From Diapers to Wine Corks: Discover Your Green Thumb With These DIY Gardening Tips
| LAST UPDATE 04/04/2022
Some of the best gardening tips we have to offer don't require a green thumb at all! In fact, it might only take rummaging through your garage or shed to find some simple items that will go a long way.
Use Newspaper To Stop Weed Growth
Instead of letting your leaning tower of newspaper continue to grow in your living room, try taking it outside! Adding newspaper to the soil of your garden can put up a good fight against stubborn weeds.
Lay the newspaper sheets into an even layer and top with some soil. The thin paper allows moisture from waterings and rain to seep through. It also creates a barrier that keeps weeds contained and stops them in their tracks before getting the chance to spread around your garden.
Use Plastic Bottles To Make Mini Greenhouses
If you can't find the materials to build yourself a luxury greenhouse just lying around, try starting with some plastic bottles. Simply cut the bottom off of the bottles and place some soil inside the base. Then, add seeds or plant cuttings, water, and place the rest of the bottle on top to close it.
The result will be mini-greenhouses that allow the plants to maintain humidity and comfortability. Place the bottles underneath a window or in any sunny space and watch them grow. Your new plants will become big and strong enough to be moved outside in no time!
Turn A Gallon Jug Into A Watering Can
Make gardening more family-friendly with this simple hack. When the kiddos want to help out with watering duty in the garden, it's necessary to have a watering can on hand. But, for those who may not have one, an empty gallon will do the job just as well.
First, remove the jug's cap and safely poke a few holes with a knife, screwdriver, or nail. Next, fill the jug with water, then screw the cap back on. And it's as easy as that! With the cap securely on, you or your kids can water the plants just the same as if you had a run-of-the-mill watering can.
Fight Root Rot With Diapers And Sponges
First, let's pour out some fertilizer for all of the plants that have gone to plant heaven. As it turns out, one of the leading causes of plant death is improper watering, which leads to root rot. Even though this is usually done by accident in the act of love for our plant babies, there's an easy trick to keep them alive longer.
Put down your watering can, and instead, pick up a kitchen sponge or even a diaper. Place the item of your choice in the bottom of a pot before adding soil or a plant. The material will soak up the extra moisture and could end up saving your plant from too much water-based love.
Turn A Shoe Organizer Into A Vertical Garden
Whether you live in a studio apartment, high rise, or home with plenty of outdoor space, this next trick is for you. It will help to maximize your plant collection while adding some wall decor at the same time. All you need is a shoe organizer, some soil, seeds, and a bit of wall space.
Once your shoe organizer is secured on a wall of your choosing, poke some holes in the bottom of each of the pockets. This will allow water to drain properly. Then, fill each pocket with soil and place seeds or small plants inside. Water and enjoy your new decor!
Use Wine Corks For Garden Markers
Calling all wine lovers! This next trick is for you. Make your gardening experience that much easier by creating some beautiful and useful garden labels. Gather as many corks as you need for your plant collection, a sharpie or marker, chopsticks, or toothpicks.
On each cork, write the name of each plant in your garden, attach it to a stick of your choosing, and place it into the soil. This will help any home gardener stay organized and let onlookers know what creations you are growing! And, they look pretty cute too.
Grow Green Onions in a Jar
Next, another example of gardening indoors. If you don't have any yard space, this tip could work perfectly for you. After saving some green onion scraps from your last meal, make sure that you have part of the vegetable where the roots are still attached. Find yourself an old salsa jar, or any jar, really, and let's get to it!
The first step is to fill the jar partially with water. Then, take the bottom piece of the onion root and stick it into the jar and make sure there is enough water to submerge just the roots. And that's it! In a few days, new onions will start to grow from the top of your cuttings.
Use Plastic Forks To Keep Small Pests Away
When a scarecrow isn't doing the job to keep pests out of your growing garden, try this next tip to see how well it does the job. A great way to keep squirrels, rabbits, and mice away from snacking on your plants includes some plastic forks and a bit of patience.
Gather together a few plastic forks leftover from your last BBQ and bring them out to your garden. Place them handle-down between your veggies or flower beds, keeping them a bit spread apart. Create a barrier around the desired area, and it will discourage rodents from feasting.
