Simple, Inexpensive, and Time-Saving Gardening Tips
Photo Credit : Pixabay
Cheap and easy gardening tips are always appreciated by thrifty New Englanders. Here are some of our favorite fun and frugal ideas to make gardening a little easier and less expensive.
CHEAP AND EASY GARDENING TIPS
Nutrient Boost for Garden Soil
There are a few ways to organically boost the nutrient content in your garden without waiting for a traditional compost pile to decompose and be added to the soil. One is to cut up a banana peel and bury the pieces in the soil several inches below the roots of plants. Periodically working in crushed egg shells and used coffee grounds is also a great way release nutrients. After you are done boiling vegetables, let the water cool and use it to water your garden.
Milk Jug Watering Can
In places where a hose can’t reach, keep a homemade watering can or two available for perking up sun-stressed plants quickly and conveniently. To make a homemade watering can, clean a plastic, gallon-sized milk jug and use a hammer and nail to pierce several holes in the cap. Fill the jug with water, re-cap, and voila!
Garden Tool Storage Container
Make a handy garden tool container to store your small hand tools upright, neat, and in one place. Choose a medium or large plant pot and block the drainage hole from the inside with duct tape. Fill the plant pot ¾ full with fine, clean, and dry sand. Place small hand tools sharp-side–down into the sand.
2-in-1 Garden Tool
Turn a shovel, rake, hoe, or any long-handled tool into a measuring stick. Just lay the garden tool on the ground and use a tape measure or yard stick to measure and mark the lengths with permanent marker. Then, when you need to measure and space plants out, you will already have what you need handy, with one less tool to carry along.
A large terra cotta pot and saucer can become an instant birdbath. Simply turn the pot upside-down and place on a level area. Set the saucer on the top and fill with water. For added charm, paint the pot and spray with a clear acrylic coat first.
Plant Marker Options
The following household items make great plant identification markers: Venetian blind pieces that are cut to size and shaped into a triangle on one end, popsicle sticks, and wooden paint-stirring sticks.
Keep Fingernails Clean
For those who prefer not to use gloves and like to feel the dirt in their hands this tip is perfect. Before working in dirt, dig your fingernails into a bar of soap. This will prevent dirt from embedding deep under nails. After gardening, use a nailbrush or an old toothbrush to remove the soap.
Tangle-Free Garden Twine
Using a terracotta pot with a drainage hole, pull one end of the twine through the drainage hole, set the pot upside-down on top of the rest of the ball of twine, and you will have portable, easy, and tangle free twine at your fingertips.
Easy to Read Rain Gauge
Add a drop of red or blue food coloring to your rain gauge to easily see the measurement of rain.
Toilet Paper Roll Seed-Starter Pots
Save toilet paper rolls and cut four 1–2-inch slits in one end, leaving equal amounts of space between the cuts. Fold slits in to create a bottom. Add potting mix and plant seeds. When the seedlings are ready to transplant, do it in the paper roll pot, which is bio-degradable and will keep the seedling intact.
Egg Shell Seed-Starter Pots
When cracking eggs, break at the top to allow for a little over half of the shell to remain intact. Fill with potting soil and plant seeds. When it’s time to transplant, do so with the shell, which will not only bio-degrade, but will also slowly release calcium and nutrients into the soil for the plants.
Easy Toad House
Place a clay plant pot horizontally on the ground. Dig a hole to fit the pot in, allowing for half of the pot to be underground. Pack soil around the bottom half and you’ll have a home for your resident garden toad, who should help keep your garden free of pests.
Prevent Plant Pots from Leaking
To keep soil and excess water from leaking out of pots, line pot bottoms with coffee filters.
If you have any other favorite gardening tips to share, we want to hear them! Let us know in the comments.
This post was first published in 2015 and has been updated.