One of our favorite things to do is gardening. I have gathered 12 of the best gardening tips and tricks every gardener should know and put them into this post for you.
You can feel comfortable trying any or all of them. All of these gardening tips are easy to do. There are no toxic chemicals involved. And some reuse stuff you might already have lying around.
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Tip #1. Grow Tomato Seedlings the Easy Way
Everyone wants to grow delicious tomatoes.
Who needs to buy tomato seedlings when you can grow your own from over-ripe tomatoes?
It’s easy! I found these instructions in Gardening Know How.
First, start with a pot that will be large enough to hold a tomato plant, at least 12″ across and 12″ deep.
Next, fill it with premium potting soil. Don’t use garden soil, as it will compact in the pot and the tomato will have a hard time growing.
Then, slice some over-ripe tomatoes into 1/4″ thick slices. Place the slices on top of the dirt and sprinkle some more soil over them.
In two weeks or so, seedlings will be showing up. Transplant the largest ones to other pots, four to a container.
Let them grow awhile. When they’re ready, select the strongest one of the four to plant in your garden or container.
You just grew your own tomato plants from your over-ripe tomatoes!
Tip #2. Turn Your Plastic Milk Jug into a Watering Can
We buy milk in the gallon jugs and go through quite a few. What happens with the used ones?
Make holes in the lid and use it as a watering can!
- First, you have to empty the milk jug, so it’s ready to turn into a watering can.
- Drink the milk or pour it over your cereal. Delicious! Then wash the milk jug.
- You want to poke a few holes into the lid of the jug so the water can sprinkle through it.
I’ve used a few different ways to make holes in the lid. Try them to see which one you like best:
- Heat a needle and press through the cap to make the holes
- Pound a nail through the top a few times for some holes
- Drill the holes with your electric tool
Add water to the milk jug and voila! Instant watering can!
Tip #3. Use Coffee Grounds in Your Garden
Coffee grounds are a versatile addition to your garden.
I wrote an entire post about how to use them here. Some suggestions include:
- They are high in nitrogen. As a result, they can be used to add nutrients to the soil.
- For composting, they are a green organic material to add to your compost pile.
- Worms love coffee grounds, and gardens love worms. Feed the worms!
- Use them to improve soil texture, which will make its drainage better.
- They can be used to keep pests from devouring your garden.
Tip #4. Start Your Seeds Using Recycled Materials
Springtime is the time you start thinking of the garden and summertime harvests. The first thing you need to do is starting vegetable seeds.
You can save money and reduce waste by starting your vegetable seeds in recycled materials. You probably have some items around your home that you can use to start seedlings in without having to purchase seed trays and modules.
A lot of items like egg cartons, eggshells, and toilet paper rolls are perfect for starting seeds.
Let’s get started!
- A cute planter idea is using eggshells to start your seeds in. The eggshells hold the healthy seedling, the egg carton contains the eggshells in place. Plant the entire eggshell into the soil.
- If you don’t want to hassle with the eggshells, use the egg carton instead. Just put some potting soil into the egg cup, sow your seeds and rip them apart. When it’s time to plant, you can plant the seedling with the carton around it. The paper breaks down as the plant grows.
- Toilet paper rolls make great planters for growing seedlings since they can be planted directly into the garden when ready. They are even better for those plants who don’t like to have their roots disturbed like peas, beans, and sweet peas.
- I get a lot of ideas from HGTV. They have a post about how to use newspaper to make pots for seed-starting using a tin can as a mold.
Tip #5. Make a Mini-Greenhouse
Sometimes, your seedlings just need a little extra warmth.
Recycled materials can also be used to make a mini-greenhouse to keep them warm.
- Plastic egg cartons can be turned into a greenhouse. Place the eggshells into the egg carton and close the lid. Once your seeds begin to sprout, remove the top, so they don’t get moldy.
- Pastry clamshell holders can provide an excellent environment for seedlings to grow into.