Plant Seedlings In Empty Toilet Paper Rolls
Instead of recycling your empty toilet paper rolls, use them for gardening instead! Put them to good use by using them as an organizing tool for germinating seeds before they go into the garden. Line the empty rolls up in a tray or on a flat surface, and fill with soil.
Place seeds of your choosing inside the rolls and allow them to grow. Once they sprout, you can place the entire tubs into the ground in your garden. Over time, the roll will disintegrate, and at the same time, the plant will have grown strong enough to grow without its support.
Use Kitchen Scraps As Fertilizer
Even if you don't have compost in your household, this hack will work for you. Save the kitchen scraps you would typically throw away from about a week's meals and collect them in a bag or container. We recommend keeping the collection outside as it can get a bit stinky.
The best scraps to save include eggshells, coffee grounds, banana, orange, potato peels, citrus rinds, leftover veggies, and even bread. Once you have a sizeable collection, bury it beneath the soil in your garden. Then, watch your plants and your green thumb grow!
Use Potatoes To Grow Your Rose Garden
We know this next combination might sound a bit silly, but it works! Grab yourself some roses, enjoy them, and then get ready to make some magic. Once the roses look like they're on their way out, trim the stem at an angle and remove the leaves and flowers. Next, get yourself a couple of potatoes.
Yes, that's right, potatoes. Use a knife or chopstick to carefully poke a hole in each potato's longer side and place the rose stem inside the hole. Repeat with as many potatoes and roses as you'd like. While it might sound odd, bury the potato in your garden and get ready to have your very own rose bush!
Use A Muffin Tin For Easy Gardening Spacing
It's no wonder people feel such a deep connection to plants. Sometimes, we both need a bit of space to grow. That's one reason why it's important to make enough space for each plant when gardening. This not only helps the plants grow larger but looks pretty aesthetically pleasing too.
If you're not confident in your ability to eyeball it, try using the back of a muffin tin to space out your digging holes. Lightly push the tin into the ground, making small dents that will soon house seeds. This hack saves money and might even encourage you to take up baking again now that you have the tin out!
Use Kitchen Scraps to Kickstart Your Veggie Garden
No more picking up seeds from the store. Creating full-grown plants from a single vegetable is much easier than you think. Not to mention, it's cheaper and actually a lot of fun! Everything you need can be found right around your kitchen. For example, take a bell pepper, cut it in half, and scrape some of the seeds out.
Next, place the seeds in half of the pepper and fill it with soil. Then, place it in the ground, pot, or into a shallow tray of soil and keep it watered. Before you know it, peppers will begin to grow. The very same process can be done with a tomato. Just cut it horizontally and do the same process.
Use Simple Home Products To Make Weed Killer
Most of the weed killer at home gardening stores is effective. However, sometimes it does the job, and then some without us intending for it to do so. To avoid ridding of plants meant to stay put and flourish, try whipping up this homemade weed killer that doesn't include harsh chemicals.
Here we'll clue you in on an easy and safe weed killer that has everything weeds need minus the chemicals. Combine a gallon of white vinegar, a cup of salt, and a tablespoon of dish soap. Shake up the mixture and spray on weeds when it's sunny for the best results.
Use Plastic To-Go Containers To Make Tiny Greenhouses
While we mentioned plastic bottles could be used to make mini-greenhouses, another item can be upcycled to bring your garden to the next level. Any plastic to-go container can be used in the garden for a myriad of different things. Curious? We'll spill the soil.
For any gardener that wants to protect their seedlings from pests, or for the stubborn seeds that need the perfect conditions to grow, here's what to do. Place a clean plastic to-go container's lid on top of the plant and bury the sides in soil. The barrier it creates will keep pests at bay and create a humid space for growth.
Reuse Weed Nutrients To Water Your Garden
Use your weeds to brew some garden water! When weeding your garden, collect your plucking's in a bucket and cover everything with water. The water will soak up all of the weed's nutrients that would otherwise go to waste throughout the next few hours.
After several hours, take out and throw away the weeds. They have done their job! Then, use the leftover water to water your garden, and over the next few days, notice just how much your plants love it! The extra nutrients will help them flourish. See? Weeds can actually help sometimes!
