Landscaping Hacks & Ideas for Your Yard

Gardening is one of those hobbies that can take a lifetime to master. Every new project is a learning experience and an opportunity to become a better gardener. Speed up that process by learning from others mistakes and bright ideas by checking out these landscaping hacks and ideas for your yard.

7 Cheap Landscaping Hacks For Your Garden & Yard

DIY DRIP IRRIGATION

Drip irrigation is one of the best ways to water your plants. It’s efficient and effective, but installing a drip system takes a lot of time, expertise, and money that you may not have. It might not even make sense for your garden. However, watering your plants by hand during the summer can feel like a full time job if you live in the South. Beat the heat and keep your plants hydrated with this DIY landscaping hack.

All you need is an empty (and clean) plastic soda bottle and a sock or dish towel. Puncture holes on the sides of the lower half of the bottle, stuff the sock / towel inside to absorb and hold water, and bury it in your garden up to the cap. This will slowly water your plants throughout the day / week. All you have to do to refill it is unscrew the cap and fill the bottle back up. Be sure to space these evenly throughout your garden and/or flower bed for even coverage.

KEEP THE PLASTIC POTS

If you’re anything like me, you like to switch up your flower beds depending on the season. Certain plants thrive in certain seasons and flounder in others so I’ll update my flower bed so it stays fresh. However, this can be a bit of a chore (and super messy) if you toss the plastic pots you’re plants come in.

Rather than removing the plants from said pots before putting them in the soil, just put the pots straight into the flower bed. It takes a little bit of extra work to dig holes big enough for the pots, but when the season changes and the plant starts going dormant, all you have to do is pull the pot out of the ground and drop in a new one. Be sure to cover the ground with a layer of mulch or a ground cover plant (like Hostas or ribbon grass) to hide the top of the pot.

USE COFFEE FILTERS

The drainage holes on most pots are a great way to keep your potted plants healthy and they’re more important than you might think. They let water drain from the soil and make air available to your plant’s root system. Let’s be honest, not many plants can handle being in stagnant water. They’ll most likely develop fungus, mold, or some other type of disease that can kill your plant.

One thing you don’t want getting out of your pot in soil. To keep the dirt in the pot where it belongs, place a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot before filling it with soil. This won’t affect water drainage OR air flow while acting as a barrier for your soil. As an added bonus, it will also keep nasty pests from finding their way into your pot.

USE COFFEE GROUNDS TO KEEP PESTS AWAY

If you don’t want to use pesticides to keep your garden safe (trust me, I get it), you can always use the coffee grounds from your morning pot. You may need more than a single pot’s worth depending on the size of your garden. They’re also biodegradable and can actually be fertilizer for certain types of plants and vegetables, specifically root based crops. Regardless, they make an excellent pest repellent so don’t waste them by throwing them away. Lay down an unbroken 2” wide line of coffee grounds around your garden to keep ants, worms, snails & slugs, and other pests from eating up all your hard work.

RECYCLE YOUR WATER

Droughts, water shortages, and water restrictions are becoming more and more common. They’re basically annual traditions here in Texas and they’re also the bane of every gardener and landscaper. We have to be very mindful of our water consumption to keep our bills down and not earn the attention of The City.

The best way to do that is to recycle any and all water you use. If you boil eggs or pasta for dinner, use the excess water to water your plants (after it cools of course). Washing your fruit? Do it over a pot. You can even build a rain barrel irrigation system to make use of rainwater.

DIY BUG REPELLENT

If the coffee grounds didn’t do the trick, you can always make your own non-toxic, natural bug repellent to keep your plants safe. An especially nasty infestation of bugs and lawn pests can ravage your garden before you have a chance to react. There are a ton of different recipes you can use. You can find them with a quick Google search, but we listed a few below. Spray these natural bug repellents on your plants as needed to keep the bugs away.

Natural Bug Repellent Recipe #1
1 – 2 drops lemon essential oil
1 tablespoon liquid soap (not detergent or dishwashing liquid)
1 quart water

Natural Bug Repellent Recipe #2
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 tablespoon liquid soap (not detergent or dishwashing liquid)
2 quarts water

Natural Bug Repellent Recipe #3
2 tablespoons neem oil
1 tablespoon liquid soap (not detergent or dishwashing liquid)
1 quart water

Natural Bug Repellent Recipe #4
2 bulbs pureed garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon liquid soap (not detergent or dishwashing liquid)
1 quart water

USE TOILET PAPER TUBES FOR SEEDLINGS

Rather than spend money on a fancy set up to sprout your seedlings, just save your toilet paper tubes. These cardboard tubes are perfect for this and they’re biodegradable so there’s no waste. Cut the bottom of your tube on each side so you have two flaps. Fold them over one another to have a closed base. Fill the bottom of the tube with soil, add seedlings, and fill the rest with soil. Water your tubes occasionally until the seedlings sprout and are mature enough to be planted in soil outside. Unfold the bottom of the tube and plant directly in your garden. The roots will grow through the bottom and the tube will eventually breakdown.

RECAP

You don’t have to buy a bunch of expensive pots, sprays, and so on to be a good gardener. Being resourceful will serve you and your plants far better in the long run. Most of the solutions to your problems can be found in your house or with a quick trip to the grocery store. Don’t forget these landscaping hacks for your garden the next time you run into trouble.

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