Growing a vegetable garden is one of the most pleasing summer activities that you can take part in. It will produce a lot of food for you and your loved ones, but it is also a lot of hard work and dedication to have a garden that produces delicious fruits and vegetables.
After years of gardening, I have come up with several ways to produce more successful results with less effort.
Here are some gardening hacks to use in your garden.
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Utilize a Compost Pile
Before you plant your vegetable garden for the year, you can create a compost base under the soil to nurture the vegetables that you plant. Rotting wood is great to use in your compost, and it will also act as a sponge and slowly release water into the soil.
According to thegardeningcook.com, fast food bags can be great for composting as well.
Utilize Plastic Forks
Do you own pets who like to traipse through your garden? Often a cat will take up using your garden as a litter box, though the nutrients may benefit your garden, digging up the roots of your vegetables can only cause harm.
Do you find squirrels, raccoons, or other small animals scavenging your vegetables? A great way to prevent animals from harming themselves and your garden is to place plastic forks around your plants to deter them.
Home and Gardens America’s website gives you a nice little diagram of how this hack should look.
Create a Vertical Garden
If you don’t have a lot of space for a garden, it is best to create vertical growing space instead of overcrowding an area on the ground, as this hinders the growth of the vegetables that you plant. If you allow certain plants to grow upwards, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, it can also protect them from soil born pests that may stunt their growth.
If you are unsure of how to create a vertical garden, check out this video below to help you get started.
Muffin Tin Planting Guide
Planting the fruits and vegetables in your garden in perfectly straight rows can be tedious; thankfully there is an easy way to create a grid to help you. Simply press the back of a muffin pan into the soil, and the indentations will give you a guide that spaces out the vegetables perfectly as you plant them.
Peas and beans are tricky to plant, as they can rot in cool soil, but they also do not like to be moved once they are planted. An easy way to remedy this situation is to create biodegradable pots to start these vegetables in out of cardboard tubes.
Once the seedlings begin to sprout, it is time to plant the starter pot in the garden.
Use Baking Soda
Baking soda can be used as a natural fungicide, so mix it with some water and spray it around your plants after it rains. In addition, when the baking soda absorbs into the ground, it can lower the soil’s acidity level, so if it is placed near tomatoes, it can produce sweeter tasting tomatoes, which is perfect for making sauce for pasta and other such dishes, as you will not need to add much sugar.
Use Tin Foil
A great way to discourage pests from getting too close to your plants is to place a layer of foil around the plants. Many insects do not like metal surfaces, so this would prevent most pests from reaching the stems of your plants.
Make sure it is shiny side up, as this will also serve as a method of reflecting the sunlight back to the plant. Garden Guides has a more in depth look at this hack if it interests you.
Use Coffee Grounds
Adding coffee grounds to the soil in your garden is a great way to enrich it with nitrogen, which encourages microorganism growth in the soil. Using coffee grounds seems to deter snails and slugs that may cause damage to your plants.
It also attracts earthworms, which can be very beneficial for the soil. If this hack perks up your interest, you can read more on Oregon State University’s research page.
Use Tape to Clear Aphids
Aphids can be an annoyance in your garden, and clearing them away from your vegetables can be messy. Try wrapping any kind of extremely sticky tape around your hands, with the sticky part facing away from your hands, and then simply wipe your hands along the underside of the plant leaves and anywhere that aphids may be present.
Create Seed Tape
Seed tape can be a bit pricey, especially if you need to spread it across a large area of your garden. Try using toilet paper as a simple solution, as it works just as well to keep the seeds in place and the toilet paper will disintegrate in the soil over time.
If you would like a step by step guide on how to create seed tape, Tales of Domestica has more detailed information.
Utilize Milk Jugs
Milk jugs provide a great barrier that will keep your plants from being exposed to threats such as frost. It is also a great way to keep pests away from the plants as well.
Once the leaves from the plant start to poke out of the top of the container, it is time to remove it. This hack works great with tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.
Use Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is a great way to improve seed germination in your vegetable garden. As it combines with the soil, it also helps improve natural nutrition absorption within the soil.
The salt will also help to boost the chlorophyll levels in your plants, which will increase their sweetness when they are ripe enough to eat; in fact, it may even help to produce more fruit. For more about Epsom Salt and your garden, check out Best Plants.
Utilize Egg Shells
Egg shells can be a great way to deter slugs from feeding on your vegetables plants. Simply put cracked egg shells at the base of your plants, and they will not want to crawl over the sharp shells.
You can also use eggshells that are still partially intact to start your seedlings. When they are ready for the garden, the egg shell will serve as compost.
If you are growing watermelons, cantaloupes, or honeydew, you know that the melons can be a lot of weight on the vine. If the melon is too heavy, it can break free from the vine before it is fully ripe.
One way to secure your melons is to create a sling that can support them until they are ripe. If you are looking for more information on how to grow exceptional watermelons, the Vegetable Gardener has all the details you will need as well as information on how to craft your own sling.
Hacking Your Way to the Perfect Garden
As you can see, there are a lot of garden hacks that can help you create a successful vegetable garden. We have listed 15 ideas that could help your gardening style be more efficient, but not every hack on this list will pertain to you.
If you have a large garden, then planting vertically may not be for you; however, I am sure that some of the hacks on this list are right up your alley, so try them out.