40 Best Gardening Hacks: Grow a Stunning Oasis Now

At last, spring is here, ushering in the peak of the gardening season and all its accompanying pleasure and fulfillment. The pastime of gardening, appreciated worldwide, provides tremendous delight and pleasure, no matter if you’re just starting out or an experienced professional.

Whether you’re cultivating flowers, herbs, vegetables, or all of these, gardening success can be extremely gratifying. But gardening can also be intimidating, so if you’re a beginner, here are some gardening hacks to help you along the way.

And even those with years of gardening experience might benefit from some of these garden hacks, so let’s get right into the meat of it and save you some time and money in the garden.

1. Self-Watering Wine Bottle Hack

Love red wine but have no use for those bottles you toss out once the delicious contents have been consumed? Well, now you do!

garden items on a bench with gardening tips sign

It’s probably a given that at least once a year, most likely in the summer, you will take a vacation to get away from it all and renew your energy. Of course, you’re looking forward to it and deserve it, but your plants are out there looking at you reproachfully. Who’s going to water them while you’re away? No problem.

Just take your empty wine bottle, ideal because of its narrow neck, and thoroughly rinse it. You don’t want your plants getting tipsy while you are away. Any glass bottle with a narrow neck will do, but using a wine bottle makes it look more exotic.

Now fill the bottle with water. Then go over to your planter, find the center, swiftly turn the bottle over and push the long neck deep into the soil. You need to be certain that the neck of the bottle is about several inches in the ground. So here comes the magic.

The water in the bottle won’t pour out all at once. Instead, it will continue to seep gradually into the soil over several days, thus allowing the soil to remain evenly damp. Problem solved!

2. Pop Bottle Mini Greenhouse

Nurturing some herb seedlings indoors before transplanting them, perhaps? You can watch them burst forth with growth by making a mini-greenhouse using a mere pop bottle with the top cut off.

Remove the cover for at least an hour daily, and avoid letting it remain in direct sun. If it should stay constantly steamy, make a hole or two in the top. Warmth is good, but your seedlings don’t need a sauna!

planter made from a large water bottle

3. Milk Jug Watering Can

These are excellent for watering seedlings that have just begun to sprout, seed trays, and even your house plants. They are effortless to fill, pour and carry about. Plus, you won’t have to worry that they’ll leak or drip all over the place like a watering can do.

Another great thing about them is that you can specify the spray required using a larger or smaller needle to make the holes. Heat the needle and make holes in the bottle’s lid.

This is a simple and inexpensive idea because you only need a clean milk jug with a lid, a needle, and a lighter (for heating up the needle).

using a milk jug as a watering can

4. Use Saran Wrap to Protect Tomato Plants

Since tomatoes enjoy staying warm, they feel it when the wind blows and the temperature drops even slightly. But all you have to do to keep them feeling nice and snug are wrap Saran Wrap around the two bottom rungs of your tomato cage. This creates a greenhouse environment by keeping the heat inside and sheltering your plants from the wind.

5. Damp Towel Seed Tester Gardening Hack

Don’t just assume that your old packets of seeds are useless and toss them away. Test them first using this damp towel seed testing idea.

Just lay some seeds on a paper towel dampened with warm water. Fold the paper towel so that it covers the seeds. Keep the towel damp for several days and check it to see if there are any sprouts. You might be surprised to discover that those old seeds you were willing to give up on have some life left in them yet.

germinating seeds on paper towels

6. Foam Peanut Drainage Hack

One of the drawbacks to gardening is those backbreakingly heavy outdoor planters loaded with potting soil that you need to move about. It seems like they get heavier every year, right?

You can put an end to this struggle immediately with this gardening hack. There’s a secret many gardeners aren’t aware of. Your plants don’t need all that soil! So halve the weight by packing the bottom third to half of your planter with foam packing peanuts.

Cover the peanuts with landscape cloth and use the rest of the space for potting soil and plants. This will also help to improve drainage.

Your back will thank you!

7. Old T-Shirt Watermelon Slings

A good way to create space to grow watermelons in the garden is to train the vines to climb up a trellis.

