For some people, gardening is a relaxing pastime that allows them to get their creative juices flowing. But while it can be a fun endeavor, it still takes a lot of effort to maintain the health and appearance of the yard. So with that in mind, we’ve compiled a list detailing 40 hacks that could change the way you look after your garden forever.
40. D.I.Y. Compost Bin
If you don’t have a compost bin in your garden, you could build one yourself with a few materials. Jessi Wohlwend, who writes for the Practically Functional website, says that you first need wooden planks sized at 2×2, 2×4 and 2×6. Then, after getting hold of some hinges and chicken wire, you can finally put the box together, creating a cover at the top and hatch at the base.
39. Nestled Plant Pots
It’s not always easy to rearrange the flowers in your yard once they’ve been planted. However, Family Handyman magazine revealed that there’s a solution to that problem. To pull it off, you must place your plant in a pot that can then fit inside another container. Once you’ve put it into the soil, you have the option to alter its position by digging the first receptacle out.
38. Lawn Edging
While edging your lawn isn’t the most enjoyable job in the garden, Family Handyman had a suggestion to make it easier. All you need is a 2×6 wooden plank. After placing it in the desired position, you can then use it as a guide to cut into the grass. When you’re done, you should have a perfect line across the edge of your yard.
37. Makeshift Watering Can
If you don’t have a watering can handy when you need to spruce up your plants, try not to fret. According to the Balcony Garden Web website, you could create one from a plastic milk pitcher. All you have to do is make some holes in the lid with a hot needle and you’ll be ready to water your plants.
36. Eggshell Protection
As any gardener will tell you, pests can become a huge problem if you’re not too careful. However, Balcony Garden Web advises that you could shield your flowers with a sprinkling of eggshells. Indeed, by placing the crushed fragments around the plants, critters such as snails and slugs will be put off due to the jagged terrain.
35. Mini Greenhouses
Unsurprisingly, not everyone has the space in their garden for a fully-fledged greenhouse. But according to the Gardening Nut website, you could turn to a smaller alternative. If you own any clear plastic boxes, they can serve as “mini greenhouses” for your flowers, soaking up the heat and sunshine.
34. Potted Coffee Filters
Repotting your flowers can be a tricky task, as the earth gets everywhere. According to Balcony Garden Web, though, coffee filters could eliminate a lot of the hassle. When you place the sieve inside a container, it will stop the “drainage holes” from getting blocked at the base once the plant is in there.
33. Grow Roses In Potatoes
If you’ve got any spare rose cuttings in your garden, you should take note of this. As reported by Amateur Gardening magazine, you can grow your own roses by sticking those stalks into potatoes. After you’ve buried them, the vegetables subsequently provide hydration when the roots start to come in.
32. Diapers In Hanging Baskets
It’s absolutely crucial to keep your hanging baskets hydrated throughout the summer months, as the heat can take its toll. However, by placing a diaper into the basket beforehand, your job will be made a lot simpler. According to Balcony Garden Web, the material will retain water for quite a while, helping the soil and the flowers.
31. Sponge Hydration
When watering your plant pots, you need to be aware of a potential danger. Indeed, Family Handyman reported that excess fluid in the base could result in “root rot” for the flowers. So to avoid that issue, the magazine suggested that sponges might help. Thanks to their absorbent material, the water will soak into them below the soil, keeping it damp for a longer period.
30. Mosquito Deterrent
Mosquitoes can be a big problem in the summer, but you might be able to fend them off in your garden. As per Balcony Garden Web, a certain arrangement of plants could protect you from the blood-sucking insect. Those include lemon grass, lemon thyme, catnip, citronella geraniums, Ageratum “Artist Purple” and Marigold “Lemon Gem.”
29. Home-Made Watering Hose
If you’re reluctant to use your garden hose, you could create an alternative water system, according to the Hative website. To do that, you need to grab a good quality garbage can and some tubing. The can will act as a rain barrel and collect moisture when the weather turns. Then, using the pipe, you can funnel the liquid out to water your plants.
