17 Brilliant FREE Vegetable Gardening Hacks | More Food for Less Effort


– This video features 17 free
vegetable gardening hacks that I use all the time in the garden. And I’ve even thrown in a
couple of bonus ones too. And I created this video to celebrate the launch of my new book
which comes out today, and it’s called, “Grow Food for Free.” Imagine being able to
grow an abundance of food using only sustainable techniques, and be able to enjoy home grown produce every day of the year at zero cost. “Grow Food for Free” is
packed with everything you need to know to grow food
without needing any money, and it’s suitable for both beginners and experienced gardeners. So get your copy of “Grow
Food for Free” today, using the link provided down below, so you can unlock a future of free food. Now onto the hacks. Ice cream tubs, yogurt
pots, and cream pots make the most amazing free plant labels. Carefully cut pots into strips around 1.5 – 2cm wide. And then use a pen to
write on the blank side. These plant labels can
last for many seasons, and it is so easy to collect yogurt pots from neighbours and family. Use permanent marker for
them to be waterproof and suitable to be used not just indoors but also outdoors. One of the coolest ways to grow potatoes is by simply placing them on
the surface of a raised bed and then covering thickly with some mulch. This mulch could be something like straw, old hay, or autumn leaves. Once the potato plants
appear through the mulch, cover them again with more mulch, and then let them grow until
the plants are ready to harvest which is around a couple
of weeks after flowering. And simply pull away the mulch
and pick out the potatoes. You can also try this method just using wood chip as a mulch. Brambles or any other thorny
cane offer an excellent instant fence effect to help protect your seedlings from slugs. Cut the canes into 30
centimetre long sections and lay them like a fence
around your prized seedlings, you can also stack two to three
canes on top of each other, and it won’t stop every single slug, but I can guarantee that it
will make a huge difference. Suburban and rural areas
are full of wild brambles that need clearing, so
instead of just clearing and burning all of the brambles, we have an excellent use for the canes in our gardens and allotments,
to help keep slugs away. This won’t be suitable
for every single climate, but I try and garden in
accordance with the weather, and I always prioritise sowing seeds and transplanting seedlings during or right before some heavy rain. This means you save yourself
the time of watering afterwards and also using up your water storage. Because the rain will
do all of that for you. Fellow YouTuber Steve from
The Optimistic Gardener, has come up with an excellent
way to repurpose pallets into creating our own seed trays. And if you have spare nails
or screws lying about, or even repurpose the nails from the pallets that you break up, then this can be a free project. Pallets can be found for
free in many locations. And for example, last year,
I picked up three pallets from a local tennis club. These seed trays have an added benefit of being as large as you want them to be, and also plastic free. Create the frame and then
nail the planks to the base. Just make sure that the pallets you use have the HT symbol, which
stands for heat treated and not chemically treated. If you’re struggling to
create straight seed trenches in the garden, then look no further. Cut a piece of bamboo just under the width of your raised bed, and
lay it over the surface. Then press firmly down to a desired depth, lift and you now have a
perfectly straight seed trench. This amazing technique can also be done using an old broom handle
or a long piece of wood. Another way for creating
a perfectly straight line which you can use for
creating a seed trench of even for transplanting seedlings, is to find two sticks and a bit of string. Tie one end of the string near
the top of one of the sticks, and plant this stick on a side
of your widest raised bed. And then roll the string out
to the other side and cut it, leaving a bit overhang. Now tie this end of the
string to the second stick, and then twirl it to the desired length. Both sticks planted at both
sides and twirled taut, will create a perfectly straight line. Made popular by Charles Dowding, the technique of multi-sowing allows you to grow more plants in less space. And it also means that
you need less compost to get them growing. For example, beetroot, radish and turnips can be sown four to five seeds to a module and then transplanted. And as the clumps of seedlings grow, they will push away from each other. And multi-sowing also means that sowing and transplanting times
are greatly reduced. Cardboard tubes like loo rolls, make fantastic biodegradable plant pots to start off your seeds. Peas and beans work especially well. And when it comes to transplanting, you can place the whole cardboard roll directly in the ground,
as it will break down. Which means that your plant will suffer far less transplant shock. Fill the tubes with homemade
compost and sow your seeds. And then store these in boxes, such as old ice cream tubs or crates to prevent the compost falling out. Alternatively, you can create four cuts at the end of one of the tubes and fold them inwards to create a pot. This hack is one of the
most satisfying things any gardener can do. Fill an old rain gutter with
compost and then sow seeds. This works very well for peas, because when it comes to transplanting, create a trench in a raised
