It seems that there's a "hack" for just about anything these days, and gardening is certainly no exception. People are constantly coming up with creative solutions to gardening problems.
This list of 10 gardening hacks will re-purpose household items for the garden, helping to deter pests, save money and make gardening just a little bit easier.
1. Line planting containers
Before filling pots with potting soil, lay a clean coffee filter over the drainage holes in the bottom. This will prevent potting soil from falling out all over the deck/patio/porch.
2. Make your own seed starter containers
No more buying seed starter containers, make your own own instead! Fill a blender with a couple handfuls of shredded or ripped paper scraps and then pour a little warm water in. Blend on high until it resembles a gooey mess of pulp. Strain as much water as possible, and form into cups using a muffin tin.
3. Deter pests with egg shells
Wash and dry empty egg shells, saving them to use in the garden. Crush them into small pieces and scatter on top of the soil around tender plants to deter snails and slugs.
4. Use newspapers as weed block
Cover the topsoil around your garden plants with a layer of newspaper, water thoroughly, and spread an adequate layer of mulch on top of the newspaper. This will help keep weeds at bay while allowing water to penetrate down through to the soil. According to the Permaculture Research Institute, most newspapers use soy-based inks, making it safe to lay down in the garden.
5. Grow tomatoes in milk jugs
If you're short on garden space but want to enjoy the taste of home-grown, fresh from the garden tomatoes, look no further than some empty mil jugs. Cut the tops off, leaving the handle intact, fill with potting soil and plant a tomato plant in each jug. Use the handle to hang your container on the fence, or side of your deck to save space.
6. Stick a fork in it
Nobody wants the neighborhood cats using their garden as a litter box. To keep them from digging in your friable topsoil, stick a few plastic forks in the ground in between plants, with the tines sticking up into the air.
7. Use car wax
When your gardening tools start to get a little troublesome, apply a light coat of car wax to the metal to act as a lubricant. Food Navigator explains that carnuba wax -- a common component in car waxes -- is completely safe even if it comes in contact with garden produce.
8. Soap your nails
Slide your fingernails across the top of a bar of soap, caking soap under your nails. When you work in the garden -- even with gloves on -- soil won't collect underneath your nails and it makes washing your hands super easy!
9. Lay soaker hose
Lay soaker hose around the garden, close to the base of plants and cover with a layer of mulch. This is an efficient and simple way to add an irrigation system that can be easily moved if the garden layout changes.
10. Milk jug hothouses
Cut the bottoms off of clean milk jugs and place over frost sensitive plants such as tomatoes and peppers, to protect them when nighttime temps drop early in the season.
From using plastic forks to keep neighborhood cats at bay, to caking soap underneath your nails, these are great hacks to use in your garden. Sometimes the most simple solutions yield the best results.
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