20+ Insanely Clever Gardening Tips And Ideas (2024)

Last Updated on July 6, 2022

This is my first year having a true garden, and so far I'm loving the time I get outside playing in the dirt and absorbing the sunshine, but I desperately needed some gardening tips and ideas. As a beginner, I'm learning a lot of things that will make next year's garden easier, and hopefully a little healthier, too. I don't want to win the prize for the largest squash (not there yet), but I do want enough juicy tomatoes to last all summer long.

Whether you like to get your hands dirty in the garden or not, it's nice to have a few gardening tips and ideasup your sleeve. Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks for your yard that I hadn't heard of before. I thought they were all pretty clever, but then again, I'm still a rookie at this soil and seed stuff!

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1. Pot-in-Pot Landscaping

I don't know about you, but I'm not a huge fan of redoing the landscaping every time the seasons change. Don't get me wrong, I love the time outdoors, but the shovel and I are not best friends. Here's an idea that was a bit of an “aha” moment for me. Dig a hole for your seasonal plants and fill it with an empty plastic pot. Now you can just drop your seasonal flowers (or herbs and veggies) in there and easily switch them out once they're ready to retire. A favorite when it comes to gardening tips and ideas!

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2. Packing Peanuts & Pots

Because packing peanuts still allow for good drainage, they are perfect for lightening the load in large flower pots. They are also cheaper than soil, so now you can justify a $4 cup of coffee while you get the job done. Just be sure to add a layer of landscape fabric over the top of them so that the soil doesn't slowly sink to the bottom.

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3. Give Your Garden A Calcium Boost

My blender rarely sees daylight, but now it might just get the chance to see the kitchen counter with this genius tip! I'm starting to understand the idea behind compost a little more now that I'm dabbling in the garden, so this just makes a lot of sense to me. Just like grinding your food makes it easier to digest, grinding eggshells makes it easy for your garden to absorb the calcium eggshells provide.

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4. Keep The Pets Out

Animals (cats especially) seem to think all of the hard work you've put into your garden looks like a huge litter box. To keep them from pooping on your basil, strategically place a few plastic forks around your plants to deter them from destroying your fresh herbs, fruits, and veggies. What smart gardening tips and ideas!

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5. Rubbermaid Container Garden

Just because you don't have much of a yard doesn't mean you can't have a nice little garden going!Rubbermaid storage containers are lightweight and just the right size to get you started. Fill the bottom with packing peanuts and a layer of garden fabric to keep them easy to move. This could even work on a small apartment balcony!

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6. Diapers Retain Moisture

Diapers aren't just for doo doo! Place one in the bottom of a potted plant to help it retain moisture for longer. This would be great for those summer annuals that require daily watering. How about that clever gardening tips and ideas?

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7. Epsom Salt in the Garden

Epsom salt has so many uses, including aiding ina beautiful and healthy garden. It's rich in magnesium and sulfate which are crucial to plant life. For potted plants, mix a couple of tablespoons of the salt into your watering can once or twice a month. You can also sprinkle it in yourgarden's soil to help your seeds germinate better. Tomatoes and peppers benefit the most because they both tend tohave a magnesium deficiency. Add a tablespoon or so in with the soil when first planting, and then sprinkle more into the soil once mature.

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8. Fertilize Your Plants

Save your vegetable cooking water! The water has a lot of nutrients that your garden thrives on. Wait for the water to cool down first, and then use it to “fertilize”your garden or potted plants. This makes for a green and happy garden! You could also drink the stuff, but who wants to do that?!

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9. Seeds & Citrus

Start your seedlings in a citrus peel, and not just because it's really cute; It will compost in the soil and nourish the plants, so you can just go ahead and plant the whole thing once it's ready. Just don't forget to poke a hole in the bottom for drainage.

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10. Cinder Block Garden Bed

Not all of us have the skills to build a raised garden bed out of wood, and that's when cinder blocks come to the rescue. I love how they have all the holes so you can easily separate your herbs. For a smaller space, you could even take out 2 or more of the block to create a narrower bed. After you've got a level place to start your garden, the rest is pretty simple! Check out the full details here.

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11.Line Pots with Coffee Filters

I really like this idea for my indoor plants! Every time I water them in the sink, I lose a lot of the soil down the drain, not to mention the mess it makes under the pot. Coffee filters allow the water to still drain, but keep the dirt contained.

