The days are longer, the air balmier, the sun stronger, the grass greener...yes, summer has arrived! But this summer’s fun-in-the-sun activities are going to look a little different. Particularly, one outdoor quarantine-friendly activity is taking up everyone’s free time this summer. You guessed it - gardening

Across the U.S., more people than ever are picking up gardening as a hobby. In fact, Reuters reported that gardening companies around the world have been selling more seeds than ever historically recorded, with one particular U.S. company selling more seeds now than in its long 144-year history.

No matter the size of your garden or your level of experience, these simple and eco-friendly gardening hacks using readily available household items are sure to be green thumb game changers for your soon-to-be flourishing gardening. Ready to spruce up your garden?!

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1.    Toilet paper tubes to grow seedlings

Got seeds? Let’s grow ‘em! Save your cardboard toilet paper tubes and use them to start your seeds. Just cut your toilet paper tubes in half lengthwise, and line them up in a plastic tupperware tray. Fill up the tubes with soil, plant your seeds, and watch them flourish into adorable baby seedlings. When the seedlings have sprouted, just pick up the cardboard tube and plant them right in your garden! The cardboard will decompose, and your plant will have gotten the jump start it needs to flourish.

Hack inspired by Family Handyman

2.    Olive oil to repel pests

Plants hate pesky critters. And you know what pesky critters hate? Olive oil! (They don’t know what they’re missing!). Just mix a teaspoon of baking soda, ⅓ cup Mild & Light Olive Oil, and a cup of water, and put the mixture in a spray bottle. Spray on and around your plants to protect them from aphids, spider mites, etc. It’s non-toxic to humans and pets, and won’t harm the good insects

Hack inspired by Epic Gardening

3.    Hair to perk up your plant

Yes, hair! Your hair actually contains nitrogen, and plants love nitrogen. Nitrogen actually promotes nutrients in plants, which in turn, perks them right up and even acts as a fertilizer! Just clean out your hairbrush (yes, it might sound weird, but trust us) and mix it with compost to give your plant some extra nutrient-filled love. 

Hack inspired by Blossom DIY

4.    Cinnamon to prevent diseases

Keep your sprouting plant happy and healthy by sprinkling some cinnamon on top of the soil. Not only does it smell delicious, but it’s antifungal and antibacterial properties will fight away dangerous diseases and keep your plant thriving!

Hack inspired by Balcony Garden Web

5.    Replant to give it a new life

Can’t figure out why your plant isn’t looking too hot? A common problem is that your plant has outgrown its pot. To check this, take your plant out of the pot and check its roots. If the plant is rootbound, the roots will hold the shape of the pot when removed. If this happens to your plant, it’s time to get a bigger pot! Giving your plant room to groove by replanting it in a bigger pot. Some nifty household items that you can repurpose as pots are old drawers or furniture cubes

Green thumbs ready? Garden away! We can’t wait to see your flourishing gardens. Share a picture of your garden with us by replying to this Facebook post, or posting your picture on Instagram with the hashtag #GardeningwithLaEspanola!