12 Life hacks for the avid gardener
Spring is the perfect time for planting a new garden, a hobby that can take a lot of time and effort. Here are a few hacks that can make this year's garden an easier success.
So you don't forget what you're growing in those cute clay plots, add helpful herb markers. DIY using wood chips and chalkboard paint or markers. If you're not in the crafting mood, pick up a few in an Etsy shop ($25 for 10).
On the flip side, if you're planting directly into a soil bed with other plants, utilizing painted rocks will help distinguish where each plant is rooted. Paint a certain color or an image of the plant directly onto the rock for a cute and unique look in your garden.
Start seedlings in eggshells
An eco-friendly way to plant new things in your garden using seedlings, eggshells are effective and easy to work with. Place the seeds and soil in a clean eggshell and allow the plant to grow with the use of a carton. Once the seedling reaches the desired length, crack the bottom of the shell and remove the shards. Place the seedling directly in the ground, allowing the eggshell to naturally dissolve into the earth and provide additional nutrients to the soil.
Soak the root ball
Before repotting a plant, soak both the root ball and the new soil. Soaking both will help the root stay in place while preventing either the new plant or the soil from sucking out the moisture. Also, being wet, the root is more likely to stay intact rather than crumbling apart.
The next time you cook rice, don't toss the used water down the drain. Instead, use it as a natural fertilizer in the garden. Providing natural minerals for the garden, the rice water is an environmentally safe and chemical-free way to provide nutrients to your plants.
Water bottle irrigation
Create a homemade irrigation system in your garden by placing water bottles next to each plant. Poke holes in the bottles and pour water into them so it will spread in the soil.
Water bottle planter
Another way to reuse water bottles is to plant a seedling in the actual water bottle itself. Cut the bottom of the bottle so the root may grow and the plant can have its own protected environment.
Whether you are short on space or in need of a medium, a pallet is a great way to grow a garden. Scrub your pallet prior to use with soap and water in case it was used to transport anything that may be harmful to you or your plants. Place the pallet over soil or a small planter box and plant in between wood planks.
Ladybug pest control
Aphids are one of the most popular and destructive pest insects in the garden. Feeding in colonies off of your precious plants, these insects can do a lot of damage in a small amount of time. Kill them naturally by releasing ladybugs into your garden. Safe and environmentally friendly, an adult ladybug can eat up to 1,000 aphids a day!
Out of pots for new plants? Fill a crate with straw and create an open space with soil to pot your plant. The straw will keep soil in place while the crate will allow roots to grow as they should.
Milk in the garden
Not only is milk good for the body, it's great for the plant as well! Serving as a natural antifungal resource, milk also provides a good amount of nutrients to garden life.
Grounds for the garden
There are many reasons to use coffee grounds in the garden. One, they are natural slug deterrents, and two, they actually help avoid mold and mildew growth. In addition, grounds are a natural fertilizer and essentially free, since you were probably just going to toss them anyhow.