Gardening folklore is full of tips and tricks you may find useful. Here are some of our favourite ones. Why not try some of these and see if they work for you?
1. Use a sling to support heavier produce
While growing, some produce (such as melons) can become particularly heavy and they risk breaking from their vine before they are ripe. Use an old t-shirt as a sling to support them and reduce the strain put on the vine.
2. Add mirrors to give your plot a botanic garden vibe
Strategically placed mirrors can make you feel like you’re strolling through a botanic garden. Mirrors add the optical illusion of depth to your garden, making it look like you have double the amount of plants and greenery.
3. Use coffee grounds as a cat repellent
Add some coffee grounds to your soil to prevent cats from digging away into your garden. You can also scatter them around your flowerbeds.
4. Embed plastic forks in soil to keep animals away
Some gardeners have found that embedding plastic forks in soil can actually keep animals away. It doesn’t harm animals but makes it much more awkward for them to walk over and potentially damage your produce.
5. Use a homemade insect spray
Spray your plants with this ingenious homemade repellent. It’s safe and organic.
6. Use milk jugs as greenhouses for seedlings
You can cut old (cleaned) milk jugs in half and use the tops as temporary greenhouses for newly planted seedlings. Milk jugs can also be used to protect plants against frost.
7. Use baking soda to test soil pH levels
Photo: Kyle Ellefson
Sprinkle a handful of baking soda over some damp soil. If you notice the soil bubbling, then its PH level is 5 or under. The optimal pH range for many plants is 5.5 - 7.0.
8. Use to-go coffee cups to water plants
Clean a to-go coffee cup (and it’s lid), then use it for watering. The lids on these cups typically have a small opening. This will help to water plants slowly, reducing the risk of overwatering. These also come in handy when watering plants which don’t require much water, such as cacti.
Gardening is a wonderful, worthwhile way to spend your time. Who knows, maybe these hacks can save you some money while making your experience more enjoyable.