When the sun is shining and the weather is warm, it’s always lovely to get outdoors in your own garden or yard, tending to your plants, creating a beautiful and peaceful space where you can really feel at peace. Our gardens can mean so much to us, offering tranquil havens of nature for families and friends to enjoy, but they can also require a lot of care and work in order to stay healthy and vibrant.
You can spend hours on end out in the yard, digging up weeds, watering your flowerbeds, making sure everything is growing nicely, but if you want to save a little time and effort, we’ve got some great tips and tricks to share with you. These ultimate gardening hacks will help you enjoy a happy and healthy garden with minimal effort required, giving you even more free time to sit back, sip a cool glass of lemonade in the summer sun, and enjoy your yard.
Control Those Climbers with Zip Ties
Simple items like zip ties can have so many helpful uses, both in the house and outside in the garden. If you have climbing plants or vines that might get a little out of control, simply use the zip ties to keep them in check.
The ties are safe to use and can be fastened around pieces of wood or fencing, guiding the growth of your climbers just the way you want, but be sure not to tie too tightly.
Breathe New Life into Backyard Games
Many people love to play games out in the backyard or garden, but you might not realize that little pieces and parts from those old games can be used in all kinds of other ways. This photo shows you just one example.
Here, we can see how some simple croquet hoops have been used to create a path for the garden hose, keeping it in place and preventing anyone from tripping over it in the future.
Have Fun with the Kids
Many parents or grandparents want to get little ones involved and interested in gardening, but getting kids to pull weeds or water plants is never particularly exciting or engaging. Instead, why not give this trick a try!
Grab some simple stones or pebbles from out in your yard and wash them off. Next, sit down with the kids and start painting them, adding faces and patterns. You can then place the stones around the garden as markers or just decorations.
Make Your Own Can Planters
Instead of tossing away all those old soda cans, why not turn them into planters? They’re fun and colorful, adding a bit of life and unique style to any yard or interior space, and they work perfectly well for smaller plants too.
All you need to do to get started is use a can opener to cut the lids off, but be sure to be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp edges. Once that’s done, fill the can with soil and poke some holes in the base for drainage.
Protect Plants with Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide can be dangerous to all forms of life in large quantities, but it’s actually a great guardian for plants when diluted. It works to protect them from rot and fungal infections, among other diseases too, promoting positive plant health all around your garden.
To make use of hydrogen peroxide in the right way, you’ll want to dilute a very small amount, using a 3% peroxide solution and spraying it lightly over your seeds and seedlings.
The Magic of Epsom Salt
Epsom salt, also known as hydrated magnesium sulfate, has a whole lot of uses. It’s one of those classic products that are always good to have around the home, and it has a special use out in the garden elsewhere as a super-strong fertilizer.
Epsom salt is rich in magnesium, a very potent and powerful mineral for plant growth. Sprinkling some Epsom salt around your flowers before watering them, or mixing a little in with the water beforehand, can give them a big health boost.
Make Your Own Rain Barrel
Saving water is great for the planet and great for your wallet too, cutting down on utility bills. So, instead of using up more water whenever you head outside to water your plants, why not recycle rainwater instead?
It’s super easy to make your own rain barrel with nothing but an old trash can and some simple tools, and the amount of water you can save really is extraordinary, helping you be kind to your garden and kind to the planet at the same time.
Add Some Life to Your Garden with Colorful Spoons
Many gardeners like to put little signs out by their herbs or other plants to let people know what they are. Instead of spending cash on pre-made signs, why not make your own using something you probably have too many of already: spoons!
Old spoons can be colored and decorated in fun ways and then simply stuck in the soil beside your plants. This is a really fun thing to do as a family, and little kids love decorating the spoons and learning about gardening.
A Pallet for All Your Tools
Do you ever find yourself misplacing gardening tools or wasting a lot of time searching around for them all in your garage or shed whenever you want to head outside? Well, this is the trick for you.
Hang a simple wooden shipping pallet on a wall or fence outside, and then hang the tools on it. It’s a super easy and fun DIY project and it gives you instant access to all your tools, whenever you need them.
