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So you live in the city.

You have a busy job...

You're not home a lot...

You go out on the weekends...

You have no space to start a garden...

You don't even have a yard...

These are all urban gardening problems (and preventions from having a garden in the city), right?

Well, not anymore! Here are 40+ urban gardening life hacks that leave you with no excuses! So go start the garden you've always wanted :)

Let's get your green thumb on...

Step 1: Garbage Smoothie

Before we can begin gardening, we need a recipe for compost. Because whether you're farming inside, on the patio, or on a large plot of land, you need a good compost to energize and invigorate your soil and, thus, your plants.

But when you're working all day and living in a city, who has time or space to keep a compost pile for months or years? Can you imagine what the neighbors would say (and smell)!?

Enter: INSTANT COMPOST. Aka: the Garbage Smoothie.

This is just super easy and can be done with every breakfast you make. ;)

Supplies and Ingredients:

Blender

Banana peels*

Egg shells

Coffee grinds and residue

Water

*IMPORTANT NOTE: If you don't have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, you may have to chop up the banana peels before putting them into your blender. One member experienced their blender burning out from the whole banana peel getting stuck in the blade. Just be aware when blending this concoction. (It may also help to put the water and other ingredients in first before the peels. Maybe this would help keep the blade lubricated while blending something tougher like a banana peel? It might also help by not having the banana peel down in the blade first.) Thank you member LaM9 for this important note.

The Process:

Put all of the ingredients into your blender and blend for 1-3 minutes. You can play around with the amounts of each ingredient as you see fit, but this mix is pretty forgiving. Just throw in however much you already have of each. For the water, fill it up until it's thin enough for you to pour easily.

How to Use it:

Dump your garbage smoothie into a water can (or an alternate DIY water can from the next step) that either has bigger holes or one large hole. Or add more water to your mix to make it run easily through your normal watering can's holes. Sprinkle it across your garden, over the pots in your house or on your patio, or on any plants that need a pick-me-up.

The benefits of eggshells and coffee grinds are featured in the following steps of this 'ible. But...

Here are the benefits of banana peels for your garden:

Banana peels contain the following nutrients, which are beneficial to your garden in the following ways (from: http://themicrogardener.com/diy-fertilisers-how-to...)...

1. Potassium – helps promote general plant vigour; helps build up resistance to pest and disease; necessary in fruit development; is involved in regulating around 50 enzymes in a plant and relates to the turgor (or uprightness of stems and the thickness of cell walls) i.e. plant strength! This is extremely important for plants like staghorns which literally hang onto tree trunks in nature and vertical veggies like shallots, leeks and fruiting crops.

2. Phosphorus – strongly influences fruiting and flowering; is essential for good root and shoot growth; pollination; and is very important in seed germination and viability.

3. Calcium – the most important mineral in the soil and known as the ‘Trucker of all minerals;’ is the ‘ingredient’ of cell walls concerned with root development and growing stem points and helps ‘open up’ soil to allow more oxygen.

NOTE 1: Don't worry about the fact that you're blending this concoction in your regular household blender...It looks grosser then it really is. If you think about it, these are all natural items you use otherwise (it's not like you're grinding up bugs and worms, dirt, moldy trash, disease-infested water, etc). If it really drives you nuts, go to your local thrift store and pick up a blender that's specifically only for making your instant compost.

NOTE 2: "The mixture isn't technically compost yet, so it might not see immediate benefits. However, breaking down the raw materials in a blender will let mother nature decompose them faster, and your garden will reap the rewards without any additional work since the entire process is happening within the soil. Do this for a few weeks, and you should start noticing more earthworms and healthier plants." (From: http://lifehacker.com/5994471/blend-your-old-food-...)

Step 2: Gatorade...H20!

To fuel your garden's every need, just add water! :)

But unlike the guzzling football players in my movie reference, Water Boy, your tender plants need a regular supply of water, not a flood. Therefore, here are a few watering hacks for garden and plant success!


WINE BOTTLE:

Fill a wine bottle with water--empty it first ;)--and then quickly flip it upside-down, pushing the open end of the bottle into the dirt next to your plant (potted or otherwise). This will allow the water to trickle out over a period of time as it slowly empties into the soil, thus saving you from having to water your plants for several days (or until the wine bottle is depleted of water).


MILK JUG:

In a clean and empty milk jug or water jug (WITH cap), fill it up with water. Poke several holes into the top of the cap and screw it onto the jug. Use like you would a normal watering can.


