Here are some clever and easy gardening hacks that can improve the way you garden.
Here are some great gardening tips that will help you with both indoor and outdoor plants!
- Self-Watering Wine Bottle Planter
The terracotta stakes have a water-filled wine bottle stuck in the plant’s soil. As the terracotta absorbs the water, it will slowly leak into the soil and keep the plant’s roots moist.
- Cinnamon Powder on Seedlings to Prevent Diseases
Although cinnamon has some anti-fungal properties, it is primarily used to prevent and stop diseases in seedlings. The fact that it also smells great is merely a bonus.
- No Watering Can? No Problem!
This super simple hack of an old milk jug is perfect for a new gardener. Upcycle your old plastic milk jug by heating a needle and poking holes in the lid so water can flow freely through it.
- Cold Frames
A cold frame is a low-to-the-ground wooden base with a transparent top that can be opened and closed. It is basically a tiny greenhouse that can be mobile or stationary.
You can easily make these yourself out of glass or plastic, and they can fit over garden beds.
Old windows can be used to make cold frames.
To prevent your plants from freezing in cold weather, Trap heat from the sun by placing a cold frame over your garden beds. This will also keep the soil from freezing and allow plants to thrive for longer. Cold frames are also effective in early spring to protect plants from late cold snaps.
- Hoop Houses
Hoop houses, which are larger than cold frames and more practical for bigger gardens, are also relatively mobile, easy to build, and can be done on a budget.
A hoop house is a simple structure made from a series of plastic, metal, or wood hoops covered in a tight layer of greenhouse plastic. Hoop houses trap heat from the sun to protect plants and keep the soil warm.
Many designs of hoop houses allow for the sides to be rolled up in warmer months so that plants can grow under the hoop houses all through the growing season. With proper ventilation, many gardeners keep plants in hoop houses all year long!
Greenhouses come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be either heated or unheated. You can also buy them pre-made or build your own.
I have two greenhouses that I built myself. One is attached to the back of my house and is made from old windows and doors that I repurposed. The other one is a standalone greenhouse made from recycled windows. I got the pallet racks for the frame of the standalone greenhouse from craigslist for free.
Heated greenhouses allow for year-round crop growth, while unheated greenhouses can be used to start plants in early spring and protect plants from cold in the fall. Depending on the size and design of the greenhouse, it may be possible to plant directly in the ground inside.
Although propane can generate a lot of heat, there are other ways to make a greenhouse warm. For example, radiant floor heating, passive solar designs, or even placing large drums of water along the back wall can be effective.
- Row Covers
Row covers are garden fabric that is draped and secured over plants as a protective covering.
Fabric can be draped directly over plants or secured around a series of hoops to create a mini-hoop house.
Besides safeguarding plants from the cold, row covers can also be used to keep cooler season crops from heat and to protect plants from pests.
Garden fabric usually made from polyester or polypropylene is porous, so row covers also allow rain to pass through to plants, unlike cold frames or plastic hoop houses.
- Choosing Appropriate Fall Crops
When deciding what crops to plant in order to have a garden that extends into the fall, it is important to consider which plants will do well in cooler temperatures. Some plant species are better suited for this than others.
Crops that grow slowly and like heat, such as tomatoes and peppers, will do better in the summer heat and will probably not last long when temperatures become cold enough to frost.
Winter crops planted in spring generally don’t do as well as crops planted in mid-summer for a fall harvest.
- Succession Planting
Once a crop is harvested from a planting, another crop can be sown in its place in Succession Planting. This ensures a continuous supply throughout the season. For example, if lettuce is harvested, then another crop can be planted in its place every few weeks.
It is also beneficial to plant different varieties of the same crop that mature at different times.
Succession planting is a great way to make sure you always have fresh produce from your garden. By planting different crops in the same space at different times, you can make the most of your garden space and have a constant supply of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Crops that can tolerate cold temperatures and mature quickly are ideal for multiple plantings. Examples of such crops include kale, arugula, broccoli, peas, carrots, beets, and radishes.
- Use Coffee Grounds to Keep Pests Away
Sprinkling coffee grounds around your home is an effective way to keep pests like ants, snails, and slugs away. It also benefits acid-loving plants as an effective fertilizer.
- Use the Citrus Peel to Start Seeds
To plant a seed using an orange peel, poke a hole in the bottom of the peel for drainage, then fill the peel with potting soil. Sow the seed, then sprinkle some water on top. Once the seedling is ready for transplanting, plant it directly in either a garden or a container along with the peel.
The peel will help the young plant to grow by providing it with nutrients.
- Use Eggshell to Prevent Pests
If you coarsely crumbled eggshells and formed them into a barrier, it would be effective against soft-bodied garden pests like snails and slugs that eat your plants. They would not risk going through these sharp and uncomfortably jagged shells.
To keep pests away from plants that are sensitive to them, put crushed eggshells around the plants.
- DIY Self-Watering Hack
If you need to leave your indoor plants for a few days and don’t have anyone to water them, try this clever gardening hack to keep them alive.
1. Wet some paper towels and lay them across the soil so each plant has a few inches between them. 2. Dunk the end of the paper towels in a glass of water. 3. Roll the paper towels up as tightly as possible without tearing them.