A Travel Coffee Cup for Potted Plants
Many people have travel coffee cups these days. They’re reusable, kind to the environment, and super convenient to take along on trips or carry to work each day. You can also use them to give your plants a drink!
Filled up with freshwater, travel coffee cups make perfect household watering cans. The little hole in the top is just right for providing a steady stream of moisture for your plants and letting you control how much water you give them.
Potatoes and Roses
Did you know that potatoes and roses make perfect partners? We’re not suggesting you hand over a bag of potatoes to a loved one on Valentine’s Day, but you can use these two unlikely companions together in the garden.
Cut off healthy rose stems and push the ends down into large potatoes. Then bury the potatoes in the soil. The potatoes help to provide moisture and nutrition to the roses as they start to develop new roots and grow.
Magic Muffin Holes
You might not think it, but a simple muffin or cupcake tray, the kind you use to bake sweet treats for all the family in the kitchen, can have a super use out in your garden.
By pushing the muffin tray down into the dirt and then repeating this process, again and again, you can create lots of perfectly sized holes in which to place seeds and small plants. Just be sure to use an old, unwanted tray or clean it very thoroughly if you plan on actually using it again.
The Power of Vinegar
It simply wouldn’t be a ‘life hack’ list without vinegar. Vinegar has so many different uses around the home, and it can prove highly useful out in the garden too. It’s a super-strong weed killer.
Weeds really hate vinegar, so all you need to do is pour some over them and all around the areas where they tend to grow. This won’t just kill and remove them, but it will stop them coming back again in the future too.
Dealing with Dense Plants
Watering and nourishing small plants is relatively easy, but how do you handle the dense, thick plants in your garden? Many gardeners worry that these kinds of plants aren’t getting the nourishment and care they need. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution here.
You can actually make use of some plastic tubing to deliver water and fertilizer right down to the base of the plant, poking the tube through the foliage to provide essential nutrition with ease.
Create a Plastic Greenhouse
You don’t need to invest in a huge glass structure to enjoy the benefits of your own private greenhouse. Simple plastic containers, the kind you might use around the home for storing children’s toys or old clothes, can do the job just fine.
These plastic storage containers are really cheap to buy and have similar effects to greenhouses, helping to provide light and warmth to the plants inside. Plus, they’re so practical to carry around and place wherever you like, even in the home.
Keep Seedlings Safe with Old Jugs
Seedlings can be so fragile. The slightest changes in temperature can completely ruin their chances of survival, and every gardener wants to keep them safe and warm so they grow up into big, strong, healthy plants.
One way you can do this is through the use of old milk or water jugs. Just cut off the bottoms and take off the caps, placing them over your seedlings or other plants for protection when the cold weather starts to arrive.
Make Use of Broken Pots
It happens to all of us from time to time. Maybe you were trying to carry a pot and accidentally dropped it, maybe there was some kind of family accident while playing a game out on the lawn, or maybe someone just happened to be feeling a little clumsy and smashed a pot somehow.
Either way, instead of throwing the pieces away, you can put them to good use! Carve into them or write on them with markers and use them as decorative elements or signs around a herb garden or flower bed.
Toilet Paper Tubes Turn into Seed Tubes
There are some household items we all have and tend to toss straight in the trash, with toilet paper tubes being one common example, but these tubes can actually have some great uses for your gardening needs, as this useful gardening hack proves.
Next time, instead of throwing those tubes away, turn them on their side in a waterproof or Tupperware box and fill them with soil. Add your seeds and then plant the tubes straight into the garden. The tube itself will decompose naturally while providing a safe space for your seeds.
A Bit of Cardboard Is All You Need
Many people want to enjoy the beauty and elegance of a raised garden bed, but don’t want to worry about the huge costs and lengthy installation time associated with these beds. Fortunately, all you need to make your own is a bit of cardboard.
Cardboard can be placed over an existing patch of lawn. It blocks out light, stopping anything from growing, and provides a carbon layer for the bed, saving you huge amounts of time and money.
