8 Fast and Frugal Gardening Hacks You Can Try Right Now

If there's an easy, inexpensive way to achieve an objective, then the wise gardener will surely give it a good try.
If there’s an easy, inexpensive way to achieve a gardening objective, then the wise gardener will surely give it a good try. (Photo: Ann Mishra/Wikimedia Commons)

Who doesn’t like a low-cost shortcut?

If there’s an easy, inexpensive way to achieve an objective, then the wise gardener will surely give it a good try.

So we’ve scoured the internet and curated a few quick and easy gardening hacks for you. Below are some DIY tips to make your gardening chores easier and less expensive.

1. Use Plastic Forks to Ward Off Critters

If squirrels regularly ransack your plots, then you may want to grate a bar of bath soap around your plants. We tackled this gardening tip in a previous article.

If soap shavings do not work, then you may need to reinforce your fortifications with plastic forks. Simply stick the forks into your plot with the tines pointing up.

This trick does not harm your plants or the cute little critters. The forks just ensure that there is literally no room for rabbits or squirrels to dig!

Simply stick the forks into your plot with the tines pointing up.
Stick plastic forks into your garden plot with the tines pointing up to ward off squirrels and rabbits. (Photo: Marco Velch/Flickr)

2. Use Packing Peanuts in Large Pots and Containers

Outsized pots and containers are a lovely addition to any garden or curb. But filling them with soil can be expensive. The weight also creates problems when you decide to move them around.

Fill the bottom half of your containers with packing peanuts to address both problems. Some soil will inevitably slip down through the peanuts but most will stay at the top. You may have to put the peanuts in a mesh bag to keep them contained within the pot.

You can also fill the bottom of a large container with plastic soda or water bottles.

Filling the bottom half of large gardening pots and containers with packing peanuts saves you money
Potting soil can be expensive. Filling the bottom half of large gardening pots and containers with packing peanuts saves you money. (Photo: Ian Munroe/Flickr)

3. Line Containers with Coffee Filter

Your garden containers must have holes in the bottom from drainage. To prevent all your potting soil from slipping through the hole, line your smaller clay pots and containers with coffee filter.

The filter will let water through but not soil! This clever hack comes to us by way of blogger Ann Drake of On Sutton Place.

To prevent all your potting soil from slipping through the hole, line your smaller containers with coffee filter.
To prevent potting soil from slipping through the hole, line your smaller clay pots and containers with coffee filter. (Photo: WikimediaImages/Pixabay)

4. Use Stockings as Gardening Twine

Discarded nylon stockings are perfect for tying tomato vines, tall plants, or young trees to a stake. The soft and durable fabric will not injure the stem, and the textile will expand as the plant thrives!

You can store onions or bulbs in old stockings, too. The fabric is perfect for helping them stay fresh for longer.

Discarded nylon stockings are perfect for tying tomato vines, tall plants, or young trees to a stake.
Discarded nylon stockings are perfect for tying tomato vines, tall plants, or young trees to a stake. (Photo: How Can I Recycle This/Flickr)

5. Use Discarded Aluminium Foil to Protect Trees and Plants

Protect your fruit trees from birds by twisting strips of aluminum foil around branches. The foil reflects light and makes a noise in the wind. These will help keep birds at bay.

You can also mix small pieces of aluminum foil mixed into mulch. This will deter some light-sensitive pests from your vegetable patch.

This method of deterrence will not hurt deer at all, but it will stop them from feeding on your plants. The same goes for mice and rabbits!

Protect your fruit trees from birds by twisting strips of aluminum foil around branches.
Protect your fruit trees from birds and other critters by twisting strips of aluminum foil around branches. (Photo: Marco Verch/Flickr)

6. Use Pennies for Fungicide

Do you have a jar of old pennies or copper coins around the house? Copper is a well-known fungicide.

Burying a few coins at strategic locations around your garden will keep the soil healthy and your plants free of fungal infections.

Burying a few coins at strategic locations around your garden will keep the soil healthy and your plants free of fungal infections.
Burying a few coins at strategic locations around your garden will keep the soil healthy and your plants free of fungal infections. (Photo: Public Domain Pictures/Pixabay)

7. Spice Up Your Garden with Homemade Pesticides

Kitchen spices like chili powder, cayenne pepper, or Mexican and Cajun blends are natural pesticides. Just sprinkle the powder around the garden. You can also mix it with water in a spray bottle and spray on affected plants.

This recipe for homemade hot pepper spray is every bit as effective as the store-bought version. The only difference is that it comes at a fraction of the price of the latter.

Kitchen spices like chili powder, cayenne pepper, or Mexican and Cajun blends are natural pesticides.
Kitchen spices like chili powder, cayenne pepper, or Mexican and Cajun blends are natural pesticides. (Photo:Ajit Pendse/Pexels)

8. Repurpose Your Old Shoes

Worn out shoes can make for wonderful birdhouses or bird feeders. Any sort of shoe will also work as a quirky and stylish planter. Brown leather, in particular, provides a lovely contrast against the soft green of plants.

You can use old leather boots, or even stilettos, in your garden. As always, a little creativity goes a long, long way!

You can use old leather boots or even stilettos in your garden.

Sometimes, the Simplest, Most Inexpensive Solutions are the Best

Most of us would prefer not to spend too much money on our gardens. With all the spending we have to cram into our budgets, it is hardly surprising that gardening will often take a backseat.

But when broken down into bite-sized, manageable pieces, we can achieve a lot of gardening in a short timeframe and with hardly any expenditure. Sometimes the simplest household items can provide the best solutions!

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