These Insanely Clever Hacks Will Help Anyone Grow A Perfect Garden

Monica Gray - April 14, 2023

Do you dream of having a lush, beautiful garden, but find yourself struggling to make it a reality? Whether you’re a seasoned green thumb or a novice just starting out, maintaining a garden can be a challenging task. Luckily, there are countless creative and effective hacks out there that can make gardening easier, more efficient, and even more fun. From using unconventional tools to repurposing household items, these insanely clever hacks will help you grow a perfect garden in no time. So roll up your sleeves, grab your gardening gloves, and get ready to take your garden to the next level with these tips and tricks.


Use Your Online Shopping Addiction To Your Benefit

Whenever we order something online, it ships to our home in a box with packing peanuts. If you’re the type of person who’s constantly ordering things online, you can use these packing peanuts for your garden. Don’t throw them away or keep them tucked away in a closet, especially if you’re thinking about growing a garden. Packing peanuts are the best hack for plant drainage. Fill a large pot with packing peanuts, especially for plans that don’t require deep roots. The peanuts absorb excess water the plant did not drink. Make sure not to use packing peanuts made from corn, as they’ll disintegrate with the water. Line the bottom of the pot and leave about 13 inches of space, since most plants need 12 inches of soil (Home Guides).


Avoid Overwatering With A Diaper

Many aspiring gardeners are worried about overwatering. Luckily, we have a hack for that. Look no further than your child’s diaper for a simple and effective solution. That’s right – diapers can actually be repurposed to help prevent overwatering in your plants. The absorbent material in diapers is designed to retain large amounts of liquid, making them a perfect tool for regulating moisture in your soil. By cutting open a diaper and placing the absorbent material at the bottom of your plant pot, you can create a barrier that helps to regulate water flow and prevent overwatering. Not only is this a cost-effective and eco-friendly solution, but it’s also a clever way to repurpose an everyday household item for your gardening needs. (Park Seed).

Country Living

Save Your Cardboard Tubes

Most of us who use paper towels and toilet paper have cardboard tubes lying around our houses. It causes a ton of trash over time. Luckily, you can use those cardboard tubes for your garden. Since they’re only recyclable cardboard, you can use them as seedling planters in your garden. You also don’t have to worry about littering because they’re compostable. Plant your seedlings in tiny cardboard tubes until you can transport them to the open ground. This is extremely helpful for certain vegetables that need to be moved, but you don’t want to damage their roots. Simply bury them with a roll of cardboard and they’ll disintegrate (Country Living).


If You Like Beer, Your Plants Will Too

Slugs are your garden’s worst enemy. As much as we all love animals, they’re the ones that’ll wreak the most havoc on your garden, after all those weeks and months of hard work. If you want to get rid of slugs once and for all, use beer. It might sound counterintuitive since beer is dehydrating and might affect your plants, but it helps them. Simply pour the beer into a dish and place it in your garden. If you have a big garden, place these bowls in several places. It will attract slugs and keep them away from your plants (Ugaoo).


Buy Plants That Are Easy To Grow

One of the best garden hacks is to cheat the system. Only buy plants that are easy to grow. Avoid buying plants that take a lot of time or energy, since it might deter you from wanting to keep trying. Certain plants also thrive in specific climates and temperatures, so if you’re living in a warm climate but want to grow a plant that thrives in a cold climate, it’s time to drop your dream. Research plants best suited for your home and choose ones that will thrive and love your yard (Trust Basket).

Driftless Roots

Repurpose T-Shirts To Make A Tie

Ropes need support, and they’re there to secure your plant as it grows. There’s no need to go out and spend money on ropes for your garden. An inexpensive and reusable way to do this is to repurpose your t-shirts. Cut the shirts into little strips. In an online video, Gardner Misilla said, “This is a great way to repurpose old cotton T-shirts! They work well with vining plants, fruiting canes, and fruit trees minimizing damage to stems and trunks.” You can use the money saved to buy other gardening equipment that you need (Honey Nine).


