Today we live in trying times, and they seem to be getting worse. There could come a day when we’re no longer able to go out and buy food, which is why it’s time to start becoming more self-sufficient. That includes learning how to grow your own garden, and this can be made easier with certain gardening hacks.
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This week, we’re sharing two videos from the Youtube channel, Huw Richards – Grow Food Organically. As he says in the video, these gardening tips can be used on a daily basis. So without further ado, here are 34 brilliant vegetable gardening hacks.
1. Use ice cream and yogurt pots as labels for your garden for the sake of organization (use a pen to write on the blank side).
2. Grow potatoes by placing them on the surface of a raised bed, and then cover thickly with a mulch such as autumn leaves or straw. When the potatoes grow through, cover them with more mulch, and repeat the process.
3. Use thorny plants as a fence around your garden to help protect your seedlings from slugs, rodents, and other pests.
4. Plant seedlings right before a heavy rain to help save your water storage, which you’ll probably need for other purposes.
5. Repurpose pallets into seed trays (all you need is a few screws or nails lying about).
6. Cut a piece of bamboo under the width of your weed beds, then lay it over the surface of the ground. Push it down into the ground, and then pull it back up, and you now have a seed trench.
7. Another way to create a perfectly-aligned seed trench is to use two sticks and a bit of string. Plant the sticks on two sides of the garden soil, then press the string down in the center between them.
8. Use the multi-sowing technique to plant multiple seeds in a small area and maximize space. As the seeds grow, they will push away from one another.
9. Cardboard rolls make the perfect biodegradable plant pots for starting your seeds.
10. Fill an old rain gutter with compost and then plant seeds. This is great for peas.
11. Use Christmas tree branches to create plant supports for when you transport your seedlings.
12. One of the best ways to improve the overall efficiency of your garden is to look at monthly plans rather than yearly plans. A month-by-month plan makes it easier to plan ahead.
13. Always water your carrot seeds after sowing, then place a plank over the row of seeds to prevent evaporation.
14. For healthy tomato plants, do not water the seedling after transplanting. This encourages the roots to grow in search of water, creating a more resilient plant with greater access to nutrients.
15. Grow dried peas and beans that you find your kitchen cupboards. Grow them both indoors and outdoors.
16. Weeding your garden may not be enjoyable, but you can make it more effective by weeding during the intense midday sun. Leave the weeds you pulled out on the soil, and they will break down and be used as compost.
17. Use woodchips that you can gain from local arborists to use as pathways around your growing area or as compost.
To see exactly how to use these gardening hacks, watch the video below.
18. Just focus on one gardening task at a time to help prevent yourself from getting too stressed out.
19. Another strategy is to prioritize all the tasks in the garden that will take five minutes or less, then just knock them out right away before you do anything else.
20. Use a milk carton as a watering system for larger plants. Poke holes in the carton on the side where you are transplanting the plants. Dig a hole, and bury the carton in the hole before filling it up with water. The water will leak through the holes and water your plant.
21. Use stones as heat storage. Set them up around your plants to collect heat. This will help to keep slugs and snails at bay, as they are always drawn to damp and moist areas instead.
22. Another alternative solution for the above method is to use water as the heat trap instead. Fill up milk jugs with water, then place them around the plants to attract heat.
23. Yet another way to do this is to fill up a glass with water, place it by the plant, and then place a black pot over the water-filled glass
24. For squash or other large plants during dry periods, where it can be a pain to water your plants, use your hands to create a bowl or a basin around the plant. When it rains, it will help to direct the rainwater toward the roots.
25. Use wooden pallets as a way to store tall things such as tools and bamboo canes. Just place the tall items inside the gaps in the pallets after setting the pallets tall side up.
26. A big problem with growing lettuce and similar plants during the summer months is premature bolting. Instead, use shade with a pea structure from bamboo canes. As the peas grow, it will create shade over the lettuce, giving you a much longer harvest.
27. As a defense against slugs, grow your plants as large and quick as possible. Slugs like young, tender seedlings much more than adult plants.
28. An easy hack is to let your crops grow until they flower. This creates a different kind of harvest because the flower sheets will be tender and are actually fully edible.
29. If there is any space and you have spare plants, just put the plants somewhere. It is better to plant more seeds than to let them go to waste. Look for extra space.
30. If your compost is fairly dry, just give the compost a good watering of around two or three minutes beforehand.
31. Do not allow your seeds to dry out after planting because this will negatively affect germination.
32. Have a dirty compost bin in addition to a clean compost bin. Allow them to break down for about a year before using them next year.
33. A good way to trap slugs is to place a wooden plank at an angle against a raised bed. Slugs will become drawn to the dark and moist area.
34. Take a milk carton and cut away the bottom half of it for use as a water scoop.
To see him use these gardening hacks, watch the video below.