Gardening can be a calming and fun activity, especially for those with a green thumb. Whether you want to grow flowers for show, or even some vegetables to eat, the garden itself can get rather difficult to maintain. However, it’s still a worthwhile endeavor, which can be made a bit easier with these tips and tricks. Here are some gardening hacks to save you time and money.
Mix Annuals and Perennials In Your Garden
Materials Needed: Perennials, annuals
Cost to Make: $10-$20 per plant
The first step to making a good-looking garden is figuring out what kind of healthy plants you want in your garden. If you want color all year long, you should try using a mix of perennials and annuals. Planting the two varieties together will keep your garden colorful, no matter the time of the year. And during that special time when your annuals bloom, it’ll look like a real masterpiece.
Wine Bottle Plant Waterer
Materials Needed: Wine bottle, water
Cost to Make: $5
Keeping plants alive and remembering to water them can be hard for some people. Some people use this glass tool called an Aqua Globe to water the plant automatically, but there’s a more inexpensive option. Just fill up a wine bottle with water and stick it into the soil. The water will slowly seep out, keeping the soil moist without you having to lift a finger. Except to refill the wine bottle every once in a while.
Old Spoons Signs
Materials Needed: Metal spoons, paint, hammer
Cost to Make: $5
For some, when making an herb garden, identifying the different plants can be quite simple. But if you’re new at it, things can be quite a bit more difficult, especially after the seeds have just started to grow. Signs solve this problem, but regular signs can be a bit dull and take away from the prestige of your garden. Using flattened metal spoons and all-surface paint, you can make the perfect signs for your herb garden, only adding to its prestige.
Materials Needed: Planters, glow-in-the-dark paint
Cost to Make: $12
In the summertime, lighting in the garden can add ambiance to the setting. While some light fixtures can get rather expensive, you can get the lighting you need with just a few coats of paint. All you need is some glow-in-the-dark paint to put on your pots or planters outside. While pots, themselves may cost around $15 themselves, you may already have some plants in containers anyway.
Epsom Salt Fertilizer
Materials Needed: Epsom salt, spray bottle, water
Cost to Make: $9.48 (Pennington, 7 lb. bag)
Epsom salt is normally thought as something useful for home remedies. However, the salt is also helpful when it comes to plant growth. They benefit well from the magnesium within it. It’ll help with seed germination, nutrient absorption, and chlorophyll production. The best way to disperse it is to dilute two teaspoons in a gallon of water, then poor the mix into a spray bottle to mist the plants once a month. It’s especially inexpensive, as you can get seven pounds of Epsom salt for less than $10.
Citrus Rind Seed Starter
Materials Needed: Citrus rinds, soil, seeds, water
Cost to Make: $10
You’d probably be tempted to just throw out an orange rind after you eat the fruit. However, citrus rinds actually make excellent seed starters. You just need to fill the empty rind with potting soil and you can plant your preferred seeds inside. The plants can’t spend their entire lives within the rind, but it’ll give it proper nutrients to get things started. Then you can transfer it to a larger pot or container.
Cinnamon Powder Prevents Plant Disease
Materials Needed: Cinnamon powder
Cost to Make: $8.59 (McCormick, 8oz. bottle of cinnamon powder)
Cinnamon isn’t just a tasty topper on your food and drinks, but it also has anti-fungal properties. Sprinkling it onto the surface of the soil when the seeds are still young and can prevent damping-off disease. That’s when a soil-borne fungus rots the stem and root of new plants. It can also be used to stop fungus from growing on older plants.
Baking Soda for Sweet Tomatoes
Materials Needed: Baking soda
Cost to Make: $0.65
Growing vegetables is an excellent way to start a healthy and independent lifestyle. Although, doing so can still be rather difficult. But, in the case of tomatoes, there’s a special trick to getting it done. If you take a bag of baking soda, you can sprinkle it around the soil. It makes the tomatoes bigger and sweeter when it starts to grow.
Materials Needed: An old purse, waterproof lining, plants
Cost to Make: $15-$25
Garden ornaments can get a little pricey, especially the more elaborate they get. However, if you really want a nice looking pot or hanger, you may already have one in your house. If you own an old purse that you don’t use anymore, just get it waterproofed and you can have a rather unique and fancy planter. Even though you’ll have to pay for waterproofing and potentially varnish, it’s still less expensive than buying a special planter outright.
Old Cans for Drainage
Materials Needed: Old cans
Cost to Make: $0
Almost every household drinks soda. And even if they don’t drink soda, there’s likely some way that they consume the contents of aluminum cans. But instead of just putting them in the recycling bin when they’re empty, you should try reusing them for your garden. Placing a few cans at the bottom of a planter before filling it with compost. This will help with drainage, making sure that the plants don’t wither way.
Eggshell Seed Starter
Materials Needed: Eggshells, compost, seeds
Cost to Make: $1.46
Getting seeds started can be a bit difficult. But, in addition to using citrus rinds, eggshells can make a good seed starter as well. They provide a perfectly safe and warm space for seeds to get started in. Just place the soil and seeds in the broken egg shell and take care of the plant as normal. The egg carton or box can then act as a stand.
