once the seeds have germinated, you can remove the bottle and allow the plants to grow on their own.
Use A PVC Pipe
If your garden has dense plants, fertilizing the greenery can be a challenge. The fertilizer has to reach the base of the plant, but doing so can be difficult. This is where a PVC pipe comes in handy. Cut a 45-degree angle at the top of the pipe to create a larger opening. Then, place the opposite end of the pipe at the base of the plant that you want to fertilize. Pour some fertilizer down the pope, making sure it lands right where it needs to.
At times, hungry rabbits or deer assume your garden is their personal feeding ground. They’ll eat away at the greenery and ruin all the hard work you put in. Luckily, soap is a good solution to this problem. Shred some soap in your food processor and scatter it among your plants. Make sure not to cover the entire ground. Leave a healthy supply of shavings with the plants. The scent of the soap will keep hungry animals away without damaging your plants. You’ll have to replenish the soap if it washes away, but it doesn’t take much effort to do so.
Once you have your garden planted, you’re ready to lay down your mulch. However, before you do that, add an easy protective measure that will help keep your garden free of weeds. Lay down pieces of cardboard on the ground around your plants before putting down the mulch. Lay the mulch over the cardboard. The cardboard will block weeds from growing.
If you’re looking to save a little space in your garden, create a vertical planting ground with an over-the-door shoe organizer. When you get it, stick a few holes in the bottom of each pocket to allow water to drain. Then, fill each one with soil. Once that’s done, you can plant something else in each section. This method is especially useful for creating an at-home herb garden. Loop the organizer over a door outside and that’s it!
Use Your Muffin Tin
When you’re planting your garden, the spacing of the plants is important. You want to give the shrubs enough room to grow, but you also want to make sure they’re evenly spaced. If you want to really perfect the layout, pull out your muffin tin. In the area you want to plant, push the muffin tin into the ground and do so on the rest of the soil. Then, place the seeds in each of those pits for perfectly-spaces plants.
Raised Garden Bed
A raised garden bed adds something to the space and allows you to separate your plants from the rest of the yard. Unfortunately, if you don’t have one built, putting a raised garden bed can be difficult. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to do this, buy a few cinderblocks. Arrange them in a rectangle and fill the middle of each one with fresh soil. Fill the large area in the middle as well with fresh soil. You can plant all the shrubs in this space, creating a confined area that will be easy to work with.
Once the seeds are in the ground, it can be hard keeping all the plants straight. If you want to make sure to know what’s growing where, you’ll need pot markers. Make your own labels by saving old wine corkers and spearing them with skewers. Write the name of each plant on the cork and stick the skewer into the ground next to the plant.
While some bugs and animals are obviously not wanted in your garden, others are a welcome sight. Bees, in particular, aren’t a threat to your plants, and their pollination techniques are crucial for the environment. Invite them into your garden with a DIY watering hole. Take a small dish and fill it with a small amount of water. Place rocks at the bottom of the dish to give the bees somewhere to stand. Place the dish near your garden so that the bees that come by can have a drink without drowning.
A watering can is one tool that’s crucial for the garden. However, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Use an empty gallon jug to make your own. Once you’re done with the jug, clean it out and take off the cap. Poke a series of tiny holes into the top of the cap. Once you do that, fill the jug wither water and screw the cap back on. That’s it!
Improved Garden Soil
A thriving garden begins with good soil. When the soil is full of nutrients, your plants will get bigger, stronger, and healthier. To boost your soil, you don’t have to buy anything expensive. Just use kitchen leftovers! Banana peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells all boost the nutrients in the soil. Just plants these things in the garden,
Even animals that don’t have any interest in eating your plants can stomp through the garden and damage them. If you want to keep critters out of the space, use plastic forks. Stick the forks into the soil with their pointy ends pointing up. Not to mention, this won’t cause any damage to the plants.
DIY Insect Spray
While weed spray will keep the unwanted plants away, an insect spray will keep away all those bugs that want to feed on your plants. From snails to mosquitoes, bugs will be drawn to the garden. To take care of this issue, combine a healthy amount of garlic and mint, and put the mixture into a spray bottle. This organic and cost-effective spray will keep those pesky bugs at bay!