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19 Gardening Hacks That'll Make You Say "I Wish I'd Known About These Sooner!"

Oooh, smart.

1. Repurpose all kinds of things as seed starters: eggshells, lemon rinds, empty egg cartons, and even ice cream cones all can work.

2. Capture those slugs tormenting your vegetable patch by setting out a dish of beer.

3. And spread rinsed, crushed eggshells at the base of your plants to help deter any slugs who don't stop at the bar.

4. Block soil seepage by lining the bottom of your pots with a basic coffee filter. The water will still easily drain, but it won't take any of the dirt with it.

5. You can also save old sponges to use as a layer at the bottom of terracotta pots. They'll help prevent root rot by allowing for additional air down there *and* absorb extra water that might otherwise run out the bottom.

6. Shred some soap in your food processor then sprinkle it among your beds to deter any deer or rabbits who think your garden's their personal restaurant.

7. Find some sprouted garlic in your pantry? Put it in water to nurture new sprouts (which are deliciously edible, like green onions) in three to five days.

8. Return some of the nutrients weeds and grass clippings absorbed from your soil back to your soil by brewing up a bucket of fertilizer tea.

9. After planting a garden bed, put down a layer of cardboard or newspaper before you mulch to block weeds and grass sprouts without spending money or spreading chemicals.

10. Hang an over-door shoe organizer for an instant and cheap vertical herb and lettuce garden that takes up very little space.

11. Space direct-sow seeds evenly by pressing the bottom of a mini muffin tin into your freshly tilled dirt.

12. Tell those neighborhood cats who keep leaving you presents in your herb planters to ~fork off~.

13. Cut the bottoms out of milk jugs to protect seedings while they get started and create a little warm greenhouse for each and every one.

14. Cinderblocks make a cheap, neat, and easy-to-assemble raised garden bed.

15. Mix vinegar and Dawn dish soap together for a very effective but nontoxic weed killer.

16. Spear old wine corks on kebab skewers for easy and cheap row or pot markers.

17. When your peony bush starts to bloom, cut a few stems to store in the refrigerator — they'll last there for up to a month, and at any point until then you can pull one or two (or more!) out of the fridge and put 'em in water to bloom for up to seven days.

18. Fill a shallow dish with an inch or so of water and rocks or marbles so the bees and butterflies that visit your garden never go thirsty (and can drink without drowning).

19. Don't toss that set of solar-powered pathway lights you loved so much last year just because they don't work anymore; swap out the batteries and they'll be good as new.

Happy gardening! Have some smart hacks you've tried through the years? Share 'em in the comments!

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