bed, and then slide the seedlings straight from the rain
gutter into the trench, and they have been instantly transplanted. But this also works really
well for other things such as lettuce and salads. A quick bonus hack on the theme of peas, use Christmas tree branches
to create amazing pea supports when you just transplant your seedlings. Collect Christmas tree
branches from neighbours and recycling facilities in early January and use to your heart’s content. And this also works really
well for sweet peas too. One of the most effective ways to easily increase the productivity of your garden is to scrap creating annual planting plans and instead look at
monthly planting plans. There are so many benefits to this, because a month by
month look at the garden means you can plan ahead
for when a gap appears. So you can sow seeds ready to transplant as soon as you have harvested a crop. So you can get two or
three different harvests from the same space in one growing season. Using a monthly planting
plan also really helps make you feel in control. Because it is so much simpler
to look at what’s happening on a month to month basis, and it means that the plan that you have is going to be very close to
how the garden is laid out at any one point in time. Permaculturalist Bill Mollison
devised an excellent way to ensure that your parsnips and carrots would have excellent germination. The trick is to not let the
seeds dry out during germination by watering after sowing,
and then placing a plank over the row of seeds
to reduce evaporation. And then remove the plank when you see small
seedlings begin to appear. If you want to have healthy
and strong tomato plants, there is one clever trick to really encourage a deep
established root system. After transplanting a tomato seedling and giving it a deep water. Don’t water the seedling for seven days to encourage the roots to
grow in search of water. This then makes a more resilient plant that will also have
greater access to nutrients and water as a result. Did you know that you
can also grow dried peas and beans as well, that you find in the back of your kitchen cupboard. Dried peas can be sown and
grown indoors and outdoors, and offer a fantastic
harvest of not just peas but also pea shoots, which are a wonderful
addition to any salad. Make sure you soak dried peas for an hour to help them germinate faster. Weeding your garden is not
the most enjoyable job, but there’s a few ways to
make it far more effective. Firstly, block out a flexible
once a week weeding session to stay on top. And then try and weed during
the intense midday sun or just before, and then leave
the weeds that you pull out on the surface of raised
beds or on soil to wilt. And they will break
down and save you a trip to the compost bin. A bonus tip is to use wood
chip that can be sourced for free from local arborists. As a material that you can
lay down and use as pathways around your growing area. After a year or two, the wood chip will have
broken down nicely. So you can simply scoop
the composted wood chip up and mulch your containers
and beds with it. And then replenish the
paths with new wood chip. This is an excellent example
of multifunctional gardening and if you want to find out
more about this technique, then look in the video description. A mind hack that works so well when you’re feeling a little bit swamped with gardening tasks, is to just focus on one thing at a time. Simply choose one task that is higher up on the priority list
and start working on it, and don’t move onto anything else until you have finished
that specific task. This really helps focus you
and you’ll feel much better after finishing that single task, because then there is less to be done. And the priority that I would choose is a task which will
take up a lot of time, because when you blow that out of the way, suddenly, everything
feels a lot more doable. If you’re not so keen on
that, a different mind hack that you can do, is
prioritise all of the tasks in the garden that will
take five minute or less. And do these before you
then do anything else. By doing this, it means you can tick off and complete the easy jobs
first one step at a time. For example, pruning a blackcurrant. And getting all of these
quick wins will help trick you into feeling very productive. Next time you’re in the garden, why not head up with a notebook and make a list of all of
the five minutes or less jobs you can think of and
then do them one by one, because I find checklists
are so easy and so useful. And it feels great just to
tick things off the list. So there you have 17 free
vegetable gardening hacks that you can start implementing
in your garden right away. And if you found these hacks useful, then you’d love my new
book, “Grow Food for Free.” Which is full of loads of
different hacks and techniques to really help you grow food without needing to spend any money. If you would like to support the channel and also learn how to
drastically reduce costs in the garden, then get yourself a copy of “Grow Food For Free” today. And all of the information
and links you need for that are down below in the video description and also in a pinned comment. I really hope you enjoyed this video and let me know if you
have a favourite hack, or which one you’re really
looking forward to starting. And also if you have any
questions or suggestions. And I look forward to
seeing you again soon in another video, goodbye. (pleasant acoustic music)

