8 Easy Garden Hacks
8 money-saving tricks that reduce, reuse and recycle while helping your garden grow
In our house, when there are chores to be done, I usually have two happy pint-sized participants (and the two or three stuffed animals they bring along for moral support) begging to help do a project and create something. And so it goes…mundane things like mopping the floors lead to mop karaoke and or sock slide competitions. It may take some extra time, but at the end of the day, we have clean floors and active, happy kids, so win-win right?
Same goes for our garden. As a mom, I’m always searching for ways to get my kiddos involved and excited to see what is happening in our yard so they can be curious enough to ask how and why. This mindset often has me scouring the internet for creative “hacks” that can add a little more functionality and fun to our routines. And this brings me to my game-changing garden hacks that anyone can pull off, even my 5-year-old.
Just what are “garden hacks” and why use them? The primary purpose of a good hack is to save money and streamline your lifestyle. So let’s dive in and hack your garden into form, function and budget-friendly efficiency.
For me, one of the hardest gardening tasks is transplanting and spacing our plants and seeds after we get home from the nursery. This hack is easy and fun, and it’s as simple as stamping your soil. The trick here is to use the back of the muffin tins to imprint the ground to the perfect spacing!
This tool is great because it’s washable and when you are done, you can make some cupcakes, because…while vegetables are important for a balanced diet, you need cupcakes.
Need: Automatic plant watering system, $24.95
Hack: plastic bottle, $1
A long day at the beach or an overnight trip to a theme park can often leave our plants stranded and thirsty, so this is a great trick to keep your favorite plants happy and hydrated for days at a time. Just grab an old plastic bottle, poke some tiny holes all around the surface area, and saw off the base of the container. Carefully dig around your roots and plant the bottle upside down. Once it’s in, fill up the bottle, and slowly, the water will seep out the holes and water your plants while you are away.
Need: Seed-storage box, $17.50 and mini-planters, $12.88
Hack: K-Cup planters, Less than $1
We are big coffee drinkers in our house, and we use a Keurig, but I feel guilty throwing out those plastic cups. I discovered that the cups can be used as mini planters or even better, safe storage for seeds, thanks to Lisa Steele at Fresh Eggs Daily.
When cold weather is on its way, protect your plants from the harsh elements by cutting the bottom off of 2-liter bottles and using them as plant covers to prevent damage.
Just like that, you can create a miniature greenhouse for your favorite greens.
Need: Organic fertilizer, $27
Hack: overripe produce, $1 (or so)
Stop throwing away overripe fruits and veggies and start feeding your garden the organic material it craves. Even though that banana looks sad and brown, it can be blended or juiced and added to your soil for a potassium boost.
Need: Melon slings, $16.99
Hack: Pantyhose, $1
OK, so maybe pantyhose aren’t your thing, but trust me your melons and gourds will love them. When you string melons up on your trellis so that they are basically swinging in a hammock, they’ll achieve vertical garden growth, and you’ll avoid all types of fungus while keeping pests out of reach.
Even more hacks:
No Drop Left Behind!
Having a large property comes with a hefty water bill, so I’m always conscious of how much water is wasted in our family’s daily routine.
One useful tip on using water smarter is to reuse the water from drained pasta or boiled veggies.
Just drain your water back into a pot, let the water cool and then feed your plants the water rich in starch and nutrients.
Many roots and stems that, more times than not, can be put back in water and regrown on your windowsill.
Celery, onions, mushrooms, potatoes, pineapples and avocados can all be regrown from scraps and bulbs.
This is a science project all kids will love and gives new life to something that would have otherwise been trash.
Check out our list of favorite eggshell garden hacks here.
We are celebrating the fine art of the garden hack. Watch our Instagram (and #gardenhacks) for some tried and true time-saving, gear-saving and/or money-saving tricks for all things gardening related! AND, most importantly: show us yours!