MY TOP 50 SECRET GARDENING IDEAS & HACKS FOR BEGINNERS AND EXPERTS | GARDEN SECRETS
MY TOP 50 SECRET GARDENING IDEAS
1. Grow a Jungle
Living in a city can be frustrating when you want to grow fruits and vegetables to feed yourself. With poor air quality and overdevelopment, it's often difficult to create a garden, let alone a jungle. That's why I love this suggestion; it gives me the feeling of being in a zoo and being able to feed the animals myself! If you're worried about animals getting into your garden, then build a stone wall around it or install some electric fencing. The benefits of a jungle garden are countless: you'll have fresh fruit and vegetables all year long, interesting insects to watch, and a real-life version of Lord of the Jungle. Win-win-win.
2. Grow Organic
The health benefits of organic gardening are plentiful; it can protect us against pesticides and synthetic chemicals that are found in many conventional grocery stores. When shopping for organic produce, look for products that are stored and shipped in solar-powered greenhouses to maintain the fresh-fruit quality. In the long term, going organic reduces your carbon footprint too, as it prevents the need for pesticides, which in turn prevents the need for fertilizers.
3. Use Companion Plants
Companion plants can enhance each other's flavors and textures, and they can improve the overall look of your garden. For example, consider growing sweet peppers alongside eggplants or tomatoes, both fruits, or even some lettuce. If space allows, try forking one plant into two, with one portion dedicated to fruiting and the other portion for foliage, such as in the case of a pole bean.
4. Grow Basket Weeds
Most people think of weeds when they think of gardening, but these are some of the most nutritious foods out there. Basket weeds are great for creating a natural border or for adding height to a bouquet of flowers. You can also try growing them inside, since they're more resilient than many other plants and can take more abuse.
5. Use Mulch
Mulch is one of the basics of organic gardening. Without it, your garden will quickly turn into a muddy mess, which is an unpleasant sight. There are many types of mulch, so choose one that best suits your needs. I love this idea because it adds another dimension of beauty to my garden; it makes it look more organic. I also use it to protect my seedlings from freezing in winter, especially during those harsh Toronto winters. In the long run, mulched gardens produce higher yields than non-mulched ones. In addition, some types of mulch, such as compost and rock chips, can provide useful nutrients for your garden.
6. Start A Cottage Industry
If you've ever tried growing your own produce, then you know how expensive it can be to purchase tomato vines and pepper plants. What you can do instead is grow organic veggies such as courgettes (zucchini), aubergines (eggplant), and green peppers, and sell them at a profit to other gardeners. The more you make, the more you'll be able to spend on other gardening essentials.
7. Use Natural Fertilizers
Another thing you can do is to incorporate natural fertilizers into your soil. Animal manures, such as composted horse or cow manure, are great for this. Just add them to your soil and don't worry about the smell, which, in most cases, goes away quickly. This will not only improve the nutrients available to your plants but will add a touch of nature into your garden and give it a more holistic look.
8. Include Flowers
Flowers are an essential part of any garden. Besides adding color and life to your yard, they can serve as food for many insects and even some small animals, such as birds. When choosing which ones to include, consider what you already have around your home. Do you have a lot of sun? Then you might want to grow tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers, all of which can be used to make sauce, pickles, and chutney.
9. Create A Cold Frame
A cold frame is essentially a miniature greenhouse that can be built on a patio or even an outdoor area, such as a balcony. They don't get too cold even in the worst weather, so you can bring your potted plants inside and give them some protection from the wind and occasional frost. The benefits of a cold frame include adding yet another dimension of beauty to your outdoor space, providing you with some extra food supplies during the off-season, and giving you the ability to experiment with different types of vegetables and flowers. You can find many different designs for cold frames online, so you can maximize the use of the space available.
10. Build A Cageless Chicken Coop
If you've ever tried keeping chickens, then you know how annoying it can be to constantly monitor their eggs for signs of freshness. This is where a cageless chicken coop comes in handy. They don't need to be nested in a hole in the ground or raised over a pool of water; they can simply be placed on a patio or in the yard and let nature take its course. The beauty of this method is that you don't have to constantly check for eggs or feed them daily, as the chickens will do this for you. The end result is a basket full of delicious organic eggs that are free from disease.
11. Grow Fruit Cocktails And Berries
Mixing different fruits and vegetables together to make a harmonious whole is a form of cooking that goes back thousands of years. There are many health benefits to eating your fruits and vegetables, especially when they're in synergy with other ingredients. Growing your own fruit cocktails and berries is ideal for those looking to add more nutrients to their diets and naturally enhance their fruit and veggie consumption. The choice of which fruits and vegetables you want to include in your mix is entirely up to you, but remember that the more variety the better, to ensure you receive the maximum nutritional benefits from each ingredient. Mixing different types of herbs and spices also makes for a unique taste that can't be replicated by any store-bought product.
12. Use Native Plants
Plants that originated in a certain area have natural defenses against pests and diseases that are endemic to that area. For example, the tomato plant is believed to have originated in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. Its natural enemies include the Colorado potato beetle and the tobacco beetle. The potato beetle digs into the soil to reach the underground organs of the plant, while the tobacco beetle lays its eggs on the undersides of leaves, where they hatch and begin to feed. If you're growing the plant for its fruit, then the chances of it being infested by these kinds of pests is relatively small, since the plant's natural enemies are more than capable of handling them. However, if you're growing the seed to see how the plant grows or to include in your flower bed, then it's a different story. You'll need to research whether or not these plants are poisonous to your specific type of animal or pet, otherwise, you may experience an adverse reaction when feeding them.
13. Eat What You Want
If you've ever tried growing your own food, then you know that every vegetable and fruit is not created equal. Certain ones are better suited to be eaten raw, while others need to be cooked or prepared in some way before being eaten. This means that, even though you might have plenty of food on your plate when you walk outside, you might not actually like some of it. The solution is to decide what you want to eat and to grow it. You might decide that, for the time being, you want to eat some prepackaged food items that you can get at the grocery store because they're quick and easy, or you might decide that you want to eat only what you grow because it has a fresher and more appealing taste (like in the case of young tomatoes vs. old tomatoes). The point is to choose what you want to eat and make sure that you grow it (if you're not sure where to start, then just research which ones are most suited for your region).
14. Find A Hobby Farm
This is similar to the idea of starting a cottage industry, but on a smaller, more personal scale. If you're looking to add an element of nature to your life, then you might want to consider looking for a hobby farm. These are small, family-run businesses that enable you to connect with nature and with other people who are also interested in living a more eco-friendly and self-sufficient life. You might even be able to form a community with other like-minded individuals, who share your passion for healthy, organic food.