100 Replies to “17 Brilliant FREE Vegetable Gardening Hacks | More Food for Less Effort”

  1. Best video ever! Just shared it on FB. I'm going to try a lot of these hacks – especially the brambles to protect the seedlings & to keep the dogs out of the beds!

  2. I will be doing the potato hack in the very near future I want to get some amendments in soil before I put the potatoes in I've already gotten hay from a local farmer it's already currently in the rot process should do nicely get the potassium and phosphate no things I need potatoes and onions that I grow will grow enormous I hope good video thanks

  3. But plastic degrades into micro and macro plactics which tru the watering can be collected into some plants and thus you end up eating….plastic. Better to use wood…..it can be free too and amazingly grows unlike money to use more!

  4. Really useful tips, thanks! I just subscribed! Greetings from Melbourne Australia. Good luck with the book, will check it out.👍🌱

  5. Hey Huw! Is there any possibility, that your book will be available in danish at one point? My mom LOVES the garden, but because of a sickness, she cannot understand other languages very well. Hope to hear from you! 🙂 Love your channel.

  6. I've always had trouble with cats digging in my beds. This year, when planting seeds in beds, I staple gunned chicken wire over the beds to keep the cats out. Has worked pretty well this far. My pea sprouts are 3 inches tall and every single one sprouted!

  7. when l see blooming blossoms and buds and petals and fruit coming so desirable and satisfying than anyother jobs with tables and chairs and computers.. please help me find a WORK in a flower farm am willing to relocate. works anything Agricultural with planting grafting watering haversting flowers and fruits vegetables herbs..  if you know any opportunity anywhere in the world am willing to move with my son even volunteering in a farm.

  8. Sir , You deserve living forever on earth. Psamls 37: 11 , Isaiah 65:21 environmental friendly and your ideas are really great and unique. In the paradise earth each family has their own vegetables fruits grown in own gardens. Such activities reminds me the Creator of all that. With love HE created ALL that so man can live forever as we see the packed nutritional value of each are evidence to God's purpose for earth and for righteous mankind.

  9. Multi-sowing works great for beets. I find I need to thin out radish and turnips in order for root bulbs to form.

  10. Sixth video I have watched. The first one that I felt I learned valuable information amd tips I will use for the rest of my life! So thank you alot! I would buy your book, but I am a mother of two who are in sports more days than not, and in college full time, myself. I live paycheck to paycheck to keep my grandmothers house from being taken since shes passed.(bigger than I can afford but I CANT lose it either) Wow! TMI… My aplogies😂😂 But just cuz I cant afford your book doesnt mean I wont watch your videos! Thank you for the wisdom! Much love! 🇺🇸

  11. Well done Huw! We're off to a flying start :)) One more tip for the flower dept.. Buy up cheap 'gone over' or 'give-away' potted bulbs, and plants like primulas, from your garden shop. Trim them, feed them, plant them in dull areas under trees or bushes, and you can have a wonderful splash of colour for cheap-as-chips costs, either late spring or next year. Congrats on the book!

