Expert Shares 15 Clever Gardening Shortcuts To A High-Yield Vegetable Garden This Summer
Marilyn Caylor 6/1/2017
Are you looking for new ways to transform your average backyard garden into a lush plant paradise? Then check out the simple DIY tips below - it will change the way you garden forever!
Spruce Up The Rain Gauge
Every gardener should know how much rain their precious plants are receiving. A rain gauge does the trick, but you can spruce it up by adding a couple of drops of red food coloring to the tube. The brightly colored water will make it much easier to read the gauge after it rains.
Screenshot via YouTube
Add A Dash Of Turmeric
Turmeric has many health benefits for humans, but it can also do wonders for plants, too! If your poor little plants are suffering from a bout of mildew, this Indian spice will banish it for good. Just sprinkle a bit of turmeric powder on the plants, preferably in the early morning hours. The dew will help the turmeric adhere to the leaves.
Sprinkle Seedlings With Cinnamon
Cinnamon not only smells great, but it also packs a wallop with its anti-fungal properties. As a preventative measure, sprinkle some ground cinnamon around your seedlings to help them grow up to be big and green! It will also stop fungal disease dead in its tracks for plants that have already been infected.
Keep An Aggressive Plant Under Control
Stop an invasive plant from taking over your garden by placing it in solitary confinement! Stick the misbehaving plant into its own plastic container, and then poke a few holes in the bottom of the pot with a knife. Once you bury the plant in the ground, its roots won't have anywhere to grow but straight down.
Sweeten Your Tomatoes With Baking Soda
Homegrown tomatoes are the best thing ever, especially when they're picked fresh off the vine. If you want to take your tomato experience to the next level, upgrade your plant with a dose of baking soda! Just sprinkle the powder around the base of the plant while it's still growing, and it will magically transform the juicy orbs into delightfully sweet treats.
Mulch With Coffee Grounds
Who says mulch has to be made of cedar chips or newspaper? Coffee grounds are gaining popularity as an organic mulch due to claims that it can deter pests and help aerate the soil. Be sure to only use a thin layer, as a thick layer can get quite moldy. For best results, layer the coffee grounds on top of another organic mulch.
Add A Little Aspirin!
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as aspirin therapy for your garden! The active ingredient in aspirin, salicylic acid, is naturally produced by plants. It helps boost their immune system so they can fight off pests and diseases. To give your fledgling plants a head start in life, crush up an uncoated aspirin pill and add it to a liter of water. Spray this mixture onto their leaves and your garden will flourish in no time!
Clever DIY Watering Can
Don't have a watering can handy? No problem! Make one from an empty plastic milk jug. After you poke a few holes into the lid with a hot needle, the water will flow out of it just like a real watering can. Find out more about how to make this simple DIY project here.
Use Citrus Peel To Start Seedlings
This is such a cute and practical way to start your seedlings! Take the peel from half an orange and make a couple of holes in the bottom for drainage. Next, fill the citrus peel with soil, and then top it off with a single seed and some water. When your seedling is ready to transplant into the ground, it will naturally compost directly into the soil. How convenient is that?
Lighten Your Pot
A heavy terra cotta pot can be a pain to move from here to there. In most cases, you don't really need to fill it to the brim with soil. Lighten the load by filling the bottom half of the container with packing peanuts, which serves double duty as drainage. Test the peanuts first to make sure they aren't the kind that dissolve in water. After you add a lightweight potting mix to the planter, your aching back will thank you!
Screenshot via YouTube
Line Planters With Coffee Filters
Coffee filters aren't just for filtering coffee! You can also use them to line your planters before you pile on the dirt. They will keep the soil from migrating into the drainage holes, which can clog it up. Gardening can't get any easier than this!
Propagate Fresh Cuttings With Honey
It's easy to root fresh cuttings when you "feed" them honey! It turns out that honey is filled with beneficial enzymes that can also act as a rooting agent. Honey is known for its ability to fight off fungal and bacterial infections, which means you have a cool trick up your sleeve to keep the little cuttings healthy and strong.
To make honey-infused rooting water, just add a tablespoon of honey to two cups of boiling water. Store this mixture in an airtight container. When you're ready, dip the cuttings into the rooting water and plant as usual. Find out more about this sweet process here.
Make Your Plant A Water Reservoir
There's no need to spend big bucks at your garden center for an automatic drip watering system when you can make one yourself! All you have to do is poke some holes into an empty 20 ounce soda bottle with a knife. You'll also need to drill a couple of holes into the lid, too. Fill the bottle with water, flip it upside down, and place it next to your plant. You can get all the DIY details on how to make this amazing tool here.
Screenshot via YouTube
Use Diapers To Retain Moisture
A baby diaper is a great no-drip solution that keeps moisture from leaking out of your hanging plants. All you have to do is place a clean diaper, absorbent side up, on the bottom of the pot before you add soil. Your plant babies will will stay moist, while the side table directly underneath it stays dry!
Check Your Seeds - Paper Towel Trick
If you have a half-empty pack of seeds from last year lying around, it can be hard to tell if they're still viable. Luckily, there's an easy way to find out if you can still plant them - just use the wet paper towel trick! Wet a paper towel with water and then wring it out so that it's slightly damp. Drop the seeds on top, and then stick your science project where it's warm - on top of the clothes dryer works well! If the seeds are still good, they'll sprout within a couple of days.
Screenshot via YouTube
Gardening can be fun and easy when you have a bunch of cool tips and tricks like these in your toolbox! Which one are you going to try first?
Sources: Family Handyman, Balcony Garden Web, The Rusted Vegetable Garden, Balcony Garden Web, Northwest Edible Life, Balcony Garden Web, A Journey To A Dream, My Roman Apartment, One Hundred Dollars A Month, Gardening Know How, Instructables, Sandpaper And Silly Putty, Food52 Facebook Image Source: YouTube/essortment, YouTube/GrowVeg