Potted plants against blue wall

12 Genius Gardening Hacks Every Green Fingered Fan Should Know

Handy tips for horticulturalists

By Alexia Dellner, 14 April 2016
12 Genius Gardening Hacks Every Green Fingered Fan Should Know

Kick off the new season with these clever bits of gardening advice! Whether you have a large garden or a tiny windowsill, we've got expert gardening advice and brilliant growing tips to make sure that your plants thrive this year. Potting and planting is such a relaxing way to enjoy the warmer weather, not to mention that growing your own fruit and veg is a great way to get a vitamin hit and save money on fresh produce. But even if you're not growing to eat, incorporating some plants to your home or garden is a lovely way to welcome in the new season and add a bit of cheer. And here's an interesting fact – did you know that plants help clean the air and increase humidity levels (that's great news for cold sufferers)?

So let's get gardening! From making sure that your plants survive a long weekend away to how to re-grow veggies from scraps, we've rounded up expert gardening advice for your best growing season yet.

Speedy does it

Soak seeds before planting them to speed up the germination process. This works for most seeds but for a comprehensive list and step-by-step instructions for soaking seeds.

Waste not, want not

Don't waste those veggie scraps! Lettuce, green onions and celery can all regrow in a little bit of water:

Beer benefits

Get rid of those pesky slugs with beer. Place a shallow bowl next to your precious plants and fill with beer (no need to open a new bottle – just use any leftovers). The following day, you should see a dish filled with dead slugs.

Holiday helper

Leaving for a long weekend? No one likes coming home from a lovely holiday to dead plants. Instead, use an upside down bottle to water plants while you're away. If you're travelling for longer than a weekend, try placing pots in a children's pool or the bathtub.

Flavour boosters

Keep herbs fresher for longer by freezing them. For a real flavour bomb, add fresh herbs to an ice cube tray and then cover with water or olive oil before freezing. Delicious!

Garden wall

Want to make your own vertical garden? Try using a shoe rack or a shower organiser:

Stay off the lawn

If you have trouble with small animals coming into your garden and ruining your plants, place a few plastic forks upright into the soil – that should deter them!

Makeshift watering can

Need a watering can? Use an old milk jug and punch out holes in the lid, as seen below. And remember to water in the morning or evening  – cooler temperatures mean that water won't evaporate as quickly.

Watering hack

If you have a habit of forgetting to water your houseplant (we're not judging), then try this clever hack. Place a sponge at the bottom of your pot. This way, any excess water can collect there for later when your plant needs it. Simple!

Sharp idea

Keep gardening tools sharp by placing them in a bucket full of sand. The sand is abrasive so will sharpen your tools. And to really keep tools in tip top shape, add some mineral oil to the sand mixture which will keep them lubricated, too:

Clean hands

Hate getting dirt trapped underneath your fingernails? Try scratching your fingers against a bar of soap before getting stuck in the garden. It will keep dirt away and leave hands smelling lovely.

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