Is there anything more rewarding than seeing your garden bloom? Gardening can be a great way to relieve stress, grow your own food, and improve the exterior of your home. Unfortunately, we all run into trouble with our gardens eventually. From pests to plant disease, it can seem like there is always a new hurdle to leap. Today, we are going to introduce you to 40 nifty gardening hacks that you can implement with only common household items by your side. Who knew that you could master your green thumb from the comforts of your own home?
Use a Wine Bottle For Automated Watering
If you like to drink wine, you might wonder what to do with your old bottles. Don’t throw them out or recycle them just yet! Instead, use an old (clean) wine bottle to automatically feed your plants. Outfit your wine bottle with a terracotta stake so that the water slowly drips into the soil, feeding your plant while keeping the root zone moist.
Plant Your Seedlings in Citrus Peels
We love having lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits around the house during the summer. The next time you reach for a lemon, cut the fruit in half while retaining the structure of the peel. Now, fill the peel up with soil while poking a hole in the bottom. Guess what? You’ve got the perfect environment to kickstart your seedlings.
Fight Pests With Cracked Eggshells
Even the tiniest of pests can create big problems for your plants. Outdoor gardeners can lay down cracked eggshells around their soil to deter slugs and snails from encroaching upon their plants. Eggshells are sharp enough to cut slugs and snails, thus creating the perfect protective barrier for your precious plants.
Stave off Diseased Seedlings With Cinnamon Powder
No, this is not another cinnamon challenge! Gardeners can use cinnamon to protect their plants from potential disease. Cinnamon possesses anti-fungal qualities while also smelling great, so you’ve got a win-win situation on your hand when you put this gardening hack into action. A pinch of cinnamon now can save you a headache down the line!
Line Your Pots With Coffee Filters
If you’ve ever watched water running from the bottom of your potted plants, you probably realized how much fertilizer was being wasted. To avoid a wasteful run-off, consider putting a coffee filter inside your potted plants before filling the container with soil. The coffee filter acts as a moisture barrier, thus allowing your plant to have more time to feed.
Turn A Milk Jug Into a Watering Can
If you don’t have a gardening can, don’t worry! All you need to create your own gardening can is a milk jug, the lid, and a perforating tool. Simply cut out holes in the top of the carton lid before attaching it to your jug. Voilà, now you can water your plants with the perfect stream.
Plant a Diaper at the Bottom of Your Potted Plants
Do you have plenty of old diapers that never got used? If you want to put these diapers to use, consider placing them at the bottom of your potted plant before adding soil. Diapers are great at retaining moisture, for obvious reasons, and your plants will flourish with the added boost to its environment.
Recycle Your Coffee Grounds to Fight Pests
As a coffee fanatic, I know how effective coffee grounds can be inside the garden. If you dig a cup of coffee to start your morning, consider recycling your coffee grounds to work as a green composting material. Coffee grounds will help your plant to grow, fight disease, and even stave off pests!
Drown Slimy Pests With Beer
As it turns out, even insects enjoy the taste of beer. For this tip, all you need to do is pour some beer into a little container. Place the container near enough your plants that pests will acknowledge it. Pretty soon, you’ll notice snails and slugs that have drowned on the frothy beverage.
Use a Wick System to Water Plants for Days
For gardeners that have to leave for a few days, keeping the plants fed can be a challenge. As it turns out, a wicking system featuring nothing more than a paper towel and a glass of water can solve your problem. Fill a glass with water and then connect a long piece of paper towel from your plant to the water itself. The paper towel will wick the water up, thus feeding your plant while you are away.
Use Plastic Cutlery to Defend Your Garden
Dogs, cats, squirrels, and deer all make for common gardening critters. If you want to keep those animals away from your plants without a fence, consider planting plastic cutlery into the soil near your plants with the prongs facing up. Animals will quickly learn to avoid the entire area for fear of stepping on the utensils.
Planting Herbs Deters Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are the bane of our outdoor gardening experience. With that being said, you don’t have to accept this pest as a common element in your garden. Consider planting an anti-mosquito herb pot consisting of lemon grass, catnip, artist purple, lemon thyme, lemon gem, and citronella geranium. These plants combine to create an effective barrier that will deter mosquitoes from the area.
