There are always new things to try in the garden in the quest for more harvest.
With less effort and anything which saves a little time increases our chances of success or saves money is worth considering here are our top gardening hacks
1. Turn a long-handled tool into a measuring stick.
Lay the tool on the ground and place a measuring tape next to it using a permanent marker put measurement marks onto the handle when you need to space plants a certain distance apart you'll already have a measuring device in your hand
2. Rejuvenate old plastic labels.
By rubbing with sandpaper permanent marker will be rubbed away quite easily and you'll get several years of use from them or make your very own labels used clean yogurt pots can be cut into strips to make several labels from one pot old broken roof tiles make attractive markers by labeling with white paint or for a more natural look smooth flat stones of various sizes may be written on with paint or permanent marker and could be
placed unobtrusively at the base of your plants and reused annually
3. If there's an unexpected frost forecast.
Use a terra cotta pot instead turn them bottom up and pop one over your pressure seedlings it'll function as a warm jacket against the light frost remember to remove it in the morning so your plant can get the light it will need to grow.
4. If you garden organically.
The chances are that come aphids season you'll have them invest your plants many gardeners tackle this by squishing them with their fingers it's a messy job you could try blasting them off with Jets of water but this is time-consuming and uses loads of water instead try using packing tape wrap a wide strip of tape around your hands sticky side out and pack the leaves of the plants infested with aphids concentrate on the undersides of leaves because that's where they prefer to hide
5. If you reside in a hot area.
Or have a particularly sunny spot in your garden you might find that thirsty plants like cucumbers and tomatoes dehydrate quickly without irrigation reducing the crop or quality make water reservoirs out of plastic water bottles to keep your plants healthy drill a few small holes into the cap to allow water to percolate out cut the bottom off the bottle sink the upturn bottle into the pot or ground before planting leaving about an inch poking above the layer of the soil keep the bottle filled and the plant roots will absorb the water as its required.
6. Reduce your water bill.
By reusing water from your kitchen save the water from boiled veggies and once it's cooled use it to water your garden or your pots if you use a plant-based dishwashing detergent this water too may be used on your garden don't use it if you've washed parts with bunches of dairy or meat as you don't want these products in your soil.
7. Some seeds like peas and sweet peas.
Have a hard coating once planted out it takes a while for this coating to break down and for germination to begin get a start by soaking the seed you're using lukewarm water overnight then plant out as usual.
8. Some vegetables like beans and peas.
Don't like to have their roots disturbed so conventional wisdom is to plant them in situ and not to plant out this has some problems as seeds can rot in cool soil and damaged plants will lead to gaps bypass this by making your own pea and bean planters from cardboard tubes take a tube and make three cuts about of the way along the tube to make flaps push the flaps into the center and press to keep in place fill with potting soil and sow seeds as usual store the tubes in a tray to stop the flaps from failing when ready for planting out plant the seedling and tube together the cardboard will rot in the roots of your seedlings will find their way out.
9. If you have a small garden.
Go vertical there are many varieties of vegetables which will climb or trail you can also make vertical planters for walls or fences start with guttering and cut to length drill small holes along the length to allow water to drain out install the recommended brackets and click the guttering in place add a moisture retentive growing medium and plant with strawberries or salads plants which don't mind the shallow soil keep it watered or install drip irrigation.
10. Use garden planning software.
To help plan what you're going to grow and where good planning reduces the risk of losing plants by sewing at the wrong time spacing them incorrectly or forgetting to rotate crops to reduce the likelihood of soil-borne pests and diseases from one year to the next it will also help you to plan succession planting so you can quickly see where gaps will appear and have plants ready to fill those gaps making sure you get as much food as possible from your space what's your top gardening hack share it with us.