10 gardening hacks every aspiring gardener needs to know
09/26/2020 / By Leslie Locklear / Comments
10 gardening hacks every aspiring gardener needs to know

No doubt about it, gardening is fast becoming everyone’s favorite hobby.

Based on the latest data by National Gardening Association (NGA), houseplants sales in the U.S. surged to $1.7 billion in 2019 alone — 50 percent more than sales registered in 2018.

But the biggest surprise is that it’s not just older people who are doing all the dirty work: The same data noted that 38 percent of gardeners in the U.S. are actually made up of people in the 18- to 34-year-old range, a nine percent increase from last year’s average.

According to experts, the practice of gardening can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome, as well as Egypt, India, and China, whose respective civilizations cultivated plants that were both decorative and edible. The practice has since been carried over to modern times, where it has become a way for people to not just establish the basics of food independence, but also to help them unwind, relax and rekindle their relationship with nature.

All you need to know about starting a garden

Gardening, whether indoor or outdoor, is a fine art that requires careful study, lest one’s precious “plant babies” end up wilting into oblivion. Here are some tips.

You can fend off snails and slugs with kitchen scraps

If your prized plants are constantly under siege from pesky garden pests such as snails and slugs, don’t worry — you can fend those pesky critters off with some kitchen scraps.

One way to discourage snails and slugs is to spread used organic coffee grounds on the soil surrounding your plants. You can also use other kitchen byproducts such as crushed eggshells, broken nutshells, and used tea leaves. These items are all rough, which means they irritate the delicate mucus membranes of the pesky critters.

One other way is to use traps, such as grapefruit skins and even beer. Cut a grapefruit in half, hollow it out until you’re left with a shell, and leave it cut side down on the soil. Slugs and snails will be attracted to the skins and will start feasting on them. Just pick up and dispose of the peels the next morning.

The same principle explains the mechanism behind the beet trap: fill a plastic cup or container with beer, half-bury the container in the soil near your plants, and wait. The slugs will be attracted to the scent of beer and will thus fall into the cup and drown.

Boost your soil’s calcium content using eggshells

Just like humans, plants need calcium for optimal growth. This is because the mineral plays an important role not just in plant development and processes, but also in the reduction of plant diseases. However, because of different soil chemistry, your soil may not have enough calcium in it for your plants.

One way to solve this is to incorporate crushed eggshells, which contain high levels of calcium and other important minerals that can boost plant growth, in your compost.

Prevent soil seepage from your containers by using coffee filters

If you are into container gardening, soil seepage can be a major problem. You can mitigate this by adding coffee filters in the bottom of your containers before putting any soil in them.

The coffee filters will ensure that your water drains thoroughly while ensuring that your soil stays in place.

Brew some natural fertilizer using garden waste

Just finished mowing your lawn? Don’t throw the clippings away!

You can create your own organic fertilizer by steeping your grass cuttings in some de-chlorinated water or even rainwater, for a couple of days. You can use grass, but plants such as stinging nettle, which are rich in nitrogen, will also work well.

Once steeped, you can use the fertilizer “tea” to water your plants.

Recycle egg cartons as seed starter trays

Before throwing out any extra packaging from your grocery store trips, check your stash for anything that might still be of use — such as egg cartons and egg trays.

Just fill the cups with potting soil, pop a seed in, and wait for your new plant babies to sprout. Just remember to put the trays and cartons in places where they’ll get enough sunlight.

Keep your potted plants from drying out with some pebbles, saucers and water

If you’re the kind of person who easily forgets to water your potted plants, try putting your pot in a deep saucer. Add an inch or so of water to the saucer, and your plants will be safe from dehydration for a week. Just remember to put pebbles in the saucer before placing your pot — this ensures that your plants’ roots are separated from the standing water.

Sprinkle cinnamon powder on your cuttings to stave off rot

Planning on propagating your plants through cuttings? Make sure you dab some cinnamon on the cut ends before planting! While it may seem strange at first, cinnamon draws excess moisture from the cut end, causing the plant to develop a callus.

As noted by gardening experts, excess moisture, if not removed from a cutting, can cause the plant to rot and die.

Use cardboard to stop weeds from taking over your garden patch

As soon as you finish clearing out a patch for your garden, lay down a sheet of cardboard over it. This is known as “sheet mulching,” and it is an effective and cheap way to keep weeds and pesky grass from growing without resorting to dangerous synthetic pesticides.

Aside from blocking out weeds, the cardboard, after some time, will also decompose, thus bringing some nutrients to the soil. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone.

Use kitchen scraps to make your own compost

While compost is readily available at most major gardening centers, it’s much better if you made your own, especially since you can never really ascertain what goes inside those bags of mass-produced compost.

The good thing though, is that making your own compost is easier than what you might think: use soft organic waste such as kitchen scraps and food waste.

Some components you can use for composting, according to experts, include raw vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee granules and tea bags. To this, you can also add pet fur and grass clippings.

Create a “micro greenhouse” out of old soda bottles for your delicate seeds

If you’re finding it hard to get your seeds to germinate, you might want to give soda bottle greenhouses a try.

To create your micro greenhouse, cut off the bottom of 2-liter soda bottles and remove the labels.

Place the upper halves on top of a pot to give your delicate seeds their own micro greenhouse. When the humidity is too high, remove the cap to let excess moisture out.

You can remove the micro greenhouses once the seeds have successfully sprouted and developed their own root systems.

Gardening is an incredibly rewarding pastime that offers a multitude of benefits to individuals and their communities. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing and relaxing, but they can also serve as oases that promote safe, sustainable and effective means of food – and even medicine – production.

Learn more about gardening methods at GreenLivingNews.com.







100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Related Articles
comments powered by Disqus

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Popular articles