Protect Your Plants From The Cold

Even though it might seem like plants are resilient to temperature changes and winter, they’re not. They get cold, just as we do, and some don’t fare well with a drop in temperature. Some plants require protection from the elements. If you’re growing a garden, it’s important to take extra care to protect your plants during the coldest months of the year. You probably have milk jugs in your home, which will come in handy for the winter. Cover each of your plants with a gallon-sized mug with the bottom removed. Not only does this protect your plants, but it’s a great way to recycle plastic and help the environment. Close the lid at night so your plants survive the extreme drop in temperature (BHG).


Use A Potato To Grow Roses

Roses are some of the most beautiful plants in your garden. They’re romantic and vibrant and will make your garden pop. On the other hand, they’re also expensive to buy and you probably want them to live as long as possible because of this. To regrow your roses, use a potato. Cut off an inch of the rose step and coat it with cinnamon. Insert it into the potato. Plant the potato into the ground, about four inches deep. Water it well, and even cover it with a bottle to preserve the humidity. It sounds strange, but it’s an easy hack that your roses will love, and in a few weeks, you’ll have a rooted rose bush (Laidback Gardner).

Gardening Knowledge

Grow Your Seeds Faster With Warm Water

It might seem obvious, but warm water is one of the best ways to help your garden. Anyone in the world can stick a seed in the ground, but it takes a special kind of person to know about hacks and make their garden as beautiful as possible. To make them grow faster, soak the seeds in warm water about 24 hours before planting. This softens the seed’s coating and helps the roots develop. Make sure not to use hot water, as this can damage the seed (Garden Betty).

Pinch of Seeds

Don’t Buy Too Much Equipment

It might sound obvious, but there’s a big chance you don’t need all that equipment you just splurged on. The less fancy equipment you buy for your garden, the more money you can spend on treating the soil and making sure all of your plants and vegetables are healthy. In reality, you likely won’t even use half of the equipment you buy, even if you tricked yourself into believing so. Start with basic tools like a garden fork, rake, hoe, gloves, and pruning spears, and the rest will come naturally. This will save money and reduce waste (Reddit).


Sprinkle Baking Soda Over Your Tomato Seeds For Extra Flavor

Tons of garden hacks you can use for your garden are sitting right on the shelf of your local grocery store. If you’re growing delicious tomatoes in your home garden, use baking soda to enhance their flavor and make them even more delicious. Sprinkle the baking soda over the seeds, before you stick them in the ground. Once they’re fully ripe, you’ll notice just how much tastier they are. You could even grow other tomatoes next to those without baking powder to taste the difference. The baking soda lowers the acidity levels of the seeds and gives them a sweeter taste (The Kitchn).


Restore Your Rusty Garden Tools

There’s nothing worse than opening your shed, only to find rusty tools. You might want to toss them into the garbage and run to your nearest gardening shop to buy new ones but don’t. First of all, you wouldn’t be a gardener without rusty tools! It just comes to show how long you’ve been at the art. Secondly, spraying vinegar on your tools, covering them in tissue, and then spraying them again will treat the rust. Let the tools dry for a couple of hours after spraying them with vinegar and then soak them in a solution of water and baking soda. Scrub them with baking soda, and they’re good as new. The active compounds in the vinegar, baking soda, and water work together to get rid of the rust (Gardening Know How).


Grow Green Onions In Your Home

It’s easy to head to your local shop and buy tons of fruits and vegetables. But there’s nothing like biting into something you grew yourself. If you’re looking to start your vegetable garden but aren’t sure where to start, you can use the cuttings from vegetables bought at the market. You can easily regrow green onions by keeping the root bulb. Place it into a container with water that covers the entire bulb. As time goes on, roots will sprout and the onion will grow (Kitchen Confidante).


Use Your Wine Bottles To Water Your Plants

After you finish watering yourself and your friends with delicious wine, you can use the bottles as a watering can. This is especially handy if you’re busy and forgot to water your plants. Using the bottle, fill it with water and turn it upside down. Place the bottle upside down and into your plant’s soil. The water will drip out slowly, watering your plants throughout the day instead of all at once. If there’s dry soil, the water will run out quickly. This is also a great solution if you’re going on vacation for a couple of days, since the water may take a day or two to fully drip out (Birds And Blooms).


