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12 Life Hacks for Easy Urban Gardening With Videos

Susanna Sisson's picture
Gardening planters

Gardening doesn’t have to be done on a massive scale to provide food, herbs and home remedies. Urban gardening has grown in popularity for the last decade, and is even taught in some high schools. Here are some great life hacks you may not have considered to grown your own urban garden.


Life hack number 1 – Bucket gardening. Just about everyone has room for a bucket where they live. You can grow tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, just about anything.

Life hack number – 2 Ladder - If you have a small deck an old ladder can increase your growing space. Just open the ladder and place boards across the steps. If it’s not a double stepladder, you can make supports for the other side of the board. You’ll need cup holder screws and short pieces of chain or zip ties. Attach the cup screws into the wood and either side of the ladder then use chain or zip ties to hang the board. You can insert buckets into the openings of the steps to increase space.

Life hack number 3 – Plastic storage tubs. Tubs are inexpensive, durable and easy. I use them to make my compost but also as planters.

Life hack number 4 – Egg cartons. Cardboard egg cartons are great ways to start a garden because they are biodegradable and can go right into the ground if you have the space to plant. If not you can place them into a window box. I buy eggs in bulk and save the cartons and the boxes for my starters. A little trick I learned is to put a shell in each space to increase the calcium levels in the soil.

Life hack number 5 – Window boxes. Available at most stores during the summer season this is an easy way to grow food or flowers and spruce up your space. Some come with hangers to attach to privacy fences around patios.

Life hack number 6 – Tea tins. Not only are these pretty but they are the perfect size for kitchen window herb gardens.

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Life hack number 7 – Jars. Totally easy. I save glass jars for storage and planting herbs. Just be sure to put a few pebbles in the bottom for drainage and when the plant outgrows the container get a bigger jar. You can paint jars or do glass etching so you can identify each herb.

Gardening Jar

Life hack number 8 – Rain boots. You wouldn’t normally think of planting in a boot but they make super cute planters.

Life hack number 9 – Old tires – Old tires are durable and most tire shops would gladly give you an old one. Just hang on the side of a fence to plant things like strawberries or stack together on the ground for a deep planter.

Life hack number 10 – Coffee cans. All you need for this are old coffee cans and sturdy string. Make a hole on either side of the can and run the string through the holes and tie a knot to make a handle. Hang on deck railings or fences. If you’re creative you can paint the cans and decorate. Remember to put a hole in the bottom for drainage.

Life hack number 11 – Pallets. I created a whole garden using pallets. They are much easier than building an above ground container. Just line the pallet with sturdy cardboard then add your potting soil. This works best for plants that don’t need deep roots like cabbage or lettuce or onions. If you want deeper planters you can build up the sides using boards and most lumber yards will cut board to spec. All you have to do is nail them to the pallet.

Life hack number 12 – Birthday Cake lids. I love to recycle and I found a use for birthday cake lids in my gardening. I use them to grow my starter plants. Just use a hot ice pick to make drainage holes. Here's a video on how I recycled my birthday container lid.