6 Sensational Gardening Hacks

Reader Contribution by Reader Contribution Benedict Vanheems
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Photo by Pixabay/Free-Photos

Here are six ingenious ideas to help you achieve more in the garden with less time, less effort or less money:

1. Start Seeds in Eggshells

Peel the top off a boiled egg then prick a hole into the bottom using a pushpin for drainage. Enjoy your egg as normal.

When you have enough eggshells, boil them in water for one minute to sterilize them, then let them dry. Fill them with seed starting mix, sow, and water. When it’s time to plant your seedlings, slightly crush the eggshell between your fingers so the roots can escape into the soil. Plant your seedling and its eggshell pot.

Eggshells will break down as your plants grow and add valuable nutrients such as calcium to the soil.

2. Make Organic Fertilizer

Place banana skins, coffee grounds, some eggshells and a few cups of water in a blender and whizz it up. Dilute the grainy liquid with more water and use it fresh to fertilize your plants, especially hungry feeders such as squashes, tomatoes and pole beans.

3. Organize Plant Labels

Plant labels which have handy growing instructions on them are easy to lose. Make a hole at one end of the label using a hole punch, then thread a keyring through the hole. Hang them up in your shed or greenhouse for easy reference.

4. Make Tool Care Simple

Mix sand with vegetable oil and fill a pot with the mixture. Store small tools such as trowels and hand forks in it when not in use, or fill a bucket with the mixture to dip spade and fork blades into before putting them away.

The abrasive sand will help clean tool blades, while the oil prevents rusting.

5. Recycle Plastic Bottles to Protect Plants

Keep seedlings safe from cold and wind using old plastic bottles such as gallon-sized milk cartons or soda bottles. Cut the bottom off a bottle, remove the cap so air can circulate, and place it over your plants as a cheap and cheerful cloche.

6. Make Organic Weedkiller

Mix one pint of white vinegar with two tablespoons of salt and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Decant into a spray bottle and, wearing gloves, spray onto weeds in paving or other hard surfaces on a still, sunny day.

Get More Tips with These Great Gardening Resources

Our popular Vegetable Garden Planner can help you map out your garden design, space crops, know when to plant which crops in your exact location, and much more.

Need crop-specific growing information? Browse our Crops at a Glance Guide for advice on planting and caring for dozens of garden crops.

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