There are few things as sweet as enjoying the simple pleasures of growing and tending to one’s own garden. There is really nothing else quite like having your own little patch of green where you can grow flowers, vegetables, and fruits to your heart’s content!

All of that said, maintaining a garden can be a real challenge, even for the most passionate of green thumbs. Not only does maintaining a garden require a ton of time and effort, but buying the right tools can get pretty expensive.

As it turns out, however, you already have some great gardening tools in your home, and there’s no better place to start looking than in your kitchen! That might sound a little nutty, but wait until you see just how you can put your kitchen supplies to work for you in the garden! You’ll never waste money at the home and garden center again.

1. Push the bottom of a muffin tin into soft soil in order to plant well-spaced seeds and plants. You’ll need to make sure that the ground has been freshly tilled in order to make the most out of this technique. You can start your digging once you turn it into a proper grid!

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2. Use wine bottles to create a walkway—and to prevent kids from trampling your seedlings. They’re both attractive and functional if you stick them in the dirt neck-first. Make sure you pick wine bottles that are a bright color so they’re both visible and chic!

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3. Inside every kitchen utensil drawer is a handful of spoons that no one uses anymore. They’re either just too dented, bent, or nicked from overuse or from being battered around the dishwasher. But did you know your old silverware could find new life in your garden? It’s easy! First, use a hammer to flatten the spoons you’d like to reuse…

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Once you’ve hammered down your spoons, you’ll need to take them outside, because this craft can get messy! Select your favorite paints and paint pens, choosing colors that are bright and fun. Dip the spoons in paint, and use the pens to draw designs and to write the names of herbs and vegetables in your garden. And voila! You have some amazingly cute and quirky garden signs!

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4. When people look at an empty soda can like this, it’s hard for them to see it as being anything other than garbage or recycling fodder. However, cans like this can be a saving grace in any garden! Grab an empty can of soda and use a can opener to cut out the top like this…

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Be careful when using the can opener; while it will take off the top in a snap, these cans aren’t designed to be used this way, so their edges may be sharp. Now, simply select your favorite spray can colors and paint the cans, making sure that you completely cover any text or logos.

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Once the spray paint has dried, use a screwdriver or knife to pop tiny holes in the bottom of the can—don’t go overboard! Just a few will work. After that, add fresh soil, plant seeds for your favorite herbs, and sprinkle them with water! Presto—you’ve got a garden in a can. These work just as well on a windowsill as they do in a garden.

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5. Going away on vacation, but you can’t find someone to water your plant? Simply punch a hole in the cork or screw top of a clean wine bottle, fill it with water, and then quickly turn it over and push it into the soil. This is a great trick to make sure your plants stay hydrated. You’ll often see expensive water globes designed for this purpose for sale at garden shops, but why buy those when a repurposed wine bottle works just as well?

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6. Just because you decided to redesign your bathroom, that’s no reason you need to throw away the sink! After tying off the plumbing ends, even the most retro sink can find a second home as a cool, shabby chic-style planter.

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7. Plastic takeout forks stuck in soil, weirdly enough, can scare away creatures that would want to snack on your budding vegetables. Seeing forks all lined up like this may look a little creepy at first, but it truly works.

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8. If you’re looking to add a beautiful wind chime to your garden or backyard, you need not place a special order or spend hundreds of dollars on some delicate piece of blown glass art. You can actually turn your old metal strainer into a wind chime by hooking spoons onto the base. It’s that simple!

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You can also dress up your makeshift wind chime by filling it with real or silk flowers for added decoration. If you’re using it for real flowers, make sure to keep the soil nice and fed and regularly watered. The strainer’s many holes offer a ton of drainage, which prevents your plants from being overwatered.

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9. Don’t throw out your banana peels! Compost them instead; they can be just what your plants need to flourish. The peels are full of calcium, magnesium, sulphur, phosphates, potassium, and sodium. Just make sure they are down deep into the compost. You don’t want anyone to slip and fall!

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10. Plants need a little pick-me-up in the morning, too. Bring your used coffee grounds to the garden every morning and mix them directly into the soil. If you can’t make the trip out to the compost every single morning, you can invest in a small, under-sink compost bucket and make fewer trips.

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11. If you dry out egg shells for three days and then add them to the soil in your garden, they can provide young seedlings with much-needed calcium. It might seem strange at first, but think about it: if the shell was able to help nurture a chick into life, surely it can help plants, too!

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12. Create a naturally slow-draining planter using a colander and some coffee filters. This is another great hack for how to use your strainer in the garden. If you don’t want to waste new coffee filters, dirty paper towels work just as well, as does peat moss.

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Once the filters or paper towels are in place, add springtime flowers to the mix and hang them somewhere for a beautiful outdoor decoration. It can be a lot of fun to match the color of your strainer with the colors of the flowers! This is such a cute look you might want to buy strainers especially for this purpose.

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13. If your home or apartment doesn’t offer much space, you might think a garden is out of the question.—but it’s possible! Simply create a lovely hanging bottle garden instead. Cut a hole in the base to make space for the necessary soil and plant seeds. If you want to avoid dirt, this technique works well for hanging air plants.

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14. Here’s another way to reuse all those empty egg shells. If you’re able to crack them at the top, you can transform them into teeny cups to start your new seedlings. Simply fill each shell with soil and the seeds of your choice and watch them grow! Egg-cellent!Seedlings-in-EggshellsOne Little Moment

15. How adorable are these tomatoes? You don’t need to be a botanist to grow fun shapes like these. All you need is to slide your favorite cookie cutter shapes around the tomato fruit while it’s still nice and small. As it grows, it will take the shape of the cookie cutter surrounding it.

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16. Are you worried you planted your new garden too early and you’re scared a snap frost will kill your new plants? No need to panic! Try cutting the bottoms off your old milk gallon cartons and place them over your sensitive plants. The cartons act as great insulation during those tricky, chilly spring nights.

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17. White vinegar is an incredibly versatile kitchen staple, both in cooking and cleaning around the house. It also packs a punch outside of the house, too. If you have weeds cropping up in your driveway and you want to avoid pesticides in favor of an all-natural deterrent, a dose of vinegar will stop them in their tracks.
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18. Do you have a plant that needs to be watered constantly? Your soil may not be doing its job of holding in hydration. A quick fix to this problem: line the bottom of your terra cotta with diapers. Yes, diapers! They are super absorbent and will trap the water, making sure your plant stays nice and hydrated.

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Feel free to try some of these gardening hacks this weekend. Not only will your plants appreciate it, but you’ll have even more of an excuse to sip wine!

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