Gardening Hacks And Tips For An Enviable Back Yard

By Toby T

You don’t have to be born with a green thumb before you consider having a garden. Anyone with a knack for it can start a garden, and you’ll realize it isn’t as hard as it looks. Just like most houses would, you’ll find several items that can be put to good use in the garden. If you have some regular items like old newspapers, salt, or soap, they can come in handy too. Don’t worry if this looks a little hard for you at the start; we’ve compiled some valuable home gardening tips that can give you pro results. From propagating your plants to preventing weed growth with newspaper – these tricks are handy and easy to follow. If your garden needs a revamp, let’s work on making it better so your plants and vegetables can thrive in the best conditions.

Growing Onions Stress Free

No rule book says all your gardening should be done outdoors. Even in places without any space, you can still be your own farmer with your own produce with the little space you have. When you’re cooking next, don’t forget to keep the green onion scraps – they’ll come in handy for this hack.

Image source: Reddit / vibefanclub

If you have green onions, don’t take off the white part found at the bottom. If you look closely, they still have roots attached to it. Keep this part after chopping the onion and put it in a jar with some water in it. The water should cover the roots but be careful, so it doesn’t submerge the vegetable. After some days, you will notice new onions growing from the top.

Adding Epsom Salt Helps!

If you haven’t used salt before in the garden – now’s the time! Take a detailed look at store-bought fertilizers and the changes they undergo over time. If you have in-house plants that you apply fertilizers to regularly, you’ll start seeing crystals floating on top. The reason for this is simply because most of the fertilizers found in stores contain Epsom salt.

Image source: Instagram / iv_organics/ YouTube/ Natural Health

If you want a natural alternative to fertilizer or you’re running low, you can add some salt to your mix. You have two options, you can either sprinkle some on your flower bed, or you can add a tablespoon of this salt in water and mix thoroughly. If you prefer to go with the solution, pour it right at the plant’s base.

Vertical Garden With a Shoe Organizer

Regardless of where you live – in the city or the woods – this gardening hack is one you’ll definitely call a game-changer. If you lack space outdoors or you’re trying to make the most out of your plant collection and space is a premium, this hack is for you – create a standing garden. All you need for it is a shoe organizer, seeds, soil, and lots of love.

Image source: Reddit / ps6000

With a shoe organizer, you can grow a herb with just the right amount of space. Ensure you poke some holes beneath every pocket so water drains out properly. Next, fill everything with soil. Next, place the seeds of a growing plant inside. Who knew you could use a shoe organizer for something other than shoes?

Corks as Markers

Home gardening diehards will love this trick. If you have a herb garden map drawn out because you don’t want to get your plants mixed up, you’ll really like this trick. You can ease your vegetable gardening process by making convenient and small garden labels.

Image source: YouTube / Learn To Grow

The process is simpler than you thought. Gather several old wine corks, roasting sticks, toothpicks, and chopsticks. On every cork, write the plant’s name, fix it on a stick, and take it outside. Now you are equipped with useful labels that also look cute too.

For Your Greenhouse Use Several Plastic Bottles

A nice looking greenhouse is every gardener’s dream, but if this is something you can’t afford, a water bottle is enough to do the task. The best part about this hack is how easy it is. For starters, cut the plastic bottle’s bottom off and add some soil to it. Next, place the plant cuttings or seeds in them.  

Image source: Reddit / TxKingFish

When this is done, you can now water your plant and cover it with the bottle’s top. This simple experiment will give you a miniature greenhouse that plants can thrive in. Place the bottles beneath your window for it to grow. The moment you notice they’re strong enough, you can now replant them in your garden.

Zap Weed Growth with Newspaper

As valuable as news is, it becomes history the next day. Then you will be stuck with the newspaper still.  Over time, they begin to pile up and may constitute a nuisance if left unchecked. Rather than letting them go to waste, you can use it in your garden to combat a stubborn problem – weeds.