Make Compost With Your Banana Peels
Composting is one of the easiest things that gardeners can do to improve their garden. When you have decaying plant matter such as a banana peel, all you have to do is throw it into your composting pot to recycle the plant to create nutrients for your garden. Talk about the circle of life!
Recycle Broken Pots for Decoration and Function
Broken pots don’t have to be thrown straight into the trash. Instead of tossing your shattered pots, consider making decorative labels out of the shards? As you can see, simply labeling the broken pottery is all you need to do to make it presentable once again. Who doesn’t like having an organized garden?
Protect Seedlings From the Cold With Milk Jugs
If you farm or garden in the Midwest, you know how quickly the temperatures can change as the year wanes on. Far too often, we’ve lost seedlings to sudden cold bursts. If you know a cold snap is coming, consider covering your seedlings with a milk jug hot-cap. Cut the jug in half before placing it atop your seedling, thus allowing the plastic to preserve heat from the sun to warm your plant.
Nest Pots For Easy Reorganizing
Have you ever watched powerlessly as your garden grew out of control? If you want the freedom to re-arrange your garden, consider planting your garden in large pots with a liner. Once your plants have matured, you simply can slip the planted pot out of the ground for easy re-organizing.
Use Vinegar to Kill Weeds
White vinegar is one of the most effective natural weed killers on the planet, sans all the harmful pesticides that bottled products offer. Spray white vinegar on your weeds and watch as they begin to dry. For maximum impact, use your vinegar spray on a hot and sunny day. Keep the vinegar away from your prized plants, however.
Use a Muffin Tin For Easy Seedling Gardens
For gardeners wanting to shore up their seedling process, consider pulling out an old muffin tin. As you can see in the image above, this style of muffin tin is great for instantly creating rows of seedling-ready soil. With a few sturdy shoves into the soil, you’ll be ready to drop your seeds in.
Hang an Old Pallet For Easy Garden Tool Organization
Old pallets are sort of like boomerangs, no matter what you do with them they always tend to hang around. Get the most use out of your old pallet by hanging it on the wall. Once affixed to the wall, it is easy to use the pallet as a storage vehicle for all of your gardening tools. Plus, this looks rustic and cool as heck!
Label Old Spoons For Cute Organization
If you really want to get into organizing your garden, consider using old silverware. This savvy gardener took old silverware that they were going to throw away and instead turned it into adorable little organizational labels. You don’t have to go as wild with creativity as this person did, but it certainly looks good!
Make a Vertical Garden With Your Old Pallet
If you don’t want to hang your old pallet on the wall, merely lean it against an external wall facing the sun. Now, you have the perfect place to create your own wall garden. Pallets are perfect almost as-is for smaller plants that you’d like to get up and away from the ground. Pallets also make for fantastic deck side planters.
Fill Deep Planters With Old Cans to Improve Drainage
Drainage is the name of the game when it comes to fighting root rot and other assorted diseases. If you don’t feel like buying perlite to aerate your soil, consider using old aluminum cans or plastic pots instead. Simply place these pots and pans inside your gardening pot before you place the soil in.
Fight Root Rot With Hydrogen Peroxide
Suppose that you already have root rot, what can you do right away? One of the easiest household gardening hacks for root rot involves hydrogen peroxide. Gardeners will use 3% hydrogen peroxide once per day to moisten their plants. Mix 32 parts water to a single part of peroxide. The peroxide will help to heal the root system of your plant.
Take Healthier Cuttings By Using Honey
Taking cuttings can be a pain in the neck, even in the best of circumstances. If you want to improve the success rate of your cuttings, you can incorporate an expensive root gel or simply grab a jar of honey. Honey is filled to the brim with enzymes that help to promote root growth. When you take your cuttings, lightly dip the scraped end of your plant into the honey before burying it in soil.
Make a Mini Garden With Soda Cans
If you want a creative way to kill some time, consider turning your old soda cans into a miniature garden! Fill up the aluminum cans with soil while leaving the top open for watering purposes. Cut a few holes in the bottom of the can in order to create an area for the water to drain.
Use Epsom Salt to Ease Transplanting Woes
Transplanting an old plant or a new seedling can be a scary proposition. After all, most people lose their plants during the transplanting process. If you want to improve the odds that your plant will take, consider adding a tbsp of Epsom salt to the freshly dug hole before adding your plant. Cover the Epsom salt with a little of dirt.
