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Gardening hacks

Top trending TikTok and Instagram hacks to transform your garden overnight

There’s no better time to spruce up your garden than when it gets warm, and it appears the rest of the country thinks so too. 

It has been reported that Brits spend a staggering 5,675 hours over their lifetime tending to their garden, highlighting just how much we value our outdoor space. Not surprisingly, 45 hours alone are spent watering plants each year. In the past year, Brits have also spent, on average, £620 getting their hands dirty in the garden, with most looking forward to spending time outdoors this year. 

With that in mind, tombola are sharing the quickest and easiest TikTok and Instagram hacks to update your garden.

Searches for ‘garden ideas’ have increased by 165%

Comparing searches for ‘garden ideas’ from January to March 2022, tombola can reveal an increase of 81%, showing the public are preparing for spring and are ready to start transforming their garden. 

11 Hacks to Transform Your Garden

1.   Turn your indoor tablecloth into a rug in less than an hour

Average monthly searches for ‘outdoor rugs’ have remained at 90,500 for the last two years, an increase of 512% to the previous two years, prior to the pandemic. But, did you know, you can make one yourself? Take your tablecloth, use a couple of coats of water-based polyurethane - about 10 minutes apart - on both sides, and then use a rubber rug backer to keep it in place. This should help prevent wear and tear and you can then place it under your outdoor seating/canopy to keep it protected. The water-based polyurethane does dry fast, so keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t stick to the floor. 

If you’ve got the DIY itch, you can also create a brand-new, geometric indoor rug using carpet cut-off samples and sticking them together on the underside with strong tape.

2.   Use white vinegar to clean your patio in 20 minutes

If you can’t afford a pressure washer or don’t have an outdoor tap, you might be wondering how to clean your outdoor paving. You can do it with white vinegar (costing less than £2) and a strong gardening brush. Mix half white vinegar and water together, let it sit for around 20 minutes and then scrub and rinse it away.

 3.   Create stepping stones overnight using cake tins, just like Mrs Hinch

Mrs Hinch is one of the UK’s most iconic ‘cleanfluencers’, with over 4.4 million followers on her popular Instagram @mrshinchhome, but she has also been known to share gardening tips. Taking a bag of cement and mixing with water with a large stick in a tub, she lined cake tins with clingfilm and carefully poured the cement into each in a recent Instagram story. She then popped spare kitchen tiles into the mix to create stepping stones and left to set until the next day to create DIY stepping stones.

4.   Don’t throw away spoiled milk, use it for your soil

If your milk has started to spoil, don’t throw it away. Instead, use it for your garden. Mix the milk with your soil and add it to the top of your plants to act as a natural fertiliser, while also saving you money.

5.   Create ‘real wood’ garage doors with a paint kit in just three hours

TikToker @karissaathome regularly shares DIY tips with more than 221,000 followers. But one of her videos demonstrates how you can create the illusion of real wood garage doors. Using three coats of Giani wood paint, in just three hours, Karissa created wood-effect doors and has even significantly improved the kerb appeal of her home. You can also add magnetic door handles to complete the ‘authentic’ look.

6.   Use glass bottles to keep your plants alive while away

If you are planning to go away or are simply looking for more tips to keep your plants hydrated, all you need are glass bottles . Just fill them up with water and stick them straight into the soil upside down. Another tip is to water them before doing this, so the water lasts longer in the bottle.

7.   Perk up your plants using oats from your kitchen cupboard 

Did you know you can use oats to help your plants grow? If your plants are wilting or looking a little lackluster, just add two tablespoons of dried oats around the soil of your plants once a month to give them a new lease of life.

8.   Sprinkle cinnamon to protect your plants

Plants love cinnamon. Sprinkling cinnamon on seedlings can encourage growth, and it can also help to prevent disease in your plants. But one of its main selling points is that cinnamon can stop bugs from eating your plants.

9.   Provide a habitat for butterflies, bees and other wildlife

Julie Power from Blooming Native Wildflowers exclusively told tombola that wildflowers are a great place to get started for those new to gardening, but you need to make sure that your soil fertility is low. “Firstly, don't apply fertiliser or plant food. Secondly, cut (mow) the grass and weeds every now and again (at least twice a year) and then remove these cuttings, you will eventually notice some flowers may pop up if there are dormant flower seeds in the soil. Have you sown some wildflowers? Cut the flowers back to about 7cm in height in Autumn. Then, remove these cuttings. This is the most important step! By removing the cuttings, you are keeping soil fertility low and also allowing the new and existing plants to receive better access to light.

 “Native plants feed insects, which in turn feed birds, bats, and other wildlife.” This can also help to provide a habitat for butterflies, bees, birds and other wildlife.

10.   Use soap BEFORE gardening

If you are gardening without gloves, you’ll know how frustrating it is trying to remove soil from underneath your nails. However, a little tip before planting is to very gently run your nails through a block of soap, which means the soap goes under your nails. This should prevent as much soil from getting under, and you can wash away when finished.

11.   Bring the outdoors in with wood panelling

This one is a little trick for those who have spare wood in their garden and would love to refresh a room in their house. Take some spare wood, attach to your wall in the pattern you would like and paint over. You can do this in a matter of hours for just the cost of a tin of paint.

If you are looking for even more tips for the home, you can check out our cleaning hacks and even how you can save £81 with natural cleaning products

6 Hacks to Keep Your Flowers Fresh 

1.   Spray your real or dried flowers with hairspray

A popular TikTok hack involves spraying your flowers with hairspray to make them last longer, the video currently has been viewed over 100k times. This hack also works with dried flowers too. Dried flowers have become more popular in the last few years, with them lasting between 1-3 years. It's a perfect way to add a colourful bunch of flowers to your room, while saving yourself some money in the long run.

2.   Add sugar and coins to tulips

A popular flower around March and April is the Tulip, and you will see them pop up more in supermarkets and online flower delivery sites at this time of year. To make these seasonal bouquets last a little longer, prick the stem using a small pin, fill your vase with water adding two small coins, and add a spoonful of sugar to make them last longer.

3.   Ice, white vinegar, sugar and soda water are all cupboard favourites that can benefit your plants health

Adding two tbsp of white vinegar to your plants keeps away bacteria and makes your plants last longer. The same can also be said for adding ice to your water, as this can keep flowers fresher and keep bacteria at bay.

This video which gives numerous hints and tips has been viewed over 122k times. Giving sugar, soda water, or an energy drink to your plants water, instead of the plant food, can help with giving nutrients to the flowers. Soda or carbonated water contains vital nutrients to help with healthy plant growth.

4.   Keep fruit away from flowers

Did you know that having your flowers near your fruit bowl can affect how long they last for? When plants and flowers start to drop, this is a result of them producing the growth hormone Ethylene. Some fruits such as tomatoes, bananas and apples produce a high level of this gas, which will lead to plants aging and, therefore, dying off quicker.

5.   Use clear tape to create a grid to keep flowers in place

This clever TikTok hack is for smaller bunches of flowers that may not fill your vase. To keep them from leaning, create a grid using clear tape across the top of the vase. Arrange the tape across the top and cut away any access. Place the flowers in the holes, this will keep them in place and save you handling them less.

6. Cut stems on an angle to absorb more water

To make sure your flowers are absorbing enough water, when arranging your flowers make sure you cut each individual stem at a 45 degree angle. This increases the surface area, therefore allowing the flowers to soak up more water. Carefully use scissors or a knife, and no blunt objects to risk squashing the stem and causing the flowers damage.