Image source: Flickr / staceymeinzen

This solution works like a charm, and it’s one of the golden gardening tips you should never forget. Here’s how you go about it – add enough soil on top of the laid out newspaper sheets. Because the paper can allow moisture during watering, it will inhibit the weed from spreading or growing in your garden.

Soap to Prevent Pests

Who doesn’t love a good looking garden? Unfortunately, when everyone likes something, that includes the good, the bad and the ugly. Other unfriendly animals like squirrels, rabbits and deers that live close will also visit your garden and you have to keep them away before they ruin your work.

Image source: Flickr / Cindy C

From the look of things, garden-based pests don’t like soap and they avoid it at all costs. According to Garden experts, they suggest that you shred a bar of soap – either manually with a cheese grater or with a food processor – then sprinkle it around your garden. No harm will come to your plants and the pest will be kept at bay. Remember to always repeat the process if it rains or after a few days.

Recycling Kitchen Scraps

You don’t have to pick seeds from the local store anymore. Plants that have grown fully can be created from vegetables without breaking a sweat. It’s cheap and you’ll have lots of fun in the process. You have everything you need right there in your kitchen. Take your bell pepper, for example, cut it in two and scrape the seeds till they fall inside the hollow in the bell pepper.

Image source: Flickr / Thorbjorn Reintoft

Next, fill the hollow with some soil and cover the half with some seed in it with soil – make sure you water it constantly. In no time, the plant will sprout and you’ll have new homegrown peppers. You can also do this with other veggies like tomato and you’ll be sure of getting successful results.

Sand to Prevent Rust

As usual, the garden gets the bulk of the attention. On the other hand, garden tools make do with the little time they get. As time goes on, due to rigorous use, wear and tear may set in. Weather also plays a major part in the depreciation of these tools. You can save these tools before they breakdown completely.

Image source: YouTube / Yael Ben-Ari

This is one hack you should store at the back of your head. For starters, use mineral oil to mix a full sandbag. If you don’t have mineral oil, baby oil can serve as a good substitute (it’s basically mineral oil and fragrances mixed). After you’ve thoroughly mixed it, place all your garden tools in it. Not only will they be stored in one space, it will also clean each and every tools.

The Perfect Home Gardening Watering Can

In truth, when done correctly, home gardening is a family-friendly activity. If you have kids, they’ll always try to help out whenever you’re in the garden. You could enlist them to help water the plants. If you’re experiencing a shortage of watering cans, an empty gallon can and a knife can get you a good replacement.

Image source: YouTube / Make It and Love It

Unscrew the lid from the jug, with either a pair of scissors or a knife, poke some holes atop the plastic lid. If you’re in a pinch, burn a tiny hole on the plastic jug lid then fill the jug with water. Cover it with the perforated lid and you have an additional watering can.

Stop Plants From Spreading with Plastic Pots

It takes several days of plotting and planning to map out the best backyard garden. Ensuring all plants are placed appropriately requires some skill. Unfortunately, some people forget to consider that these plants will grow – spreading out as they do so. Over time, they may even overtake other plants and you have to make sure they don’t do that.

Image source: Reddit / Anonymous Plant Addict

To correct a situation like this, bury a plastic pot and make sure it’s a little bigger than the plant’s main pot. You can bury both plants together with the casing in the pot underground. This will in more ways that one keep the plant’s root in check and you can change the erring plant if it doesn’t align.

Plastic Forks Garden to Keep Small Pests Away

Sometimes putting a scarecrow in your garden is not enough to scare those small garden pests that don’t seem to go away. As luck would have it, there’s a more effective solution. You can scare off rabbits, mice, squirrels, and more from eating your hard work. But small pests are a much thicker arena.

Image source: Flickr / Recyclart

Gather as many plastic forks as you can – they’ll be useful for this hack. Strategically place them with the wrong side facing upwards on the flower bed. Ensure you don’t end up creating a barrier as this may hinder you when trying to work on the garden. This obstacle will discourage garden pests and your plants can grow in peace.

