Inspiration and usefulness often come from strange and unusual places. Gardening is no exception to this. Over time, gardeners have dreamed up a weird array of garden hacks that actually work really well.
Here are 10 weird or unusual household things that help out in the garden.
1. Disposable diapers
Before filling garden containers or hanging pots with potting soil and plants, lay a disposable diaper in the bottom. This will help retain moisture in the pot and keep water from draining out the bottom.
In vertical gardening systems, melons can easily become too heavy and snap off the vines before they are ripe. Create slings using pantyhose/nylons to hold melons in place.
3. Old bicycle
Strip all of the hardware and parts from an old bicycle, reconfiguring the wheel and handlebars to create an easy-to-use garden plow.
4. Copper tubing
5. Styrofoam packing peanuts
Gardening containers become very heavy when filled with potting soil and plants. To reduce their weight and improve soil drainage — making them more manageable to move around — line the bottom of the container with styrofoam packing peanuts, then fill with the potting soil.
6. Laundry basket
Growing potatoes in the garden usually means having to dig the fully grown spuds in the fall. To make this job easier at harvest time, plant your seed potatoes in a plastic clothes basket at the beginning of the season. As the plants grow, fill the basket with soil. When potatoes are ready to harvest just dump the basket out and gather them up!
7. Ice cream cones
For an inexpensive, biodegradable pot for seedlings, use ice cream cones! Add potting soil to them, plant your seedlings right in the cone and then transplant to your garden. This is especially useful for kids’ gardening activities.
8. Coffee filters
Line the bottom of planting containers with coffee filters to keep the potting soil from falling out of the holes.
Hang old, unused CDs by thread or string, and suspend them above plants (beans, tomatoes, berries) that are prone to birds and other furry pests. The spinning reflector will keep the nuisances at bay.
According to the Michigan State University Extension, cutworms in the garden are often untreatable by pesticides. To prevent them from chewing their way through plant stems, place nails in the ground on either side of the stem. This will keep the pests from wrapping around the stem and eating through it.
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