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12 Garden Hacks Using Everyday Items

12 Garden Hacks Using Everyday Items

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.

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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!

3. Eggshells

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.

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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

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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.

9. Soap

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.

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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

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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