Once the watermelons bulge and become heavy, they will require some support to stay on the vines. This is accomplished easily enough by using old t-shirts to make a sling to hold them in place safely.

8. Coffee Filters In Potted Plants

Placing coffee filters in the bottom of a potted plant will keep dirt in the pot and not fall onto people’s heads if you have a hanging plant, but it will also make transplanting your plant relatively simple. All you need to do is lift the filter out, and the plant and soil remain in one piece, preventing a big mess that must be cleaned up.

9. Composting Leftovers

Place the leftover food and cluttering up your refrigerator in takeout bags, then bury them in the garden beside the plants. This method will give you healthier, happier plants, eliminate waste, and aid the environment.

The video below takes you through everything you need to know to be able to make nutrient-dense compost at home for FREE!

10. Vinegar For Weeds

 Unfortunately, weeds are an unavoidable part of gardening. Pulling them out can be a pain for your back and aggravating as you try to maneuver so you don’t uproot your plants. I bet you always thought it was just something you had to put up with doing to maintain your garden.

Now, you can solve the problem by giving them a good dose of vinegar. Yes, that’s correct. Good old-fashioned vinegar will do the job. Using this method in full sunlight is the ideal time to do it. Best of all, it will rid your garden of weeds without harming the environment.

11. Cinnamon For Fungus

Frequently, gardeners will move plants from one area to another. The trouble is that if you are replanting, you do not want fungus to begin to grow in the area surrounding the plant.

All you need to do is use cinnamon. Dip the root of whatever plant you are moving into cinnamon. It will prevent the growth of fungus plus keep your plants healthy.

12. Coke For Azaleas

It might seem like a joke, but this is a proven fact. If you want the best azaleas possible, one of the ways to get them without a lot of expensive soil and feeding is to use Coke. Now, it doesn’t have to be Coke, as any cola will do, but pour four ounces of cola directly into the soil and watch what happens.

You’ll be stunned as your azaleas will start growing like mad! So Coke is the number one way to treat your azalea bushes. They will slurp it right up and reward you by thriving.

13. Use Leftover Waste to Grow Food

While you have already learned about using leftovers as compost, you might be surprised that your waste can be useful in other ways. Since a lot of the foods we eat have seeds or other parts that can be planted to grow more of the same, why not save them and grow them all by yourself?

Put the seeds and parts that regrow into the soil, and soon there will be results. Thus you are growing your food and sparing the earth from dealing with more waste.

14. Eggshells For Calcium-Rich Soil

Naturally, you want your garden to grow and flourish, so year after year, you buy mineral-enriched soil that costs a fortune. Well, you don’t have to do that anymore. Rather, you can make your own. Take the eggshells from your eaten eggs and put them into the blender.

Then blend them until they become a fine powder. Take this powder and sprinkle it into your soil. Now you will have calcium-rich soil with no extra expense!

To learn more about what you can do with eggshells in the garden, Check out the video below for more hacks.

15. Plastic Bins For Mini-Greenhouses

While clear plastic bins can be used for almost anything, here is one use you probably never considered. Plastic bins can be wonderful mini-greenhouses for growing your seedlings. They are cheap and can be used for many purposes, even in the off-season. That’s what makes this a great gardening hack for beginners.

16. Chopstick Labels

Love Chinese takeout, but have no use for those leftover chopsticks? Now you do. Here is a fast and easy way to make labels for your plants. The next time you have leftover chopsticks after your Chinese meal, don’t throw them out. Wash them off thoroughly and use them inexpensively to label your plants.

You can attach the seed packet from each plant to them and then place them in the soil beside the plants they represent. Now how much easier can you ask for?

17. Recycle Old Planters

Do you have a collection of old planters which can still serve their purpose but don’t have a beautiful appearance? Here’s a fun, easy way to convert them into planters to be proud of. Rather than merely spray painting each of them with a solid color, try adding simple patterns and various colors to each planter. You’ll be very pleased with the amazing result.

