Keeping a garden, whether you have acres of outdoor space or you manage with a courtyard and a sunny windowsill, has three simultaneous benefits. It beautifies your living space, it soothes your soul, and if you grow the right plants, it supplements a healthy diet.
But gardening can also be time-consuming, especially if you adopt it as a daily hobby. These six hacks will ensure that your gardening habit doesn’t cut too much into the rest of your day.
Keeping Hand Tools Clean
You don’t want to spend ages cleaning forks and trowels, but you don’t want your tools dirty and rusty, either. The best idea is a plant pot filled with sand, into which you pour some cheap vegetable oil. Thrust hand tools into this mixture for storage; the abrasive sand cleans the metal, while the oil protects from rust.
Creative Seedling Planters
Save your eggshells and loo-roll centres. Half an eggshell or cardboard tube makes a great sprouter when filled with potting soil. Pop in a seed to germinate, and once it is large enough for transplanting, you don’t have to disturb the roots. Just gently crush the bottom of the eggshell, or soak the cardboard, and then ensure the containers are completely covered with soil when you plant them out. They will biodegrade as the plant’s roots grow.
Coffee Cup Watering Can
A plastic takeaway coffee cup with a sippy-cup lid makes a perfect precision watering can. This can be a vital timesaver in an indoor garden scattered about in several pots. The drinking hole allows you to pour a precision stream of water right onto the roots of each plant, delivering pin-point hydration.
Soft Drink Greenhouses
Cut the bottom off an empty two-litre plastic soft-drink bottle that you’d been sipping from when playing at Cash Cabin Bingo, and replace the cap, place it over seedlings in a pot, and you’ve created an individual greenhouse. This is a great way to protect newly rooted cuttings, delicate young seedlings and any other vulnerable potted plants from the elements, whether the threat is harsh winds, intense sunshine or bitter cold.
Zip Tie Those Vines
Passionfruit, squashes and decorative favourites like morning glory are beautiful, but they love to throw trailing vines all over your garden. If you want to train vines to frames, so that they look much neater, zip ties are a quick, easy way to get them secured. Be sure not to draw them too tightly closed; you need to leave enough space for plant growth.
Build A Modular Garden
This is a project for an outdoor garden, but it doesn’t have to be a large one that would accommodate racing greyhounds or big dogs. In fact, this is great way to make a small garden more versatile. Instead of rooting plants directly in the soil, buy a series of nesting plant pots. Then bury single pots at various points around the garden plot. Now you fill the inner pots with any plants you like, and just slide them into place in the garden. When you feel like changing a plant, or all of them, you just slide out one set of pots and slide in your new selections.