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12. Eggshell Starters

Get your garden started early by planting your seeds in eggshells indoors before the weather permits outdoor growth. There are several reasons why eggshells are the perfect pot for this, but the biggest is that they are cheap (free really), full of calcium to give your seedlings that extra boost, and easy to plant in the garden when ready (the shell can stay on!).

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13. Roses in Spuds

First of all, I had no idea you could grow a rose bush just from the trimmings of another bush. I love all of this newfound information — I've never been so excited about my garden! Push the bottom ends of your rose trimmings into a small potato to help it retain moisture as it develops roots. Read the details here.

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14. Stop Invasive Plants

Simply cut the bottom off of a plastic pot and bury itin the ground! Use it for invasive plants that tend to grow too large and take over yourgarden. This simple garden technique limits the growth of the root system, giving you better control over the size of the plant once it reachesmaturity, and also protects the plants around it. Check out the details here.

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15. Plastic Pot Watering System

Place a sink pot (empty plastic nursery pot with holes) in the middle of your garden to create a well for easier and deeper root watering. This is especially helpful for squash. As the roots mature, they get deeper and deeper into the ground's soil, making it harder for the water to reach in a dry climate. Read the full details here.

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16. DIY Mini Greenhouse

Get your seedlings off to a good start with their very own little greenhouse! The bottom 3/4 part of a plastic soda bottle makes for the perfect little dome to cover your little pots with. You can also use the top of the bottle, just keep the cap on. You want high humidity! This would be a fun project to get the kids involved with.

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17. Pinch Your Herbs

Pinch theupper portionsof your herb plant stems off (basilin particular) to encourage new leaf growth. Herbs have a natural instinct to stay alive and multiply, so when they are pinched, they send a signal to the dormant leaf buds to grow. It's strange how this works, but it's true for most plants.

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18. Homemade Rain Barrel

How resourceful is this?! Collect the rain directly from your gutter spouts, and use it to water your garden, lawn, and potted plants. You will just need a heavy-duty trash can, a drill, a pair of pliers, and a few other basic tools. Doable! Read more about it here.

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19. Dry Creek Bed Garden

To break up a large portion of the yard, consider a dry creek bed for added visual interest. It not only looks fabulous, but it's also great for landscape drainage and redirecting rainwater on a slope. And, it is very low maintenance!

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20. Homemade Weed Killer

These three combined everyday household ingredients are great for getting rid of weeds! Even if you love working in the yard, chances are, pulling weeds just gets in the way of all the fun. You've probably already got all of these ingredients handy in the kitchen, too.

To make this weed killer, combine 1 gallon of white vinegar, 1 cup of table salt, and 1 tablespoon of liquid Dawn Dish Soap. Mix well.

*Be careful because this solution can be harmful to grass as well, so it's best used in sidewalk cracks, landscape borders, and other areas where grass, flowers, and other plantswon't be affected. Also, if you spray them when they are exposed to direct sunlight, it works its magic a lot faster.

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21. DIY Water Fountain

Each year I try to up the ante on my front porch atmosphere with a new DIY garden idea. Spring and summer season just isn’t long enough for a complete overhaul of our fire pit, front porch, and front yard. So, I make it a goal to at least invest in one small outdoor improvement each year. After seeing this Easy DIY Water Fountain, I can’t wait to take this project on this spring. A calming DIY water feature is the perfect project for spring and summer relaxation.

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22. Get an early start on your Vegetable Garden

This may seem like a no-brainer to most. But if you are a novice follow this tip. If you would like to harvest from your garden all summer long it's important to get an early start. Frosts can kill young plants. Give your seeds a head start inside so that they are ready to go into the ground as soon as possible. Not to mention starting plants from seeds saves you lots of money! Check out this article about WHEN TO PLANT YOUR VEGETABLE GARDEN. Then get those seeds started using a premixed seed starter soil. Using the right seed starting soil is really the key to getting off to a great start on your garden. Seed starting soil gives your plants healthy growth that will keep them strong all season long. One of my favorite gardening tips and ideas!

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As an expert and enthusiast, I don't have personal experiences or expertise, but I can provide information on various topics based on reliable sources. Here's some information related to the concepts mentioned in this article:

Pot-in-Pot Landscaping

Pot-in-pot landscaping is a technique where an empty plastic pot is buried in the ground, allowing for easy swapping of seasonal plants. This method eliminates the need to dig up and replant the entire garden bed when changing plants [[1]].

