Ya’ll I LOVE fresh fruits and veggies, and I am super cheap which do not usually go together well. So, obviously I had to learn to garden. We have less than 1/4 acre, so my options were super limited. I had to find a way to maximize my garden, with very little space. I am so excited to get to share some of these 7 fun ways to get that delicious homegrown produce!
- Upside-down Tomatoes.
These are so simple and yet so beneficial! I took a 5 gallon bucket, ($3.50 at lowes, or free at most of these stores…👇🏻)
- Dunkin Donuts
- Sam’s Club
- The bakery at Kroger
- The bakery at Walmart
You will cut or drill a 3″ hole into the center of the bottom of the bucket, and 6-10 small holes around that hole for drainage. The next super important thing is to get a STRONG bracket, when this bucket is filled with soil it is going to be pretty heavy. The ones pictures are $6.48 at lowes, but there is a cheaper option for $3.08 also. Take your tomato plant and put it through the bottom hole, upside down. Then gently fill the bucket to 3/4 full with a nutrient rich soil. Amended soil is the best, which you can find at most local gardening centers, but if you need to go to lowes or home depot then miracle grow is fine. And that’s it!
Know that the buckets will tend to dry out faster than potted plants, so daily watering will be required OR you can try this next garden hack…
2. Self Watering Bottle.
This is SO easy y’all. Literally take an old soda bottle, milk jug, or plastic juice bottle, drill tiny holes all over it. You will bury the bottle next to your plant, or into your tomato planter as shown above. This needs to be done when you first place your transplanted veggie, so that the roots don’t get damaged. Leave enough of the bottleneck above the dirt so that you can refill it.
If you are like me, its March and you are jonesing to get started on your garden. If you don’t have a big greenhouse this hack can boost your grow time up to 2 months earlier! There are two ways to utilize this method, my favorite is to actually plant into the ground and place the cut milk jug over top, being sure to bury a small part of the jug into the dirt so that the wind doesn’t blow it away. However, if your wanting to start your seeds in the same place you will let it grow a bit before proper spring planting, this next method is for you. Cut the milk jug in half, being sure to leave one side uncut. You will plant into the bottom of the jug, and close it up! Water well and place your lid on top. If you are placing these outside, you’ll want to be sure to tape the cut sides to keep the greenhouse gases inside. Make sure they are in a full sun area of your home outdoors, and if you get a warm afternoon, you need to consider removing the cap to allow some of the extra heat to leave the jug to avoid wilting.
4. Reusable Seed Starts.
I love everything that involves recycling and reusing the things I already use in everyday life. We eat a TON of eggs, so this was an easy one for me. I began intentionally buying the cardboard cartons, instead of the plastic foam cartons. The fantastic part about this is that the carton is completely biodegradable, so you can directly plant the whole carton cup into your outdoor garden. Poke a few tiny holes into the bottom of each cup for roots and drainage.
The other reusable seed start method is so good! You will be blown away how many toilet paper and paper towel rolls your family goes through. These are super easy, no cutting, no hold drilling, just full each tube with soil and plant your seeds. I will say, personally I cut the toilet paper rolls in 1/3’s and the paper towel rolls into 6-8 sections. These do not need sunlight until your veggie sprouts its green leaves, so place it on top of a fridge or counter indoors. As long as they stay warm, and moist they’ll grow!
5. Reusable Watering Can.
This one is ridiculously simple. If you are like me, I like to have a watering can near each plant, to avoid walking all over creation, refilling a million times. Save your old milk jugs and poke several holes into the cap, fill it up and your done! I love letting my girls decorate and paint each one, so they look super cute too.
6. DIY Coldframe.
I wanted to be able to grow leafy greens most of the year, so this way makes it so easy. You can build a wooded box, hay bales, large plastic tote, whatever you have laying around. Make sure the bottom is removed or cut out, so plants can get deep roots. If you have a clear plastic tote lid, an old window, and old shower door, again whatever you have around the house to provide a way for sunlight to get to the plants. This will protect them from the cold and the frost, so you can harvest fresh greens 9-12 months out of the year. If you are really in a pinch, you can also dig a hole and place a clear lid or window over top. The dollar tree has tons of options for $1!
7. Tomato Cage.
Super simple, you are going to say ‘Why the heck didn’t I think I of that?!”. Use dollar tree trash cans as tomato cages to protect from deer and rabbits, and help support the plants. Then between seasons they can stack and store easily, and even better you won’t break the bank!
These are just a few of the fantastic hacks that have worked for me personally, and I am so blessed to get to share them with you! Please message me or find me on facebook and let me know how they worked for you. I would also love to hear any hacks you’ve discovered!