10 Simple Home Garden Hacks Everyone Should Know

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How does your garden grow? Much better now with the help of these ten easy and affordable home garden hacks!

1. Simple Seedling Starter

Get your seeds off to a great start with the help of a few paper towel and toilet paper tubes. Simply fill the tubes with potting soil, lay your seeds and watch them grow! Even better, when you’re ready to plant, the cardboard tubes can be placed straight in the ground as they’ll decompose over time. See How to Use Toilet Paper Rolls for Seed Starting for a few handy instructions.

2. Epsom Salt For the Win

Epsom salt: great for bath time and for plants! Containing a plant-pleasing blend of sulphur and magnesium (the same ingredients you’d find in fertilizer), Epsom salt is said to help plants absorb nutrients, produce chlorophyll and promote seed germination. All you need to do is mix two tablespoons with a gallon of water, watering once a month.  

3. DIY Weed Killer

Weeds are a pain, but the harsh, toxic chemicals contained in most weed killers are less than ideal – especially if you have pets and/or children. Show those weeds who’s boss (safely) by mixing vinegar, salt and dish soap in a spray bottle. Take care to avoid your other plants, though.

See: HGTV’S Make Your Own Natural Weed Killer

4. Easy Peasy PVC

Having trouble getting fertilizer around the bottom of your plants (i.e. a dense group of shrubs)? PVC pipe to rescue. Cut a length of 2” pipe to your desired height, place one end at the base and pour the fertilizer down. Voila! No more beating around the bush (literally).

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5. All-Natural Slug Stoppers

We’re not the only ones who enjoy a cold brew on a hot day. Place a small container of beer in your garden to get rid of slugs and snails. You can also up the ante by scattering a few eggshells around– the sharp corners aren’t particularly favoured by these slimy beasties (bonus hack: the eggshells will double as fertilizer, too).

6. The ‘Ol Upside Down Bottle Trick

Keep plants watered while you’re away from home. Fill a water bottle and turn it upside down, pushing it a few inches into the soil. This will allow water to slowly leak into the dirt, keeping the roots nice and damp. If you’re feeling particularly fancy, you might even try to make your own plant waterer from a wine bottle – you’ll be hydrated, your plants will be hydrated, win-win!

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7. Show Your Tools Some Love

Keep your gardening tools looking and performing their best. Use a bucket of clean sand mixed with mineral oil to a) keep your tools clean (sand makes for an abrasive cleaner), b) make them easier to grab and c) prevent them from rusting and dulling over time. Bonus if you use a bucket with a handle, as you’ll be able to carry your tools around easily.

8. Put a Filter (In) It

Coffee filters are the perfect solution for preventing dirt from leaking out of potted plants. By lining the pot with a handful of filters, you’ll keep the soil from seeping out of the pot’s drainage holes every time you water. No more muddy post-watering messes.

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9. Keep Furry Visitors at Bay

Keep deer, mice and rabbits from treating your garden as their personal buffet with soap. Select a strong-smelling brand (most experts recommend Irish Spring) and shred a bar with either your food processor or cheese grater. Sprinkle it throughout your garden, where the scent will deter any furry freeloaders from munching on your magnolias.

10. Make Use of Your Milk Jugs

No watering can? No problem. Fill a four-litre milk jug with water, poke a few holes in the lid and away you go. When you’re done watering, cut the bottom off the jug and use the remaining portion as protection for budding seedlings (it will act as a cozy little greenhouse incubator as your plants start to grow). Two hacks in one!

Do you have any tried and tested home gardening hacks you’d like to recommend? Share them in the comments below!

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