Use a Cardboard to Zap Pesky Weeds

If you’ve ever wondered the steps to take or the things to do to get a garden free of weed, you’re not alone. The only thing that may come to you as a surprise is the amount of work you need to put in. Although it may be a little hard to believe, what the process entails is a single layer of cardboard submerged within the soil.

Image source: Flickr / Joe

After preparing your garden’s layout, cut a box apart to create several cardboard sheets. When you’re done, spread the sheets evenly throughout your garden and add the soil on the top layer. The cardboard soaks the water and allows the plants to have access to it. The best part is that weeds cannot penetrate the cardboard hence they can’t cause a nuisance.

Use Sponges To Combat Root Rot

As a rookie, you must have suffered a few losses in your journey in creating the perfect garden. From what we’ve been able to decipher, the major cause of potted plant death is incorrect watering. This usually happens via overwatering. By not applying the right amount of water, the plants tend to die.

Image source: Reddit / dontheteaman

Now’s the time to put the watering can down. In its place, pick up a diaper or a sponge and place it at the bottom of the pot before you add the plant. These objects have the capacity to adequately soak moisture which can, in turn, save your plant. Besides, planting microgreens will look adorable with your colored sponge.

Turn Kitchen Scraps For Garden Fertilizer

If for any reason you don’t have a container used for composting, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of those kitchen scraps you dispose of regularly. If you decide to save some of the things you sometimes throw out, you can become an in-house compost master – you can also add them to your garden bed.

Image source: Reddit / MilkiesMaximus

Here are some of the things you can save: bread, leftover vegetable scraps, citrus rinds, potato peels, coffee grounds, orange peels, banana peels and even eggshells. They should be collected over time – if possible, this should be done outside as it can create a stench. Bury it beneath your garden’s soil and watch as your plants will thrive.

Insert a Rose Cutting in a Potato and Watch It Grow

For those that love roses, your dream can become a reality and it’s not hard at all. You can create a brand new rose garden in the comfort of your backyard with a regular household meal found in most homes. We are sure you couldn’t have guessed that roses could grow in potatoes – in reality, it does.

Image source: Youtube / Fenyutas

This trick is actually a favourite of ours. From your bouquet, cut some roses and create cuttings from healthy stems. Take the cuttings and insert them in a potato then bury it under the soil. Although this sounds a bit out of place, the potato creates a conducive environment that keeps the rose cuttings wet and allows them to grow.

Recycle Toilet Paper Rolls and use them for Seedlings

Here’s an easy recycling trick that works in two ways – it forms new plant life and helps save the planet. Now’s the time to stop throwing those used out toilet tissue rolls. Instead, you can put it to good use in your garden.

Image source: Reddit / PinappleLife3

By using toilet paper tubes and stuffing them with garden soil, you can bring new and beautiful plant life into existence. Create space for the seeds by dipping your finger in the soil, insert the seeds and let them grow. The moment they sprout, transplant the tube in your garden. With the passage of time, the tube disintegrates while the budding plant will be sturdy and strong enough to survive on its own.

Plastic Containers For Optimum Growing Conditions

If you’ve gotten this far, you’ll know we once used plastic bottles to make an in house greenhouse. That’s not all you can use plastic bottles for, you can also use it in several other ways in your garden. With just the lid of a take away container, you can take your garden to another level.

Image source: Reddit / mtb_ryno

As a gardener, there are some seedlings you want to shield from pests or there are some seeds that can only function in perfect conditions. You can achieve this by taking the lid of a takeaway and burying the sides in some soil. By doing this, you create a pest barrier at the same time you will also allow the plants to thrive in a controlled and humid condition.

Weed-Killer Without Harsh Chemicals

When home gardening experts pick up weed killers from the store, they do so because they know that it is effective – sometimes they are a little too effective. Although it kills weeds quickly, most times it also goes beyond its job description and ends up killing the plants and flowers.

Image source: YouTube / Living on a Dime to Grow Rich

If you’re tired of killing your plants accidentally or you want a weed-killer that doesn’t have harsh chemicals, this trick is perfect for you. With a jar of white vinegar, one tablespoon of soap and a cup of salt you can make your own homemade weed killer. Use this mixture on a sunny afternoon for best results.

