Gardening helps us unleash our creativity and see the results of our hard work and dedication. That’s why gardening is the perfect hobby to maintain throughout the fall and winter months, when we tend to feel less energized due to shorter days and colder temperatures. The benefits are endless when you consider how growing your own food can help you save money and lower your impact on the environment.
Even if you don’t plan on growing food, plants offer tremendous benefits such as purifying your indoor air and providing therapeutic relief. However, gardening isn’t a perfect science and it does take same trial and error. This is all part of the journey, and for gardening hobbyists, there are some simple tricks that make this pastime even more enjoyable.
Here are 10 hacks to try in your fall garden this season!
1. Start your seedlings in a lemon rind. Try sprouting your seeds in a discarded lemon rind. Fill this makeshift post with a small amount of soil and keep it well-moistened. Wait for signs of life and, once they have sprouted and gained some height, they’re ready to be transplanted.
2. Fertilize with coffee grounds. Add leftover coffee grounds to your soil for a natural fertilizer. Coffee grounds contain nitrogen which is an essential plant nutrient.
3. Fertilize with egg shells. Keep your egg shells from breakfast because you’ve got the makings for a great DIY fertilizer! Crush up the egg shells and mix them into your potting soil. The calcium carbonate from the egg shells makes for a solid alternative to lime, which is traditionally used in gardening.
4. Try a homemade pest repellent. Whether you’re gardening outdoors or inside, pests can be a nasty problem. Basic household items can be used as a non-toxic pest repellant. Fill a spray bottle with water and add a drop of dish soap. Spray the mixture directly onto the pests which will eventually kill them off.
5. Regrow herbs and vegetables in a cup of water. Before you discard your basil, chives or celery waste, remember that these plants can actually regrow themselves in water. Just make sure you leave enough of the root remaining.
6. Construct a vertical bottle garden. If you’re looking to get creative and stay thrifty, salvage some old plastic bottles (with their lids) to use as containers. Cut out the bottoms of the bottles, flip them upside down and string them together vertically. Drill holes in the lids for drainage all the way through the chain of the bottles. Hang them in the window to ensure plenty of light.
7. Give terrariums a try. Terrariums are popular because they’re easy to make and even easier to maintain. Gather a few glass jars of different shapes and sizes. Add a layer of gravel or sand, followed by a second layer of soil. Place different groups of plants in each one and pat them down well. Line them up along your window sill and enjoy — or try air plants in your terrarium for a different look.
8. Create a shower caddy garden. This upcycling trick is a smart solution to displaying your plants neatly. Just line the tier with felt, add soil and plant directly. Or you can use the caddy to hold several smaller pots in a row. A multi-tiered shower caddy adds more visual appeal for displaying a variety of plants, and you can set up this DIY garden inside or outside and choose your plants accordingly.
9. Wine bottle watering. Speaking of upcycling, wine bottle watering is a sneaky trick for the lazy container gardener. Fill a wine bottle with water and insert it firmly upside down into the soil of the container. Some soil will press into the opening of the bottle acting as wick to release water steadily into the soil. Check for air bubbles to ensure it’s working properly. You can use this technique when heading out of town and rest assured knowing your plants are being watered.
10. Work wick gardening to your advantage. Along the same lines as the wine bottle technique, wick gardening is an automatic plant watering method that’s ideal for people with busy lifestyles. Roll up some toilet paper into a long string. Insert one end into the plant pot along the soil’s surface, and run the other end into a bucket of water. The toilet paper will absorb the water and keep the soil moist.
These hacks will put the fun and creativity back into your gardening techniques this fall! Which hacks will you test out first? Some of these tricks may even spark your own ideas to fit your gardening lifestyle.