28. Cardboard Seed Tubes
Before a plant can flourish in the yard, you need to look after the fledgling seeds first. According to Family Handyman, cardboard tubes could be a big help in that regard. You can place the pips inside the circular chutes ahead of planting them all. And on top of that, you don’t have to disturb them as they grow because the cardboard will decompose into the earth.
27. Rubbermaid Gardening Container
If space is an issue in your garden, Rubbermaid boxes could be the answer. Hative reported that these receptacles are perfect for cultivating vegetable seeds. To pull that off, you just need to pierce some holes into the base and scatter foam peanuts around it. Then, after covering it with soil, you’re ready to go.
26. Epsom Salt Fertilizer
Enthusiastic gardener Taylor Peterson explained this hack to Family Handyman magazine. Peterson said, “Like store-bought fertilizers, Epsom salt contains magnesium, which aids in seed germination, chlorophyll production and absorption of vital nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus. Most plants grow better with a ratio of two teaspoons to one gallon of water per month.”
25. Wooden Log Planter
To help your yard stand out, you might want to consider creating some unique planters. For instance, the website A Proverbs 31 Wife suggests that a carved out wooden log makes for a striking feature. After hollowing out the center of the log, you can then add the soil and your plants inside it.
24. Broken Pot Labels
Sometimes it’s easy to lose track of what’s been planted in the garden, especially without labels to guide you. However, Balcony Garden Web suggested that broken pots could serve as markers for your flowers. You just need to write the names on the pieces, before sticking them into the ground.
23. Protect Plants With Beer
Snails and slugs can be problematic for your flowers, as their feeding causes plenty of scarring. Surprisingly, though, a helping of beer could distract them. As per the SFGate website, the mollusks are drawn to the beverage’s yeast content. So you can add the drink to a pot and stick it under the soil, leading them astray.
22. Plastic Fork Protection
Outside of the usual pests, other animals could cause damage to your yard as well, digging up the earth. But according to Hative, a simple act might save your plants. Indeed, the website noted that if you partially bury plastic forks around them, the tines will dissuade the critters from getting up to mischief.
21. Makeshift Tool Bucket
After heavy use, garden tools can become pretty dirty. Yet there may be a unique way to keep them in pristine condition. As advised by Family Handyman, a bucket full of sand is the perfect place to keep your shears and spades. On top of that, you should consider spraying them with mineral oil when you’re done in the yard too.
20. Improve Tomatoes With Baking Soda
Growing your own fruit can be a delicate process, as one wrong move could spell disaster. In the case of tomatoes, certain batches can prove to be too acidic, but that issue is avoidable according to Hative. The website claimed that a sprinkling of baking soda into the earth would cut the acidity levels down and help your tomatoes taste sweeter.
19. Hydrogen Peroxide
Fungal ailments or root rot can blight any flower if you’re not too careful. However, Balcony Garden Web claimed that hydrogen peroxide could help fight off those issues. The website recommends that a “three percent hydrogen peroxide solution” should be applied to growing seeds once every day to keep them healthy.
18. Newspaper Weed Barrier
As many gardeners will attest, weeds can be hugely frustrating when they start to pop up everywhere. However, you can stop them from wreaking havoc in the yard with one simple action. The Life Is Just Ducky website says that newspaper blocks the troublesome growths from coming through. So you can cover the earth surrounding your flowers with old papers.
17. Invasive Plant Blocker
Certain plants have roots that can grow out of hand, which is problematic for any of the surrounding flowers. To shield the latter, Hative claims that standard containers can do the job. You just need to trim the bases of the pots and stick what’s left around the bothersome bloom. It should essentially act as a makeshift barrier.
16. Ladder Plant Stand
After a certain amount of time, there’s a good chance that you’ll run out of room in your garden. As a result of that, you won’t be able to pick up any new seeds to plant. But Balcony Garden Web offered up a potential solution. If you’re feeling creative, the website suggested that the added levels of a ladder plant stand might ease the strain.
15. Coffee Grounds Pest Control
After drinking your coffee in the morning, you’ll probably look to throw the grounds away. However, you should probably keep hold of them if your garden’s attracting critters such as slugs, ants and snails. According to site Balcony Garden Web, used coffee grounds will deter pests and protect your flowers.