PAPER TOWEL:

Gone for a long weekend? Long days and/or nights at work? This hack keeps your plants hydrated even when you're away. As long as you make time to do the hack in the first place, lol ;)

Roll a piece of paper towel tightly, lying one end across your plant's soil and put the other end into a glass of water. Slowly, your plant will drink up the water overtime, as the paper towel acts like a type of straw. Refill the cup whenever it gets empty (every couple days) and there you go!


2 LITER BOTTLE:

If you have sown plants in the ground, simply poke holes in a 2 liter plastic water or pop bottle (that's been cleaned). Bury this in the ground between sets of two plants (making sure to keep the bottle neck above the soil. Fill the bottle with water (by the neck) and it will slowly drain into the soil, keeping your plants well watered. Refill as necessary.


HAMPER HACK:

OK, this isn't specific to just watering your plants, but it has to do with water hahaha :D First wash your picked produce in a hamper basket or spaghetti strainer over a bin or large bowl, catching the leftover water. Then use the water in the bin/bowl to pour back over your garden!

Step 3: Start Some Seedlings...

The key to getting started with your urban garden is to start some seedlings that you will either transplant to one of the following DIY planters (in the next step) or to your in-ground garden in the tiny piece of grass behind your apartment/condo/house.

Why sprout a seed first?

  • Sprouting seeds, in general, gives you a huge head start for your garden because you can start growing them well before the last frost has come. So when it's done with, you're immediately ready for planting!
  • "Pre-sprouting can be a way to save money. It often results in a higher rate of germination since few seeds are lost to environmental factors. [When you plant the seeds directly into the garden], it is generally recommended that at least 2 seeds be placed in each [hole], in case one of the seeds does not germinate. With pre-sprouting, you already know that the seeds you are planting are viable. Therefore, you can space them precisely where you want them." http://learningandyearning.com/give-your-plants-a-...
  • "Seeds often germinate more quickly indoors than outdoors since moisture and temperature can be more easily controlled." http://learningandyearning.com/give-your-plants-a-...
  • "Sprouting seeds before planting cuts down on the germination process drastically. It can take 7-20 days to sprout in soil, whereas pre-sprouting takes 2-4 days." http://learningandyearning.com/give-your-plants-a-...
  • The seeds of most plants that are started indoors germinate sooner and produce healthier roots when the potting mix is warm, and bottom heat can help to prevent "damping off" (which is the death of tiny seedlings due to pathogens at the surface of the potting mix). http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/fl...
  • If a seedling fails to germinate, you can easily remove and cull them (unlike if you had directly planted the seed in the garden right away without sprouting indoors).
  • Also, “The process of germination not only produces vitamin C, but also changes the composition of grains and seeds in numerous beneficial ways. Sprouting increases vitamin B content, especially B2, B5, and B6. Carotene increases dramatically-sometimes even eightfold.” Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions, pg 112.

EASY SEEDLING SPROUTING HACKS:

Here are a few different ways to sprout your seeds.


IN EGG SHELLS:

A well-known hack for starting your little seedlings is to put them inside eggshells.

Here's a run-down on how...

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

Seeds

Eggshells

Empty egg carton

Potting Soil

Spoon

Awl, Needle, or Thumbtack

Knife

Pot and Stove

Natural Soil-Safe Crayons or Finger Paints (optional)

Spray Bottle (optional)

WHAT TO DO:

1. Prick a pinhole in the bottom, center of each shell with your awl, needle, or thumbtack. This will be your drainage hole. Make it big enough that it won't get clogged by soil or roots.

2. Remove the top 1/3 of the shell using a small knife to gently pick away at the shell. Don't damage the bottom of the egg. (Tip: You can try lightly tapping on the egg and then picking your way down. Or using a sharp serrated knife.)

3. Eat up! Empty the raw egg into a bowl and use it to make a meal. No waste here :)

4. Wash and boil your eggshells. Carefully wash them out, then boil them over medium heat for 3 minutes to kill any bacteria. Inspect them for leftover debris, then let them dry.

5. Place each eggshell into the egg carton for support.

6. Fill 2/3 of each eggshell with potting soil.

7. Add a seed into the soil following the recommended seeding depth on your seed package. Also note the germination time required for whatever you're planting.

8. Place these eggshell starters in a warm and sunny location, keeping the soil moist but not soaked. (Water regularly.)

9. Optional: Decorate the eggshells with natural crayons or finger paints.Label the outside of each eggshell with what type of plant you seeded.