- A cloche is a mini greenhouse that is used in the garden to cover individual plants to protect it. Water bottles of all sizes can be used to make mobile greenhouses.
Tip #6. Keep Pests Away
Pests are the bane of the gardener’s existence!
Slugs and snails eat EVERYTHING it seems. Rabbits are voracious eaters and can destroy a garden overnight.
Gardening tip: You can easily protect your precious vegetables from pests and garden predators!
- Use crushed eggshells to keep pests like slugs and snails away. Eggshells also act as an excellent fertilizer by providing calcium to your plants. In addition, they can be used to aerate the soil and reduce the acidity of the soil.
- Rabbits don’t look up, so anything higher than 18″ is pretty safe from them. Anything lower is fair game! We have lots of bunnies, Therefore, we use chicken fencing around our lower beds to protect the young veggies from the bunnies and rabbits that wander around the gardens.
- Aphids seem to be everywhere. Spray them with the garden hose to knock them off your plants. Then use soapy water to discourage them from coming back.
Tip #7. Re-grow Vegetables from Kitchen Scraps
Gardening tip: Did you know that you can grow new vegetables from scraps that are left over after you prepped dinner? Yes, you can, and it’s easy!
So, start saving your kitchen veggie scraps, seeds, stumps, and root parts immediately. They can be reused to re-grow the plants!
Here’s what you can re-grow from kitchen scraps:
- Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons, lemon grow from their seeds
- Turnips grow from the sprouted tops
- Fennel, romaine lettuce, green onions, scallions, celery, leeks can all grow from the base or root
- Potatoes, sweet potatoes grow from the sprouts
- Garlic bulbs will sprout green shoots if in water
- Ginger root makes a great indoor houseplant
- Basil, cilantro rosemary will root if the stems are placed in water
Tip #8. Grow Your Microgreens
Do you use microgreens in salads, sandwiches, juices, and smoothies? Microgreens can be very expensive to purchase, and you never know how fresh they are at the store.
It’s easy to grow your own!
- You can grow your own and have a never-ending supply of microgreens in available to use.
- All you need are the seeds, some potting soil, and a clean container to grow them in.
Tip #9. Plant a Herb Garden
Do you love cooking with fresh herbs but don’t want to run to the store every time you need some? Or, do you have limited space for a garden?
- Just plant your favorite herbs in a pot in your kitchen.
- All you’ll need is a container, potting soil, a few rocks, and your herb seeds.
Tip #10. Succulents Planted in Eggshells
Sometimes unique plants like succulents just need unique planters.
- One idea is to place them into eggshells to showcase your succulent plants.
- If you want, use other plants for a change.
Tip #11. Self-watering Planters
Watering all your plants can sometimes take too much time.
Did you know you can make your own self-watering planters using recycled bottles or plastic jugs? Here are some ideas for you:
- Look at these 14 DIY self-watering container garden ideas from Balcony Garden Web.
- Design Sponge has this tutorial for making a recycled windowsill herb garden using beer bottles. The garden is low maintenance and a time-saver as you don’t have to water the plants. Plus a bonus: you get to drink the beer!
Tip #12. Tea Tin Herb Planters
Old-fashioned loose-leaf tea tins make pretty herb planters for the kitchen or windowsill. You can find them at flea markets, online and in stores.
- To begin with, line the tin with plastic wrap to prevent leaking and layer in a few stones for drainage. Fill the tin with potting soil and add your favorite herb seeds or established seedlings.
- For instance, I like to plant basil, rosemary, parsley, cilantro, thyme, and oregano in my kitchen. That way, fresh herbs are available for cooking all year long and in a pretty planter for décor.
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In conclusion, I hope you find these 12 of the best gardening tips and tricks that every gardener should know to be helpful for you. There are many sources for gardening tips out there, but these are 12 no-fail basics for you to try.
Have you tried any of these tips before? Do you have any suggestions for us? Please be sure to leave comments below and let us know.