10 Gardening Hacks Every Beginner Should Know

10 Gardening Hacks Every Beginner Should Know

Last Updated On: January 20, 2022

If you’re a gardener you’ve probably come up with your own tricks and tips to be more efficient. Everyone has their own way of doing things, and today we want to share some of our own. These hacks will make your gardening experience super easy and fun. So, let’s get started.

1. Milk jug as a watering can

If you do not have a watering can, you can make one yourself using a plastic milk jug. It will help you water your small plant collection quickly.

To make a DIY watering can, take a milk jug and wash it thoroughly. Poke several holes in the lid of the milk jug. You can use a nail or drill for making these holes. You can then use it to gently water your plants.

2. Sponges in pots

Root rot is the most common cause of plant death. It is caused by overwatering and standing water. You can help prevent it by doing one simple trick.

Cut some old sponges according to the size of your plant’s pot. There should be no soap left in them so make sure to wash them thoroughly first. Place these sponges in the bottom of the pot. Now add the soil and plant the plant into it. Now, whenever you water your plant, these sponges will absorb the excess water and prevent the plant from getting root rot.

3. Cardboard seed pots

You cannot use big pots for planting seeds or seedlings; therefore, we introduce you to “cardboard pots”. These cardboard pots can help take the place of seed starter trays if you lack them. They also act as a good indicator of growth as the roots will eventually push through the cardboard. Watering your seeds will weaken the cardboard, and your plant’s roots will be able to push through it.

To make a cardboard seed pot, take a cardboard tube. Make four slits at its bottom by cutting through a pair of scissors. Now fold these four slits, and make a base of the cardboard pot. Add soil into it and then plant the seedling.

4. Vinegar for disinfecting tools

Sterilizing your gardening tools before using them on your plant is very important. Unsterilized tools cause infections and lead to pest issues. Instead of using a chemical sterilizer, you can disinfect your plant with vinegar.

Placing your gardening tools in vinegar reduces rust and kills microorganisms. For better results, soak them overnight. This will clean your tools and also remove rust that might be present on them.

5. Epsom salt for fertilizer

Epsom contains magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. These three are the macronutrients that your plants need for proper growth. Therefore, you can use Epsom salt as a fertilizer for your plants. It will speed up its growth and reduce the need for using chemical fertilizers in your garden.

Two tablespoons of Epsom salt in one gallon of water is enough to be used as a fertilizer. Now, spray your plant with this homemade fertilizer. You can also directly add Epsom salt to the soil. The quantity of adding Epsom salt to the soil depends upon the height of the plant. If your plant is one foot tall, add about one tablespoon of Epsom salt.

6. Zip ties for vines

Growing vines inside a home are excellent until they mature and start dangling down. Tying the vines with zip ties works wonders to keep them in a fixed place. It is an inexpensive hack that provides the vines extra support and directs them in your required direction.

7. Plastic soda bottles as mini-greenhouses

Plastic soda bottles as mini-greenhouses are another life-saver for plant owners. Little seedlings need to be well protected from low temperatures and also need high humidity to grow. The temperature inside this soda bottle remains warmer compared to the outside temperature. Plus, the humidity stays above 60%.

To make a bottle greenhouse, clean a soda bottle, remove its lid, and then cut off the bottom of your soda bottle. Place the bottle over your plant and secure it by pressing it into the soil. This mini greenhouse will protect your small seedling until it grows into a healthy matured plant. You can also use this when starting from seeds as they will need the same warm, humid environment.

8. Coffee beans for snails and slugs

Snails and slugs feed on plant foliage and can damage your plants. These are common problems for houseplants, like Philodendron Painted Lady and Anthurium Moodeanum. These small creatures can kill an entire garden quickly, often before a gardener even notices. However, if you take some precautionary measures to keep them away, your garden will stay safe and healthy forever.

Sprinkling the soil with coffee beans is helpful because caffeine is a repellent for slugs and snails. This hack also has the benefit that coffee grounds are a great fertilizer for your plants. A bit of coffee grounds in your garden both repels pests and nourishes your soil.

9. Self-watering bottle

If you are going on a long vacation, you cannot leave your plant unattended. Luckily, there is an easy way to create a simple, self-watering bottle.

Take a plastic or glass bottle. Make a small hole in the cap of a bottle by inserting a skewer into the hole. Place this bottle upside down in your plant’s pot. Water will slowly drip out of the hole, and it will be available for a long time. Slow dripping also avoids the overflow of water. While this likely won’t work as a long-term solution, it should be enough for a week or two while you’re gone.

10. Coffee filter for pots

A coffee filter allows water and air to pass through it, but it does not allow the dirt to pass. So when you place a coffee filter in your plant’s pot, it prevents soil from clogging the drainage hole. It saves your plant from root rot as the excess water will flow quickly out of the drainage hole, but keeps the area around your pot clean by blocking soil and sediment from leaking out of the pot.

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