Gardening, whether for food or as a hobby has been popular for decades. Today, modern gardeners can use modern technology to save money and become more efficient in their hobby. Gardeners are using the internet to learn more about gardening and to acquire plants, tools, and other necessities in the cheapest way possible. Here are some internet hacks that can help make gardening easier and more cost-effective:
Online Seed Swapping
Seed swapping has always been a fun way for gardeners to get new varieties of plants. Now with modern technology, you can do this easier and more successfully. Join gardening forums, social media groups, or specialized websites where gardeners exchange seeds. This way, you can acquire a variety of seeds for free or at a minimal cost. This is also an excellent way to get rare or heirloom varieties that aren’t currently for sale from seed catalogs.
Online Plant Shopping
Shopping online allows you access to an endless variety of plants and seeds. By comparing prices and availability of plants across various online nurseries, you can find the best deals and a wider range of plant varieties than you may have access to in local stores. If you need specific varieties or specialty plants, an online search such as “autoflower seeds” will help you find a source.
DIY Garden Tools
Search online for DIY garden tool tutorials. You might find instructions on how to create your own plant markers, seedling pots, and even basic gardening tools using everyday items. By using these DIY tutorials you will be able to save money through making your own tools instead of buying more expensive ready-made options.
Garden Planning Apps
Another way to take advantage of technology is by utilizing online garden planning tools and apps to design and lay out your garden. These tools can help you optimize space, plan crop rotations, and ensure proper plant spacing. You can save a lot of time using these apps because you won’t have to lay out and design your own garden on a piece of paper. Because these apps allow you to do more than just draw diagrams, you will find these plans useful throughout the season and far beyond planting day.
Online Video Tutorials
If you are looking for self-educational materials you will find that the internet is a treasure trove of gardening tutorials. You can find step-by-step videos on various gardening tasks such as planting, pruning, composting, and more. Once you’re ready for more difficult challenges such as grafting or creating your own plant varieties you will find online videos will continue to provide you with excellent instruction and visual learning aids.
Online Plant Care Guides
The internet is also an excellent place to look for information about specific plants and varieties. When in doubt about a plant’s care requirements, look for online plant care guides and tutorials. Many gardening websites and forums offer detailed information on caring for specific plants which can be very comprehensive. You can even find guides to help you grow specific plants in different areas of the country, various climates, and unique gardening situations such as patio gardening or gardening in the desert.
Free Gardening Courses
If you are looking for a comprehensive guide to a specific skill or a getting-started guide to gardening you will find what you need online. Several websites offer free or affordable online gardening courses. These can help you learn new techniques, improve your skills, and expand your gardening knowledge. No matter your skill level, there is a gardening course that can help you. Some state extension offices are even offering their Master Gardener course for online users.
DIY Composting Solutions
Composting is one of those skills that seems simple but can be difficult to learn. Use the internet to learn about DIY composting methods like vermicomposting (using worms) or composting in small spaces. Online guides and videos can help you set up a composting system inexpensively. By utilizing these DIY solutions you will be able to avoid purchasing expensive composting systems or buying many bags of compost from garden centers
Consider using bulk purchases to help you save money. Look for gardening supplies like seeds, soil amendments, and tools in bulk online. Buying in larger quantities often comes with cost savings. If you find that the bulk order is much larger than you need, consider joining up with other local gardeners to combine your purchases in order to save money.
Just as you can use online DIY guides to help you learn to make your own gardening tools and other supplies, you can also use online guides to help you come up with creative ideas for planters. Search for DIY ideas to repurpose other containers as planters. Old buckets, tires, wooden crates, and more can be turned into unique and inexpensive plant containers. You can also use online guides to help you make your own planters from a variety of different materials such as concrete, old pallets, and materials from home improvement stores.
Community Gardening Websites
The internet is an amazing tool for meeting other like-minded hobbyists. Join local gardening or community forums where people exchange tips, plants, and even tools. While the large national or international forums are also excellent sources of information, local community forums allow you to meet gardeners who live nearby. This can be a great way to get free or low-cost resources.
Plant propagation is one of those skills many gardeners aspire to once they are no longer beginners. Information found on the internet can help you to learn about plant propagation methods such as taking cuttings, dividing plants, and growing plants from seeds. Online guides can help you expand your garden without spending much money.
Weather Forecast Apps
Finally, you can use weather forecast apps to stay updated on upcoming weather conditions. This can help you plan watering, pest control, and other garden maintenance tasks more efficiently. In the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, your weather forecast app will help you predict sudden frosts which can destroy your garden if you aren’t prepared. Make sure to stay on top of the weather forecast by checking your app daily.
While internet hacks can provide useful tips, it’s also important to critically evaluate the information you come across and ensure it’s from reliable sources. Gardening practices can vary based on climate, soil type, and other factors, so adapt the advice to your specific situation when necessary.