Are you thinking about starting a garden this year? Need some gardening tips to get you started? Gardening is a beautiful and calming habit to have, but sometimes the number of gadgets you need can be overwhelming. It might even stop you from starting the garden that you’ve always dreamed of.
Despite what you may think, gardening can actually be an easy habit to pick up, and there is a sustainable way to do so. What if I told you that you could use items that you already have in your house to create a successful and sustainable garden?
Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks that have helped me immensely with my gardening. After you’ve built your indoor herb garden, here is my collection of gardening hacks that will help you get the beautiful garden you’ve always wanted by using sustainable methods.
1. Sprinkle cinnamon on your seedlings to avoid diseases
One of the most frustrating things as a gardener is watching your seedlings become infected with diseases after working hard to nurture them. I add cinnamon to the leaves of my seedlings in order to prevent these diseases from occurring because of the powerful anti-fungal properties in cinnamon.
2. Cardboard seed tubes
Starting seeds can be a complicated process, but it can be simplified in a few easy steps. The good thing about starting seeds is that you can do so by using a household product you’re bound to have, toilet paper tubes.
All you need is your leftover toilet paper tubes, soil, and seeds. Start by filling the tubes with potting soil, and adding your seeds to it. Once the seeds have sprouted you can move them to your garden, planting the tube below the surface. Watch as the cardboard decomposes and your seeds sprout into beautiful plants.
3. Use leftover coffee grinds to keep garden pests away
A great gardening hack is to reuse your coffee grounds is by sprinkling them in your gardens to keep the pests away. Adding coffee grinds to your gardens will keep ants, snails, slugs, and any other pest away from your plants and flowers. I keep a container of my used coffee grounds under the sink and sprinkle it over my gardens every once in a while. It does the trick perfectly!
4. Keep your plants watered for days by using this paper towel trick
One of the biggest worries for gardeners when going away is the problem of watering plants. If you’re going away for a few days and don’t have someone to water your indoor plants, this paper towel trick will help keep your plants alive and thriving.
First, roll up some paper towels as tight as possible, then dose both ends with water. Place one end in a plant pot, and then the other end in a cup of water. This will slowly water your plant while you are away.
5. Increase healthy plant hydration with sponges
One problem gardeners oftentimes face is root rotting at the bottom of a plant pot because of settling water. In order to prevent this from happening, place old kitchen sponges in the bottom of your pot. Instead of allowing water to settle at the bottom, the sponges will create an air space as well as act as a water reserve.
A nice gardening tip is to keep my old sponges in a container in my garage and when I have enough to pot a plant, I get to work adding the sponges to the bottom.
6. Swap fertilizer for Epsom salt
Instead of filling your garden with toxic fertilizer, use Epsom salt instead. Epsom salt is made up of hydrated magnesium sulfate which will help in seed germination and chlorophyll production. The compound also allows for greater nutrient absorption.
You can add Epsom salt to a water bottle and apply it as a spray which will help with immediate growth. I keep a spray bottle with Epsom salt in my gardening shed, so I can use it frequently.
7. Keep your soil in place with coffee filters
Keeping your soil in its designated pot can be extremely frustrating. It’s easy for the soil to slip out the bottom and get on your porch, deck, or any other place it’s located, especially when you’re watering the plant. One great way to keep your soil in place is with coffee filters.
When you pot a new plant, place coffee filters at the bottom of the pot so that it will stop the soil from coming out of the bottom. This is a great solution because it stops the dirt from leaving the pot but still allows for water filtration.
8. Kill weeds with vinegar
Instead of spraying your garden with pesticides and other poisonous chemicals, grab the vinegar from your kitchen. You can find a vinegar weed killer recipe here.
9. Use honey to propagate cuttings
Honey is a great way to propagate your plant cuttings because of the growth-stimulating enzymes that it contains.
Adding honey to the roots of your plant cuttings will help them quickly propagate, while simultaneously protect them from fungal problems. I’ve done this with a variety of plant cuttings and it does the trick every single time.
10. Keep your climbing plants in place with zip ties
Zip ties are such a great, versatile gardening product. If you are growing vines or climbing plants, these can be super helpful in training them to grow in specific directions. You can find more zip tie tips and tricks here.
13. Use leftover citrus rinds as seed starters
Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and other citrus rinds are a great, sustainable option for starting new seedlings. Not only are they a great size for baby seedlings, but you likely have some in your kitchen. Instead of throwing out the rinds after eating citrus fruit, save them and plant a new seedling.
Once the seedling has sprouted, you can move it straight to the garden, planting the entire rind in the ground. While the sprouts grow, the citrus rind will naturally decompose.
I hope that you love this list of gardening hacks as much as I do. Many of these tips advocate for sustainability in an easy and affordable way, which, as you know, I really value. Instead of having to buy fertilizer, seedling starters, or fungus sprays you can use items leftover from your kitchen. It’s amazing what you can do with items you already have in your household, like coffee grinds!