For some people, their gardens become their babies. Planting your own veggies not only saves you money in terms of grocery shopping, but it’s also so very satisfying to see your crops grow and flourish. Plus, food always tastes better when you’ve grown it yourself!
As with everything, there are some really helpful topic-specific hacks when it comes to gardening that can not only save you some cash, but just make things a little bit easier on both you and your plants. Whether you’re making labels, protecting your plants from harsh conditions or pests, or planning ahead to make the most of your space, we’ve got the hacks to help you out.
Video and gardening hacks by GrowVeg Youtuber.
1. DIY Measuring Stick
A tool with a longish handle, like a shovel, can make for a handy measuring stick that will always be in the vicinity when you need it. Just lay a measuring tape against the handle and make the appropriate markings.
2. Reuse or Make Your Own Labels
Don’t waste money by tossing old labels – reuse them! Permanent marker can be scratched off with sandpaper, so you can keep reusing your labels for the foreseeable future. If you’re just starting out then you can make your own labels from a cut up plastic cup, broken tiles or stones.
3. Protect Your Seedlings
If the weather is taking a nasty turn and you need to protect your vulnerable seedlings from the elements, simple use an upside-down terra cotta pot as a cloche.
4. Get Rid of Aphids
Aphids can ruin your organic plants; trying to pick them off with your hands or blasting them with water may not be good enough when the population has gotten out of control. A quick and easy way to deal with this is to wrap tape around your hands (sticky side out) and pat the leaves you’re your fancy new aphid-adhesive mittens.
5. DIY Water Reservoirs
Thirsty veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers are susceptible to drying out in hot conditions. It’s very easy to make a reservoir from a plastic bottle, though, so that the roots can drink up when they need to.
6. Reuse Water
Don’t be wasteful! Whenever you use water to boil any vegetables, save that water and give it to your plants once it’s cooled down.
7. Germinate Sooner
Pea seeds have a hard coating that take some time to break down, so if you’re feeling impatient, soak the seeds in lukewarm water overnight before planting them; this way, germination will start much sooner.
8. Toilet Roll Planters
Beans and peas are some of those veggies that really shouldn’t have their roots damaged or disturbed. A great way to keep them safe is to make your own planters from empty toilet roll tubes. When the seedlings are ready to be planted you can just put the whole thing in the soil – the cardboard will rot away while the roots make their way out safely.
9. Save Space Vertically
You don’t want a lack of gardening space to compromise your gardening abilities, so when you run out of ground to plant in, just look up! Not only are there are lots of veggies that can climb up a rod, you can also make your own vertical garden wall.
10. Plan, Plan, Plan!
Proper planning goes a long, long way, so if you’re serious about your veggie garden, get yourself some software to plan ahead and avoid failures. This can help you out by planning what to plant where exactly, proper spacing, when to sow, and when to rotate crops.