Edge Your Garden With An Old 2×6
If you want to add another element of organization to your garden, simply edge your lawn while a spade and an old piece of wood. Lay the 2×6 down on the ground and use your spade to carve out the perfect edge for your garden. As your garden edge lengthens, simply move the board and repeat the process.
Use a Colander for a Hanging Planter
Hanging planters are just the coolest thing ever. If you want to add a simple hanging planter to your garden, consider grabbing for an old colander. As you can see, colanders with smaller holes are perfect for filling with soil. The best part? Colanders are already set up for a simple draining process.
Fertilize Your Plants With Cooking Water
If you find yourself boiling vegetables, don’t hesitate to add the old water to your garden. Rather than dumping the water down the drain after you’ve removed your veggies, you can use the nutrient-rich liquid as a second source of food for your garden. Obviously, wait until the water has cooled down before adding it to your garden.
Line a Path With Old Wine Bottles
Sometimes building a fence just isn’t possible for your garden. If you want to establish a line around your garden without ruining the aesthetics of your yard, consider lining a path with older wine bottles. Simply stick these bottles neck-down into the dirt before covering them halfway with soil. Bonus points are available for gardeners that color coordinates their paths!
Make a DIY Greenhouse to Improve Seedlings and Cuttings
Improve the efficacy of your seedling and cutting routine by incorporating a DIY greenhouse. These small little self-made greenhouses are perfect for keeping your plants humid, their soil moist, and their roots growing. As you’ll soon find out, there are all sorts of ways to create your own DIY greenhouse. We’re sure that your mind is already spinning with possibilities!
Plastic Storage Tubs Can Also Be Turned Into Mini Greenhouses
If you need a larger greenhouse, grab for the old plastic totes that you used to store your Christmas decorations. These massive totes can be quickly modified to accommodate literal rows of plants at a time. Best of all, these mini-greenhouses already come with their own lid! What’s not to like about this?
Smother Weeds With Old Newspapers
If you see that weeds are starting to become a problem, all hope is not lost. Instead of allowing weeds to run rampant, consider smothering them with a layer of newspaper. Place down a bed of newspaper before laying down your mulch. The mulch and newspaper will work together to smother and suffocate your weeds.
Create Easy Decomposing Seed Tubes
Who knew there were so many household gardening hacks for seedlings? These cardboard seed tubes are a great way to get your seeds started without worrying about a transplanting hassle. Your cardboard tubes will naturally decompose in the soil after they are transplanted, just keep the cardboard tube beneath the soil level.
Monitor Your Soil PH With Ease
The pH of your soil is incredibly important to the overall health of your plants. While you can purchase an expensive pH monitor to evaluate your soil conditions, you can also use tools in your house to get the job done. Follow the outline above in order to analyze your pH.
Paint Stones to Spruce Up Your Garden
We are a big fan of homemade decorations and an even bigger fan of activities that the kids can get involved in, too. If you want to spruce up your garden on a shoestring budget, have the kids find larger stones in the yard to paint. Not only will you spruce up your garden, but you’ll also give the whole family an activity to enjoy and reflect on.
Create an Amazing Ladder Plant Stand
If you are into the idea of vertical gardens, you can’t do much better than a ladder plant stand! If you’ve got a relatively modest ladder, you can quickly turn it into an elevated garden with little more than a few pieces of wood, a couple of scraps from the yard, and your potted plants.
Use PVC to Water Dense Plants
In order to reliably feed your dense plants, you must get your water and nutrients to the root system. With plants that grow dense shrubbery, a long PVC pipe can turn into the perfect carrier for your watering routine. Simply stake the PVC pipe at the base of your plant and feed water through the opposing end for a guided watering process.
Create a Self-Sharpening Storage Pot
Operating a garden will require a litany of tools that must be sharpened and maintained. If you want to accomplish both tasks at once, consider filling a terra-cotta pot with sand as well as mineral oil. Stab your spades and other tools into the pot when not in use. As you withdraw your tools from the pot, the motion combined with the sand will keep your blade clean and sharpened.
Cut Up Old Sponges to Fight Root Rot
Root rot can be the bane of your existence if you let it. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to address root rot without purchasing expensive supplements. Before you bury your plants, cut up a few clean old sponges and lay them in the soil. These sponges will help to ensure that excessive moisture is never a problem.
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