10. Once your sprouts have sprung and the last frost has come and gone, plant your eggshell seedling pots into some freshly tilled soil in your garden. Make sure to gently crush the eggshell so the seedling roots will find the soil with ease.

WHY IT WORKS & BENEFITS:

The entire eggshell starter pot is biodegradable and costs you nothing if you're eating the eggs.

Eggshells are hearty in calcium which your soil will LOVE! <3

Eggshell seedling pots are pet and kid friendly.

What kid doesn't like to watch the little seeds sprout (and feel totally accomplished for something succeeding that they've done)!? It's a great project that your kids can learn from!


IN TOILET PAPER ROLLS:

Cut four strips out of one open end of the roll (or you can cut every 1/4" to have a tighter seal). Fold the strips so they overlap each other to make a closed base. Add your potting soil to about 1/2" from the top, and add your seeds (one per roll).

Once the seedling has sprouted and grown, plant the entire toilet paper roll into the ground or large pot (if you don't have a yard). The cardboard is biodegradable and will leave just your plant's roots behind.

Mark on the outsides of the rolls what each seedling is (preferably with natural and safe-for-the-soil paint or marker...at the very least use a non-toxic marker).


IN ICE CREAM CONES:

Follow the same method as the toilet paper rolls (but without the cutting strips part, lol).


IN CITRUS FRUIT RINDS:

Follow the same procedure as the previous two. Note: This method can produce mold or attract bugs if you have a humid home atmosphere. So be sure to put a little dehumidifier by your plants if you live in a humid area. :)


IN "OLD ORCHARD" JUICE CONTAINERS:

Ditto to the "how to" above, making sure to add drainage holes in the bottoms. The biggest difference is you have to transplant the seedlings from these containers to larger pots or into the ground (as the plastic isn't biodegradable).

You can also do this same approach with the bottom of a plastic water bottle, or anything of any kind that you would normally recycle or throw away.

Step 4: Pick Your Planter

This is the fun part: picking a great planter for your future garden. When you have limited space (even just a counter top or a windowsill), you've got to get creative...so here are some hacks for keeping your plants alive (and thriving! lol) in your tiny space or patio garden:

NOTE: The smaller your planter, the more often you need to water. So keep that in mind when choosing your planter :) Why is this? "Large containers have larger soil volume so the plants won't need to be watered as often. More soil also means your plants can grow a bigger root system. Plants with lots of roots tend to be healthy, happy plants." https://www.provenwinners.com/learn/bigger-really-...

FLIP FLOPS:

You know you have some of these lying around (unless you live above the Arctic Circle..in that case, try putting the mugs in the toe of your snowshoes), now put them to use!

Take flip flops (or snowshoes) and a few coffee mugs. Fill the mugs with your potting soil and seedlings (or pre-blooming plants). Add a little bit of your garbage smoothie on top to give your plants delicious nutrients. Rest the mugs into your flip flops (or snowshoe toes) and hang the flip flops (or snowshoes) on a wall as decor (and a vertical garden)!


TONKA TRUCK:

This will work in any kind of toy or container such as this. Put some potting soil in a Tonka dump truck, then add your succulents. Cover with a little of your garbage smoothie and enjoy!


HANGING STRAWBERRIES HACK:

Using baskets lined with plastic, rain gutters, or wooden boxes built over your patio like a gazebo top, hang strawberry plants overhead. This way when they are ready to be harvested, they are super easy to pick (no more crouching down and digging through plant leaves to find them).


55 GALLON DRUM:

So you want a lot of plants in a little space. Get yourself a 55 gallon drum from Home Depot or Lowes (or your local home hardware store) and cut holes in it in a spiraling pattern with about four slots per vertical column. Fill the gallon to the top with soil. Now plant your seedlings in each hole (works best for herbs and smaller plants like this). Cover each hole's soil with some garbage smoothie and watch them grow! Make sure to water regularly over the top of the entire thing.

You can place this drum on the floor by your back door, on your patio, in the front of your apartment if it isn't inside a hallway, basically anywhere there's light (with outside somewhere being the best). Rotate it every 3 days to once a week so each side of the barrel gets adequate sunlight. If it's placed outside somewhere, make sure to first cut a hole in the bottom to drain excess water off.

