7 Garden Design Hacks Anyone Can Do

By Tonya Barnett | May 4, 2019
by Tonya Barnett
May 4, 2019

Garden hacks abound online, but which ones actually work? With so many creative and innovative ideas, it is easy to see why gardeners may be drawn to these time- and money-saving options. Best of all, you don’t have to be a design specialist or seek out one to achieve the look you want, nor do you have to spend boat loads of money. You can add instant appeal and create stunning displays by implementing a few “tricks of the trade.” Here are 7 garden design hacks that anyone can do:

1. Coffee Filters – Many growers love the idea of using everyday items in the garden. One such example of this is the use a coffee filter with potted plants. Before filling the pot with soil, simply place a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot. By doing so, gardeners will prevent soil from leaking from the pot during watering. This will help to keep patios, porches, and tables clean.

2. Creative Plant Tags – Over the years, buying plant tags each season can become somewhat expensive. Another option uses large, smooth stones found within the garden. To create the plant tags, simply paint the stones with permanent paint markers. Designs can be as simple or intricate as one wishes. Though these plant tags can be highly decorative, make certain that they are placed in a safe place where they will not be disturbed.

3. Newspaper and Cardboard – Both newspaper and cardboard are just a few examples of readily available materials that can be used in the garden. Newspaper can easily be laid between plant rows to suppress weeds, or as a base for weed barrier mulch. Additionally, cardboard can be used to keep weeds out of garden paths or even to kill grass where future gardens will be established.

4. Repurposing Old Clothes – While our first inclination may be to throw out old, ragged clothes, many garments can be used in the garden. For instance, many growers choose to use old shirts as a means to support growing fruits like watermelons and squash. Strips of fabric can also be used as plants ties which support vegetables, such as tomatoes, to stakes. Old pants, shoes and boots make neat looking pots for plants too.

5. Repurposing Toilet Paper Rolls – For many, the cost of buying seed starting trays may not be an option. Luckily, household items such as toilet paper rolls can be used to start garden seeds. To plant, simply fold in the bottom of the tubes and fill the rolls with soil, placing a seed into each. Place in a well-draining location, as excess moisture can cause the rolls to deteriorate. When transplanting, place the entire roll into the soil. Egg cartons can also be used as makeshift seed starting trays.

6. Filling Large Containers – Large planting containers can make an impressive visual impact in the garden. Unfortunately, filling large containers with soil can become quite troublesome. In addition to the cost, bigger planters can become very heavy. To save effort, fill half the container with empty bottles or old plant pots. The bottles will take up space, and in turn, reduce the need for a large amount of soil.

7. Milk Jugs or Soda Bottles – Milk jugs and soda bottles have a multitude of purposes within the home garden. When cut in half, the transparent these can be used as mini greenhouses to protect newly planted seedlings. Additionally, they can be used to start seedlings via the winter sowing method. This method allows for even novice home gardeners to successfully start seeds for the spring garden outdoors without expensive grow lights.

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