14. Save Soil With Old Cans
When dealing with deep planters, you might think that you’ll need lots of soil. Surprisingly, though, that’s not necessarily the case. As per Hative, a collection of used cans and old plant pots can be placed along the base of the container. By doing that, you won’t have to use as much dirt, while the drainage also improves.
13. Seed Starting Water Bottle System
Before you plant any new seeds in the garden, here’s something to consider. Hative suggested that you can improve their chances of growing by placing a used plastic bottle around them. After trimming the base, the rest of it acts like a makeshift greenhouse, shielding the flower from the elements.
12. Protect Seedlings With Cinnamon
Much like a fully-grown flower, seeds run the risk of catching fungal conditions that can have a devastating effect. But according to Balcony Garden Web, you can protect them with a simple move. If you’ve got cinnamon in your house, a sprinkling over the soil should hold off any threats, as the spice has anti-fungal properties.
11. D.I.Y. Insect Spray
Insects can run rampant during certain times of the year, threatening the safety of your flowers. To combat that, the website An Oregon Cottage shed some light on a D.I.Y. bug spray. The mixture, which includes mint leaves, garlic, washing up liquid, water and cayenne pepper, has proven to be very effective against the pests.
10. Eggshell Seedling Starters
If you’re concerned about the safety of your seeds prior to planting them, then this is a useful tip. Hative says that old eggshells could be extremely beneficial for fledgling flowers. By placing them inside the shell, they have access to calcium, which aids their growth. And the makeshift pot can also be buried beneath the soil.
9. Cardboard Weed Barrier
Weeding is one of the most annoying jobs that you’ll face in your yard, as the plants can spread pretty quickly. But you might be able to cut them off with a bit of creative thinking. According to the website Life Is Just Ducky, a layer of cardboard across your soil should prevent them from growing.
8. Honey Rooting Hormone
Cuttings can save you a lot of money if you treat them correctly, as you can use the stalks to grow your own plants. To get the best results, though, Balcony Garden Web recommends that you add a dash of honey. The amber nectar contains enzymes that help encourage root growth and acts like a “rooting hormone” that promotes the flower’s development.
7. Create A Garden Pond With Old Tires
To create your own garden pond from scratch, you first need to grab an old tire. From there, the Handimania website instructs you to make a hole in the ground, before putting some sand into it. Then, once the tire is in the ground, trim the top off. Following that, wrap it in foil and add gravel and larger stones to stop the foil coming off.
6. Cooking Water Fertilizer
After cooking vegetables in a pot of boiling water, you probably just drain it into your sink. However, Balcony Garden Web advises you to hold on to your used “vegetable water”. Let it cool down, then use it to water your plants as a makeshift fertilizer. Very practical and ecologically sound.
5. Salad Container Greenhouse
When you pick up a salad, the meal is normally contained inside a plastic bowl. But instead of getting rid of it once you’re done, you can use it to create a home-made greenhouse. Family Handyman claims that seedlings thrive in those conditions, providing that you pierce some air holes into the lid first.
4. Citrus Peel Seedling Starters
If you’re looking for an effective way to kick-start your seeds’ growth, citrus peel could be just what you need. After making a small opening at the base, you can put the fledgling plant in the peel along with some dirt. And to top it off, the skin will also provide the flower with nutrients once it rots beneath the earth.
3. Chimney Flue Planters
To explain why chimney flue planters are worth looking at keen gardener Nancy Belmont spoke to Family Handyman magazine. She told them, “You can put them on a deck or patio, or accent your yard wherever you like. [Just] fill the liners with gravel for drainage. [And] since the water can drain, the liners won’t crack if they freeze.”
2. Vinegar Weed Killer
While vinegar might be an acquired taste, it can be a big help in the garden if you’re struggling with weeds. As per Life Is Just Ducky, the acidic solution is capable of wiping out the troublesome plants. But to avoid getting it on your other flowers, the website suggests that a dog cone should cover the targeted area.
1. Makeshift Plant Waterer
When you’re away for a long period, your house flowers usually pay the price. However, Balcony Garden Web shared an intriguing idea as to how you can maintain them. All you need to do is dip some of absorbent paper towels into some water. The rest of the towels can then be left on top of the soil, which will help keep the earth moist.