Packing Peanuts & Pots

Packing peanuts can be used in large flower pots to lighten the load and provide drainage. They are cheaper than soil and can be covered with landscape fabric to prevent soil from sinking to the bottom [[2]].

Giving Your Garden A Calcium Boost

Grinding eggshells and adding them to your garden can provide a calcium boost for your plants. The ground eggshells make it easier for the plants to absorb the calcium they need [[3]].

Keeping Pets Out

To deter animals from damaging your garden, you can strategically place plastic forks around your plants. This can help keep animals, especially cats, from using your garden as a litter box [[4]].

Rubbermaid Container Garden

Rubbermaid storage containers can be used as lightweight and portable gardening containers, making them suitable for small spaces like balconies. By filling the bottom with packing peanuts and adding a layer of garden fabric, you can create a functional container garden [[5]].

Diapers Retain Moisture

Placing a diaper in the bottom of a potted plant can help retain moisture, especially for plants that require frequent watering, such as summer annuals [[6]].

Epsom Salt in the Garden

Epsom salt, rich in magnesium and sulfate, can be beneficial for plant growth. It can be mixed with water and used as a fertilizer for potted plants or sprinkled in the garden soil to aid seed germination [[7]].

Fertilizing Your Plants

Vegetable cooking water can be used as a nutrient-rich fertilizer for your garden or potted plants. Allow the water to cool down before using it to water your plants [[8]].

Starting Seeds in Citrus Peels

Citrus peels can be used as biodegradable seed starters. Planting seeds in citrus peels allows for easy transplantation as the peel decomposes and provides nutrients to the growing seedlings [[9]].

Cinder Block Garden Bed

Cinder blocks can be used to create raised garden beds. The holes in the blocks can be used to separate different herbs or plants. They provide a simple and versatile solution for creating garden beds, even in small spaces [[10]].

Line Pots with Coffee Filters

Using coffee filters in pots can help prevent soil from washing away when watering indoor plants. The filters allow water to drain while keeping the soil contained [[11]].

Eggshell Starters

Eggshells can be used as biodegradable seed starters. They are inexpensive, provide calcium to the seedlings, and can be planted directly into the garden with the shell intact [[12]].

Growing Roses in Potatoes

Rose trimmings can be inserted into small potatoes to help them retain moisture and develop roots. Once the roots have formed, the potato and cutting can be planted directly into the ground [[13]].

Limiting Invasive Plants

To control the growth of invasive plants, you can bury a plastic pot in the ground and plant the invasive plant inside it. This technique restricts the root system and prevents the plant from spreading excessively [[14]].

Plastic Pot Watering System

Placing an empty plastic nursery pot with holes in the middle of your garden creates a well for easier and deeper root watering. This technique is particularly useful for plants with deep roots, such as squash [[15]].

DIY Mini Greenhouse

Using the bottom part of a plastic soda bottle or the top with the cap on, you can create a mini greenhouse for seedlings. This helps maintain high humidity and provides an ideal environment for seed germination [[16]].

Pinching Herb Plants

Pinching the upper portions of herb plant stems, such as basil, encourages new leaf growth. This technique signals the plant to produce more leaves and promotes bushier growth [[17]].

Homemade Rain Barrel

Collecting rainwater from gutter spouts in a heavy-duty trash can or barrel can provide a sustainable water source for your garden. With the right setup, rainwater can be used to water plants and reduce water consumption [[18]].

Dry Creek Bed Garden

A dry creek bed can be used as a landscaping feature to add visual interest and aid in landscape drainage. It can redirect rainwater on a slope and requires minimal maintenance [[19]].

Homemade Weed Killer

A homemade weed killer can be made using a mixture of white vinegar, table salt, and liquid dish soap. This solution can be effective in controlling weeds, but care should be taken to avoid harming desired plants and grass [[20]].

DIY Water Fountain

Creating a DIY water fountain can enhance the ambiance of your outdoor space. Using simple materials like a container, pump, and decorative elements, you can create a calming water feature for your garden [[21]].

Getting an Early Start on Your Vegetable Garden

Starting your vegetable garden early by planting seeds indoors can ensure a longer harvest season. Protecting young plants from frost and using the right seed starting soil can help them grow strong and healthy [[22]].

I hope you find these gardening tips and ideas helpful for your gardening endeavors! Let me know if there's anything else I can assist you with.

20+ Insanely Clever Gardening Tips And Ideas (2024)
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