18. Convert a Hanging Pocket Organizer Into a Vertical Garden

Take your ordinary, run-of-the-mill pocket organizer, the identical type you would hang inside your closet to hold your shoes. Find a suitable place to hang it outdoors and use each pocket for a plant.

It makes a perfect way to have a small herb or flower garden without needing almost any space. Not only that, but it serves to protect your plants from animals that will root plants on the ground.

living pictures with plants hanging on a white wall

19. Plastic Forks to Keep Animals Away

Here plastic forks have a dual use. You can place them near your garden to keep animals out. But you can also use the forks’ tines to place the plants’ names on. Now you won’t forget what you planted where.

plastic fork upturned placed on the soil

20. Use Eggshells for Seedlings

I bet you never thought of it, but eggshells make ideal indoor seedling starters. They are free and loaded with calcium, that’s excellent for your plants, and when you want to move your plants outside, you don’t need to remove them from the shell. A great gardening hack!

21. Garden Tool Holder Hack

Take a terra-cotta pot, fill it with sand, and add mineral oil. Then place any small, sharp, rustless gardening tools you have right into it. This way, you will be able to sharpen and oil them at the same time. Great time saver and cuts back on work too.

22. Plastic Pot Invasive Plant Preventer

To keep herbs from spreading roots, place plastic edging under the ground. Just take a plastic pot, one of those you get from a nursery, and then throw it away and cut off the bottom.

Then bury the pot itself in the ground. This prevents over-zealous roots from reaching the plants around them, plus it enables you to control the size of the plant after it reaches its full maturity.

23. Cover Freshly Dug Areas With a Tarp

All of your gardens have weed seeds, which is the absolute truth. Even if you don’t see them, they are everywhere. The seeds don’t germinate because of a lack of light, but when you dig up a large section of your garden, you bring these seeds to the top of the soil. So once you’ve cleared any large garden section, cover the area with a tarp to prevent weeds from forming.

24. Eat Your Weeds

While this may sound a bit strange, there are a lot of weeds that can be quite tasty when they are young, like dandelions, violets, and many more. A caution, though.

Before using this gardening hack and dining on your weeds, research and determine which ones are safe to consume.

25. Solarize Your Garden

This involves laying black plastic on top of your prepared flower beds. The beds should also be thoroughly watered. The plastic prevents sunlight from entering, and the water turns to steam.

This will kill off any weeds or weed seeds, and you’ll also have the advantage of killing some diseases and fungi. Keep the cover on for 30 days or longer before planting.

26. Create a Garden Bed Over Lawn Using Cardboard

Lacking the money to build a raised garden bed? Try this gardening hack instead. Place cardboard over the lawn to create a garden bed. The cardboard will serve as the purse for preventing grass and weeds from growing by keeping light out, and it will also make for a carbon layer for the garden.

Not only all this, it will also save you many painstaking hours of digging sod out and providing healthy soil. Be certain the cardboard layer has no separations or openings so that weeds cannot grow between the cardboard sections.

27. Use Potatoes to Propagate Rose Cuttings

All you need to do with this gardening hack is to cut some healthy rose stems and then push the bottom ends into large potatoes. Afterward, bury them about 3-4 inches in a soil and peat moss mixture.

The potatoes assist the stems in keeping moisture while they take the time to grow roots.

rose cutting in a potato being held in palm of hand

28. Pot in Pot Planting

Place empty plastic pots into the holes where you intend to put your seasonal plants. Buried pots can brighten the garden and create an orderly and pleasing space.

They will use fewer amounts of water and energy too. You can efficiently change seasonal plants and experiment with color and location.

29. Paint Stones For Garden Markers

Take some river stones, apply paint, and enjoy this gardening hack. These can be used as garden markers or just scattered about to add to the color and cheer of your garden. It’s also a good art project if you need to keep your children occupied.

30. Use Honey For Plant Cuttings

Not many people know this, but honey has enzymes that help encourage root growth and can be used as a ‘Rooting Hormone. It will aid plant cuttings in setting their roots and ensure they propagate easily. Plus, it can keep fungal problems away.

use honey as a rooting hormone

31. Cooking Water to Fertilize Plants

Here’s something different for you! When you have reason to steam or boil some eggs or vegetables, you waste good water if you pour it down the drain afterward. Wait until the water has cooled, then pour this healthy vegetable water into your outdoor plants. It will serve to provide them with excellent fertilizer.

