Make tending to your gardening and landscaping a little easier with these simple tips and hacks.
Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Plant Your Containers
If you don't have the time to constantly be tending to your annuals, dig a hole for your seasonal plants and fill it with an empty planting container. Simply drop in your seasonal flowers, herbs, or vegetables and switch them out as the seasons change.
Lighten Your Containers
Instead of filling a large planting container completely full of soil, you can use packing peanuts in the bottom. Not only will it make your containers lighter and easier to move but it's much cheaper than filling completely with potting soil. Fill up your container about one-third of the way with foam peanuts and add a layer of landscaping fabric so your soil doesn't fall to the bottom.
Give Your Garden a Boost of Calcium
If you're not an avid composter already, you can give your withering plants a nutrient-boost with eggshells. Speed up the composting process by grinding eggshells in a blender to a powder consistency then apply to the soil around your plants.
Make a One-Step Compost Bin
With two common household materials, you'll be on your way to composting in less than 15 minutes. See the how-to here.
Save Your Vegetable Cooking Water
Whether you steam or boil vegetables, the water you cook with pulls nutrients from those veggies. Wait for the water to cool and simply "fertilize" your garden with it.
Optimize Your Plant Containers
Avoid dirt erosion in you potted plants by placing coffee filters at the bottom; they'll allow water to drain but help keep the dirt in place longer than without.
For your summer annuals that you place in containers, you can use a diaper beneath the potting soil to help it retain water (in case you forget a day of watering).
Natural Plant Starters
Instead of planting seeds directly into the ground, start them off in eggshells or citrus peels. Just make sure to poke a hole in the bottom for drainage. When you're ready to put them into your garden, simply plant the entire thing, shell or peel and all. The eggshell or citrus peel will compost and give your seedlings nutrients throughout the growing process.
Contain Your Overgrowth
If you have a type of plant you love in your garden but are tired of cutting back it's overgrowth, start at the root of the problem (literally). Using a plastic pot (10 inches deep minimum), cut off the bottom with a utility knife and plant the plastic pot as a barrier for your plant's roots.
Make a DIY Rain Barrel
Using a large plastic garbage can and a few other items, you can make your own rain barrel and save big on your summer water bill. For every inch of rain that falls on 500 square feet of roof, you can collect 300 gallons of water, according to Better Homes and Gardens. Here's the how-to.
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