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Garden Hacks, Tips, and Tricks for Indoors and Out

Gardeners tend to be a frugal bunch interested in recycling, upcycling and multipurposing just about everything, so garden hacks are a popular topic. What are your favorite plant and garden hacks? Let us know and we can add yours to this article. Meanwhile, you may find something useful in this list.

3 Free Biodegradable Seedling Pots

Toilet Paper Rolls for Biodegradable Planters

Stacie – Via Creative Commons

Citrus Rind Pots for Sowing Seeds and Planting Seedlings

  • Poke a hole in used citrus rinds.
  • Add soil and 1-3 seeds, water & sunlight on a plant tray.
  • Place citrus “pots” directly in garden bed when seedlings have 3-4 “true leaves”.
Citrus Rind Pots for Sowing Seeds and Planting Seedlings #IndoorGarden #Planters #GardenIdeas #GardenTips #GardenTools #ContainerGardening #Gardening

Image from[1]

Eggshells and Egg Cartons

Eggshell “pots” for seedlings is a fun, free and efficient garden hack for sowing seeds. Yes, it’s not as efficient as a seedling tray, however it’s free and we love how it recycles both the eggshells into garden nutrients and comes with a self-contained plant tray as well.

Save eggshells and cartons for housing eggshell “pots” with seedlings.
Break shell bottom slightly before place seedlings in the ground.

Eggshell "pots" for seedlings is a fun, free and efficient garden hack for sowing seeds. Yes, it's not as efficient as a seedling tray, however it's free and we love how it recycles both the eggshells into garden nutrients and comes with a self-contained plant tray as well. #IndoorGarden #Planters #GardenIdeas #GardenTips #GardenTools #ContainerGardening #Gardening

Eggshells and Cartons for Seedling

We love how the eggshells provide a nutrient imbued container for starting seeds. Add to that the plastic egg containers and a heating pad and you’ve got a miniature greenhouse for starting seeds.

Make your own watering can for free using a one-gallon jug.

Homemade Milk Jug Watering Cans

  • Wash out a used milk jug.
  • Place the cap on a cutting board, top up.
  • Heat tip of a sturdy needle over a flame.
  • Puncture cap multiple times, top down.
  • Fill jug with water and you’re ready to go!
Image from Astra on

Also Use for Drip Watering

This idea is more for garden plants than indoors, if you don’t yet have a drip irrigation or soaker hose which we’ve written about in these articles.

[Video] Cut Your Water Usage and Watering Chores with These 4 Water Saving Methods

Drip Watering for Houseplants

You can use the same idea for house plants using a with a water bottle and water bottle cap. Then place this watering bottle upside down in a pot—or several in a planter—for slower release watering.

You may wish to cut the bottom off of the water bottle, for easier filling at once, then a slower release to your plant.

Another simple quick fix is that you can attach these handy wine bottle cap adapters watering spikes to wine bottles and turn them upside down into your pot or planters. However, not recommended for smaller pots as it’s too easy to tip over and shatter or flood the area with water.

Wine bottle plant spike waterer.
Wine bottle plant spike waterer.

Plant Walls and Wall Hangers

Shower caddies for a hanging garden.

This image from Ikea Hackers, is an old shower caddy lined with felt or plant fabric.

Shower caddy planter – image from Ikea Hackers

There are so many hanging garden options these days from entire wall gardens to just hanging a few pots from a bar or deck railing.  There’s no limit to creative ways and places to grow plants indoors or out.

Towel Racks for Plant Hangers and Wall Gardens

It could be a hanging pot from deck railing, or a towel bar placed anywhere. In fact, 2-3 rows of towel bars with a track of grow lights on a kitchen wall could make for a great indoor herb garden!

Unusual Planters…

…because plant lovers gotta plant!

Old Shoes

Repurposed old shoe organizers turned into plant pockets. You will want to puncture a couple small holes at the bottom of all but the last row of pouches, using an ice pick or large needle. This will turn your old shoe organizer into a water-flowing unit, just remember not to punch holes in the last row of pouches and monitor the moisture level, especially on the last row.

If you don’t have old shoe organizers you can find similar wall hanging units designed specifically for plants.

These vertical wall hanging plant holders are okay if you have limited surface or garden space, but otherwise, it can have problems with moisture. So be careful when watering and monitor moisture against your wall and drips to the floor.

Gardeners see every opening as an opportunity to grow something!


So get some good soil... some seeds or seedlings and get to growing!

Garden Tips

Leftover Coffee Grounds

Used coffee grounds are great for enriching the soil. Earthworms love coffee grounds and it’s also a repellent to some pesky garden insects. It’s easiest if you also drink coffee, but if not, used grounds are easy enough to come by and some coffee shops like Starbucks, have used coffee ground programs.[2]

Coffee Grounds Benefits for the Garden

  • Coffee contain nitrogen beneficial for soil.
  • Grounds are close to pH neutral (between 6.5 to 6.8 pH).
  • Coffee grounds improve soil for plants.
  • Coffee grounds are reported to repel slugs and snails

If you’re a tea drinker, you’ll want to check out uses for used tea bags.

Oregon State University Extension Service has published a very helpful PDF on using coffee grounds for compost, soil and plant enrichment, footnoted in our references.

Coffee grounds are an all around benefit to soil, compost and plants.

Baking Soda for Sweeter Tomatoes

Baking soda sprinkled around the base of your tomato plants, or, a teaspoon in your watering can, helps alkalize your soil for sweeter tomatoes.

Baking soda sprinkled around the base of your tomato plants, or, a teaspoon in your watering can, helps alkalinize your soil for sweeter tomatoes. #IndoorGarden #Planters #GardenIdeas #GardenTips #GardenTools #ContainerGardening #Gardening

Tips from the Community

Protect Plants from Frost

When fall comes and nights are close to frost, I have a bunch of old bed sheets I cover the plants with.
~Laura LaChance Stubbs, LegalShield

Protect Critters

If you leave buckets/containers of water around, put a stick in it, so little critters don’t drown if they fall in, the stick is something they’ll be able to climb on. I accidentally killed my little chipmunk that’s been in my yard for years.
~Laura LaChance Stubbs, LegalShield

There are many other great garden hacks. Please share your favorites and we can add it to this list too! Just send it to us and if you have your own website or social page you’d like us to, include that information in your email.

Let us know if you have any questions. Also share your garden hacks, tips and other gardening-related things you’d like to share on the Gardens All Facebook page or Planting for Retirement Facebook Group at anytime. We’re always inspired by how much knowledge and gardening wisdom is shared there!

An Amazing Indoor Garden Home

Jamie’s Jungle has captivated millions of views across social platforms, and for good reason. SO beautiful, vibrant, and alive, not to mention beautifully home, art and arrangements.

Wishing you LOVELY PLANTS, indoors and out!


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