The activity of gardening comes from a long background of sustainability and self-sufficiency. In today’s modern world, where big corporate farms are run more like outdoor laboratories than old-fashioned gardens, it can be easy to lose sight of the simple, tried-and-true, solutions that are ideal for the backyard gardener on their own.
For those growing a kitchen or vegetable garden, it really doesn’t require a degree in agronomy once you know these 10 DIY garden tricks. Even difficult problems like pest control can be easily dealt with when you know a few DIY garden tips. Many of these DIY garden hacks are even more affordable than conventional solutions, and not only keep expenses low, but provide the perfect environment to get those giant, mouth-watering, tomatoes and cucumbers at a fraction of the cost.
10 DIY Garden Tips to Increase Yields without Spending a Fortune
Gardeners around the world have share the struggles of growing that first tomato from the garden at three times the cost of a store-bought one. If a gardener is not careful, after including the costs of fertilizers, chemical pest control, and water, that’s what it can end up costing. Take a look at these 10 DIY garden tricks to reduce costs and improve your gardens performance this year and the next:
Banana Peels Repel Aphids and Fertilize – Those gnat-like pests that can make your roses less than lovely are easily treated with a few spare banana peels. Just cut them into little pieces and plant them under rose bushes or other affected plants. Banana peels also add phosphorus to the soil, which is a key ingredient in commercial fertilizers.
Use Egg Shells for Extra Calcium and Slug Control – Crushed eggshells are sharp enough to dissuade slugs from your garden. They also contain calcium, a needed ingredient to fertilize your plants. To make use of egg shells, boil them to remove any excess egg residue or wash with soapy water and dry them, before crushing them and using them in the garden.
Perk-Up Your Garden with Coffee Grounds – Even though they can turn soil acidic, coffee grounds are perfect for adding natural nitrogen to the soil. This will increase your yields. Top-dressing is one way to leach the nitrogen without adding grounds too far down the soil. Hydrangeas and citrus plants, in particular, like acidic soil and benefit greatly from the extra nitrogen.
Collar Young Seedlings – Cutworms are a menace that can destroy young seedlings by snipping off the stem while it is young and weak enough to cut. Collect the inside carton of old toilet paper rolls, cut them into thirds, and then just sit them snuggly against your seedlings as they pop up to protect them during this vulnerable stage.
Sprinkle Cornmeal around Your Grown Plants – Not only does cornmeal keep weeds from growing, but it also will explode in a cut worm’s stomach, making it an effective insecticide too. The only caveat is that it will kill any pre-emergent seed, so only use it after your plants are grown, not before they’ve sprouted.
Add Magnesium with Epsom Salts – Right after blossoming, your tomato and pepper plants are ready to start setting fruit. This is when they are also the hungriest for one key ingredient: Magnesium. Add a tablespoon of Epsom salts to 1 gallon of water and use it to water your plants. It can also be used as a foliar spray in early morning or late afternoon.
Scare-Off Pests with Hot Sauce – Hot sauce is a totally organic solution to pest control. Dilute it in water, preferably a sauce with garlic in it, and then spray it on the leaves in early morning or late afternoon. This will have to be repeated often to keep the hot sauce spray potent.
Learn the Art of Companion Planting – Planting marigolds around cabbage plants is not only pretty but also helps to deter aphids. The complicated chemistry of companion planting strengthens each plant by providing protection or nutritive elements to each other.
Wrap Fruit in Cut-Up Nylons – Once the fruit is on the tree, every eye in the garden is waiting for it to ripen and they’re not all human eyes. To keep squirrels and birds from picking the harvest before the gardener can get to it, wrap it in cut-up pieces of nylon stockings.
Water Carefully – Rain barrels that collect water are ideal for water gardening since the water is not treated or chlorinated. If you can’t use rain water, collect treated water in a bucket with some compost and let it release the chlorine by setting it out overnight. Also, always make sure to water in the early morning or late afternoon, never in the heat of the day as stray water droplets will evaporate quickly and burn the leaves as they do so.
With these 10 DIY garden hacks, you can quickly solve any garden problem and increase yields without relying on expensive chemicals and fertilizers. All it takes is a little home-grown ingenuity instead.