15 Incredible Gardening Hacks for SummerJason AdamsDIY Garden0 Comments 0 Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just starting out, there is something you should know. During the hot summer months, gardening can be a real chore. While it may be tempting to avoid your garden altogether, allowing your year-long efforts to dry up into a wasteland of dead flowers and vegetables, you should know you CAN maintain a healthy garden during the summer. However, you’re going to have to be mindful of the factors that come into play in order to be successful. First, it’s important to understand that keeping adequate moisture levels within the soil is extremely difficult when the temperatures outside are reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit on a daily basis. Your focus should be maintaining moisture levels in the root zone of your plants so they can flourish during the harsher months of August and September. Another issue to keep in mind is many states have water restrictions during the summer, therefore you have to get creative when it comes to maintaining proper water levels within your garden. Seedlings and what types of plants you decide to cultivate during the summer is another big issue. Some plants simply cannot thrive during the summer and will be DOA the moment you get them in the ground, others may get to the seedling stage, but quickly perish due to the lack of proper climate control. Research is KEY if you wish to have a successful summer garden. Be sure you have the right location, climate and soil before you begin spending money or it could end in disappointment. When it comes to fertilization, you want to be sure to fertilize every 4-6 weeks according to most experts and a slow-release lawn food is crucial so the plants and soil are consistently being drenched in nutrients. It’s also important to stay on top of your weeds because they grow more rapidly in during the summer months. Crabgrass can be a real problem for people living in more arid areas. As you can see, summer gardening can be a very delicate balancing act and there are so many more things you have to consider. From droughts to flash flooding or insect invasions, the summer can be brutal on those who have a green thumb. However, if you get creative, there are so many amazing things you can do to make gardening in the hot summer months more tolerable. If you’re looking for some fun and creative gardening hacks for summer, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 15 tips that will not only allow you to have a successful planting season, but can help you break out of the mold and try something new this summer! 15. Make Your Own Rain Barrel www.treehugger.com During the hot summer months, rain can be scarce depending on where you live (California? Sorry for your luck). And in some states, regardless of the rain, water regulations can be put in place for watering your lawn, which could be a death sentence for your garden. Thankfully, there is a way around this by creating your very own rain barrel! Simply take a plastic trash can with a lid, and cut a small rectangle in the top. You can then add a faucet to the bottom and the upper side, for easy access to the water. Now you can water your garden regularly and naturally, even if rain is scarce! How cool is that? 14. Create Non-Toxic Weed Killer financeswithfunk.com During the hot summer months you must be super careful when ridding your garden of weeds. Not only are the root systems of your plants and vegetables more shallow, but they are more susceptible to chemicals. However, you don’t have to rely on super-potent weed killers in order to rid your garden of the pests, you can easily make your own at home. All you have to do is mix dawn dish soap, salt and apple cider vinegar together. That’s it. Spray it lightly over the weeds you want to gone and BOOM. You’ll have a weed-free garden and your precious flowers and plants won’t be impacted. 13. Start Seedlings in Egg Shells apartmenttherapy.com If you’re looking to start seedlings during the summer it’s very important you don’t just plant them directly in the ground. The soil not only will be way too dry, but it will lack the essential nutrients needed to sprout them properly. One neat trick for starting seedlings inside is by planting them in egg shells. The egg shells not only create a moisture-controlled environment, but provide a mix of nutrients the seedlings need to flourish. 12. Nourish Soil with Egg Shells www.seedsnow.com Just as we mentioned before that egg shells are great for starting seedlings, crushed up egg shells are actually perfect for fertilizing your full grown garden. Egg shells contain amino acids and proteins that help keep the acidity and pH levels in the soil balanced. This can be essential during the dry summer months where soil moisture and quality can be compromised. What’s great about this trick is you don’t have to do anything fancy, just crush up egg shells and sprinkle them around your plants! Super simple! 11. Diapers for Potted Plants www.pinterest.com If you own potted plants, it’s important to keep them well hydrated and during the summer that can be difficult. Therefore, we suggest placing diapers at the bottom of your pots before you add the soil. The diapers will become a moisture barrier, trapping the excess water during your normal watering and preventing it from escaping out of the bottom of the pot. Cool, right? 