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As we prepare for the arrival of spring and upcoming growing season, most seek out ways to save time and money in their gardening endeavors. Using the following tips, which you can put into practice before winter’s end, will have you sitting back and enjoying the fruits of your labor in no time while saving a few dollars.

Packing Peanuts, Coffee Filters, and Diapers

What do packing peanuts, coffee filters, and diapers all have in common? They are great for keeping the moisture and dirt inside your planters.  Many gardeners layer the base of planters with pebbles or stone prior to adding dirt and plant to prevent soil from washing out the drain holes. One method of preventing this from happening without the added weight of rocks is by utilizing packing peanuts. Not only are these are lightweight, but they are less expensive than adding extra soil or rock and will allow for proper drainage.

You don’t have packing peanuts available? Line the bottom of the container with a coffee filter. It will cover the drain holes, preventing soil runoff. Another unique approach to keeping moisture and dirt in your planter is to insert a diaper in the bottom of the container prior to filling. Be sure to place the plastic side of the diaper downward. The diaper will help the soil retain moisture for any water-loving plants, reducing the amount and how often you need to water them.

Seedling Containers

When starting plants from seeds or seedlings, many gardeners turn to seedling trays. Instead of using these trays utilize citrus peels and eggshells. Cut a lemon in half widthwise and remove the pulp, leaving the rind intact. Fill the two empty rind halves with dirt and insert seed or seedling. Eggshells work as well. Try breaking the shell across the middle resulting in two relative sized halves.

As with the lemon, use the two ends as planter pots. Using an empty egg carton is an ideal tray to hold the shells and seedlings upright while starting them indoors. When you are ready to plant your sprouts outdoor merely place the entire plant within its peel or shell pot into the ground. The container will decompose and provide nutrients for the young plant.


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