6 Handy Gardening Hacks


Garden hacks to achieve more in the garden with less!

Here are six of our favorite gardening hacks to help you achieve more in the garden with less effort, money, and time!  From quick DIY seed pots to organic weed killer, there really are proven shortcuts to success in the garden.

1. Eggshell Pots
Boil an egg then peel the top off. Prick a hole into the bottom using a pushpin—this will provide drainage for your pot. Enjoy your egg as normal, but keep the shell. When you have enough eggshells, boil them in water for one minute to sterilize them. Let them dry, then fill them with seed starting mix. Sow your seeds and water them. When it’s time to plant your seedlings in the soil, gently crush the eggshell in your hand. This will
make it easier for the roots to escape into the soil. Plant seedling and eggshell pot together. The eggshell will break down and contribute valuable nutrients such as calcium to the soil.

2. Make Organic Fertilizer from Kitchen Scraps
Whizz up banana skins, coffee grounds, eggshells and a few cups of water in a blender. Dilute the grainy liquid with more water and pour it onto hungry plants like squashes and tomatoes.

3. Keep Plant Labels Handy
Plant labels which include handy growing instructions can be easy to lose. Keep them safe by using a hole punch to create a hole at one end of the label. Thread a key ring through the holes and hang them up in your shed or greenhouse for easy reference.

4. Easy Tool Cleaning and Rust-proofing
Mix sand with vegetable oil and fill a pot with the mixture. Use it to store small tools such as trowels and hand forks. You can fill a bucket with the mixture to dip the blades of larger tools such as spades into before putting them away. The abrasive sand will help clean thetool blades, while the vegetable oil stops them from rusting.

5. Make Mini Greenhouses for Seedlings
Keep seedlings snug using old plastic bottles. Gallon-sized milk cartons or soda bottles work best. Cut off the bottom, remove the cap for ventilation, and place it over your plants.

6. Make an Organic Weedkiller for Hard Surfaces
Mix up one pint of white vinegar with two tablespoons of salt and a teaspoon of lemon juice, then pour it into a spray bottle. On a still sunny day, wearing gloves, spray onto weeds in gravel, paving or other hard surfaces.

Love these ideas? Now see our original 10 gardening hacks for a successful garden!


The Best Hack? The Almanac Garden Planner

Ready to get to the drawing board and plan your garden? Way easier than pencil and paper, our online tool alllows you to move around garen plots with easy, select easy vegetables, and even select companion plants that we’ve identified for each crop. We’ll even tell you how many plants fit in your space plus customize your seed-sowing and planting dates for your zip code!

As a courtesy, the online Almanac Garden Planner is free for 7 days. This is plenty of time to play around on your computer and try it out. There are absolutely no strings attached. We are most interested in encouraging folks to try growing a garden of goodness! 

Try out the Garden Planner here.

About The Author

Tim Goodwin

Tim Goodwin, the associate editor for The Old Farmer's Almanac, has been reading North America's oldest continuously published periodical since he was a young child, growing up just a short drive from the OFA office. Read More from Tim Goodwin

No content available.

Mangalya (not verified)

3 years 6 months ago

I use coffee filters at the bottom of a pot to keep soil from escaping, better yet, if your plants likes acid, I use the entire filter with coffee grounds in it at the bast of the plant; cover with soil, and watch that tomato plant thrive!

Christine (not verified)

4 years 2 months ago

I tried to subscribe to the channel but I don't see that option anywhere. I don't know who the man is in the video but I love him! He has great ideas and the way he delivers them in the video is a joy to watch. I look forward to each and every one. He reminds me of my brother who was a Master Gardener so I know that's part of it but he is great on his own. Thank you for bringing us so many great ideas and being such a help to my gardening.

These videos are produced by our friends at GrowVeg, who have their own youtube channel. You can subscribe to it here: https://youtu.be/mphRVXG7ynY

Harvest Moon Garden (not verified)

4 years 4 months ago

While white vinegar is often used to control weeds, the much stronger household vinegar (sold in gallon jugs) is much more effective. It's also called 'cleaning vinegar' from some manufacturers. They sell it at Walmart right alongside the regular vinegar. Use in a spray bottle on a sunny day.