6 Sensational Gardening Hacks

, written by Benedict Vanheems gb flag

Eggshell pot for seedling

Who doesn’t love clever shortcuts or handy tips that make life easier in the garden? Well, have we got a treat for you, because in this article and video we’re sharing six ingenious ideas to help you achieve more in the garden with less: less time, less effort or less money! You interested? Then let’s dive straight in!

1. Eggshell Pots

I’m egg-cited (sorry!) to get started with our first hack: using eggshells to grow seedlings. Eggshells are completely biodegradable, and as they break down they’ll add valuable nutrients such as calcium to the soil. The shells are free too, assuming you were going to eat their contents anyway that is. So let’s get cracking!

Carefully peel the top off your morning boiled egg then prick a hole into the bottom using a drawing pin – this will serve as a drainage hole. Enjoy your egg as normal.

Once you have enough eggshells boil them in water for one minute to sterilise them then let them dry. Fill them with seed starting mix, sow, water, then grow your seedlings on somewhere warm and bright. When it’s time to plant, just give the shell a gentle crush between your fingers so the roots are able to get out into the soil, and plant the whole thing.

Use kitchen scraps to make fertiliser for free

2. Make Organic Fertiliser

Really love your eggs? Then use the leftover shells as part of an organic fertiliser made using kitchen scraps.

Add banana skins, coffee grounds and those eggshells into a blender together with a few cups of water. Whizz it all up into a grainy soup then use the mixture fresh, diluted with more water. This kitchen-created fertiliser is full of nutrients – ideal for use around hungry feeders such as squashes, tomatoes and climbing beans.

Never lose the growing information on plant labels again!

3. Organise Plant Labels

Are you forever losing plant labels and with them the handy growing instructions found on the back? Me too! Use a hole punch to make a hole at one end of the label then thread your labels onto a key ring. Hang them up somewhere obvious in the greenhouse or shed so they are always on hand for easy reference.

Store tools in a sand/vegetable oil mix so blades remain in good conditions

4. Keep Tools Clean and Rust-free

While we’re in the shed, let’s give those hand tools some TLC. Mix together sand with vegetable oil. The abrasiveness of the sand will help keep your tools clean, while the oil should prevent blades from rusting.

Fill a pot with your sand-oil mixture then plunge hand tools such as trowels into the mix whenever they’re not in use. Or fill a bucket with the mixture to dip spade and fork blades into before putting them away.

Recycle your plastic water bottles into mini greenhouses for plants

5. Protect Young Plants

Recently transplanted seedlings are vulnerable to frost and chilly winds. Keeping them snug’s a cinch with instant cloches made from old bottles. Gallon-sized milk cartons or soft drinks bottles work best. Cut off the bottom, remove the cap so air can circulate, and pop them over your plants.

Make your own weedkiller for weeds in paving and other hard surfaces

6. Make an Organic Weedkiller

Hoeing and hand weeding is great in beds and borders, but what about niggling weeds sprouting from the cracks in driveways and paving? Nasty chemical weed killers are out for organic gardeners, but scratching around with a weeding tool doesn’t sound like much fun either. So why not see them off with a safe but powerful organic spray you’ve made yourself.

Simply mix one pint or half a litre of white vinegar with two tablespoons of salt and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Stir to combine. Decant into a spray bottle and, with gloves on, spray the potent brew onto weeds. Do this on a still, sunny day and be sure to cover all surfaces. Weeds will quickly wither and die.

And there you have our handy horticultural hacks. Have you got one to add to this list? Then drop us a comment below and tell us about it!

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Show Comments


"Thanks! These were rally helpful??"
Elizabeth wright on Monday 6 January 2020
"Please sign me up for more."
Susan Chandler on Monday 6 January 2020
"Hi Susan. Create a (free) account with us and you can opt in for us to send you an email every time a new article is published. You can create an account right at the top of this web page."
Ben Vanheems on Tuesday 7 January 2020
"Brilliant, I'll be using all of those ideas right away."
RachaelK on Friday 17 January 2020
"Greetings from Australia. You've inspired me to get going with my winter garden and create a worm farm. I have the time, as am one of many working from home. "
Sally on Wednesday 8 April 2020
"Great stuff Sally. Hope your worm farm is successful."
Ben Vanheems on Wednesday 8 April 2020
"First time, I saw your videos and it gave me bright yet simple ideas for my little space. Thanks for sharing. Keep on sharing great and practical ideas."
FRANCISCO V ROMANTICO on Monday 27 April 2020
"Thanks for the seal of approval Francisco. We're planning on putting out plenty more ideas, don't you worry!"
Ben Vanheems on Monday 27 April 2020
"Great idea"
Deedee on Wednesday 23 December 2020
"Excellent instructive video especially when setting up an Allotment Community Kids Club! Thanks "
Carolveggie on Tuesday 5 January 2021
"Many thanks. Do check out our articles and videos on getting kids into gardening - we have a few on our site. "
Ben Vanheems on Tuesday 5 January 2021
"So happy to come across this suggestion on how to make organic weedkiller. Will try this type of spray. Thanks a lot."
JTan on Friday 11 March 2022

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