If you’re new to gardening the amount of information available can be overwhelming, especially when everybody is sharing their personal tips and tricks that they swear will help you grow the perfect vegetables or most vibrant flowers.
Fortunately, we’ve sifted through the myths and anecdotes to bring you 10 simple gardening hacks that work and you can apply right away …
1) Cinnamon Powder on Seedlings to Prevent Diseases
Garden life can be very hit and miss, and not every seed you plant is going to grow. They have to contend with damp, fungus, and other diseases, and sometimes they’re just duds from the beginning.
One natural way to give your seedlings the best fighting chance at flourishing is to sprinkle cinnamon powder over them. Cinnamon has proven anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties and is believed to stop the underlying cause of ‘damping-off,’ when the stem of a seedling narrows and causes it to die.
So, give it a try—at worst your garden is simply going to smell nice!
2) Citrus Peel to Germinate Seeds
Another way to ensure your seeds have the best chance at germination and to become healthy seedlings is to plant then directly inside a citrus fruit peel.
You can halve a lemon and gut the contents, replacing it with soil, creating a mini plant pot. Simply poke a couple of holes in the bottom for drainage.
When the seedling is growing you can then plant it, still inside the lemon peel, directly into the soil. Eventually, the peel will decompose and continue to nourish the fledgling plant.
3) Prepare Your Seeds
Before you even get to the above steps, there are other things you can do to prepare your seeds. For example, sometimes large hard seeds (such as those from the sweet pea), can fail to germinate because the seed is too strong. You can prepare them by soaking them in warm water for 24 hours, which softens them up.
On the other end of the scale, plants that are from particularly cold climates can fair better if you put the seeds in the refrigerator to mimic cold weather.
So, before you plant your seeds do a bit of research to see if there is any way to better prepare them!
4) Coffee Filters in Flower Pots
A simple hack to keep your soil contained and to aid drainage is to use coffee filters in your flower pots. It will stop the holes at the bottom of the pot from getting too clogged and keep the soil in place when watering.
5) Eggshells for Nutrients
Sure, you can buy fertilizer and other chemical concoctions from the store to ‘feed’ your seedlings and plants, but there are also natural ways to do this that may be more appealing. Sprinkling crushed eggshells, for example, is a great way to give your soil a calcium boost.
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6) The Paper Towel Trick
Tending to a garden can take a lot of commitment—even going on a short vacation can leave plants wilted and thirsty.
One neat hack to allow continued access to water and moisture while you are not there is to trail a string of wet paper towels or toilet roll from a bucket of water along the garden beds, over the soil, and pots.
The mechanism acts almost like straw, sucking up the water and allowing it to travel to where you want it to go.
7) Lemongrass to Deter Mosquitoes
If your garden attracts mosquitoes, one long-known method of keeping them at bay is to plant some lemongrass. Mosquitoes hate the citronella in the plant and will leave your garden alone if you plant it strategically.
8) Beer and Coffee Grounds to Fight Slugs
So, you’ve got your garden flourishing and then along comes the pests to give it a munch. Slugs, in particular, can be a big annoyance.
Fortunately, there are many ways to keep them at bay and you don’t have to buy slug pellets or poison.
Beer is known to kill slugs, but if you don’t want to be mean, then wet coffee grounds are more likely to send them away instead of outright killing them.
9) Vinegar as Weed Killer
Weeds can also ruin a garden both visually and by choking plants and taking up space. Before you go out and buy a weed killer, good old-fashioned vinegar can do the trick.
10) Baking Soda for Sweeter Tomatoes
While tomatoes are quite easy to grow, it can take many attempts to actually get them to taste nice. Once hack that will ensure sweeter tomatoes is to use a small amount of baking soda in the soil. However, don’t overdo it as this can also poison the plant.
So, there you have it, by following the above tips you’ll soon be growing your garden like a pro—getting those seeds off to a good start and keeping pests at bay.
Are you a seasoned green thumb yourself? Then let us know your secrets in the comments below!