You can also easily grow potatoes in it! Simply keep burying spuds in the soil. Then as they grow, cover with more soil until they reach the top. Here's a great video on the exact procedure from YouTube:


SHOE ORGANIZER:

You know that hanging, fabric shoe organizer you bought thinking it was such a "clever" solution to your massive shoe population? And then you just realized that you were kidding yourself, and ended up with the shoe organizer in a closet somewhere and your shoe population still all over your floor? Yeah...now you can finally put that shoe organizer to good use!

Simply fill each plastic pocket with potting soil. Add your seedlings (like herbs or small plants) and cover with some of your garbage smoothie. Hang this in a sunny spot (inside or out), and water regularly. Voila! A vertical garden!


HANGING BATH ORGANIZER:

Yup, we're talking about those wire bathroom organizers that you hang on your shower head! Fill each section with a plastic potting liner (the hard plastic ones). Or, if you don't have one, fill each section with a plastic bag.

For either approach, add multiple holes in the bottom (small enough that the soil won't fall out, but big enough that it won't get clogged when draining).

Hang this on an outside wall (or you can buy a standing clothes rack to hang multiples on, or if you're renting). Or hang them inside in like manner with a bin underneath to catch and redistribute the water.

Use for succulents or herbs!


OLD BIKE TIRES:

Make a standing trellis (for your vine plants to climb) out of old bike tires, a threaded metal rod (with matching nuts), and wiring or gardening string.

Put one bike tire on the ground, add the "axle"-like threaded rod and nut, then top with your remaining bike tire and nut. Add strong wire or gardening string to the spokes.

Place this over a circle of potted vine or climbing plants (such as peas) in your house near a sunny window, or on the ground (if you have a small yard) with the plants sown in the grown around it. Make sure to rotate this trellis and the potted plants if you are attempting this inside (so everything gets plenty of light).

Teach the plants to climb the trellis by using bread twist ties or gardening tape to hold the first vines to the wires/gardening string while it grows.

NOTE: In addition to saving space, trellising improves air circulation and helps prevent disease.

Here are more ideas from http://www.bobvila.com/articles/diy-trellis/#.Vw50... Take it away, Bob...

Step 5: Tag...You're It!

So what about when you get already started plants that come with those care instructions tags? You know, those tags we always remove and throw away or lose? Well, here's a hack to keeping those handy (and necessary) instructions readily available...

Hole punch your plant tags and store them on a key ring (I suggest hole punching through the pictures so none of the instructions are distorted).

This will keep them conveniently in one spot (for when you forget which plant needs full light and which enjoys shade).

You can also alphabetize them for ease of access and designate a hook to hold your key ring so you never lose it. Or, you can add them to your regular key chain--then you'll, definitely, never lose them (because no one ever loses their keys, right? LOL.) Maybe with big tags on your keys, they'll be easier to spot. ;)

Step 6: Tool Hacks

Here are a couple of tool hacks that are of great use in any backyard garden:


TOOL MEASURING ROD:

Using a measuring tape or ruler, add feet and inches in permanent marker to the long handle of your tool (ie: rake, shovel).

Now you have a convenient, always-on-hand measuring rod for determining garden bed and pathway widths and lengths.


SELF-CLEANING, SELF-SHARPENING TOOL HOLDER:

1. Using a large bucket, pour a bag of sand into it and add 20-30 ounces of mineral oil (or until your fingers get oily when you pinch a bit of sand between them). Stir them together with a trowel or rod or stick until the oil is evenly distributed through the sand. TIP: If you can't find mineral oil, you can use baby oil since it's just mineral oil with fragrance added.

2. Cover the terra-cotta pot's hole in the bottom with duct tape, then fill it with the sand/oil mix. Lightly pack it down.

3. Put all of your hand tools head down into this pot. The oil keeps your shears lubricated, and the sand keeps everything nice and sharp.

NOTE: It can be messy. When you pull your tools out of the mix, they obviously will be covered in sand and oil. Not to fear, simply wipe it off and start working :)

Step 7: Five Flowers for Pest Control

(Pictures Courtesy of Wikipedia)

If you are able to have a backyard garden, be sure to plant one or a few of these different flowers to naturally keep the pests off your garden edibles.

1. Borage: Borage deters hornworms and cabbage worms and can help all plants increase their disease resistance.

2. Chrysanthemums: These flowers (aka: mums) contain the chemical pyrthin that's toxic to insects but safe for human and animal consumption. You can also make a tea from the flowers and use it on root nematodes and to repel Japanese beetles.

3. Clover: Clovers ward of pests completely when used as ground cover in garden bes. Plant it around cabbage to prevent caggabe worm and aphids from taking over.

