Got the gardening bug and want to turn your backyard into a beautiful and thriving garden? We’ve put together some of our favourite natural gardening hacks to help turn even a novice into an eco-friendly green thumb in no time!
Natural pest control
Avoid using chemical pesticides. Protect your plants from pesky pests such as snails, slugs, mosquitoes and other bugs by using homemade, eco-friendly insecticide. You can repurpose crushed egg shells and used coffee grinds at the base of your plants to defend against garden intruders.
Why not try your hand at making your own garden insect spray using ingredients found in your kitchen? You can make DIY Oil sprays, soap sprays, garlic sprays, chilli pepper spray and more. A quick search online for natural garden pest control will provide plenty of DIY alternatives.
DIY weed killer
Strong chemical herbicides, can end up polluting our drinking water, our groundwater, and surface water. The most environmentally friendly way to get rid of weeds from your garden is to pull them up, dig out the roots, allow them to dry in the sun, and then use them for compost mulch. However, preparing your own weed killer is a more affordable alternative to commercial herbicides, and quicker than digging them out by hand. Try filling an empty spray bottle with three parts white vinegar, one-part table salt and a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. The acetic acid in the vinegar and salt will draw the moisture from the weeds. The dishwashing liquid will reduce the surface tension that can cause your homemade spray to stay on the leaves instead of being absorbed by the plant. In a matter of hours, the weeds will turn brown and wither.
Just like us, plants and flowers need their calcium too. They make the cell walls of a plant strong and healthy. Grind your eggshells into a powder and sprinkle them in your garden for a calcium boost. Also, if you’re able to gather enough to apply a thick layer, they will be able to deter weeds.
Store all your eggshells in a separate container from now on, then crush them until they turn into powder.
Make your own compost
Why buy compost for your garden when you can make your own? All you’ll need to invest in is some time and effort. Dead and rotting leaves are an excellent source of nutrients for your soil. Green and organic products such as eggshells, unused tomatoes, cucumbers and any other organic product that you can no longer consume are also ideal for your compost bin. Allow them to slowly disintegrate, then mix them with your soil and you’ll have the happiest garden you can have. Here is a helpful step-by-step process from Better Homes & Gardens on how to create your own compost.
Protect your plants with plastic bottles
Especially useful for people living in colder climates, give your seedlings and budding plants a fighting chance by cutting the top off a used plastic bottle and turning it upside down to cover the plant. It gives the plants their own private greenhouse and ensures they’re protected from the cold weather. Temperatures don’t have to drop to freezing to do damage to your plants. Recycle clean plastic bottles and jugs and use them for plant protection.
Baking Soda for your garden
There are a lot of beneficial ways you can use baking soda in your garden. You can make a homemade fungicide that is just as effective as the ones bought at the store by mixing 4 teaspoons with 4 litres of water.
If you have begonias, hydrangeas or any flowers that thrive in alkaline soil, you can mix a teaspoon of baking soda in water to help them grow and flower more beautifully.
If you want to test your soil’s pH levels, wet your soil then sprinkle a handful of baking soda. If your soil begins to bubble, it has an acidity with a PH level of 5 or under. This is ideal to do before designing or planting a new garden, making vegetable plots or when growth is disappointing.
We hope that you found these simple hacks helpful and a motivator for you to turn your backyard into an eco-friendly floral haven. If you’re looking for tips on how to grow an eco-friendly garden, read our No-Waste Gardening post here.