7 Easy Hacks for Your Best Spring Garden Yet

gardening

Spring is here! Now that the ground is finally warm and frost-free, it’s the perfect time to flex your green thumb and get to work on sprucing up your spring garden. As our first round of home improvement tips, here are 7 gardening hacks to up your gardening game with minimum effort.

gardening

  1. Make your own compost. Help your plants grow faster and stronger by mixing coffee grounds and egg shells into the soil as compost. Kitchen scraps, leaves, and shredded paper also make for great compost. By making your own compost, you’ll get the added benefit of saving money.
  2. Reuse your cooking water. Boil some veggies or pasta earlier today? Reuse the cooking water by using it to water your plants. This is a great way to add a little more nutrition to your soil. Just make sure to let the water cool down before you use it on your plants.
  3. Use milk jugs to water indoor plants. Punch small holes in the lid of an empty milk jug, and voilà – you’ve got a watering jug that won’t leave puddles behind each time you water your plants. The jug’s handle makes it easier for you to pour, while the holes in the lid ensure even water distribution.
  4. Soak seeds before planting them. This is one of the more common gardening tips out there. Soaking seeds allow them to germinate faster, which ultimately means faster-growing plants. Soak seeds in hot water for up to 24 hours before planting them in your garden.
  5. Space seeds evenly with toilet paper. Tired of losing track of tiny seeds (like carrot seeds)? Place the seeds along the center of a strip of moist toilet paper. Fold the toilet paper strip up so the seeds are completely covered and place the strips in the soil. Soon your garden will be filled with plants in neat, evenly spaced rows.
  6. Make your own plant markers. Why spend on plant markers from the store when you can make your own? Grab those wine corks you have laying around, write your plant names on them, and then insert a bamboo skewer into the end of each cork. Now your plants are evenly spaced and properly labeled.
  7. Make an indoor herb garden. No space for a backyard garden? No worries. You can grow herbs and greens in containers right in your kitchen. You can use egg cartons or even mason jars to grow herbs such as basil, parsley, rosemary, and thyme indoors.

With these gardening hacks, your spring garden will be worthy of being featured on any home and garden show. Need extra help in making your garden flourish? Check out our selection of Home and Garden items at MassGenie.com.

5 Ways to Start Being Eco-Friendly Today

We can all agree that motherhood is difficult, but there’s one mom that has it harder than the rest – Mother Earth. Fortunately, it’s not too late to make it up to her and start on the path to eco-friendliness. Here are 5 easy things you can do today to be more environment-friendly.

Solar Panels

  1. Go solar. By switching to solar power, you can help further combat greenhouse gas emissions and lower the world’s collective dependence on fossil fuels. Using solar panel kits (like this 300W solar panel kit or this 100W solar starter kit from Renogy) make the transition easier, since these kits already contain all the components you need to start using solar power for your home.
  2. Install low-flow showerheads and dual-flush toilets. Do you know how much water you waste in the bathroom? Make every drop of water count by using low-flow showerheads and dual-flush toilets (a dual-flush toilet lets you use less water to get rid of liquid waste). And, while you’re fixing up your house’s plumbing, make sure you repair leaky faucets, too.
  3. Bring your own bag when you go out shopping. Plastic bags release toxic chemicals into soil and pose serious threats to animals in all ecosystems. Avoid using these horrible disposable plastic bags and start using reusable shopping bags instead. Doing this not only helps preserve the environment but can also earn you some pocket money; some retailers offer to pay customers for every disposable bag they don’t take.
  4. Go meat-free once a week. Data at worldwildlife.org states that producing a kilogram of beef takes 100,000 liters. By going meat-free once a week, you can do your share in reducing the demand for meat, which helps not only save water but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  5. Use eco-friendly gadgets. No need to give up using technology to be more eco-friendly; just make sure you’re using the right gadgets. There’s a huge variety of eco-friendly gadgets for you to choose from, from energy-conserving televisions to solar-powered media players. You may even find that the best external hard drive for your computer is energy-efficient, too.