Gardening is a hugely popular hobby as a great way to boost both physical and mental health. However, it can be quite expensive and time-consuming to buy extra gardening equipment such as planters and pest-repellent.
But there are many simple things you can do to help out your plants without breaking your budget. Here are 12 hacks using everyday items from around your home which you can put to work in the garden.
1. Old iron nails/brillo pads
If you have any old, rusty iron nails or brillo pads lying around, why not put them to good use? The rust helps to release iron – something very important for acid-loving plants such as azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons. Simply add the nails or brillo pad to a full watering-can, leave for a few days, then water your plants with a boost of extra nutrition.
2. Repel garden slugs with coins
As this infographic from Wink Bingo shows, your spare change can actually be put to good use as a slug repellent! Place a ring of coppers around your plants; when a slug’s slime comes into contact with the coin, it apparently causes something similar to an electric shock, making any slug think twice about munching on your plants!
Crushed up egg shells can be used to create a protective barrier to defend against slugs and snails. While putting smaller pieces of eggshells in your watering-can will add calcium and other minerals, serving as an extra treat for your plants.
4. Egg cartons
Egg cartons can make excellent planters for seedlings. Not only are they biodegradable, they can also easily be pulled apart when the plants grow bigger.
5. Milk cartons
Milk cartons can also be used as planters if you cut them in half and make a few holes for drainage. Alternatively, you can construct your own DIY compost scoop by cutting off the bottom of a milk carton; you’ve got a ready-made handle! Just make sure to keep the lid – you don’t want the compost to fall out!
6. Bananas and banana skins
Bananas are a dynamic multi-purpose tool for your garden, both while they’re ripening and after you’ve eaten them. If you’re growing tomatoes in a greenhouse, hang the bananas up to release the hydrocarbon ethylene into the air – a ripening gas which will help your tomatoes to turn red. Chopped up banana skins are particularly good for fertilizing roses; just lay them flesh-side down on the soil and they’ll transfer nutrients to the roots while they rot.
7. Citrus fruits
From bananas to citrus fruits – Oranges, lemons and limes are useful for preventing slugs from getting at your plants. Simply scoop out the flesh from half of your fruit of choice, and place the peel face-down in the soil. Slugs will be tempted to crawl underneath it; you can then regularly check for pests and get them out of your garden. Fruit halves also make good planters for seedlings too and can be planted directly into the ground, breaking down and adding nutrients in to the soil.Paint cans/old shoes/lightbulbs
8. Paint cans/old shoes/lightbulbs
Why not take a creative approach to making new pot plants? Convert household junk such as empty paint cans, old shoes, and burned out lightbulbs into quirky containers for your plants.
Garden gloves can be a bit of a hindrance when you’re doing certain jobs out in the garden, but it’s also annoying getting dirt underneath your fingernails. A great way to avoid this is to scratch a bar of soap before doing the gardening; you can then wash out the soapy scratchings again once you’ve finished.
10. Paper towels
Thanks to paper towels, there’s no need to worry about your plants going thirsty when you’re away for a few days. Simply fill a container with water, roll a paper towel into a paper stick, dip both ends of the paper stick in water and use it to create a bridge between the water container and pot plant. The water will soak into the towel and be transferred to the pot, keeping the soil moist until you’re back home.
11. Broom handle
The handle of a broom can be a handy tool in itself. If you have particularly heavy compacted soil, you can use the broom handle to poke holes in the ground and then pour water into the gaps to soften up the earth.
12. Cocktail sticks/plastic forks
These remnants of your party can be put to good use in the garden. Push them into the soil around your plants so that they stick up; this should help to stop local cats from digging up the earth.
Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com