Garden hacks are simple, innovative, and effective solutions that can make life easier for gardeners of all skill levels. But as we all know there is a lot of junk out there, particularly on social media. So lets take a look at some common garden hacks that actually work!
Milk Bottle Propagator
I have a whole article dedicated to making these DIY propagators, which you can find here.
Suffice it to say, these recycled propagators work really well!
DIY Seed Tapes
Seed tapes are a convenient and efficient way to plant seeds at the correct spacing in a straight line. You can either purchase pre-made seed tapes or make your own by placing seeds on a strip of biodegradable material like toilet paper or newspaper.
To use the seed tape, simply lay it on top of your prepared soil, cover with a layer of soil, and water it thoroughly. This method minimises seed wastage and makes it easier to thin seedlings when needed.
When making your own make sure you get the distances correct!
DIY Biodegradable Containers
Biodegradable containers offer an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic pots for starting seedlings. Materials like cardboard tubes, egg cartons, or newspapers can be used as temporary containers.
When the seedlings have grown and are ready to be transplanted, plant the entire container in the garden. The biodegradable material will decompose over time, allowing the roots of your plants to grow freely.
Natural Pest Repellents
Utilising natural repellents is an eco-friendly approach to protecting your garden from pests. One effective method is to create a homemade spray by blending hot peppers, garlic, and water, which can be used to deter aphids from devouring your plants.
DIY Pest Traps
Creating your own traps can be a cost-effective strategy for controlling garden pests. One simple trap involves using a container filled with bait, such as a sugar solution, which attracts pests and then traps them, preventing them from causing further damage to your plants.
Beer traps are a good way of collecting slugs, you bury a container in your soil, put a little beer in it, and the slugs will crawl in an be unable to get back out.
Introducing beneficial insects to your garden can contribute to a natural pest control method. Ladybirds, for example, are predators of aphids and can significantly decrease their population, helping to protect your plants.
Another example is using nematodes, which are microscopic worms that seek out and destroy various types of pests, such as slugs, without causing harm to plants or other wildlife.
Companion planting refers to the practice of growing certain plants together to benefit each other by attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, and improving soil nutrition. This method can create a healthier and more balanced garden ecosystem, ultimately benefiting all plants involved.
One popular companion planting strategy is the “Three Sisters”, which involves planting corn, beans, and squash together. The corn provides a natural trellis for bean plants to climb, while the beans fix nitrogen in the soil to help support the growth of corn and squash. Meanwhile, the squash’s large leaves offer shade and help retain moisture in the soil.
Marigolds and tomatoes are another companion pair that are commonly grown together.