Gardening is one of the best activities you can indulge in, given its numerous benefits. For instance, it's got a long-term effect on your productivity and helps relax the mind. Gardening is so important that many people have come up with creative ways to engage in it to ensure maximum yield from the “yard farm” and to keep their garden produce safe.
So, are you into gardening or thinking of starting? This piece is for you. Explore some secret hacks that would make your gardening life easier. Many wish they knew these earlier, but it’s good you’re stumbling on this now. Get ready to learn clever gardening tricks.
Did you know you could use eggshells as pots for seedlings? This is a cost-effective way to get your plants started with life in plant nurseries. Also, they are rich in calcium carbonate, which is an essential nutrient for plants to thrive.
So, how do you go about this? Collect your broken eggshells and clean them up. Keep them in egg crates to give support as soil holes. Then fill them up with soil and a moist seed-starting mix. After that, you plant the seed and wait for it to germinate. Try to thin the seedlings, i.e., snip the weakest ones to allow the thriving ones to grow well.
The baking soda effect
Baking Soda helps to prevent fungal diseases in plants. It also helps to sweeten tomatoes.
It is known to be most effective for fruits and vegetables. Especially in spring and autumn, crabgrass has a tendency to grow in gardens. And here is baking soda to the rescue. It curbs their growth. Baking soda also helps to kill ourselves
Practice crop rotation
Pests are a major challenge for gardening. Hence, you have to prepare for them. Crop rotation helps to control pests.
You do this by planting different crops at different times. Each crop has different pets that infest them. But by practicing this alternation crop planting cycle, you starve out those pests that your plant is susceptible to.
Plastic forks and keeping pets at bay
Apparently, plastic forks are not only for eating. They can also be invaluable tools in your garden. With them, you can keep pets away. You could bury the plastic forks right way up to keep rabbits, squirrels, and other plant-disturbing animals away. Also, if you know your neighbor has a cat that always strays into your garden, here is how to keep it away.
Holesin water bottles
For your plant to grow the best way, it must have consistent and controlled access to water. Holes in water bottles help to get this done. You do this by poking holes in the bottom half and the upper part of the water bottle. After which, you plant them beside your plant. Hence, when you fill the bottle with water, it would automatically irrigate the plants around it.
You should also cover the bottom half of the bottle in a sock. This is to prevent roots or soil from filling up the holes in the bottle.
Milk jug greenhouse
Milk Jugs can be helpful to keep your seedlings from the prying eyes of pests and pets that could trample upon them. You go about this by cutting semi-transparent jugs in half and tossing the lid. Put the seed starting mix in the jugs and add seeds. After that, you put the greenhouse effect to work by sealing all air gaps with duct tape.
You can then go ahead to label the jug to keep tabs on the plant name and when you sowed the seed. And you finish the process by keeping the jug under the sunlight.
Trickles from wine bottles
The next time you're considering disposing of used wine bottles, you might want to reconsider it. Water trickles from wine bottles now serve as a creative way to irrigate plants in many gardens. How do you go about this? Fill the wine bottle with water. Then turn the bottle upside down and insert its mouth about 2 inches deep into the damp soil.
Banana peels as fertilizers
Potassium is one of the plants' best friends needed for effective growth while farming under a shed. And thankfully, this nutrient is found in banana peels. About 42%. Hence, these are great homemade fertilizers.
You work this fertilizer by digging about 4 inches into the ground and placing the banana peels in. When they decompose, the nutrients will find their way to the plants' roots. Some people prefer to directly add the peels (chopped) to the soil. That also works.
You should also know that banana peels, apart from supplying plant nutrients, also help deter pests.
Epsom salt usage
Epsom salt offers great benefits for plants. It aids with nutrient intake. The salt contains a high level of magnesium. And magnesium helps grow flowers and fruits such as roses, tomatoes, and peppers. Spray the leaves with a prepared mixture of fruits - two tablespoons of Epsom salt with one gallon of water. This is using Epsom salt as a foliar spray.
Use a diaper in your flowerpots
This looks somewhat like an unconventional gardening hack. However, it's impressive to know that diapers greatly help plants' moisture regulation. To use diapers, you would need a new diaper, about 4 cups of water, potting soil, and two large bowls.
Pour water into the diaper, which has been placed in a bowl. Tear the diaper and pull out the gel substance inside it into the bowl. Now put the gel in a second bowl. Add an equal amount of potting soil to the gel and mix. Mix till you get something like fluffy soil, which you can plant in.
Using matches as fertilizer
This works by burying the tip of the matches into the soil in the pot. As you water the plant, the head of the matchsticks would melt into the soil. And this would release phosphorus, magnesium, and sulfur into the soil. These three nutrients help to nourish and effectively grow a plant.
Potato fertilizers for roses
If you have a rose garden, then potatoes are a gardening hack you should definitely explore. They contain needed moisture and nutrients. The rose cutting to be planted should be about 6 to 8 inches cut from a mature plant. Drill a hole in the potatoes using a corkscrew. However, be careful not to pierce them through. Trim about 10mm from the rose end diagonally. Coating at the end with honey or Vegemite. And insert the rose stem into the potato hole.
When this is done, insert the potato and rose inside a minimum of 3 inches of the soil.
Practicing companion planting
This simply means that you plant different crops close to each other. Why? Because they are mutually beneficial. There are some crops you should not plant beside each other. An example is NOT to plant onions where asparagus is growing and NOT to plant tomatoes close to where potatoes are planted.
But then, you can plant crops like carrots and beans close to each other. Other crops in this category are pepper and tomatoes, corn and beans, thyme and strawberries, eggplant, and peppers.
Protect with plastic bags
This works primarily for fruits. You could seal them up with plastic bags to prevent rodents and pests from eating away at your garden harvests. Particularly ziplock bags. This is until it is well ripened. But before, thin out each fruit while it is small and keep it in these bags.
Make cuts at the bag's lower part to allow water gathered to drain. Leave the bag on until harvest.
It matters how far apart your seeds are when planting. This could ensure how effectively those seeds would thrive. Otherwise, those plants would compete for the same sunlight, water, and soil nutrient. And they don't all survive or thrive. You should put at least 15cm or 6" between plants.
Straw bales for gardening
Bales of straw can be an excellent alternative to the soil in planting some crops. You could use them for planting vegetables. A conditioned straw bale with nitrogen sources such as fertilizers is a hack if you're short of good soil. Settle the bales near a water source, plant short plants on it, and locate the straw bale in full sun.
Reuse your water
Gardening involves the use of a lot of water. And water reuse is a great way to ensure a good water economy. Water used to boil eggs could be cooled down and used to moisturize plant soils. Slightly used, gray-water should not exactly always find its way into the sewers. It could easily be reused for gardening purposes.You could also collect water from the drainage on the roof into rain barrels and use it.