Toss Those Peels in the Compost
Many people eat bananas each and every day. They’re one of the world’s most popular fruits, after all, and they’re always nutritious and delicious, but instead of tossing the peel in the trash, give it to your garden instead.
Bananas are essential elements of any compose pile. They add so many key minerals like calcium and magnesium to the soil, and they break down super quickly too. You can even speed the process up a little by chopping the peels into small chunks.
Rid Yourself of Mosquitoes
We all love to be outside, breathing in the fresh air, feeling nature all around us, and enjoying the comforts of our private gardens and yards, but there’s always one problem: mosquitoes. Fortunately, there are ways to rid yourself of these blood-sucking bugs.
They hate certain herbs, so if you plant the herbs listed in this image just right, you can create a lovely little herb garden while also staying safe. It’s one of the most natural ways to repel mosquitoes.
Make a Teeny Tiny Greenhouse
We can’t all afford huge greenhouses and we don’t all have the space for them at home. Some of us don’t even have gardens, but love plants and want to grow out own at home however we can. This solution can help you do that.
Simply cut the base off a soda bottle and place it over a little pot with some seeds or seedlings planted inside. This creates the perfect conditions for plant growth, and you can simply remove the bottle when the plants have sprouted.
Put a Diaper on Your Plant
The most loving and tender gardeners really care for their plants, almost treating them like their own children or babies. Well, what do we do with a baby? We put diapers on it, and the same logic can apply to plants as well!
It might sound strange at first, but diapers on plants can actually be very effective. Place them at the bottom of pots to retain moisture and give the plants time to absorb nutrients and stay healthy, while also meaning you don’t have to water them so often.
A Spiky Solution
Maybe you have a cat or dog that loves to run around your flowerbeds and ruin your plants, or perhaps a neighbor’s pet or local animal has gotten into the habit of running amok in your garden. Either way, this solution can help out.
Simply get some plastic forks and bury them beneath the soil. The little plastic spikes aren’t really dangerous to animals but still serve as a deterrent. It’s not the most attractive hack, but it does work.
Look After Your Plants When You’re Away
We can’t always be there for our plants. There are times when we need to go away, either on vacation or some other kind of trip that means we won’t be around to give them water. If you don’t have anyone to come around and water your plants for you, use this trick.
Roll up some paper towels to form a kind of rope and then dunk it in a glass of water at one end, laying the rest out across the soil to distribute the water.
Make Lawn Edging Easier
Lawn edging or flowerbed edging can be a tricky process, as you need to get all the measurements just right to avoid the whole thing looking messy and incorrect. Fortunately, this hack can help.
To edge your lawn effectively, simply law down a 2 x 6 board. Keep it in place with your foot, and then run a flat spade along the edge, moving the board along to keep the line straight. It couldn’t be simpler!
Be Kind to Butterflies
Many gardeners don’t like seeing too many creepy crawlies in their gardens, but plenty of insects do very important jobs for our plants and flowers. Butterflies are a wonderful example of this, helping to pollinate our plants as they fly around.
Butterflies also add a lot of color and life to a garden with their pretty patterns and unique wings, so we need to be kind to them. You can create your own butterfly feeing bowl to lure more butterflies onto your lawn.
Give the Bugs a Cup of Coffee
Creepy crawlies of all kinds deserve to live their lives too, but many of us don’t want them interfering with our flowerbeds and eating up the plants we like to grow in our gardens.
Fortunately, there are plenty of human ways to handle pest problems. One of the most effective options of all is to mix some old coffee grounds in with your soil. Bugs like ants really don’t like the strong smell of coffee, so they’ll steer clear of your favorite plants.
Coffee Filter Paper
We’ve just seen that old coffee grounds can be used in the garden to deter insects, and here’s another interesting coffee-related hack you might want to know for your garden.
The filter paper you use in coffee makers can actually be placed at the bottom of plant pots. Why? Well, it works to stop water draining out of the bottom and going to waste. The paper also acts as a barrier to stop soil clogging up near the base of the pot.
A Great Use for Old Cans
How many cans does your family get through in a single year? Many of us toss out hundreds of these simply, single-use items, but you can use them in a fun and inventive way in your garden as well.
