Eight clever tips for a more productive garden

Gardening Tips

Did you know that gardening can allow you to burn 200 to 400 calories per hour? If you mow the lawn, you could burn between 250 to 350 calories per hour!

Gardening is a fun and de-stressing activity anybody, of any age, can do… until critters and pests try to eat and destroy your plants! Or the weather kills your produce.

Here we share some simple tips and tricks for a more enjoyable and productive gardening experience.

Gardening Tips

In my experience, nothing is more frustrating than watching fruit and/or vegetable grow and start to ripen only to discover that something has beaten me to them. In my case, it might be cockatoos, possums, or the not so humble grasshopper. Your challenge might be squirrels, slugs, or mice but the result is the same… they’re happy – you’re not!

Gardening Tips

Or everything is looking wonderful until you run into an extended dry spell and know you’re spending more on the water than it would cost to buy the same produce at the market!

These are some instances that make gardening difficult. But you don’t have to have a green thumb to grow plants successfully! Take a look at some of the things you can do to make life in the garden easier and more enjoyable and productive!

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Make a rain barrel system

Use rainwater for growing your plants. Here in Australia, it’s very common to see all roof water stored. I have a 25,000-liter tank but I can still run out in summer!  The DIY barrel system featured here uses recycled materials that don’t require a pump — just gravity! You can learn how to build it here

Homemade weed killer

Make your own, non-toxic weed killer. Simply mix one gallon of white vinegar, one cup of table salt, and one tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent. Transfer some in a spray bottle and you’re good to go!

Use soap to ward off squirrels

Squirrels apparently hate the smell of bar soap. So to prevent them from destroying your plants, simply grate and sprinkle the soap around your garden or home.

Use eggshells as seed starters

There are many uses for eggshells in the garden (which you can learn here). The very first thing you can do is to use them as seed starter pots!

Use citrus peels to get rid of aphids

Having problems with aphids? Protect your garden from these plant lice by creating a slit in your orange peels and sliding them onto your plants. You can also prevent mosquitoes in the garden by rubbing the peels on your plants or your skin. Why not use them as compost as well?

Coffee grounds also protect from slugs, snails, squirrels, and rabbits

Sprinkle coffee grounds on the soil around your plants and you’ll never have to worry about slugs and snails again. Both these critters dislike the abrasiveness of the grounds. We’ve also read that rabbits and squirrels are repelled by coffee grounds although, from personal experience, hares are not! BTW, the best deterrent for hares is a good dog 🙂

Plastic bottle mini greenhouse

If snails, slugs, or grasshoppers are eating your seedlings as soon as they appear, here’s your solution. Make a mini-greenhouse for your precious seedlings by using plastic bottles or milk jugs. Simply cut the container horizontally and place over your seed or seedling.

Use nappies/diapers for moist soil

If you live in a dry climate, you know all about wetting agents. They work, but they’re expensive. The good news is that disposable nappies (diapers to our American friends) and incontinence pads use the same chemicals to hold moisture. This is an absolute win/win since nappies make up a staggering percentage of landfills!  Turn that wet nappy from trash to treasure!


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