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Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living

A Collection of Garden Hacks from Friends and Co-Workers

Apr 26, 2018 11:00AM ● By Enjoy Magazine

Garden Party

May 2018
By Patrick John

WE ARE OFFICIALLY full-on into the spring gardening season. It’s been a bit of a time crunch lately, and I’ve been trying to balance time at work, with family, and trying to make sure my yard isn’t the sorriest patch on the block. It’s amazing what we can come up with when trying to simplify and save time. I’ve been collecting garden hacks over the past few months from friends, co-workers and the web. I figured it would only be fair to share them with everyone, so here are a few of my favorites. If you’ve never heard the term “hack” used in this manner, a hack is a clever or useful way to adapt or improve something.

• Grass clumping or sticking to the inside of the lawnmower?  Make sure the underside is clean, then coat it generously with non-stick cooking spray. Be safe – make sure your gas and oil reservoirs won’t spill if you tip the mower back.

• Hanging plants can be hard to water without the excess water spilling out or dripping from the bottom. Open up a clean baby diaper and put it in the bottom of the planter before potting plants.  Those diapers can hold a LOT of liquid and keep things moist.

• When you water smaller potted plants, soil often comes out the drainage holes. Prevent soil loss by putting two coffee filters into the bottom of the pot before you plant. The filters allow water to drain, but keep the soil in place.

• Planting from seeds? An empty rotisserie chicken container with a clear lid is a perfect mini greenhouse to use as a seed starter.

• Neighborhood cats often like to do their business in garden areas and planters. You can fill small areas with pine cones to deter cats and other small animals from walking on them. Sometimes a border of pine cones can do the trick. Sprinkling pepper or chili powder in the beds is also a good deterrent – cats hate the smell.

• No one likes to pick weeds. If you want to try the eco-friendly route to killing weeds, use a mixture of one gallon white vinegar, one cup of salt and three tablespoons of dish soap. Many people swear by this method. Once the salt dissolves, use in a household spray bottle or weed sprayer.

• Rusty garden tools or barbecue grate? Scrubbing them with pieces of potato or cucumber can take off the rust.

These helpful hacks should get your mind moving. If you’ve got a great hack of your own, share it with us on Enjoy’s Facebook page. •