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8 Old-Fashioned Gardening Hacks

8 Old-Fashioned Gardening Hacks

Posted by Deerbusters on 12th May 2014

With so many modern-day gardening tips, we often forget that there were ones used by our grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents that are still incredibly successful. Our deer fence company went on a hunt for some of the best old-fashioned ways to grow your garden.

Branch Mound

This technique is perfect if you have extra logs, branches, or sticks lying around. Once the wood decomposes, it provides an array of nutrients to the soil. All you have to do is dig a hole about 4′ by 8′ and 18″-24″ deep. Then, lay the logs, branches, sticks etc. in the hole starting with the largest pieces until you form a mound about three feet tall. Water the wood generously, then lay the dug-up ground grass-side down on top of the wood. Adding 1-2 bags of manure or compost on top and then sew or transplant seedlings to the mound.


When planting your seeds, make sure to plant them as far away as recommended (even further is better). This way, they’ll have enough room to grow, they’ll get good air circulation, and they won’t have to fight the other plants nearby for water and nutrients.

Tobacco Water Repellent

Soak 5 cigarettes in one gallon of water for 24 hours. Then, put the water into a spray bottle and spray on your non-food plants to kill bacteria, fungi, and bugs. Re-apply after each rainfall (if your plants are outside) and make sure you wear gloves and wash your hands afterwards.

Gardening from Scraps

There are many foods you can grow using just the scraps you have of them. These include:

  • Green onions: Place the white ends of the root in a container of water (leaving the top of the plant above the water) and put it in the sunlight.
  • Romaine lettuce: Place the base few inches of the lettuce head in a container of water and watch new leaves grow from the middle. Remove old outer leaves as they die.
  • Ginger root: Plant your leftover ginger with the buds facing up in moist soil. You’ll start to see green shoots come up from the soil and you’ll have ginger in about 4 months.
  • Potatoes: Chop up old potatoes so that each piece has a few eyes. Plant the pieces in moist soil and you’ll soon see them sprout.
  • Garlic: Once your garlic cloves start sprouting, plant them (sprout-side up and with the papery layer still attached) in moist soil. Once the shoots begin to grow, cut them back to grow even bigger cloves.

Spread Herbs Around

Many herbs contain natural chemicals that promote growth in the plants around them, so plant herbs like sage, rosemary, thyme, and parsley all around your garden instead of in one place. Marigolds are said to do the same thing, so consider planting some of those as well.

Uncommon Soil Enhancers

There are several household items or foods that, when incorporated into garden soil, are said to help plants grow. If planting roses, try burying banana skins just below the soil surface around the roots of your plants. Or, bury a wedge of lard beneath their roots. For rhododendrons and camelias, pour cooled brewed tea around their bases as a natural mulch. House plants or climbing plants outside of your home benefit from a liquid manure made by filling an empty milk carton with water, shaking it up, and pouring it on.

Lamp Wicks

To speed up the growth process of pumpkins, melons, and squash, make a small hole in the stalk of the fruit and insert a lamp wick. Place the other end of the wick in a container of water to feed the fruit and make them grow at twice the speed.

Eggshell Protection

Sprinkle crushed-up eggshells in a border around each of your plants. Not only will they deter slugs and snails (because they don’t like the rough surface), but they’ll also deter small cabbage white butterflies – these butterflies will see the white color and think another butterfly is already there.

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