4. Lavender: Not only does it smell delicious, is used in cooking, and has medicinal benefits, but lavender also repels insects (specifically fleas, moths, and mosquitoes). I'm going to plant it and keep it in pots on or around the tables for my summer night backyard parties to keep the mosquitoes away! ;)

5. Marigolds: These (especially the French Marigold variety) keep pests and whiteflies away from plants and tomatoes. They also protect the health of the soil under the plants.

As noted by member Kate Russell: "Adding borage, lavender and clover, in particular, will also attract more pollinators, increasing food production in the garden. And honeybees can use all the help they can get these days." Thanks for the tip, Kate!

Step 8: Melon Slings

If you are growing some melons on a vertically climbing trellis (because you're an adventurous, green-thumbed, urban-farming pro), you may notice that when they get heavier, gravity takes over and they want to fall off the vine prematurely. To counteract this, make a sling for resting your melons in.

This can be made of cheesecloth, nylon stockings, or old T-shirts. If the sling completely covers the fruit (like with a cheesecloth or nylon stockings sling), it will also provide protection from insects. BONUS!

Step 9: Little Extra Tidbits

And for the Grand Finale, here are some more fun and creative hacks that help improve your urban gardening experience...


PENNY PEST CONTROL:

Glue pennies around the lip of your planter or on a garden bed wall (if you have a yard) to keep snails off your veggies.


DRY HERBS IN YOUR CAR:

Put your freshly grown herbs on a piece of newspaper on your dashboard (or on a tray lined with newspaper). Keep all the windows and doors closed to create a nice and toasty "dryer" for your herbs. This hack will dry your herbs faster then other drying approaches and it will make your vehicle smell great!


CINNAMON FOR FUNGUS PREVENTION:

If you decide to replant your cuttings from one garden to another, but don't want the hassle of getting fungus from cross-contamination, simply dip the roots in cinnamon. Cinnamon acts as a rooting hormone and keeps the fungus away.


COFFEE FILTER HACK:

When re-potting plants, keep the soil in its place by using a coffee filter as the bottom lining over the drain hole. This keeps it from clogging up while draining, and it keeps the soil from draining out with the water. Because coffee filters are highly absorbent, you can skip a watering here and there (late nights at work?) and not kill your plant.


EPSOM SALT FOR TOMATOES, PEPPERS, & ROSES:

Epsom salt is comprised of magnesium and sulfur. These two ingredients are also two of the six macronutrients plants need. If your soil is depleted of these usually naturally-occurring ingredients, simply add in a little epsom salt to bring it back to a healthy state for your plants.


RE-GROW CUT ROSES IN POTATOES:

Cut healthy stems off roses and place them in large potatoes. Bury this whole thing into healthy soil (peet moss and top soil mix) about 3-4 inches deep. Watch your roses grow again!

WHY IT WORKS: The potatoes keep the stems moist and help develop their root systems. Plus this is cheap (BONUS!).


MILK JUG GREENHOUSES:

Need to keep a newly-planted plant alive through that seventh "last" frost that "shouldn't" have occurred?

Simple rinse an empty milk jug and discard the lid. Cut off the bottom with a serrated knife or with sharp kitchen scissors. Place this little "greenhouse" over the plant and pile up dirt generously around the jugs to keep them from falling over or blowing away.

Water the plant through the open hole at the top (where the lid used to be) or use a watering can over it like usual (the water will drip down the sides of the jug into the soil).

Keep these greenhouses on until the "last frost" has truly passed ;)


SOAP IT UP FOR CLEAN NAILS:

Every time you need to work your hands into some soil and dirt, simply slide your nails across a bar of soap first. When you go to wash your hands after you're done, the dirt and grime will just rinse right off with no hassle! No more multi-manicures every time you garden!


BED FRAME FOR GARDEN BED:

If you have the yard space, consider using a wooden bed frame for garden bed walls.


PLASTIC FORKS FOR PEST CONTROL:

"Plant" plastic forks in the garden in-between each plant in every row (with the prongs standing straight up). This will deter rabbits, squirrels, cats, and raccoons from eating all of your crop.


COFFEE GRINDS AND TEA:

Add unused dried tea herbs or coffee for acid-loving plants. Or add used coffee grinds to your soil for nutrient benefits (the nitrogen-rich grinds lose their acidity once they've been used, so they add nutrients to your soil).


BAKING SODA FOR TOMATOES:

Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda (less than 1/4 cup per plant) on the soil around your tomato plants (whether in the ground or in a planter). MAKE SURE not to get the baking soda on the plant itself.

