Genius gardening hacks to save you money

3 May 2016 • 1:10pm

We all look for ways to be more frugal from time to time, be it to save money or because you’d like to tread more lightly upon the earth – whatever your reasons, the garden is a great place to start. 

Gardening can be about more than pretty plants – it can feed us, encourage wildlife and prove a great therapeutic retreat. Here are some hacks to improve your garden and environment without spending a fortune. 

Biodegradable planters 

Cucumber & lemon cucumber are sprouted! I made these biodegradable planters out of a paper towel roll and a toilet paper roll. #repurpose #reuse #recycle #sprouts #growyourown #gardening #planters #biodegradableplanters #vegan #veganicgardening #thegroundup #houston #houstontx #houstonvegans

A photo posted by jane (@3rdcoastvegan) on Apr 12, 2015 at 5:04pm PDT

The life of that spent toilet roll isn’t over yet: use the old inner tube to create your own biodegradable seedling pot. It’s really easy – just fold the card into a square shape and then cut four flaps into one end and fold them to close.

Citrus-peel and egg-shell starter pots

Succulent cuttings propagate 3 weeks ago all have roots and now planted in these recycled egg shells.

A photo posted by NURSE | FOD | DIY ENTHUSIAST (@tnchao) on Apr 30, 2016 at 9:13am PDT

Quick and easy garden hack: use a half lemon rind for a seedling starter. Just poke a hole in the bottom of the peel for drainage, fill with potting soil and add a couple of seeds and some water. Once you get a sprout, just transplant the whole unit into the earth. The peel will compost and nourish the plants as they grow. #gardeninghack #composting

A photo posted by Geobunga (@geobunga) on Jan 3, 2015 at 6:12pm PST

A carefully cracked egg shell or citrus peel kept intact can be preserved and repurposed to host seedlings. Just make a hole in the bottom of the shell or peel for drainage, tuck in your soil then add your seeds and water. 

Don’t buy more succulents, breed them

The start of making some baby succulents. #succulents #gardening #propagatingsucculents #succulentcuttings

A photo posted by Sapphire September (@sapphirexseptember) on Apr 30, 2016 at 6:18am PDT

Bring the calming colour of green to your gaff and make cute gifts with succulents, which are easy to look after. You can make more succulents free by using good cuttings and taking care in growing them.

Make your own watering jug…

Urban gardening #100happydays #day15 #DIYwateringcan

A photo posted by Katie (@kfarrow87) on Mar 15, 2014 at 12:22pm PDT

A jug which pours heavily will drown your plants, so here’s an inventive way to manage the flow.

Take any plastic bottle of your choice and make some holes in the lid – keep pouring to test as you go, and make as many holes as you need for an even distribution of water. When you’re happy with it you then have your own bespoke watering can. What it lacks in aesthetics it makes up for in handiness. 

…or create a shovel

Gardening morning: can not miss “mate” #gardening#saturdaymorning#plants#begonia#mate#Argentina#tradition#gardeningshovel#diyshovel#recycledshovel#sprinkler

A photo posted by Piú Cocó (@piucoco) on Mar 23, 2014 at 2:46am PDT

Cut the end off a family-size detergent bottle or similar (like the blue vessel shown above), tie on some string for easy storage and, voila, you have a new shovel, perfect for scooping up compost.

Grow your own basil…

I really shouldn’t be excited about white roots. #basilcuttings #basilroots #basil #lovebasil #growyourown

A photo posted by Alison Mather (@alypally) on May 1, 2016 at 2:52am PDT

Avoid pricey, shop-bought herb bunches and save some cuttings from your old basil plant to coax into new growth. 

…and celery, too

Who knew #celery could grow from the cut ends, eh? My excitement for #Monday – have day everyone.

A photo posted by Vicky (@threadedfish) on Aug 2, 2015 at 6:17pm PDT

This method can be rolled out for celery and onions – just get experimenting. 

Use an old shower caddy to make a lovely hanging garden

Sprucing up the balcony #ikeahacks #succulents #herbgarden

A photo posted by Stephanie Schmidt (@stephtheschmidt) on Apr 26, 2016 at 8:35am PDT

Take an old shelving unit and use it to plant hanging flowers or whatever else you like. Or if you’ve got one of those hanging caddies in your shower that’s gone rusty, use that. Simply line it with felt, put some holes in for drainage and give it a lick of paint. You can do this with an old shoe rack, too – perfect for holding pots of herbs.

Grow your own avocados

My windowsill avocado tree #avocado #windowsillgarden #growavocadofrompit #soonmypretty

A photo posted by Linda Crook (@lindarella83) on Feb 1, 2013 at 9:52pm PST

Growing your own avocado tree is easier than you might have expected. You just need toothpicks, water, sunlight and a stone saved from your last avocado-on-toast session,  and you’ll see the sprouts within a few weeks.

Keep your plants alive when you’re away

Cheat your own capillary matting with the use of some kitchen roll Credit:

Avoid returning from holiday to a house full of withered pot plants by following this tip. Tightly roll up some kitchen paper without breaking it. Dunk the end in water and lay the remaining length of tissue flat on a draining board or similar. Then place plants on top. The paper towels will absorb the water and spread it out evenly for all of your plants to drink. Perfect if you’re a lazy waterer, too.

Use leftover coffee to enrich your soil 

Ok organic farmers we started a compost bin outside #baseoface of our spent coffee grounds, it’s free for pickup just DM us to let us know. Bring a bucket and we will supply a shovel #aloha#organicfarming #compost#coffeegrounds#coffeecompost#supportlocal #goodcompostforall

A photo posted by Ace Coffee (@acecoffeeco) on Jan 29, 2016 at 10:07am PST

Leftover coffee is good for your compost and can help keep critters away from eating your plants. You can also use old coffee filters to create pretty paper flower posies or to line a pot and prevent leaks.

Preserve your herbs in ice

Beautiful llerba Buena ice cubes .. I need to try this #llerbabuena #green #herbs #herbicecubes #nature #plants #life #moon #beautiful #goodforyou

A photo posted by Herbal_Moon)0(Woman21 (@herbal_moonwoman21) on Apr 9, 2016 at 12:45am PDT

Just put the herbs in the tray before carefully filling them with water and popping in the freezer.

Use old broken pots as plant markers

A photo posted by Chiara Antonelli (@chiara_calligraphy) on Apr 30, 2016 at 2:52am PDT

Use old broken pots to pen on the name of your plant and stick it in the soil where it grows so you don’t forget what it is. 

DIY trellis

My little #DIY #trellis I made from #branches foraged in the backyard. This will be for my nasturtiums to climb on, on our new balcony! #diytrellis #branchtrellis #wildcrafting #gardening

A photo posted by @foreverintheforest on Jul 3, 2015 at 7:02pm PDT

You can make your own trellis out of any old twigs, and the best part is that it doesn’t really matter how neat you are because the plants will cover it anyway once they’re grown. 

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