Whether you’re a beginner gardener or a pro, it’s never been more important to have a more sustainable garden and find ways to reduce your personal environmental footprint.
These 10 life hacks for your sustainable garden will give you ideas for how to make your garden more eco-friendly or repurpose items you’d otherwise throw away, all the while making your life easier and saving you money!
1. Use Ice Cream Sticks or Wine Corks to Label Your Produce
Not sure where you planted your cucumbers? Use ice cream sticks as labels around your garden, to instantly recognize what you have planted in a specific spot. Make sure you’re using wooden ones (not plastic), so that you can compost them afterwards too!
You can also achieve the same effect by using wine corks on kebab skewers if you don’t have any ice cream sticks on hand and are more of a wine person.
2. Repurpose an Old Shoe Organizer as a Vertical Garden
If you’re looking to save space in your garden and have an old shoe organizer. Then, simply add soil to the pockets, poke a few holes through the bottom, and you’re ready to set up your repurposed vertical garden.
3. Repurpose Milk Cartons or Plastic Bottles to Protect Seedlings
Every now and then, most of us end up with a plastic bottle or milk carton in our home even though we’re trying to reduce our impact on the environment. One of the handiest ways to repurpose them in your garden is by cutting the bottoms off and using them to protect new seedlings from the elements and animals, as well as creating a little personal greenhouse for them!
4. Use a Barrel to Collect Water
Even if you don’t have water butts to collect rainwater to use for watering, something as simple as placing a few barrels around your garden to collect any rainfall can help you save a lot of water in the long run – and every little step counts!
5. Spread Crushed Eggshells Around the Base of a Plant to Deter Slugs
Instead of tossing you eggshells in the trash, find a use for them around the garden! One of the best life hacks entails crushing them to spread them around the base of a plant to deter slugs.
6. Use Toilet Paper Rolls as Seedling Pots
For some plants, you’ll need to grow a seedling first before replanting them in your garden. Don’t use plastic pots for this – instead, repurpose toilet paper rolls, which are also fully compostable once you’ve replanted your seedling.
7. Build Birdhouses Instead of Using Pesticides
Pesticides are one of the main reasons many of us choose to grow our own food instead of buying it at the supermarket. Did you know that one of the simplest ways to deter insects from your garden is to build birdhouses, as birds are the natural predator of most insects?
8. Save Seeds from Dried Flowers
Why buy new seeds every year, when you can use seeds from last year’s plants? For example, you can easily harvest seeds from dried flowers and replant them in the next season.
9. Use Old Bricks or Tiles to Create Paths and Patches
If you have any construction materials lying around, that you never got to fully using up, you can use them to add more organization to your garden, set up paths or create borders between patches.
10. Enrich the Soil with Coffee Grounds
Don’t throw away your used coffee grounds! They can be used to enrich the soil in your garden or planter pots, providing nitrogen and improving soil structure.