OR: You can add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to a gallon of water and water your plants with it.

Either way, this works because: the baking soda lowers the acidity levels in your soil as it absorbs. This gives your tomatoes a sweeter (versus tart) flavor.

TIP: Sprinkle it on the soil when the tomatoes are 1" in diameter and then again when they are half grown.

ALTERNATIVE USES FOR BAKING SODA:

1. Add a little to canned tomatoes (that you canned yourself) when making sauce. This will make it sweeter without sugar or added calories.

2. Combine 1 gallon of water with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 2 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Mix, then pour this into a spray bottle. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of castile soap. (Castile soap is fine, hard white or mottled soap made with olive oil and sodium hydroxide.) Spray this solution on the foliage of tomato plants to get rid of fungal disease.

NOTE: Test the baking soda on one tomato plant first before trying it on all of them, and be careful when using it on young tomato plants. If your soil is already well balanced and alkaline, you could ruin it by adding too much baking soda, so check your soil balance before using baking soda to see if you need it (or use less baking soda if it's already well alkalized).

<p>Did you try/test all these hacks yourself, or are most of them google research? Specifically, your suggestion for pennies on the edge of the planter seemed interesting, but improbable to me, so my own google research seems to show that one is a <a href="http://www.gardenmyths.com/how-to-get-rid-slugs-with-copper/">common garden myth</a>. That's why I'm very curious if you actually tried this one, how you tested it, and what your results were. Thanks!</p>
<p>If you put two copper tape strips, One on top of the other, And apply some voltage (Maybe around 30V), You'll be able to fry them, And you'll never have to deal with slugs again :) </p><p>This is just my own idea, And I've never seen it done before. Infact, This could be a great idea for an Instructable!</p>
<p>LOL! That sounds brutal! Try it out and let me know how it goes :)</p>
<p>If you put two copper tape strips, One on top of the other, And apply some voltage (Maybe around 30V), You'll be able to fry them, And you'll never have to deal with slugs again :) </p><p>This is just my own idea, And I've never seen it done before. Infact, This could be a great idea for an Instructable!</p>
<p>Hi Belsey...Thanks so much for your comment. As your article pointed out, &quot;Jeff Gillman, one of the Garden Professors, commented 'When I&rsquo;ve tested copper the slugs seemed to have a slight preference for not crossing it, but would if that was what they need to do to get where they were going. I&rsquo;d call it a mild repellant' . I think this is a good summary. Slugs will not go out of their way to cross copper in tape form, but it is not a fool proof solution.&quot; I think this is true no matter what kind of repellents you use and for which critters.</p><p>For instance, I've used Raid Wasp Killer on wasps all my life (when I lived in Michigan and Nebraska), but when I moved to Georgia, the wasps there rarely died from the poison, even when directly sprayed on in thick layers (while sitting on a windowsill...not just in flight). Just like some critters may be repelled from the forks in the ground, and other times they want the garden produce bad enough to go through it anyways. There is no 100%, one-size-fits-all hack for every situation as nature, funny enough, has a way to get around what us humans do.</p><p>But, yes, in my experience I haven't had trouble with slugs using pennies (whether they just didn't want the produce bad enough, one will never know)...but does that mean it's fool-proof? Definitely not. Experiment with your own and see what works for you. :)</p><p>Thanks again for commenting and for visiting! Many blessings!</p>
I'm just trying to figure out whether the effort involved is worth the &quot;maybe, might work&quot; rewards... and I'm thinking, especially after watching the videos of slugs happily crossing copper, that it might not be worth it for me (being naturally a bit lazy, I need high returns on my efforts!). But glad it seemed to be a deterrent for you!
<p>What a <strong>treasury </strong>of useful information! Great resource and great inspiration by taking so much of the mystery/intimidation out of gardening! Thanks!</p>
<p>Thanks so much, dear :) Always glad when I see your comments on my 'ibles! Have a great day! &lt;3</p>
Great post Meg! Thank you! ?<br> I'm in the process of getting my green fingers right into this!<br>Having a small patio, this suits my needs perfectly. My Hoya plant has tripled in size &amp; flowers! ?<br> Following you for more great tips!<br>??????
<p>aww thank you so much for the awesome words of kindness! Many blessings :)</p>
<p>A word of CAUTION: The banana peels need to be chopped up before throwing into the blender. My blender got the whole banana peel stuck in the blade and burned out the motor.</p>
