This time of year is when everything starts to come alive again. The trees are beginning to bud, plants are starting to poke through the dirt, flowers are blooming, and the songbirds are out in full force. If you’re a gardener, that means it’s time to start digging in the dirt! Even if you aren’t a seasoned gardener, it’s not too late to get started. Who knows, once you try it, you may just end up falling in love with it.
Gardening is good for your health, your wallet, and the Earth. Many people find that it’s a very relaxing and rewarding way to spend some quality time outdoors and it helps to improve their mood and life. Not only that, fresh healthy foods like fruits and vegetables can be grown to your tastes and cost much less than the grocery store variety. Plus, foods that you have taken the time to grow yourself always taste a lot better. Beautiful, colorful flowers, green shrubbery, and ornamental plants can all help to liven up any yard and make it appear brand new. The possibilities for gardens are endless with thousands of varieties and combinations of seeds readily available.
If you’re interested in learning more about gardening or making your green thumb greener, look no further. This video and what follows below are some super clever ways to help ease your garden along. They all use everyday items and objects that you probably already have on hand or can pick up at the store for cheap, so check them out. This year garden smarter, not harder.
1. For plants that are sensitive to root disruption, such as beans and peas, use leftover cardboard tubes from paper towel and toilette paper rolls as planters. The tubes make transplanting much less stressful and ensures roots stay separate and untangled from one another.
2. If you don’t have a lot of space to work with try making a vertical garden on a wall, fence, or other space. The video shows how to use gutters to create a wall garden by drilling holes in the bottom of them for drainage. Measure and cut them to size and then hang on wall brackets.
3. To help seeds germinate and sprout earlier soak them overnight in lukewarm water before planting.
4. For a technological and creative approach to gardening check out the available software and apps out there for planning and plotting out gardens. They’re really useful for both new and seasoned gardeners and have even been shown to reduce the chances of ending up with failed crops.
5. For neat rows of evenly spaced plants use a measuring stick. To always have one handy nearby make one out of a long wooden handled gardening tool marking off intervals on it.
6. Keep track of plants by labeling what and where they are located. You can recycle last years labels by scraping off any old marker with sandpaper or use cheap Popsicle sticks, flat stones, or tiles as markers.
7. On cold nights where frost could be an issue you always need to protect sensitive seedlings. Cover them with a terracotta pot at night and simply uncover it the following morning.
8. A very common pest that plants often get is aphids, which are also known by their nastier sounding name, ‘plant lice.’ To get rid of the tiny bugs wrap sticky tape around your hand and brush them off your plants. This will help pick the aphids off while keeping them off your hands as well.
9. Make a super easy irrigation system by recycling old plastic water bottles. Punch a couple holes in the cap, cut the bottom off, insert it in the ground near the plant, and fill with water. This design allows water to slowly be released into the ground so it lasts longer, which is especially important and necessary if you are growing plants in hot, dry, arid conditions.
10. Recycle and reuse leftover water from cooking, like water used to boil veggies, and collect rainwater from your roof/eaves to help water your garden and decrease overall consumption.