  12. I am going to try the carrot and plank method. I’ve never had success with my carrots, and hopefully I will now!

  13. Hi Huw. I like the idea of using bramble stalks as a slug barrier for the big ones. What about the tiny ones how do you stop them?

  14. Lovely video; excellent ideas! I subscribed. One question, though – re: the brambles. Will they sprout? I worked my derriere off getting rid of blackberry and its cousins from where I didn't want it. I would hate to inadvertently reintroduce it into my raised beds.

  15. I sometimes put blackberry thorn canes sticking out of the ground around veggies that rodents love and it stopped them from being eaten by them. 🙂

  16. I think for me, the most useful thing I ever applied to my home food plot was Mel Bartholomew's "square foot gardening" system. It's a great way to maximize use of space and never feel overwhelmed by the task at hand.

  17. You said you plant before a rain. Do you plant by the moon as well? I'm in California but many of us use the farmers almanac

  18. Very interesting video. I will definitely buy this book. As for the labels, I cut out aluminium pop cans into small strips and write directly with an old ball point pen. The ink will go, but the name will remain embossed

  19. I’ve been using large yogurt pots for years for plant labels but cutting the ends at an angle so they go into the compost more easily.
    I’d like to add another excellent time saving hack. Dig your bean trenches in autumn and tip kitchen waste straight in. Cover as the trench fills and make sure it’s marked either end. By May when you transplant all your lovely runners or climbing French beans the waste will be perfectly broken down. Saves all that hauling and turning of compost heaps.

  20. My daughter surprised me. She does not like gardening. But she loves to listen this video. I think you have inspired her. She loves your creativity.

  21. Most of these I find as common sense to most gardeners. I however am not to sure I can listen to a gardener that uses Tires near their food growth. One of the dumbest things you can ever do.Great way to bring toxins to to your entire garden from the leaching. Horrible idea!

  22. Good video uploading, thanks for sharing to us such an amazing gardening and looking forward to see more posting video

  23. Brilliant ideas thank you! I am having problem getting rid of fungus gnats on my green house I tried every organic techniques except replacing the soil but I have so much plants. Do you have any other suggestions?

  24. Q. Why do like 99% of the videos online say to use raised beds? What's wrong with your soil? In western Canada traditional gardening grows the garden in the ground and not raised beds.

  25. These ideas all seem to be plagiarized from existing works by other authors. Your books must be kind of a cut and paste with nice pictures.

  26. My way of pruning black currants was to wait til most fruit ripe then cut the stem off with fruit on then lay in wheelbarrow carefully then take to chair in sunshine and pick off fruit from each stem putting into bucket. This saved a lot of backache. One year I picked 52 lbs of them….yummy…

  27. Count yourself lucky that you're able to afford a living out of something you really enjoy doing. I have seen you grow up in the last couple of years so fast!

  28. Great info, thanks! And congratulations on the book—how exciting to see all your hard work displayed in such a professional manner for the whole world to enjoy! Well done!

  29. The bramble barrier hack is excellent. I have plenty in an unloved bit near my garage. Tried and failed to grow an edible hedge – sloe etc there because of the powerful brambles. While I can make excellent bramble jam from it, that’s always been “it” for that area.

  30. We keep getting flooded out during planting season from the weather modification programs. How do we find a voice to help us stop the spraying. What does grow looks bad😞.

  31. For marking the plant labels, look for a "garden marker" in garden supply stores/departments or even a livestock ear-tag marker at farm stores/departments, as regular permanent markers can fade completely away by summers end, maybe mostly if facing into sun, but I haven't experimented since that summer … 😉 . I've made these from yogurt containers b4, also use the containers for starting, or growing on, tomatoes, as they can't be planted out til pretty late here in NW Wisconsin ( Tho I have yet to do hot beds or cold frames much). Thanks Huw !

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