11 Genius Garden Hacks You’ll Want to Steal Immediately

Should you use eggshells in the garden? Readers offer their best garden hacks and tips for getting the most out of backyard activities.

Use Eggshells in the Garden as Fertilizer

Eggs shells in the gardenEva-Foreman/Getty Images
Place crushed eggshells in the garden for a DIY natural fertilizer

Birds & Blooms readers shared their favorite garden hacks. “I make my own fertilizer by boiling and baking old eggshells until dry,” says Jennifer Broadstreet Hess of Marion, Kansas. “Then I grind them into a fine powder with my food processor.” 

Julius Frank says, “I save eggshells all year then crush them in the spring and mix them into the soil around my tomatoes.”

Should you use coffee grounds in the garden?

Create a Small-Space Garden

summer fruits and vegetables, Tmbstk Zucchini 2017 B10 31 30bTMB Studio
Zucchini

“I made a small square-foot type garden with a mix of Black Gold soil, compost and something for drainage such as vermiculite. I only plant zucchini, another type of squash, Roma tomatoes and something new for fun each season. It’s not inexpensive to start, but now I only need to enrich it each season. I harvest a ton from that small veggie garden—I even have some to give away,” says Dawn Spero of Enola, Pennsylvania.

Here are 6 uses for baking soda in your garden.

Stop Weeds With Ground Cover Plants

Red barrenwort is a low-maintenance ground cover.49pauly/Getty Images
Red barrenwort is a low-maintenance ground cover.

“Planting ground covers helps me avoid extra work, such as mulching or weeding, in the long run,” says Juli Seyfried of Cincinnati, Ohio. Looking for more garden hacks?

Check out the best natural way to kill weeds

Bring Out Power Tools to Plant Bulbs

auger bulbs, garden hacksVia Amazon.com
A drill and auger can make planting easier.

Stock up on essential garden tools and power tools just in time for planting and growing season. “I use an auger with my drill to dig holes for planting bulbs,” says Karen Hance of North Tonawanda, New York. 

Give Melons a Boost

Melon planttchara/Getty Images
Lift melons off the soil to help them ripen.

“Melons tend to ripen faster and taste sweeter when you elevate them on small upside-down tin cans,” says Sue Gronholz of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. “This garden hack keeps them off the cool ground and lets them soak up more heat from the sun.”

Psst—don’t miss 25 secret garden tips we learned from Grandma.

Plant Beans Twice

Fresh,beans,from,the,gardenID-VIDEO/SHUTTERSTOCK
Fresh beans from the garden

“I plant beans in spring, then again in July, so we have some to harvest in October,” says Nita Price of Lisbon, Iowa.

Make Parsnips Sweeter

Fresh Homegrown Parsnips on Garden Soilduckycards/Getty Images
Wait to harvest parsnips

“Leave parsnips in the ground until after the first hard frost. They’ll be sweeter,” says Patricia Murray of Niles, Ohio.

After you read these garden hacks, get inspired on how to repurpose household items for gardening bargains.

Join a Veggie Swap

Heirloom tomatoes stack on white background.Creativeye99/Getty Images
Swap heirloom tomatoes with your neighbors.

“I can grow an abundance of tomatoes, but not zucchini, so I put in extra varieties of tomatoes for trading with my zucchini-growing friends,” says Rebecca Williamson of Bushnell, Illinois.

Grow your best crop yet with top tomato growing tips

Plant Tomatoes in Pots

Vine Ripe TomatoesDUSTYPIXEL/GETTY IMAGES
Plant cherry tomatoes in containers

“Tomatoes require a lot of nutrients to grow, so I plant mine in pots. That way, it’s easy to replenish the soil in the pot before each growing season,” says Kathy Eppers of Aledo, Texas.

Check out 6 genius ways to use up extra tomatoes and veggies.

Let the Apps Do the Work

garden hackshxyume/Getty Images
Use garden apps on your smartphone to identify plants

“This year I mapped out my garden and identified the location of all my plants,” says Boni Trombetta of West Chester, Pennsylvania. “If I’m not sure whether something’s a weed or plant, I’ll use a plant identification app to verify before I pull it out.”

Keep Caterpillars Off Cabbage

Cabbage white butterflyCourtesy Mynette Jones
Cabbage white butterfly

“To keep cabbage white caterpillars off my cabbage, I cover the plants with row covers or other season-extending fabrics,” says Sharon Colden of Warroad, Minnesota.

Next, check out gardening solutions and remedies you should stop doing.

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Molly Jasinski
Molly Jasinski is a writer, editor and social media manager for Birds & Blooms. She enjoys watching the robins, cardinals and occasional goldfinch seen around her apartment.