<p>I sent you a private message with a gift :) Please check it. Have a great day!</p>
<p>Yikes! Point noted. Thanks so much for making sure to comment! Too bad Vitamix blenders aren't free, huh? Again, I'm so sorry to hear that happened to your blender, and I have noted that caution in my 'ible. Thank you for visiting!</p>
<p>Great instructable! I thought I'd mention that the sprouting benefits you cited are for eating sprouted seeds directly, not for the plants or fruit grown from this plants. Still a great idea to jumpstart the growing season though!</p>
<p>Yes, the &quot;health benefits&quot; part I had in there was more specific to eating sprouted seeds directly. So to avoid confusion, I took that part out and filled it in with just the benefits of sprouting seeds for garden planting. Thanks for your feedback! And thanks for visiting :)</p>
<p>I use the toilet paper rolls with one end stuffed with dryer lint to hold the soil in (I get a longer root system this way, as the plant grows right through</p><p> the lint!)</p>
<p>do you close that drawer at anytime while your seeds are growing?</p>
yes, depending on the humidity needed I also pour h20 directly into the drawers and let the lint soak it up I've mounted them on furniture rollers so the can be rolled outside for &quot;hardening off&quot;
<p>here's a image of the furniture rollers attached to the shear storage drawers</p>
<p>fyi If you use cheap toilet paper rolls or rolls that come in commercial or bulk packaging tie a string around them or a rubber band will do ( they really come apart easy when watered) </p>
<p>Good point and tip. Thanks :)</p>
<p>like this</p>
<p>then I keep them in a sheer drawer near the window til they are ready to put in the green house or garden</p>
<p>I love this idea of yours putting it those plastic drawers</p>
<p>Oh wow! FANTASTIC! Thanks so much for sharing :) </p>
<p><em>Speaking about composters...</em></p><p>Has everyone ever experienced their composter heating up? It's pretty cool to see that all of the bugs produce that heat! (I'm pretty sure that that's it)</p><p>By the way, Great job on providing all of the recources that you used, We, Instructablers should do more of that more often :)</p>
<p>By the way, I noticed on your profile it says you're &quot;13 years old&quot;? I don't know if that's true, but if it <em style="">is</em> I am very impressed with your Instructable &quot;channel&quot; and your intelligence for 13. Either way, keep up the awesome work! :)</p>
<p>Thanks, And yes... Why not? :)</p><p>When I make things, I think that it has nothing (Or not a lot, to be more accurate) to do with my age. Why would I not know how to take pictures and upload an Instructable?</p><p>Of course, I don't have a big budget for making projects, But no all projects are expensive: Most of my project are made from scraps, And junk (aka gold) that I find outside</p><p>I obviously don't use or have very dangerous tools, For example: I have a Drill and a Jigsaw, But I don't have a Circular-Saw or a Chainsaw, Which are dangerous</p><p>Many of my projects (And upcoming ones) are projects that I make my own tools, Which are really, And I also save a lot of money that way...</p><p>It's actually funny to me that people are surprised that I'm 13 years old. Why would I not know how to solder something and make my own lighting for my room? I guess it has to do something with the fact that these days 99% of the kids at my age don't do these things anymore. For some unknown reason to me, They enjoy staring in front of the TV, And do nothing. B-o-r-i-n-g</p>
<p>PREACH! ;) I L-O-V-E your amazing positive attitude and what you represent! I am an advocate for youth. I believe youth have such a strong impact on the world and on other youth and it's refreshing to see someone like you take that seriously for the good of the world. Bravo! You just got a new subscriber! Many blessings, and keep on keeping on--we need more kids like you...maybe it will rub off on others by your example? </p>
<p>Wow! Thank You!</p><p>And in case you're wondering, The kids in my class don't care at all about what I do, And think it's very boring (100% exact opposites)</p><p>I hope that there are other kids that see my Instructables and get inspired by them, After all, Thjat's the reason for why I make Instructables :)</p>
<p>Whether you think they &quot;care&quot; or notice now...THEY NOTICE. There's always <em>someone</em> watching and noticing what we do and say. You may not ever even know until you're out of school and run into those same kids as adults. People usually change a lot when they get out of school...so you're impact is probably already greater then you know. ;) </p>
<p>rotting organic material creates heat and, under some circumstances, a lot of it.</p><p>When I was very young, my dad's compost heap would sometimes smoulder.</p><p>Steam in the winter and acrid smoke, sometimes, in the summer</p>
<p>The heat is actually from the bacteria (which you could call bugs) breaking down all that organic matter:</p><p>http://compost.css.cornell.edu/physics.html</p>
