As an avid gardener for many years, I’ll be the first to admit that gardening can often be dirty, time-consuming, and just plain hard work! (Although the fruits of my labors are so gratifying!) In my experience, there are two things you can do to make the work of gardening more enjoyable.
The first thing you can do is adjust your perspective and learn to love those “less glamorous” parts of gardening. The older I get, the more I find the work of gardening to be very therapeutic. Getting dirty and sweaty are part of the process, and besides, it’s good for you too!
And the second thing you can do to make gardening more enjoyable is to learn a few tricks that can make things easier. And you’re in luck, because that’s exactly what I’ll be sharing with you in today’s post! :-) Here are 11 clever hacks you can put to good use in your own garden!
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11 Clever & Useful Gardening Hacks
1. Make Your Own Seed Tape
Planting seeds can be hard work, but you can make it easier by making your own seed tape beforehand! It’s an easy project and it’s pretty fun too!
To make seed tape, you space out the seeds along a roll according to the planting directions and “glue” them down. Then when it’s time to plant, all you have to do is unroll your seed tape and bury it at the proper depth!
2. Save Space With Container Gardening
You don’t have to have a lot of extra space to be able to grow things at home. You can grow all sorts of things in space-saving containers wherever you have a few extra feet of room outside!
You can even grow potatoes in containers, and it’s surprisingly easy!
3. Milk Jug Watering Can
No watering can? No problem! You can fashion one out of an empty milk jug in about 30 seconds.
Just wash out the milk jug, then use a craft knife to poke several small holes in the cap. Fill the clean jug with water, screw on the cap, and you’re ready to water your plants!
4. Save Your Eggshells
Instead of tossing out empty eggshells, save them to use in your garden! Eggshells make a great fertilizer because they are rich in calcium and other minerals that your garden needs.
Sprinkle crushed eggshells into the holes before planting, or sprinkle them around the base of established plants every few weeks. You can also scatter crushed eggshells around your vegetables and flowers to deter common garden pests like slugs, snails, and even stray cats!
5. Multi-Purpose Tool Holder
It’s important to keep your garden tools clean and sharp, but why do the hard work yourself when you can make something that will do it for you? ;-)
Making a self-cleaning, self-sharpening garden tool holder is as easy as filling a spare garden pot with oil and sand. Get the full instructions in the linked post!
6. Use Water Twice
No matter what kind of plants you grow, they all need water! And they’re not picky about where that water comes from.
Save the water you use when you boil or steam veggies, pasta, eggs, etc. and use it to water your plants! (Just make sure to let the water cool to room temperature before using it—you don’t want to scald your plants!)
7. Pamper Your Hands
There’s something undeniably satisfying about working in the dirt with your hands, but cleaning up the aftermath? Not so much.
Unless you’ve mixed up a jar of my Gardener’s Hand Scrub, that is! This stuff is a must-have for anyone who gardens, because it gets your hands nice and clean and leaves them soft and moisturized too.
8. Recycled Seed Starters
We could all stand to do a little more reducing, reusing, and recycling, and gardening offers a lot of opportunities to do reuse household items! One option is to start your seeds in empty toilet paper tubes.
Once your starts are ready to transplant to the garden, just saturate the cardboard with plenty of water to help it break down in the ground.
9. Milk Jug Mini Greenhouse
Cut the bottom off an empty milk jug and use it as a mini greenhouse of sorts! Put it over small, tender plants to protect them from frost when it’s still early in the season.
You can also use your milk jug to keep bugs and pests away from those temptingly tender leaves of your young plants.
10. Keep Your Seeds Organized
Having a hard time keeping your collection of seed packets organized? Try storing them in the sleeves of a photo album instead!
Not only does the album make it easy to keep track of your packets, but the photo sleeves will also keep their contents from spilling all over the place.
11. Properly Hydrated Pots
Adding sponges to the bottom of a potted plant can help address some of the most common water-related issues that affect plants: over- and under-watering.
Just cut up a few old sponges and place them in the bottom of the pot before planting. The sponges will absorb excess moisture and create additional airspace to help prevent root rot, and they’ll act as a water reserve to help keep the soil from drying out too.
Do you have any clever hacks that you use in your own garden?