10 Simple Gardening Hacks

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In need of a good green thumb? Spring is the perfect time to kick up that tired Winter soil and breathe some life into it with a bountiful and colourful garden. But there is a reason why some gardens flourish while others wilt away, and you can ask anyone who has spent time in the dirt that it's not as simple as it looks. In need of a few pointers? 
Here, we'll give you 10 simple (and useful!) hacks for your garden that will help your Spring garden be the most beautiful it can be, and keep those nosy neighbours peeking over the fence in envy.

1.) Create your own measuring stick

Any long-handled tool can be turned into a measuring stick. Simply lay one next to a tape measure, and use a permanent marker to write inch and foot marks on the handle. When you need to space plants by a certain distance, you'll already have the measuring device in your hand. 
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2.) Create natural plant markers

Write or paint the names of plants on the flat surfaces of stones, then place them near or at the base of your plants.  Waterproof paint markers are awesome for this.
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3.) Dry herbs in the car

For the fastest way of drying out garden herbs, simply lay a sheet of newspaper or a baking tray covered in kitchen towel on the seat or boot of your car. Arrange the herbs in a single layer, then roll windows up and close the doors. Not only will your herbs be dried to perfection, but your car will smell like a fresh botanical wonderland.
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4.) Chamomile tea to control fungus

Chamomile tea is an awesome and organic way to control damping-off fungus which can attack young seedlings suddenly. Add a spot of tea to the soil surrounding the base of seedlings once weeklong, or use it as a foliar spray.
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5.) Coffee grounds for acid-loving plants

Coffee grounds (or even leftover tea) help acidity the soil of acid-loving plants like rhododendrons, camellias, gardenias, and azaleas. Give these plants a light spring of approximately one-quarter of an inch each month to keep the acidic pH soil levels.
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6.) Make your own twine holder

Garden twine can easily get lost in the mess of your garden tools. To keep garden twine handy, stick a ball of twine in a small clay pot and pull the end of the twine through the drainage hole. Set the pot upside down and never go looking for twine again.
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7.) Sticky aphids

Aphids can be controlled with blasts of hose water or insecticidal soap, but for a more unconventional way of controlling the little pests wrap a wide strip of tape around your hand (with the sticky side facing out) and pat the underside of plant leaves to pick up any hiding aphids.
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8.) Feed your garden vegetable soup

The next time you boil or steam vegetables, save the leftover water to feed to potted or garden plants. They'll love the extra nutrients from this 'vegetable soup'.
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9.) Remove salt deposits naturally

Clay pots covered in salt deposits? Combine equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water into a spray bottle and apply the mixture to the pot. Scrub with a brush, then let the pot dry before using it in your garden.
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10.) No more dirty fingernails

Nothing is more frustrating than stubborn dirt trapped under fingernails. To prevent an accumulation of dirt under nails while tending to your garden, draw fingernails across a bar of soap to seal the undersides of the nail. After finishing your work, use a nailbrush to remove soap. Voila! Sparkling clean fingernails.
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Written by: carhoots
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