<p>I see, So it's the micro-organisms... :)</p><p>Still pretty impressive, I remember feeling our composter in the winter and being surprised to feel how warm it was!</p>
<p>Lol, that's what I thought too (the bacteria are technically bugs) ;) Thanks for commenting and visiting!</p>
<p>You can use pvc pipe for planting tool. It is light weight and almost indestructible. One peice about three feet long marked every inch all the way around the tube with permanent marker. That is your marker for each seed. If you use a string to do a straight line you can thread this onto it for easy movement. Another peice long enough so you don't have to bend over to use it; three to four feet. Use electrical tape to close off the end of this pipe. This is your hole maker for the seed. Get a third pipe to use as your seeder. Lay the marker on the ground and put a hole with your hole maker every inch or two or what ever the distance you need. Now put the seeder in the whole and drop a seed in the top. It will drop into the hole ready to be covered and grow. Works great for larger seeds like beans and peas. Very little bending over if you have a bad back. Usually you can scoot the marker tube with one of the other tubes.</p>
<p>Hmmm...very interesting! Would LOVE to see photos of it if you made one yourself or if the concept you described here is online somewhere. Thanks so much for your cool idea, and for commenting and visiting :) </p>
<p>Meglymoo87; here is a picture, I think? So the pipe on the left is marked every inch and lays on the ground. The one in the middle has electrical tape on one end and this is used to put a hole in the seed bed where the seed will be inserted using the third pipe. Ideally they would all be the same size but put this together in a hurry for this answer. So if I am planting green beans I would lay the first tube down on my seed bed and every 4 inches I would use the second tube to put a dimple or hole in the seed bed. Then I would go along with seeds in one hand and the last tube in the other placing the bottom over each hole and drop a seed in. Then just rake over tap down and wait for home grown goodness to arrive.</p>
<p>I understand what you're saying now! Thanks for bringing back a picture to share with us :) That's a great idea! And you're right, saves your back etc. Thanks again for the great tip.</p>
<p>Great instructable! But I think you mean, 40 urban gardening life hacks that give you no excuse NOT to start the garden you've always wanted.</p>
<p>Lol ;-P Thanks for noticing that! You're the first one to comment on that in 58,724 visitors lol. Noted. Thanks for visiting!</p>
<p>Another idea... A worm farm in the garden directly... I've used old plastic Cat Litter containers (that have the tight snap lids). I cut a couple holes in the bottom -- to allow the worms to come up into the container to do their thing and drainage. I bury it slightly in the garden, enough that it won't move in wind. I put in the compostable materials, and snap the lid (to deter investigative creatures out), sometimes adding to it if there is still room. I have not played around with painting them to darken the inside any, but seems to work well! </p>
<p>As long as someone has a yard to put them in, I'd say this is a MUST :) Thanks so much for sharing, visiting, and for the great idea! </p>
<p>Thanks for the great instructable - especially appreciate seeing so many outside sources linked... couple of comments <br>- Step 4 - the smaller the planter, the more often you need to water. Cups may need watering two times a day or more if in the sun.</p><p>- Plastic forks - great suggestion - also deters cats!</p>
<p><em>&quot;T</em><em>he smaller the planter, the more often you need to water&quot;</em></p><p>Why exactly is that?</p>
<p>Here's what I learned: &quot;If you want easy - large containers are better. <em>Large containers have larger soil volume so the plants won't need to be watered as often.</em> More soil also means your plants can grow a bigger root system.Plants with lots of roots tend to be healthy, happy plants.&quot; So basically, that's the reason in reverse as to why smaller plants need to be watered more often. Hope this helps :) Here's my resource: <a href="https://www.provenwinners.com/learn/bigger-really-better-tips-container-gardening">https://www.provenwinners.com/learn/bigger-really-...</a></p>
<p>Thanks so much for the tips! I have noted them :) And Thanks so much for visiting and commenting!</p>
<p>Wonderful info,...can't wait to try them out. Maybe I can turn my &quot;dark-plant killer&quot; thumb &quot;green&quot;!</p>
You can do it! We believe in you :D Thanks for visiting!
<p> We have been blessed with 120 acres of homestead and I STILL find &quot;Urban&quot; gardening tips like this helpful and a reminder to be a good steward of ALL things.</p>

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Bio: Where there's a will, there's a way! Never give up, never give in...BE the good you want to see in the world. :)
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