Gardening is one of the most rewarding home hobbies you can do. It's fun, sustainable and you get healthy, tasty results. A lot of people like the idea of gardening but find excuses like it's too time consuming, it's too expensive, they don't have enough space, blah blah blah. There's no room for excuses when going green, all you need is a little initiative and a little ingenuity to overcome these so called excuses. Here are 10 killer garden hacks that can help you save time, space and money while satisfying your green thumb...
1. DIY Vertical Garden with Reclaimed Gutters
When Suzanne Forsling moved to Juneau Alaska from Iowa, she found that it was a little bit harder to get her garden to grow. Frustrated by cold soil, scarce sunlight, hungry slugs, root maggots, porcupines, cats, bears and ravens she got resourceful. She got her crops off the cold ground and into the light by afixing gutters to the wood siding of her house on the sunny side and using them as planters.
2. Used Tired Raised Garden & Tree Ring
If you have some old tires laying around that you don't know what to do with, you could burn them... if you hate the environment, or you could put them to work as cool looking raised garden beds. Now this is pretty self-explanetory, but I highly recommend you read the tutorial first becsause if you don't know what you are doing you can get yourself into trouble trying to cut up a steel belted tire.
3. DIY Earth Box
An Earth Box is more than just a box with soil. It's a self-contained system that regulates irrigations, facilitates the delivery of nutrients and does all of this in the most efficient way. These are great for people who don't have the room for an in ground garden. You can buy an Earth Box or there a ton of resources to help you go McGuyver Green.
4. Self-Watering Garden
Instructable user AskJerry discovered that his central air conditioning system disposed of approximately 350 gallons of water down the drain each year. To put this water to better use he built this great Self-watering garden that reclaims the AC waste water and evenly distributes it to his vegtables in this quaint garden box. Now if you don't have central air, you can still use this tutorial (with a few mods) with a rainbarrel, or greywater system. Check out the tutorial at Instructables.
5. Upside Down Herb Planters
I wrote about these space saving DIY hanging planters from Urban Organic Gardener a few weeks ago. Limited to a tiny fire escape platform to do all his gardening, Mike Lieberman has been forced to be creative in order to satisfy his herbivore urges. He uses reclaimed 2 liter bottles to create hanging upside down planters to make the most of his limited space. Check out his how-to.
6. DIY Vertical Shoe Organizer Herb Garden
Confounded by vegetable digging cats and toiling in the vegetable patch, Instructables member pippa5 came up with this cool DIY vertical garden solution. In case you don’t recognize it, she used an old closet shoe organizer. Meant to keep your shoes off the floor and save you some space, this new use saves some space by getting your veggies or herbs off the ground. Check out the DIY at Instructables.
7. Self-Watering Insulated Tiny Greenhouse
I'm not sure when you would need such a small and complex greenhouse system but this sure is an innovative way to reuse cups and bottles. I guess the benefit of this is that the seedling is portable, in case you need to move it freequently between your window sill, your deck... bring it to the office? Check out the tutorial at Instructables.
8. Grow 100 lbs. Of Potatos In 4 Sq. Feet
Here's a great space saver for you potato lovers! Instead of growing your pototos in horizonal rows in your garden, grow them up in a 4x4 ft vertical potato garden box. Basically you start out like the picture to the right with one layer. Once the plates are about a foot above the soil you add more boards and add more soil, and keep movin on up (like the Jeffersons!). via The Seatle Times.
9. DIY Mini-Greenhouse
If you live in a cooler climate like me you need to get creative to extend your growing season. By using some scrap lumber and an old window you can build yourself a small seedling box that will protect your seedlings from the weather and help keep them warm in the cool early spring months. Check out the tutorial at Instructables.
10. Protect Your Garden with Beer!
There are many, many uses for beer, as Wise Bread points out, but seeing as this post is about gardening we'll focus on it's slug fighting power. While worms are a gardener’s best friend, slugs are their nemesis. Don't fret, these little pests are easily defeated by a little juice of the barley. Simply pour a little into some empty jars and place them in the soil, with the rims of the jars at ground level. The beer loving slugs will drop in for a drink, which will be their last because they can’t get back out.
You can find cool gardening hacks hiding all over the web but after pulling this together I found that the most comprehensive round up is at lifehacker. Also check out Urban Organic Gardner, a blog chronicalling Mike's experience as a fire escape gardener in NYC.