Gardening provides many health and emotional benefits, along with providing fresh produce for your table. Thankfully it doesn't have to be difficult, or expensive.
These 12 easy gardening hacks will help you look like a pro and grow a great garden!
1. Use eggshells repel pests
Crush up egg shells and scatter them in a ring around the base/stem of young plants to keep slugs, snails and cutworms from bothering them. These tender bellied pests won't slide over the sharp edges.
2. DIY watering can
No watering can? No problem! Use an empty milk jug and pierce holes in the cap using a needle. Instant watering can without a trip to the store. Plus you just helped reused/recycled some of your kitchen trash. Different sized needles will give you a faster or slower flow of water.
3. Start seedlings in citrus pots
Instead of starting seeds in plug trays, use the hollowed out halves of citrus peels. Poke a hole in the bottom, fill with potting soil and then plant seeds in the "pot". When the seedlings are big enough the entire pot can be transplanted directly into the garden. The citrus peel will decompose, adding extra nutrients to the soil.
4. Vinegar to kill weeds
White vinegar makes an excellent, all-natural herbicide at a fraction of the cost of commercial sprays. Fill a spray bottle almost full with vinegar, add a teaspoon of dishsoap and stir gently to mix. (The dishsoap will help the vinegar adhere to the plant.) Spray on those pesky weeks and watch them wither up.
5. Cinnamon to prevent diseases
Cinnamon can be used for so much more than spicing your home baked goods! Sprinkle some on seedlings (inside or out) to prevent and cure mold and mildew on the plants.
6. Epsom salt as a fertilizer
Adding a couple spoonfuls of Epsom salt around the base of plants can help improve yield, and increase fruit/veggie size. Epsom salt contains magnesium and sulfur. Magnesium is a key component in fruit development; sulfur is important in forming enzymes and plant proteins.
7. Beer can slug traps
Slugs are a pesky problem in gardens, munching on tender, young plants. One of the easiest ways to get rid of them relies on luring them to their demise with cheap beer. Sink a container with a large opening -- or cut the top half off of a beer can -- into the ground, putting the rim just above soil level. Fill with beer; they are attracted to the yeast.
8. Milk jug mini greenhouses
Prevent cold weather, and late season frosts from damaging young tomato plants by creating miniature greenhouses. Cut the bottoms off clean milk jugs and place carefully over newly planted seedlings. Pile soil up around the outside to keep them from blowing away. Remove when the chance of frost has passed.
9. Himalayan salt water for spider mites
To treatment a spider mite infestation, mix two tablespoons of pink himalayan sea salt in one gallon of warm water. Spray on infected plants.
10. Use cinnamon on your seedlings
Sprinkle some cinnamon on your seedlings to help with "Damping off" disease. The Rusted Vegetable has a great tutorial on how to protect your seedlings with this common spice.
11. Wine bottle watering
Keep your plants watered for a few days using a wine bottle! Using a clean bottle, fill with water, and quickly invert. Stick the neck of the bottle down into the soil by the center of the plant you'd like to water.
12. Coffee grounds to improve soil structure
Mix coffee grounds into the garden soil to improve the soil structure and add organic matter. Over time they will decompose to release extra nitrogen as well.
Gardening doesn't have to be difficult with these easy hacks that are sure to make you look like a pro!
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