It’s officially summer, the sun’s shining (sometimes) and those garden tasks you have been putting off for a few weeks (or months) refuse to be ignored any longer. Fear not – we’re here to help! We’ve scoured the internet to bring you these top ten simple and cheap gardening tricks to make your life that little bit easier. We hope you DIG them as much as us, and that they help get you MOWtivated to get your hands dirty (sorry… we’ll stop). Happy gardening!
1. Egg Shell Seedling Starters
Looking for new ways of planting your seeds? Simply reuse old egg shells for a cheap solution. These calcium rich shells will act as protection for the growing seed as well as boosting their growth. When they are ready to be planted, they can be easily transported into the garden and put straight into the ground.
2. Fertiliser for Plants
Instead of purchasing fertiliser, why not try a hand at making your own? Simply add egg shells, banana peel, coffee grains and water to a blender and mix it up. The ingredients contain potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen and calcium, and so are great for giving your plants that extra help! Tip: try giving the coffee a quick rinse first, this should neutralise its pH balance and ensure it doesn’t affect the level of acidity in your soil. This is a great, cheap solution to help out any plants, while also being good for the environment – a win win!
3. Milk Bottle Watering Can
Need a watering can quickly? Simply poke or drill holes into the cap of a milk bottle, screw on the cap and pour! Tip: you could even drill bigger holes and use this as a way of distributing your homemade fertiliser around the garden.
4. Key Ring Plant Tags
Keep all the handy information about your plants together for when you need it! Simply punch holes through the garden tags (we recommend punching through the image so as not to remove any information) and then slide onto a keyring for future reference.
4. Pot-In-Pot Planting
Instead of planting just one pot into the ground, carve out space for the first pot and place another, containing your plant, inside it. This way, you can easily remove it to change up the style and look of your garden, as well as experimenting with seasonal plants without hassle!
5. Self Cleaning and Sharpening Tool Holder
Store your small tools easily by simply filling a terracotta pot with sand and a little mineral oil. Mix these two ingredients up (using about 20-30 ounces of mineral oil, or baby oil if you can’t get hold of this) and stir until you get an even mix. Cover any drainage holes in your pot to prevent leaks! The oil will provide a mechanism of cleaning and the sand will sharpen your tools. As well as this, it keeps your them on hand and easily accessible! Tip: try painting your plant pot, this can be a nice aesthetic addition to any garden as well as being useful AND practical!
6. Add Cans and Pots to the Bottom of Large Planters
Large planters, although looking lovely, can require lots of soil to fill them up. Save yourself some money by lining the bottom with old cans and cheap planters before adding soil on top of these. Another benefit of this method is that it helps to provide better drainage and airflow to your plants.
7. Protect your Plants using Old Bottles
Help your sprouting seeds in tough conditions – whether it be the rain or cold, hungry insects or animals. A recycled plastic bottle will act as a mini greenhouse, amplifying light while providing shelter and protection. We recommend using large, two litre bottles with the end cut off. Once this is done, simply push it into the ground around your plant and watch it grow!
8. Plastic Fork Plant Protection
Want to protect multiple plants? Why not try this simple and cheap gardening trick. All it requires is taking some plastic forks and pushing them into the soil. This will prevent pesky animals after your plants and vegetables. Tip: you could even use the fork prongs to hold the name of your plants, the date they were planted, or other important information.
9. Coffee Filters for Water Retention
Lining the inside of your pots with coffee filters stops any soil from leaking, keeping the drainage hole free. As well as this, the absorbent nature of coffee filters keeps moisture in the soil, providing a back up for those times you may forget to water!
10. Cork Board Seed Planter
For the more serious gardener – try this time saving hack! Simply drill some screws evenly into a board, turn the board over, and screw the corks on. Then use a little glue to make sure they stay put. When this is dry, take your seed planter into the garden, turn over, and press. You should get lots of even holes in the soil, ready to be filled with seeds and covered over!
We hope you find these simple and cheap gardening tricks useful, and if you try any of them out make sure to let us know at out Facebook page! If you’re looking for more tips, you can always check out our expect advice in 7 Wildlife Gardening Tips by the Green Fingered Blogger, or if you’re feeling handy and want to take it to the next level, why not take a look at our 12 Easy and Cheap DIY Firepit Ideas.