- Use Coffee Filters in Flower Pots
The next time you repot a plant, use a coffee filter to make the process easier. Lining the pot keeps the drainage holes in the bottom from becoming clogged and prevents soil from sneaking out after watering.
- Use Herbs to Deter Mosquitoes!
Group these plants together to create a mosquito-repelling pot.
- Broken Pot Plant Marker
If you have broken planters, you can recycle them by making plant labels. To make the labels, break the pot into pieces. Write the names of the plants on the pieces with a permanent marker, or use a sharp object to carve the names.
To plant your succulents, first choose a planter that has good drainage. You can also decorate your planter with colors. When you are finished, bury your succulent half into the soil.
- Kill Weeds Using Vinegar
You can use vinegar to get rid of pesky plants in your garden that pop up again and again. Vinegar is an active pest repellent and has other benefits for your garden.
- Hang Pallet on a Wall to Store Garden Tools
You can find shipping pallets for free at many hardware stores, furniture stores, or even construction sites.
You can easily make a garden tool holder out of a recycled pallet and some old bow rake heads. All you need are some basic carpentry tools.
- Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Help Plants
Hydrogen peroxide can help your plants in many ways such as preventing root rot and fungal diseases. It also helps to sprout new seeds for plantings.
Use a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution once a day and spritz the seed every time you re-moisten to improve your plants’ root system.
- Use Honey to Propagate Cuttings
Honey can be used as a rooting hormone because it contains enzymes that promote root growth. Honey helps plant cuttings to set roots and prevent fungal problems.
- DIY Self-Sharpening Garden Tool Holder
A terracotta pot can be used as a tool holder and adding abrasive sand and mineral oil to it will clean and sharpen the tools.
- Epsom Salt When Transplanting
Water in the plant and Epsom salt according to the plant’s needs. When transplanting your plants, add Epsom salt to the hole to help them transition. Just add 1 tablespoon of salt to the bottom of the hole before placing the plant, then finish planting. Water as usual.
- Pinching, Deadheading, and Pruning
To encourage bushier growth in young plants, pinch off the tips. To encourage more blooms, deadhead spent flowers and remove top shoots and emerging flowers of herbs. This will help them have a healthy growth and prevent bolting.
Many new gardeners avoid pruning their plants, but it is actually an important process that can help rejuvenate plant growth.
- Smother the Weeds
If there are weeds in your garden, put a layer of mulch on your planting beds. Cover the garden bed with newspapers and then drop a layer of mulch to smother the weeds.
Mulching is beneficial for the garden in many ways such as reducing weeds, regulating moisture, preventing erosion, and improving soil quality.
A thick layer of straw, hay, or other mulch material can keep the soil warmer for much longer.
When cold tolerant crops are properly protected under a thick two-foot layer of mulch, they can even be left in the ground and harvested throughout the winter.
- Microclimate Observation
The average last frost date is the key to this. It is important to be aware of your USDA planting zone, which can help you determine what crops can be planted in your climate and when to plant them. But it can also be useful to get even more specific. The average last frost date is the key to this.
A microclimate is a local climate that may be different from the climate of the surrounding area.
One side of my house receives more sun than the other and is less exposed to the wind because it is sheltered by a line of trees. This microclimate is less likely to experience frost or freezing than a more shaded or open area of my yard.
If you take the time to notice microclimates in your yard and document what you see, you can eventually adapt your garden layout to make better use of space. This might open up new possibilities for your garden that you hadn’t considered before.
The crop that you thought would never do well in your backyard may actually do better in a different location only a few feet away.
- Raised Beds
A raised garden bed is a garden that is above ground level, often with a frame made of wood, rocks, cinder blocks, or other materials.
Elevated soil in raised beds dries and warms faster than ground-level soil, which can be helpful for lengthening the harvest season.
An additional advantage of elevated planting beds is that they can be simply covered with cold frames or row covers to lengthen the season.
An extra advantage of raised beds is that the soil doesn’t get compressed, so you don’t need to turn or till it as often. This reduces the number of weed seeds that come to the surface, and makes it easier for you to take care of the garden.
- Rotating Crops
By rotating crops, gardeners can ensure that plants stay healthy and happy long into the fall. This is especially important for gardens where the plants are grown close together.
Rotating crops means growing different crops in different parts of the garden from one season to the next.
Crop rotation can help reduce the risk of pests and disease, and can also help create more balanced soil. Different crops have different nutrient needs, so crop rotation can help ensure that plants get the nutrients they need to grow well.
- Windowsill Gardening
Why not try placing some plants that don’t like frost on a south-facing windowsill?
? You can not only extend the life of many herbs and plants, but also add a glint of green to all that winter white. Having plants in your living room at the end of a dreary winter day can be very satisfying.
Many herbs and crops that are used for cooking can be grown inside, and if they are taken care of properly, some of them can continue to produce during the winter. In some cases, the plants may be able to live through the winter if they are strong enough to survive in a colder climate, and they can be replanted outside again in the spring.
Choose plants that can tolerate being in less humid conditions and can handle partial shading. Some plants that would work great are leafy greens, root vegetables, and culinary herbs like sage, mint, parsley, and chives. If there is not a lot of sun where you are keeping your plants, you can supplement this by using an indoor UV light to give the plants some extra help.