Keep Soil In Place With Coffee Filters
This next trick works for both indoor and outdoor plants. To avoid an outpour of wet dirt from the bottom of your planter, try using part of your morning routine to solve the issue. The next time you repot or buy a new plant, place a coffee filter into the pot's base before adding soil.
This adds a thin yet effective barrier between your plant baby and the pot's drainage hole. Yes, you may have to sacrifice a pot of coffee or two. But, this trick will help you in more ways than one. It will keep loose soil inside instead of slipping through the hole while also allowing water to drain naturally.
Add Soap To Your Garden To Rid Of Pests
Most people love a flourishing garden, but unfortunately, animals do too. Deer, rabbits, and squirrels love to gobble down the sprouting beauties that we tirelessly try to maintain until they're fully grown. So, here's a bit of an unconventional yet easy trick to keep them away: Soap.
Simply place a bar or shavings of soap in your garden, and the pests will stay away! Shred soap either with a food processor or cheese grater. Deer specifically hate soap, so this will surely help keep your garden from becoming a woodland creature's midnight snack.
Sprinkle Salt For An Easy Garden Fertilizer
Many people turn to salt to add a bit of flavor to our cooking. Well, here's a helpful way to incorporate salt before it hits our tables. Either sprinkle a bit of Himalayan Salt into your soil or add up to a tablespoon of it into a gallon of water and mix together.
If you're taking the water route, carefully add it to the base of each plant. This is a great trick if you are running low on fertilizer or if you want to try a natural alternative. Adding the Himalayan seasoning into the mix can work wonders, and not just in our meals either.
Target Weed Spraying With An Aluminum Can
Eliminating pesky weeds usually includes a spray bottle with a range that is far more than the space we need to reach. So, in order to keep the weed control contained, try grabbing a plastic bucket or an empty aluminum can to try out this next trick.
Either cut the bottom out of the plastic bucket or clean out an old aluminum can destined for the recycling bin. Use a can opener to remove both ends. Place either object on top of the desired weed and spray the weed killer inside. This keeps the range of spray contained while calming your nerves of a ruined garden.
Use Plastic Bottles To Lift Potted Plants
Have you ever fallen in love and bought a pot long before knowing which plant you were going to put inside? Here's an easy way to make your favorite plant fit into any pot without much work at all. Collect some empty plastic bottles and lay them in the bottom of the pot.
Next, fill the rest of the pot with soil and place your plant inside. This will raise the plant's height to fit in the pot without anyone knowing your secret gardening hack! It will also help avoid root rot, as there will be a bit of air space for water to drain effectively.
Control Climbing Plants With Zip Ties
For plants that grow taller, like vines, sunflowers, or beanstalks, there's a way to keep the stems strong and tall without falling over. All you need is a stick of some kind. Oftentimes they're found at a plant nursery. Or, you can even use a chopstick!
Place the stick against your plant's stem and use the sturdy support of zip ties to keep them secured. Trim the excess of the ties, and your plants are good to grow! This hack will give your plants the support they need while helping your plants stand tall in your garden.
Share A Beer With Slugs To Save Your Garden
Weeds aren't the only thing that can torment your garden. Pesky slugs can also slither through the greens to catch a mean, which ruins plants. If you're willing to share, try pouring some beer into a small cup or dish and placing it in the soil of your garden near where you see them congregating.
The slugs will be drawn to the beer, and the liquid will stop them from eating up your garden for good. Then, all that is left to do is rid of the dish and its content. Your garden will then be free of slugs at last and will continue to flourish the way you intended!
Sprinkle Cinnamon To Rid Of Ants
There's a good chance you have everything you need to rid your plants of ants in your spice cabinet. And if you don't, we're sure your neighbor could spare a tablespoon or two. It turns out that cinnamon can be used for more than just adding a pleasant taste to our favorite dishes and drinks.
Cinnamon acts as an ant deterrent for our gardens. Just sprinkle some around your indoor or outdoor garden, and ants will become a worry of the past. The spice also works as a rooting agent. Applying a small amount to the stem of a new plant cutting will heighten the rate of growth.