Keep Your Egg Shells As Fertilizer

Egg shells are the simplest, easiest garden hack. They made wonderful fertilizer. It’s always better to use natural ingredients than harsh chemicals in your garden. After you eat your daily omelet or poached egg, collect the shells. They decompose in the soil and contain tons of nutrients like calcium and potassium that benefit your garden. All you have to do is boil water and add ten to twenty egg shells to it. Let it sit overnight, and then strain the water. Pour that water directly over the soil (Home Guides).


Upcycle Your Old Boots

Reduce, reuse, and recycle! If you’re all about saving money, then upcycling your old boots is a great garden hack. It’s frugal and beautiful and will add a bit of character to your garden. All you need is a pair of your old boots, soil, and a drill. Using the drill, make drainage holes in the bottom. Fill your boots with soil, and plant your favorite flowers. You can put them on a plank of wood or in a nice corner of your garden (Upcycle My Stuff).

Daily Express

Grow Your Seeds With Lemon

Squeezing a bit of lemon into your water is a life changer. Wouldn’t you think it’s a life changer for your plants, too? This hack only requires the skin so you’re not loosing out on lemon juice. The lemon skins form cups that can help your seedlings grow. Plant the lemon directly into the soil, using the shell as a pot. Eventually, the lemon decomposes and the soil takes all the nutrients from the lemon skin (You Had Me At Gardening).


Bloom Flowers All Year Round

Using a variety of colors in your garden helps it pop. It also helps if you plant flowers that thrive during different times of the year. Put flowers in sections around your yard, with different segments. The different blooming seasons mean you’ll get an explosion of colors and flowers throughout the year. Research and get to know your flowers before planting them. Investing in perennials is also a good idea, as they come back every single year. You can purchase ones that bloom at different seasons (BHG).


Use A Bar Of Soap For Your Nails

If you’re an avid gardener, chances are, your nails will be dirty. If you leave your garden with clean nails, you’re not doing it right! Having dirty nails is almost like a right of passage in the world of gardening. Before you go outside, scrape your nails on a bar of soap. The soap will work its way under your nails and work as a barrier. When dirt tries to creep its way into your nails, it won’t be able to. Your only job is to clean off the soap using water, which is much easier than trying to pick nails out from under your nails. It’s an alternative to using gardening gloves, especially if gloves irritate you (CBC).


Easily Remove Salt Deposits

Salt deposits will likely clog your clay pots, especially if you have them for a while. They might lose their color and look dull. Luckily, you don’t have to run to the store to buy a new one. Use vinegar, water, and rubbing alcohol to make a solution. Rub it over your clay pots and soak them for about thirty minutes in the solution. The vinegar will dissolve the salt deposits. Anywhere you find the white spots, scrub the solution over them, and the solution will clean up your pot and make them look brand new (Linkedin).

Sidewalk Shoes

Water Will Save Your Basil

Fresh herbs are delicious, but they always seem to decay pretty quickly. It’s a horrible feeling to find shriveled basil when all you wanted was to add it to your pesto pasta. The good news is that you don’t need to throw the plant away when it looks rough. When the stems appear rough or dry, you can soak them in water for a few days to save them. The plant will form new roots and you can grow basil in your garden. You can also put the plant in boiling water for ten minutes, and then quickly move them to ice water (The Mediterranean Dish).

The Spruce

Use A Photo Album To Store Your Seeds

Photo albums don’t only store photos, but they can store seeds, too! If the photo album has sleeves, you can slip packets of seeds inside. Arrange them in order of when you want to plant them. You can also label the photo album to keep your seeds organized. This will shave off time in the future when you’re ready to plant your seeds (Fresh Eggs Daily).

Good Grow

DIY De-Weeding

You don’t have to be a professional gardener to know that weeds are bad for your yard. They end up taking over the entire yard, killing off those beautiful plants you worked so hard to get. If you feel like weeds appeared overnight, we have a solution for you. You can make your own de-weeding solution using one ingredient. Salt! You likely have salt in your house, and it’s good news that it isn’t only for food. Sprinkle salt all over your weeds. This will cause them to shrivel up as it depletes the weed of water. Once the weed is dehydrated, it won’t survive in your yard (Homes And Gardens).