If you’re putting a plant in a very deep pot or planter, fill the bottom of it with cans. They help to provide aeration and healthier soil, improving the quality of life for your plant.
Prevent Roots Spreading Too Far
There are some lovely plants out there with rather greedy roots. Lots of herbs are like this, and their roots tend to spread out very far beneath the ground, taking water and nourishment away from others in the area.
To grow these plants without running the risk of harming the others, you can try this trick. Place the plants in a pot with the bottom cut off, and then bury that. The walls of the pot will prevent the roots from going too far.
Recycle Those Lemon Peels
When you squeeze out a lemon or other citrus fruit, you tend to toss the peel away or put it into a compost heap, but you could get even more life out of it by using it as a temporary plant pot.
Yes, lemon peels are just right as introductory plant pots for your seedlings. The peel adds healthy vitamins to the seeds and serves as a nice pot-shape for them to grow. You can even plant them right in the ground, where they’ll break down over time.
A Miracle Spice
Many gardeners worry about diseases spreading around their plants. You might not know it, but there’s probably something in your kitchen cabinets right now that could help to save your plants from harmful diseases and infections.
Cinnamon, as well as being a delicious spice to mix into hot chocolate and cookies, is also a miracle worker out in the garden. It has anti-fungal properties, fighting off infections that could harm or kill your plants.
The Double Pot Trick
So many gardeners dream of redesigning their gardens, moving plants around and changing things up a little, but the actual logistics of doing that are often very complicated and off-putting. The double pot trick can help.
For this trick, you dig a hole and place one pot in it, then add your plant in a second pot into the first. That way, you can swap different plants in and out whenever you want. Just remember to get the sizes right.
Make Your Own Watering Can
Sometimes, we want to do some work in the garden or yard but find ourselves lacking the essential tools for the job. One of the key things every gardener needs, for example, is a watering can.
If you’ve misplaced your watering can or discovered that it has been broken or damaged, you don’t need to fret. You can make your own with an old milk jug by piercing some holes in the lid.
Snails Hate Eggshells
One big issue that many people face when trying to look after their gardens is the constant presence of slugs and snails. These slimy critters love to munch on our favorite plants, ruining flowerbeds and more, but there are ways to fight back.
Some people choose to use poisons to keep slugs and snails away, but a much safer and more eco-friendly solution is to break up bits of eggshell and scatter them around your plants. The snails and slugs will stay away as they don’t like coming into contact with those little sharp fragments.
A Self-Watering Plant
One of the biggest time-consumers when it comes to gardening and yard work is watering the plants. Whether you’re using a hose or an old-fashioned watering can, it can take a long time to water everything.
This clever hack helps you water your plants with minimal effort. Simply take a wine bottle filled with water, place a terracotta stake on the end, and stick it into the soil. The terracotta will slowly absorb the water and leak it out into the soil, giving your plant constant hydration.
Honey Is so Healthy for Plants
Many humans love honey, and plants adore it too! It’s one of the best things to use if you want to promote healthy root growth and happy plants, essentially acting as a ‘rooting hormone’.
Adding some honey to plant cuttings helps them develop new roots and propagate much more easily than before. Plus, honey has antimicrobial properties and can act as a barrier against infections and diseases, protecting your plants and helping to grow up strong.
Natural Insect Repellent
No gardener wants to see hordes of bugs crawling all over their plants, eating their freshly grown fruits and veggies or ruining their flowerbeds. Fortunately, you don’t have to turn to industrial, chemical-laden bug sprays to deal with insect infestations.
You can make your own natural bug repellent with ease using household items. Simply grab a bit of garlic and a few cups of mint leaves, blending them together in a food processor before adding some boiled water and cayenne pepper. Mix in a little detergent and start spraying.
Beautiful Log Planters
Why bother with plastic and pre-made planters when you can make use of Mother Nature’s gifts to create your own? You’ll need some tools and a little DIY experience for this trick, but the results are worth it.
You can hollow out old logs, fill them up with soil, and then add in your plants. These all-natural log planters are gorgeous to look at, blending in perfectly with any green, outdoor space.