10. Shaved Soap for Animal Prevention vermontfarmheart.com There’s nothing worse than animals such as rabbits and raccoons tearing up your garden and during the summer when food is scarce your plants can be considered “high risk.” However, we have a simple solution: soap shavings. All you need to do is shave a bar of soap around the perimeter of your garden and around the plants. The soap will ward off any critters due to its taste and smell, keeping your plants safe all year long! 9. Citrus Peels for Aphids homeguides.com Aphids can spell death for a garden if the infestation isn’t taken care of quickly enough and to make matters worse, most chemicals can kill your plants as well when you try to exterminate the pesky critters. Thankfully, there’s an all-natural way to rid your garden of these aphid invaders–orange peels! Aphids absolutely HATE citrus and have no desire to eat anything within the vicinity of such fruit, so by sprinkling the peels around your garden you can create an invisible barrier to keep those critters at bay! 8. Tea Bags for Extra Nutrients healthtipsportal.com If you want to find a useful job for your old tea bags, planting them in your garden is the perfect alternative to throwing them away. Tea is filled with antioxidants that help enrich your soil, balance pH and creates the perfect environment for your plants to grow. While any tea bags will work, most gardening experts recommend green tea due to the minerals and plethora of antioxidants. 7. Coffee Grounds for Soil Acidity builddirect.com One way to drastically improve your soil acidity during the summer months is utilizing coffee grounds. Most people throw their coffee grounds away, but they actually work wonders in your soil! All you need to do is mix them in after you’ve brewed some coffee. It’s that simple and your soil’s acidity will be just the perfect balance for optimal growth. 6. Epsom Salt for Seed Germination practic-ideas.com Seed germination during the summer is inherently difficult. Not only are the weather conditions a problem, but the soil is dry, lacks acidity and doesn’t provide an environment that allows seeds to thrive. However, you can change that with Epsom salt. An old trick that’s used by gardeners around the world, the salt helps encourage seeds to grow by creating an attractive soil environment. 5. Shower Caddies for Cheap Hanging Garden pgeveryday.com If you’re interested in breaking out of the mold this summer, we suggest changing things up and create a hanging garden. Due to the fact soil in the summer can become dry, compacted and barren, using a hanging technique can help you control the environment your plants are exposed to. This cute idea utilizes shower caddies as the base, giving you a fun and create way to garden outside of the box. And best of all, you don’t have to worry about shallow root systems or lack of water! 4. Shoe Rack Herb Garden pinterest.com Herbs are very delicate and planting them during the summer can become a real problem with the soil conditions. Not only is the soil dry and retaining more heat, but due to the soil being loose it creates shallow root systems that can’t withstand the elements. We suggest creating a hanging herb garden and the easiest way to do it is by re-purposing an old cloth shoe rack. You can add soil to the different pockets, as well as fertilizer and keep your herbs growing in their own individual pouches. Even better, the garden is completely mobile, so you can bring it inside on days that are hotter than most. 3. Baking Soda for Less Tart Tomatoes stuff.co.nz Did you know hotter weather can make tomatoes tart? We didn’t either, but after rounding up some research we discovered that during the summer months, the heat index can actually change the flavor of the tomato. However, not all is lost. One way to combat this problem is by adding baking soda to your water. The baking soda actually interacts with the fruiting plants and changes the flavor of the tomato. How cool is that? 2. Seed Testing on Paper awaytogarden.com Before you spend money on maintaining a summer garden, it’s important to test your seeds. Not all seeds will sprout and some can be DOA from the packet. And with summer being such a hard time to grow, you don’t want to be tending to your soil and crushing egg shells all over the place if nothing is going to sprout. One of the easiest ways to test your seeds is to lay them out on moist paper towels. The ones that are going to sprout, will begin to on the wet paper towel. The ones that are dead, will just remain the same. Once the sprouted ones have begun to show signs of life, you can easily plant them in soil so they can mature. 1. Vodka for Fresh Cut Flowers farmfreshtoyou.com While this isn’t exactly a gardening tip per say, it is a helpful trick for keeping flowers from your garden vibrant longer during the hot summer months. All you need to do is add some vodka (any brand) to your flowers’ water. Not only will they not wilt, but they will maintain their fresh cut look for much longer even in the higher temperatures. Pretty neat, right?