Gardening is a fine art, and getting it right can often be a process of trial and error. The hard work needed to maintain and grow your garden can feel like a chore, but at Qwickhose, we want the time invested in your outdoor space to be a pleasure.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best garden hacks to make the experience easy and enjoyable. So, whether protecting your plants from pests or keeping your soil moister for longer, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

1.    Household waste to fend off pests

It’s often said that outdoor pests like slugs and snails are a gardener’s worst enemy. If your plants constantly fall victim to these little freeloaders, these everyday household waste items provide a useful, green garden hack to keep them at bay.

Crushed egg shells being used to protect a pot plant from pests

Peter Burks, a horticultural expert over at Potter & Rest, has long claimed that old coffee granules deter slugs and snails while using grapefruit skins cut in half and turned upside down around your plants can also help discourage them. With their soft underbellies, slugs and snails also find it hard to crawl over rough terrain, so crushed-up eggshells around the bottom of your plants can help to form a buffer zone.

2.    Repurpose sprouting plants

We’ve all been guilty of keeping an old onion or garlic in the back of the cupboard until it starts to sprout. Instead of throwing it in the bin or compost, though, why consider this useful garden hack? Pop a sprouting garlic clove in a glass of water to help nurture the sprouts, and in three to five days, you should have a fragrant, tangy edible shoot that’s a great alternative to spring onions.

Alternatively, for sprouting root vegetables, find them a patch of moist, fast-draining soil. Then, with a little TLC and favourable weather, you could have the makings of your very own backyard vegetable patch!

3.    Make your own breezeblock bed

Not everyone’s got the skill or resources to put together a wooden garden bed, let alone maintain them against the weather. Breezeblocks make a durable and low-cost alternative. Just stack them to the height you want and fill the gaps with your soil of choice. To make them more enticing, try a lick of paint or building earth around them for a more natural feel.

4.    Make your own bee-bath

Bees are a crucial part of our eco-system and can help pollinate your garden, too. Fill a shallow dish with a couple of centimetres of water and a few rocks or marbles. This gives bees, butterflies and other vital pollinating insects somewhere to drink without drowning.

A small bowl with water covered rocks in it forming a bee bath

5.    Make organic weed killer

Striking a balance between keeping your garden free from invasive species without damaging the local eco-system can be tricky. Mix 500ml of white vinegar with two tablespoons of salt and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Stir it well and decant it into a spray bottle to make an organic weed killer. Make sure to handle it with care (we recommend gloves and goggles!) and keep it out of children’s reach; this can be a great green way to keep your garden weed free.

6.    Soak your seeds before sowing

If your seeds aren’t breaking dormancy, it could result from dehydration. Try soaking them in warm water for 24 hours before sowing, as this can help them absorb water before germination. This won’t work as well on smaller seeds, but for larger ones, it can break down their outer coating and help them sprout faster.

seeds being soaked in a bowl of water

7.    Keep your soil moist with nappies

This uncommon garden hack isn’t as strange as it sounds. If you’re going on holiday and don’t have someone to water your flowerpots, you can use this method to keep the soil moist for days at a time. Just lay clean nappies on top of your flowerpots or hanging baskets. They’ll absorb water and release it gradually into the soil as and when the plant needs it.

8.    Vodka to keep flowers fresh

The alcohol content in vodka inhibits bacteria growth, so a few drops in a vase of water can help keep the water clean for cut flowers. A teaspoon of sugar or a handful of old pennies can help, too, as the acids in the sugar or copper keep harmful bacteria at bay and retain freshness in your flowers.

9.    Coffee filters to keep your garden clean

If you’re tired of brown stains on your decking or patio from plant pots, try this useful garden hack. Block the soil seepage by lining the bottoms of your plant pots with coffee filters. Water will still drain easily, but it won’t take the unsightly dirt with it, keeping your patio or decking stain-free.

10. Use bottles as mini-greenhouses

With the unpredictable British weather, giving your seedlings the best chance at sprouting can be tricky. But you can use this handy garden hack to maximise their growth opportunity. First, take an old plastic bottle and cut it in half. Then, insert the top half into the ground around your planted seed.

a mini-greenhouse made from a halved plastic bottle

It provides shelter from the wind and cold, and the open bottleneck will allow air, water and sunlight to benefit the seedling.

11. Make your fertiliser using weeds

If there’s an unsightly nettle bush near your house, try this useful garden hack to transform it into fertiliser. After donning a robust pair of gardening gloves, fill a bucket with nettles and top it up with water, weigh them down with a stone and leave them for a couple of weeks.

Remove the nettles and keep the liquid which can be diluted with more water, to a ratio of around 20:1 to provide a nitrogen-rich fertiliser on leafy plants like kale or broccoli.

12. Maximise your watering capabilities with the Qwickhose® Starter Set

If you find that you’re going through numerous hose adapters because they’re breaking or leaking, consider switching to a revolutionary Qwickhose® connector. The innovative wing-lock attachment system doesn’t pop off due to a greater hose grip than standard connectors, reducing leakage. The starter set also includes a space-saving wall mount to keep your hose setup tidy all year round.

Take a look at our products for more information, or please get in touch with any queries.

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