Potato Rose Bushes
Materials Needed: Potatoes, rose bush clippings
Cost to Make: $3
The crowning achievement of any garden is a beautiful rose bush. Although, growing them from scratch can be incredibly difficult to accomplish. However, there’s an excellent shortcut to help you get started. All you have to do is place the rose bush within a potato spud. Then plant the spud into the ground. Apparently, they make wonderful bushes.
Muffin Tray Plant Spacer
Materials Needed: Muffin tray
Cost to Make: $4/free
Some gardeners scatter their seeds willy nilly and just wait and see what pops up. Although, that’s no everyone’s preference. Of course, planting perfectly spaced out plants can take a rather long time. But if you grab a muffin tray from your kitchen, you can use those to leave imprints in the soil. If you have to buy one though, you can one pretty cheap online.
Self-Watering Shoe Planter
Materials Needed: An old shoe, compost, plant, waterproof liner
Cost to Make: $10
You probably have at least one old pair of shoes somewhere in your closet. Sending them to Goodwill is one option, but, alternatively, you can use them for your garden. Giving an old boot a waterproof lining, filling it with compost, and sticking a plant inside might not exactly be the most beautiful aesthetic, but it is cost effective. If you dip the lace into water, the boot can actually be a self-watering pot.
Vinegar Weed Killer
Materials Needed: White vinegar
Cost to Make: $3.39
It’s easy to think that a named weed killer brand is what you need to keep them away from your garden. However, there’s a much more inexpensive option. You can actually take a bottle of vinegar and poor it right into the weeds. It works just as well as an actual weed killer brand, but it’s much less expensive and less dangerous to the consumer.
Ice Cream Cone Seed Starter
Materials Needed: Pack of ice cream cones, compost, seeds
Cost to Make: $5
And here’s yet another potential seed starter. Wafer cones can cost as little as one dollar. Just do as you’d expect, filling up the cone with the soil and seeds. Then, since they’re biodegradable, you can just plant the cone directly into the ground when the plant gets too big.
Succulent Water Bottle Propagator
Materials Needed: Old plastic water bottle, water, succulent clippings
Cost to Make: $1/free
Succulents are considered one of the easiest plants to keep in a house. However, overwatering them can still prove to be an issue, leading to plant death. At this point, poor some water into an empty plastic bottle, make slits on the sides, and clip the leaves from the succulent. Then just insert the leaves into the holes and you’ll have a succulent propagator.
Colander Hanging Basket
Materials Needed: Colander, liner, chains, compost, plants
Cost to Make: $10
If you’ve got an empty colander laying around, then you’ve got yourself the perfect hanging basket for flowers or other plants. It’ll look good too, not to mention it’ll function like a normal hanging basket. Built-in drainage and an excellent visage, just add chains or something else to hold the colander and you’ve got the perfect basket.
Diapers for Moisture
Materials Needed: Diapers
Cost to Make: $7
For some plants, maintaining the right level of moisture is essential, and can be incredibly difficult. For those that prefer damp soil, this hack is genius. Diapers are great at retaining moisture after all, so stick one at the bottom of your planter. It’ll keep the soil nice and moist.
Beer Slug Killer
Materials Needed: Beer, cup, or plate
Cost to Make: $2
Slugs are an unwanted assailant that can cause a great deal of issues in one’s garden. An option for you would be pouring beer into a cup or saucer and then burying it in the soil. As it turns out, the slugs will be attracted to it. Then they’ll fall into the hole.
Upturned Fork Pest Deterrent
Materials Needed: Plastic forks
Cost to Make: $1
Gardens are often destroyed by vermin like squirrels and rodents. However, unlike slugs, you may be hesitant to do something actively harmful to those animals. But a quick and easy way to keep them off your garden is to bury a bunch of plastic forks with the prongs facing up. The spikes are enough to give the animal a poke and a scare, but not cause any serious injury.
Old Tire Planters
Materials Needed: Old tires, compost, plants, paint
Cost to Make: $10-$20
You can get old tires from scrap yards for pretty cheap. You might even have some yourself. You can take them, paint them, and line them up to make a pretty garden. And you can rearrange them into all sorts of patterns.
Tin Can Lanterns
Materials Needed: Drill, old tin cans, tea light candles, paint
Cost to Make: $5-$10
Tin cans get repurposed in all sorts of ways, and making a pretty nightlight for your garden is just one of them. Cut nice patterns on the outside of the can and place a candle inside each one. Then you can string them together to create a series of lanterns, with almost no cost to yourself.
Shoe Organizer Hanging Garden
Materials Needed: Shoe organizer, waterproof lining, compost, plants
Cost to Make: $30
This isn’t exactly the cheapest of the gardening hacks on this list, but it’s still cheaper than a lot of different options. Not every garden exactly has bundles of space to plant plants, but that’s where the shoe organizer comes in. Line each compartment with waterproof material, fill them up with compost, and then you can start yourself a horizontal garden.
Cookie Cutter Tomato Shaper
Materials Needed: Cookie cutters, tomato plant
Cost to Make: $5
This one assumes you already have a tomato plant capable of producing relatively large fruits. Even if you need to buy your own tomato, this one’s still fun. The ordinarily round shape of the tomatoes can be changed by placing them inside cookie cutter shapers before they finish. Then, their shape will change to accommodate the cookie cutters.