Homeowners have the exciting (and for some people, daunting) task of sprucing up their flower beds or starting a vegetable garden every spring. The large crowds at hardware store garden centers might tell you otherwise, but you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have a yard display you can be proud of. These frugal hacks are simple enough that you don’t have to be a DIY expert, but you can still make yours the best looking garden on the block this spring.
Mix everyday materials into your soil.
All good things start with the basics – in the case of your garden, it’s soil. Coffee grounds give garden soil extra nutrients to help your veggies grow. Pulverize egg shells in a blender and add them to the soil to give it a calcium boost. Start a compost pile instead of tossing orange rinds, vegetable discards, or other recyclable kitchen waste to make your soil healthier.
Use a colander as a plant basket.
You can grab a colander fairly cheap at your nearest superstore, and use it just like one of those expensive pottery plant hangers. Colanders aren’t all plastic and unattractive: most stores carry metal colanders that come in bright colors, perfect for a garden. The colander allows natural drainage, and ensures you won’t overwater your plants. They’ll add a rustic and original look to your pergola or front porch.
Use glow-in-the-dark paint on your garden pots.
You can make your yard look enchanted without investing in expensive twinkle lights or rigging unsafe electricity along your garden path. Glow-in-the-dark paint on garden pots will naturally illuminate your pathway, creating a stunning effect. No bulbs to change, and no lights to turn on and off.
Try DIY pest and weed control.
Cinnamon sprinkled in your garden can stop bugs in their tracks. Baking soda can be used as a weed killer, a non-toxic fungicide and even kill cabbage worms. Lastly, lemongrass is a natural mosquito repellant, so strategically planting some next to your outdoor sitting area will smell much more pleasant than bug spray.
Use potted seasonal plants in your flower beds.
Your flower beds can look like a million bucks without the hassle of digging up seasonal plants after they’ve seen better days. Dig holes large enough for an empty plant sleeve, and insert your favorite in-season flowers. When it’s time to change the flowers, just remove the sleeve and replace with your next pot of flowers.
Empty wine bottles for the win.
We could dedicate an entire article to all the things you can do with your leftover wine bottles, but some of the easiest uses include: edging your raised garden bed, holding candles during an outdoor dinner party, and using as plant markers.
Paint cinder blocks for a custom look.
On their own, cinder blocks aren’t the most attractive fixture for your garden or flower beds, but slap on some paint and it completely changes their look. Fill the interior holes with soil to separate different flowers, herbs or vegetables, and you’ll turn plain concrete blocks into a garden statement.