Make Shapes With Your Fruits And Vegetables

Even though you’ll likely allow your vegetables and fruit to grow freely, you should also consider letting them grow into a mold. Produce mold helps vegetables grow. In the early stages of the vegetable’s growth, it allows them to grow into the shape of a mold. This means you can have any single-shaped vegetable or fruit you’d like! Want heart-shaped tomatoes, or star-shaped watermelons? Use a shaping mold (Pinterest).

NY Mag

DIY Self-Contained Herb Garden

If you want to make a garden, but only have a small space to work with, don’t worry! You can still make your dream garden. Start with a small herb garden. The best part is that you have the freedom to make it out of whatever you want. Make sure you provide strong light for the herbs and grow each herb in a separate pot. Make sure you’re well versed with what herbs grow best in direct sunlight, indirect sunlight, and indoors, and what temperatures the herbs thrive in. Look into growing thrive, parsley, basil, and cilantro to spice up your meals and add a bit of flavor to your favorite dishes (Good Housekeeping).


Add Magic To Your Garden With Moss

If you’ve ever wandered around the forest and noticed moss growing everywhere, you might’ve commented that you were in a fairytale land. You can bring that fairytale right to your backyard! Nature knows what it’s doing. Moss can also prevent weeds from growing by cutting off their oxygen. So not only will moss make your yard and garden look more magical, but it will also protect it from pesky weeds that try to take over your garden. Clean the ground, wait for the spores to land that will naturally habitat your yard, pull out any extra weeds, and then cultivate away! (Garden Design).


Use A Tree Stump To Make A Bird Bath

Sometimes, our yards have trees we can’t stand. They take away from the beauty of our yard, especially if they’re old and decaying. If it’s just a tree stump, you can transform it into something beautiful for the critters in your yard. Place a water dish on top of the stump and fill it with water. You can even decorate it with leaves and twigs. Paint the basin, apply silicone, and secure the basin to the stump. It’s a DIY bird bath that your birds will love! Now, instead of looking at that tree stump with dread, you can admire the cuteness of the animals that flock to your bird bath. If you want to get more creative, you can hollow out the tree stump and make a bird feeder (HGTV).


Use WD-40

Gardening requires tools, and the more advanced you become, the more tools you might need. Many tools succumb to rust and damage from the weather, so it’s important to keep your tools in tip-top shape. It’s not cheap to constantly buy new tools, so if you find yourself with tons of rusty tools, then you’ll need to find another solution. That’s where WD-40 comes in. This spray can clean anything and everything, all you have to do is spray it on your tools. Even though it’s a harsher chemical than some other natural ingredients you could use like vinegar and baking soda, it gets the job done quickly and saves you money in the long run (WD-40).


Use Challenging Landscapes As An Opportunity

It’s a miracle if your home is on flat land. That’s not always the case. Sloping gardens might look beautiful, but they’re challenging to take care of. Water flows down slopes and settles at the bottom, so it’s important to keep this in mind if you have a sloping garden. To prevent water from pooling at the bottom and destroying your crops, add rocks to your sloping garden. This allows water to get absorbed and keeps the plants at the bottom of the slope alive and healthy. Research how to take care of a sloping garden online so you’re well-versed (Pinterest).


DIY Seed Tape

The first step to any garden is the seeds. That’s why it’s especially important to take extra care when planting seeds. Seed tape is a great addition to your planting process. Instead of buying it at the store, you can make your seed tape at home. It takes about twenty minutes to make it, which is less time than you’d probably take to drive to the store and back. Take at-home ingredients like flour, water, and toilet paper. Use two tablespoons of flour and one tablespoon of water, put the mixture over the single-ply toilet paper, and figure out how far apart your seeds need to be. You can mark this on the toilet paper. Once your seeds are settled, fold the toilet paper in half and let it sit for a couple of hours before storing it in a dry spot until they’re ready to plant (BHG).

Simply Canning

Keep Herbs Fresh By Freezing Them

We know how to start an herb garden, but what about keeping herbs fresh? This is important, especially during the winter months when herbs are more likely to die. Take chopped, stemless herbs and pack them into an ice cube tray. Pour water over the herb, cover them in plastic wrap, and freeze them overnight. Then, move them to freezer containers until you’re ready to munch on them. They turn into ice cube herbs that are ready to be thrown into soups or melted for pasta (Extension).