Gardening doesn’t have to be hard on your pocket, your time or the environment. Our list of great gardening hacks will help you save time and money as well as gardening more sustainably. Pick one and try it today!
Gardening hacks that save time, money and the environment
Split perennials to get free plants. If you’ve got overgrown clumps of perennials in your garden, dig them up in late autumn or early spring and divide them using the blade of a garden spade, or tease the roots apart by hand. Replant the new clumps, and you’ve got yourself a whole extra set of plants for free.
Check the reduced shelf at the garden centre. The plants on this shelf may not look pretty, but often they just need a bit of water and nurturing to bring them back to life.
Don’t throw out those old net curtains. Instead, save them and use them to keep pests like cabbage white butterflies off your brassicas or net your fruit bushes against the birds.
Re-use plastic whenever you can. There’s no need to keep buying new plastic labels for your seed trays. A good scrub with soap and water and a scouring pad will clean your old labels up, ready for another year. And don’t throw out those plastic trays that your bedding plants came in. Wash them out, fill them with new compost and use them for starting out your new seeds in spring. Plastic takeaway food containers make great seed trays, too – just poke a few drainage holes in the bottom with a needle.
Large plastic water bottles make good cloches, protecting young plants from cold weather in spring as well as from pests like mice, slugs and snails. Wash out the bottles, cut the bases off and place a bottle over each young seedling, leaving the lid off to provide ventilation. Press the bottles well into the ground to stop them from blowing over.
Re-purpose an old plastic milk bottle to make a watering can for seedlings. Using a hot needle, pierce holes in the lid of the bottle, then fill the bottle with water, put the lid on and sprinkle away. You can increase the water flow by making more holes.
Fed up with watering your pots every day? Fill an empty wine bottle with water, then turn it upside down (without letting the water out) and press the neck into a plant pot. The water will gradually soak out over a few days, keeping the compost moist.
Bare soil attracts weeds, so if there’s a bed in your garden, you haven’t got around to planting yet, cover it with tarpaulin or cardboard. This will block out the light and stop weeds from appearing, so you don’t have to spend hours clearing the bed when you’re ready to plant.
If you require some new ideas for your garden, visit our centre where our exciting ranges of plants and garden essentials are sure to inspire you!