Put Your Soil in Place with Coffee Filters Placed Within the Pot

The beauty of this trick is that it works on both outdoor and indoor plants. If you are an ardent gardener, you’d have realised the therapeutic nature of watering plants. However, when you end up with lots of wet dirt strewn everywhere, the experience can be ruined in its entirety.

Image source: Reddit / Peah 1977

The reason for this is that the drainage holes found at the flower pot’s bottom not only lose water, most time the soil goes along with it too. Unfortunately, you can’t plug the holes because you can kill your plant if you’re not careful. Instead, put a coffee filter in the pot before putting soil in the pot. This allows the water to drain without the soil going with it.

Use the Nutrients Found in Weed to Your Advantage

Having weeds in your garden is something you can’t escape and it can be very frustrating. Worse still, for your plants to thrive, you have to remove them which can be taxing for anyone. For some gardeners, they would not waste another second before getting rid of the weeds – on the other hand, you don’t have to be in a hurry to remove them.

Image source: YouTube / David The Good

When next you’re weeding, gather the weeds in a heap and put everything in a large bucket. Next, cover everything with water and wait for some hours. This process is quite simple, what it does is to soak up every nutrient stored within the weeds which would otherwise be lost. After the wait, remove the weeds and water the garden with the water that’s leftover. Now, you can put weeds to productive use.

Use a Muffin Tin to Space Plants Evenly

Just like people, plants like their space too and they need it if they have to grow. For this reason, it is of utmost importance to ensure there’s enough space when planting – else, the results may be disastrous. Spacing helps the plant grow bigger and it also helps looks pleasing to the eyes when you admire your work at the end of the day.

Reddit / ConnorHolbert

On the internet, a ruler used for plant spacing will set you back $25. If you want to save yourself that sum, a muffin tin can do the trick. If you have one at home, don’t hesitate to put it to good use in your garden. Press the muffin tin firmly beneath the ground and repeat the process evenly across the board. Next, place the plant seed in the centre of every circle and you’ll have a perfectly spaced bed.

Use Plastic Bottles For Large Pots

Do you have a very large pot you want to use but the plant is too small to fit in. On the other hand, you may be trying to be conservative and you don’t want to waste too much soil in such a big pot. If you find yourself in either situation, this hack is exactly what you need. Grab as many plastic bottles as you can, you will be needing them.

Image source: YouTube / eHow

Stack as much empty bottles as you can at the bottom of the big pot then fill the top with some soil. This way, you don’t have to use so much soil and your plant can comfortably fit in. A major advantage of the bottles at the bottom of the pot is the air pocket they create. This helps plant roots so much so that it does not allow them to rot.

Aluminum Cans For Spraying Precise Areas

If you are using a weed spray to treat your garden in a bid to rid it of pesky weeds, you are one step away between disaster and a healthy yard. You don’t have to put yourself under pressure. Instead, simply grab an aluminium can that’s empty or a plastic bucket and use that instead.

Image source: YouTube / Bonnie Plants

You have the option of cutting the plastic bucket’s bottom out or get an aluminium can and clean it out. Next, take off the top and bottom with a can opener. Place the device atop a weedy patch and start spraying the weed killer fervently inside. You get to focus the spray on a particular spot and you don’t have to worry about killing the surrounding plants.

Make Your Own DIY Spray

There’s nothing as devastating as having your hopes dashed. You’ve laboured for several months tending to your plants and you just can’t wait for the harvest. Unfortunately, when it’s time to literally reap the fruits of your labour, pesky insects have reaped where they did not sow. This would not have happened to you if you use this natural and simple homemade insect spray – it’s safe for pets and plants so don’t worry.

This solution is not hard to make. What you need is 1 garlic head, mint leaves (1.5 cups) and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Other items that will complete the mix are dishwasher liquid and six cups of clean water. Put everything into a food processor to blend smoothly. When that is done, pour it in a spray bottle and voila!

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