32. Use PVC Pipe to Fertilize Dense Plants

The important thing to remember about fertilizing your plants is that it necessitates getting to the base of the plant so that you can put your fertilizer down near the roots. Utilize a piece of 2″ PVC to do the job with dense plants. Place one end at the plant base and pour the fertilizer into the pipe. If you want a wider opening to pour the fertilizer, cut the top of the pipe at 45 degrees.

33. Salad Bar Greenhouse

Remember to save the plastic clamshell container whenever you visit a salad bar. You can reuse it as a mini-greenhouse to start your seeds come spring. Thoroughly wash the container.

Take an awl and hammer and use them to punch some small holes in the top for adequate airflow. Place potting mix in the bottom half. Plant the seeds, give them water, and shut the lid. Put the container in a spot where it will get lots of sun, and then sit back and watch your seeds sprout!

34. Garden Tool Mailbox

If you have some shrubs near your garden, you’re lucky because you have the perfect hiding place for a mailbox. No, you’re not going to be getting any personal mail. That’s where you can store away your gardening tools and still have them nearby when you need them.

No more having to walk back to the garage or shed to retrieve a certain tool; it’s inexpensive, too, because you shouldn’t have to pay more than $20 for the mailbox.

35. Zip Tie Plant Fasteners

Convincing your vines to travel upwards precisely how you want them to can be tricky. Sometimes it can seem like they have a personal vendetta against doing what you want them to do.

So to keep them growing in the right direction, fasten zip ties around the stalks, wrapping them around anything that seems stable enough. Don’t tie the vines too tightly because they need the freedom to move and grow.

36. Repurpose Old Croquet Wickets

Ever determinedly drag your hose across the yard with your mindset on reaching a particularly hard-to-get-to-spot to water, only to turn around and find that you accidentally annihilated part of your flower bed? If you have, you won’t forget that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.

Want to ensure that never happens again? The answer is to create a path for your hose using the wickets of your old croquet set. While watering, feed the hose through the doors, and you will keep your flowers safe and healthy.

37. Citrus Ant Repellent

Is your garden under attack from ants? Don’t worry; the solution to your dilemma is simple. Boil some citrus peels in water and pour the liquid into the problem areas to discourage your little multi-legged friends. Water from a pot of cooked sweet potatoes will work too. Keep this up for a while, and you’ll find that you’ll soon have your uninvited guests on the retreat.

38. Add Milk to the Garden

Milk can infuse your soil with valuable nutrients and also has anti-fungal powers. If you have expired milk in your refrigerator, don’t just pour it down the drain. Your garden will appreciate it a lot more. And your soil isn’t going to complain, even if it happens to be a bit sour.

39. Heat Seedlings

Give your seedlings heat by putting a heating mat under the starting trays. This is good because the steady warm temperatures will increase their growth rates. The seedlings should be in individual small containers for the best results. Remember that while you want to give your seedlings warmth, you don’t want to sear them to a crisp, so be careful, and you’ll have success.

tray of seedlings on a greenhouse bench

40. Turn Your Shovel Into Non-Stick

Since gardening involves lots of digging, particularly at planting, you need a shovel. To avoid having mud stick to it, spray the shovel with a silicone or Teflon lubricant, which will make any soil slide off. That makes it easier than constantly having to bang and shake your shovel to dislodge any soil that decides to stick there, usually in large lumps.

Conclusion

The above are just some gardening hacks to save time and money. Gardening will never be easy, but it doesn’t have to be a chore either. After all, it’s a hobby that is supposed to be relaxing and pleasurable.

You can have fun creating and using these hacks while planning the next one you will try. Using these hacks will not only be good for your garden and the environment, but you’ll have a sense of pride knowing that you tackled these problems yourself and came up with a solution without having to resort to professional help or the advice of that know-it-all neighbor you really can’t stand.

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Remember, folks, you reap what you sow!

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