Whether you’re a certified black thumb or you consider gardening the love of your life, sometimes you just want to make gardening time easier. Gardening hacks give you the shortcuts necessary to spend less time struggling and more time literally smelling the roses. It’s spring, so if you’ve waited until “spring cleaning” to spiffy up those old clay pots, you’re probably facing some tough deposits. Mix equal parts water, white vinegar and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle, then simply spray and scrub to quickly remove residue of previous plants. This will give you a clean slate for new potting.


Have you been battling with the line of your string trimmer, leading to endless jams or even Happy Grandmother with her granddaughter working in the gardenbreakage? The next time you tackle this tool, spray it with vegetable oil prior to installing the trimmer. Coconut oil will also do the trick. A little preventative prepping can go a long way in making your tools last longer.


1. Mani Maintenance


Love to garden, but want to keep your manicure looking fresh, too? Simply scrape your fingernails across a soap bar and you’ll “seal” the undersides. The end result? Dirt and soil can’t collect there, and all you need is a simple nailbrush to quickly remove the soap layer after playing in the dirt. Who says both you and your yard can’t look gorgeous?


2. Always Be Prepared


It seems like you always need gardening twine at the least opportune time. To make sure it’s always handy, put a ball in a clay pot and pull the end out of the drain hole. Put the pot upside down near your garden for an instant, protected and easy twine holder. If you have kids, they can even customize it with a little acrylic paint.


3. Measure Up


Any tool with a long handle can be made into a measuring stick when it’s past its prime. Mark off inches, feet or any other unit of measurement you prefer. Planting things within uniform distances can be impossible to eyeball and you don’t want to get your fabric tape unnecessarily dirty. The best measuring device is probably something you already have around, like that dull shovel.


4. Keep It Tidy


Don’t like the looks of markers you buy at the store or what comes with your seed packs? Use natural stones with flat faces as markers. All you need is a permanent marker, some good handwriting (you can outsource this) and you’ll instantly pretty up the garden while giving it an au natural appeal. Ditch the plastic that looks tacky and the cheap wood markers that get dirty.


5. Pest Control


Aphids are one of the most common pests to plague a garden, but mix a strong hose blast with simple insecticidal soap and you’ll send them running. However, a greener option is simply using tape. Get some wide tape, put it around your hand (sticky side out) and pat down the leaves. Kids can also help with this, but focus mostly on the underside of leaves where aphids like to hide.