Out Of Pots? Use An Orange Peel!
Fruits like oranges and grapefruits have rinds that are just the right size for starting new seedlings. After chowing down on your favorite citrus fruit, keep the rind and poke a hole in the bottom for adequate drainage. Next, add some soil, a seed or two, and water.
The seeds you pick for this trick are important. The citrus rinds make the soil inside more acidic, which is typically accomplished best with acid-loving plants like radishes and peppers. So, pick your favorite of the kinds mentioned and get to planting!
Bury Cardboard Beneath Your Garden To Get Rid of Weeds
Has anyone ever figured out how to have a weed-free garden? Or how to avoid back pain due to spending hours weeding? Well, some might be surprised to find out that it's much easier than you may think! Believe it or not, the trick is to bury a thin layer of cardboard right underneath the soil.
Find yourself some cardboard boxes and dismantle them, so you're left with sheets. After that, take the sheets and spread them throughout your garden. Cover everything with soil and water. The cardboard will soak up the water and keep the plants around it moist. This makes it impossible for weeds to pierce through the layer.
Use Epsom Salt To Fertilize
Commonly known for its home remedy uses, Epsom salt (hydrated magnesium sulfate) is also massively helpful in the garden. Like common store-bought fertilizers, Epsom salt is made with magnesium. It aids in seed germination, chlorophyll production, and absorption of vital nutrients.
Diluting Epsom salt in water and using it to spray plants with a spray bottle can help most plants grow better. Most of the plants in your garden grow best with a ratio of two teaspoons Epsom salt to one gallon of water per month. Try this hack on your veggies and roses to see the best results.
Store Gardening Tools In Sand To Avoid Rust
Our gardening tools sure do get a lot of use. To keep them in our shed for even longer, there's a simple step we can take to avoid them gaining rust throughout the years. First, mix a bag of sand with mineral oil. Even baby oil will work in this case.
Once it's mixed well, pour the concoction into a bucket and place your gardening tools inside. This will clean the tools and is an easy way to store everything you need in one space. Your trusty tools will remain intact for years and many gardens to come.
Keep Plants From Spreading with Plastic Pots
Mapping out the perfect garden takes a lot of planning when trying to figure out which plant will end up where. This trick is something simple that most people don't think of! Some plants love to spread far and wide when they grow, which sometimes leads to other plants taking over territory that's not theirs.
So, to keep your plants in line, keep them in the plastic pots they come in, and try burying the whole thing in the soil. Make sure that the pot is slightly bigger than the plant inside. This easy tip will keep the plant from rooting too far into the ground and make relocating it much easier if you decide to change things.
Grow Sweeter Tomatoes with Baking Soda
This next trick will take your up coming tomato harvest to another level! Simply add a sprinkling of baking soda around the base of your tomato plants. Be careful to keep the powder off of the plant leaves and roots. An alternative to adding the baking soda directly to your plant includes your trusty watering can.
Add one teaspoon of baking soda into about a gallon of water. Stir to dissolve, and then water around the base of your tomato plants. As with the powder, mind the plant itself while adding the mixture to your garden. When you bite into your harvest, you might be surprised by the extra sweet flavor!
Make A Self-Watering Wine Bottle
This next trick is helpful when leaving your plant babies home alone for the weekend. Or for anyone looking to save time on watering. This easy tip only requires an empty bottle! First, wash out a wine bottle. Use a skewer to poke a small hole through the cork. Then, fill with water and place the cork back inside the neck.
Turn the bottle upside down to ensure that water droplets slowly drip out. Finally, place the cork-end of the bottle a few inches into the soil of your plant. The water will flow slowly through the cork as needed. This ensures that the soil has the moisture it needs to grow your plants tall and strong!
Use A Laundry Basket To Grow Your Strawberries
Strawberries are a plant that needs ample room to grow. So, what better way to keep their roots organized than by planting vertically? Fill a plastic laundry basket like the ones below with a potato sack or plastic garbage bag. Fill the basket with soil and use a pair of scissors to cut open some of the fabric through the holes.
