As an avid gardener for many years, I’ll be the first to admit that gardening is often dirty, time-consuming, and just plain hard work! But I’ve grown increasingly fond of the less-than-glamorous aspects of gardening over time, and now I actually look forward to getting my hands dirty in the garden (even if it does leave me a sweaty, grimy mess.) ;-)
Another thing that has made gardening more enjoyable for me is seeking out useful tips and tricks that can make the process easier. And since the time for planting is just around the corner, I thought I’d share some of those helpful gardening hacks with you in today’s post!
So here are 13 hacks you can put to use in your own garden, and may they make this growing season your most enjoyable one yet! :-)
Related: This Is The Best Thing You Can Start Doing For Your Garden
13 Of The Most Creative And Useful Gardening Hacks 1. Make Your Own Seed Tape
Planting seeds one at a time can be time-consuming and back-breaking labor. Make it faster and easier by making your own seed tape before planting—it’s a fun project and you can sit comfortably while you do it! ;-)
Once of the nice things about seed tape is that you do all the spacing while you’re making it. So when you’re ready to plant, all you’ll have to do is dig a narrow trench at the proper depth, roll out the tape, then cover and water it in! Easy.
Related: 6 Important Things You Need To Do In Your Garden Before Winter
2. Deter Pests With Peppermint Oil
Not only does peppermint essential oil repel ants and spiders, but it can also help keep aphids, beetles, caterpillars, and even mice at bay. To use this to your advantage in the garden, add 15 drops of peppermint oil to a small glass spray bottle, then fill the remainder of the bottle with water.
Spritz your peppermint spray around the perimeter of your garden, or around the outside of your pots. Shake the bottle before each use and reapply often, and your plants will thank you for it!
P.S. Both the peppermint essential oil and the small glass spray bottle are 30% off during my Anniversary Sale!
3. Save Space With Container Gardening
You don’t have to have a lot of extra space at home to be able to grow things. Even if you have just a few square feet of space outside, you can even grow potatoes in containers (and it’s surprisingly easy!)
Related: This Natural Homemade Weed Killer Is The Cheapest & Easiest Way To Kill Weeds Fast
4. Use A Milk Jug As A Watering Can
No watering can? No problem! You can fashion one out of an empty milk jug in about 30 seconds.
Just wash out the milk jug and use a craft knife to poke several small holes in the cap. Fill the clean jug with water, screw on the cap, and get watering!
Related: This One Inexpensive Gadget Will Save Your Indoor Plants
5. Save Your Eggshells
Instead of tossing out empty eggshells, save them to use in your garden! Eggshells make a great fertilizer because they’re rich in calcium and other minerals that your plants need.
Sprinkle crushed eggshells into the holes before planting, or sprinkle them around the base of established plants every few weeks. You can also scatter crushed eggshells around your vegetables and flowers to deter common garden pests like slugs, snails, and even stray cats!
Read More: 8 Smart Reasons You Should Be Saving Your Eggshells
6. Make A Multi-Purpose Tool Holder
It’s important to keep your garden tools clean and sharp. But why do the hard work yourself when you can make a self-cleaning, self-sharpening garden tool holder that will do it for you? ;-)
All you need is to make your own is a spare pot, a bit of oil, and some sand. Get the full instructions here.
7. Use Water Twice
No matter what kind of plants you grow, they all need water! And they’re not picky about where that water comes from.
Save the water you use when you boil or steam veggies, pasta, eggs, etc. and use it to water your plants! (Just make sure to let the water cool to room temperature before using it—you don’t want to scald your plants!)
Related: “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” – Part Eleven
8. Pamper Your Hands
There’s something undeniably satisfying about working in the dirt with your hands, but cleaning up the aftermath? Not so much…
…unless you’ve mixed up a jar of my Gardener’s Hand Scrub, that is! I highly recommend it to anyone who gardens or has flower beds, because it’s one of the few hand scrubs I’ve tried that cleans and exfoliates my hands and keeps them moisturized too.
9. Use Cardboard Tubes To Start Seeds
We could all stand to do a little more reducing, reusing, and recycling, and gardening offers a lot of opportunities to reuse household items. One such opportunity is to start your seeds in empty toilet paper tubes.
Once your little sprouts are ready to transplant to the garden, saturate the cardboard tube with plenty of water before putting it in the ground. Soggy cardboard will break down quickly in the ground so that it won’t hinder the growth of your young plant.
Related: 12 Surprisingly Practical Things You Can Do With Cardboard Tubes
10. Use A Milk Jug To Protect Plants
Cut the bottom off of an empty milk jug and use it as a “mini greenhouse” of sorts. Set it over small, tender plants to protect them from frost during the early part of the growing season. You can also use it to keep bugs and pests away from those temptingly tender leaves of young plants.
Related: 5 Things That Smart Gardeners Plant In The Fall
11. Keep Your Seeds Organized
Having a hard time keeping your collection of seed packets organized? Try storing them in the sleeves of a photo album instead!
Not only does the album make it easy to keep track of your packets, but the sleeves will also help hold the packets shut so their contents don’t spill out all over the place.
12. Put Sponges In Your Pots
Over-watering and under-watering are two of the most common issues that can affect the health of your potted plants. But luckily for us, finding that sweet spot for watering can be as easy as adding a few sponges to the bottom of to pot before planting!
If the soil gets overly wet, the sponges will help absorb excess moisture while preserving airflow that will help prevent root rot. And if the soil starts to dry out, the saturated sponges can act as a water reserve to help keep the plant hydrated.
13. Clean Your Harvest With A Produce Wash
Before you chow down on that fresh, tasty produce you brought in from your garden, clean it with a produce wash first! And you can make your own produce wash at home using simple ingredients you may already have on hand: bacteria-banishing white vinegar and purifying lemon essential oil.
Once you’ve made your produce wash, all you have to do is spray down your produce, give any hard-skinned fruits and veggies a quick scrub, then rinse everything under clean water and dry it. Easy! :-)
Get the full recipe and detailed instructions for making your own produce wash here.
P.S. Both the lemon essential oil and the glass spray bottle are 30% off during my Anniversary Sale!
Do you have any clever hacks that you use in your own garden?
The Anniversary Sale Is On!
The By Jillee Shop is officially two years old, and I’m hosting another huge Anniversary Sale to celebrate!
Enjoy 30% off the entire store, including the products mentioned in today’s post, and get any eBook for just $5 each (regularly $19.99!)
But wait, there’s more!
I’m offering an even bigger discount on my best selling makeup remover cloths, Danish dough whisks, and folding facial razors. If you buy 3, you’ll get a 4th absolutely free! Just be sure to choose the “Buy 3, Get 1 Free” option on any of those product pages.
Shop The Sale
Offer ends 04/18/21 at 11:59 PM MDT. No coupon code necessary, discount reflected in the price.
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