Gardening is a hobby that you can spend a lifetime learning about. Seasons change, seeds fail or thrive, and just when you think you know it all, you realize how much there still is to learn. Direct Energy’s Gardening Series is a follow-along guide to embrace the beauty and challenges involved with being a gardener. As a craft that requires patience, creativity, and endurance, gardening can be enjoyed by those of all ages, and is one of the most satisfying ways to spend an early morning or late afternoon. Follow along as we show you how to begin, which herbs grow the best and other tips on how to plant a garden that will flourish under your care.
Looking for ways to make gardening easier? Even the simplest of tricks can help you with watering, seeding and propagating new plants.
More times than not, gardening hacks require materials you can find around your home. Many hacks allow you to enhance the quality and size of your garden without spending much money. Check out these simple gardening hacks to give you even greener thumbs!
1. Prevent Seedling Disease with Cinnamon
As an anti-fungal spice, a sprinkling of cinnamon around seedlings can discourage mold and fungus from taking over. Plus, it smells great! The cinnamon allows the seedlings to get tall enough for transplanting without falling prey to disease.
2. Start Seedlings in Eggshells or Citrus Peels
Eggshells and citrus peels can make great starter containers to grow seedlings. When cracking eggs, return the shells to the cardboard egg container instead of tossing them into the trash or compost. If you’re a fan of eating grapefruits or other citrus fruit, save halves of your peels for your seedlings.
Fill the eggshells or peels 2/3 of the way high with nutrient-rich soil. Plant the seeds inside the dirt and place them in sunlight so they can begin to sprout. Keep them moist until seedlings appear and continue to grow stronger.
Once you’re ready to transplant the seedlings, plant the entire eggshell or peel into the ground. Over time, the makeshift containers will disintegrate and become one with the Earth.
3. Prevent Pot Leakage with Coffee Filters
Have you ever watered a potted plant only to watch the dirt seep out the bottom? Prevent leakage by lining the bottom of your pots with paper coffee filters before filling the pot with dirt. That barrier will stop the dirt from coming out the bottom and keep the moisture in the pot, too.
4. Up-cycle a Plastic Bottle for Drip Irrigation
This low-key irrigation method is best used for potted plants. Pick up a package of plastic watering spouts that will fit onto the mouth of a 2 liter plastic bottle. Cut off the bottom of the bottle, attach the plastic spout to the mouth and push the spout into the soil of your potted plant. Fill the bottle with water from the new opening at the top to create your very own low-maintenance drip irrigation system.
5. Kill Weeds with Vinegar
Keep your garden free of poisons and use a multi-purpose household item to kill weeds. Vinegar is a great alternative to kill weeds on the driveway or in walkways. Simply pour enough vinegar onto the weed so it soaks down into the roots. Vinegar is particularly useful in areas where children play and garden themselves.
6. Propagate Seedlings with Honey
Propagating your own plants instead of buying new plants from the nursery not only saves money, but also allows you to reap the joy and challenge of taking a piece of another plant and growing it into a shrub of your own.
Begonias, succulents, geraniums and herbs such as lemon balm and mint are easy plants to propagate successfully. Help give them a boost by putting one teaspoon of honey into the jar you’re using to propagate. The honey acts as the sugar or food resource for the growing plants as well as a root hormone. Honey also helps guard the plant from fungal problems and bacteria.
7. Help Transplanted Seedlings Grow with Epsom Salt
When transplanting a seedling or a smaller plant into a new location, pour one tablespoon of Epsom salt into the hole before planting. Epsom salt provides minerals to help the plant get a new start and are known to help plants bloom.
Naturally loaded with magnesium and sulfur, these minerals help the plant resettle for success. Make sure to saturate the soil with water after transplanting.
8. Use Cooking Water as Fertilizer
Are you a fan of steaming or boiling vegetables in a pot? Don’t toss that leftover water down the sink. Allow the cooking water to completely cool and pour it onto one of your potted plants. The minerals extracted from the veggies during the cooking process will give your plants an added boost of nutrition.
Did we miss out on some of your own gardening hacks? Share with us below!