Place strawberry seedlings into the soil from the outside of the basket. Make sure to space the seeds out between the basket's holes for ample growing room. Once you've planted your seeds, the hard bit is over. While watering, soak both the top and sides of the basket, as you now have a 360-degree garden!
Grow Your Own Avocado in Four Steps
After eating your next avocado, consider using the pit to grow your own! First, remove and clean off the pit from the avocado. Next, place about three toothpicks (depending on the size) into the pit. Third, place the toothpick-filled pit into a glass and fill with water until the base of the pit is submerged.
Fourth, keep a close eye out for new roots and transplant them into a soil-filled pot when they reach about an inch. Water as necessary to keep the soil full of moisture. In a few weeks, you should have an adorable miniature avocado tree of your own!
Store Seeds From Year to Year in Old RX Bottles
Keep your seeds fresh year to year by storing them in your old RX bottles! According to Gary Pilarchik from The Rusted Garden, this easy hack can help keep seeds fresh for up to five years. First, remove the label from your old bottles and clean with soap. Next, add a new tag with the name of the seeds being stored inside.
Rinse leftover seeds in water with a strainer, and lay them out to dry on a coffee filter for two or three days. Once the seeds are completely dry, funnel the seeds into the correctly labeled RX bottle. Store in a cool, dry area and reuse for years to come!
Sprout New Succulents In a Water Bottle
Do you have one adorable succulent but want more? Try out this next hack to expand your garden! All you'll need is a plastic bottle, a pair of scissors, a bit of water, and your succulent. First, remove the cap and use the scissors to poke several holes in the sides of the water bottle.
Next, fill the base of the bottle with two inches of water. Carefully remove some of the succulent petals and place the root-side into the bottle. Tighten the cap, and set the entire bottle in a sunny window spot. New succulents will sprout in four weeks, ready to be planted in soil!
Going On Vacation? First, Rope Your Plants!
To keep your plants happy while you're away, all you need is a large vase, rope, and a pair of scissors. Gather your plants and put them on the floor around a table. Fill the vase with water, and place it on the table. Next, measure and cut as many rope pieces as needed.
Make sure each piece of rope is long enough to have one end in the water-filled vase and the other in each plant's soil. The rope will absorb and move the water from the vase to the plant when the soil is dry. Finally, enjoy your time away from home, knowing gravity will keep your plants fed!
Scratch Soap Before You Garden
Here's a hack that will help to keep your fingernails nice and clean while gardening. It's as simple as scratching a bar of soap! The soap will fill the space between your nails and fingertips, leaving no room for soil to get stuck under your nails.
Scratch each nail on a bar of soap for several seconds each, and allow the soap to fill the space. Get to work in your garden, and when you are finished, simply wash your hands. The bar soap will wash out from under your nails with the rest of the soap on your hands.
Make Recyclable Planters With Old Tires
Grab the old set of tires that have been collecting dust in your garage for years, and try out this next DIY gardening hack! Whether you want to paint them a new color or leave them au-natural, you can turn your tires into a new planter set for your garden.
Our advice? Add a circular cardboard cutout to the inside of the bottom of your new planter to keep the soil from spilling out. Stack or attach to rope and hang your new planter, fill with soil and top it all off with a new plant, fruit, or vegetable.
Grow A Gutter Garden
Why let your old gutters sit in your garage or shed after they've been replaced on your house? Instead, use your old drain to grow seedlings tall and strong! This easy DIY gardening hack not only saves space but blossoms new life into your old gutters.
Simply fill the gutter with potting soil, add seeds or seedlings, and water! In no time, your gutter will transform from old metal into a beautiful garden. When it comes time to transplant your new sprouts into their long-term home, rinse the drain with a hose, and repeat!
Use Homemade Spray To Keep Bugs Away
The time spent caring for our gardens, watering each day, and waiting patiently, can all quickly come to an end. What is one to do when we realize that little critters had already snacked on our vegetables before we had the chance? Well, here's a tip that will help your garden flourish without pesky bugs.
You may have everything you need right in your own home. In a food processor or blender, mix the following: One head of garlic, one and a half cups of mint leaves, one teaspoon of cayenne pepper, six cups of water, and a dash of dishwasher liquid. Transfer the liquid to a spray bottle and spray the pests away!