From amateur to expert: 5 gardening hacks you need to know

(BPT) – Gardening isn’t just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. Connecting with nature, being outdoors and putting in the needed work for a beautiful result is the ultimate reward.  

As an avid gardener, you’re always looking for new ways to outshine the previous year and achieve bigger, lusher results. If you’ve been using the same techniques for years, it might be time to add something new to your repertoire and bring your garden to the next level with these tips:

Use citrus peel starter pots

Did you know leftover citrus peels create the perfect starter pot for your seedlings? Before you plant them in your garden, make sure your seedlings are growing strong and healthy. Turn any citrus peel into a seedling pot by poking a hole in the bottom for drainage. Fill it with potting soil, then add seeds and water. The acidic peel creates the perfect environment for your seedling to thrive. When the time comes to plant the seedling in your garden, you can even plant the peel. It will add acidity to your soil and take about six to nine months to decompose.

Solder a trellis

With just a little copper pipe or flexible copper tubing, solder and an easy-to-use torch, such as the Bernzomatic TS4000 High Heat Torch, you can create a beautiful trellis for your tomato plants, climbing ivy, roses or any arrangement you can dream up. Use this opportunity to get creative! You can go traditional, or create your own unique design and pattern using online sites like Pinterest for ideas (search metal trellis and prepare to be inspired). Just be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves and take all safety precautions.

Weed your garden with fire

No one likes seeing those pesky weeds poke out of their driveway or pavers. Flame weeding with a torch like the Bernzomatic JT850 Lawn & Garden Torch, is a fast, effective way to kill weeds without applying chemicals to your lawn. The torch has a 36-inch extended reach so you don’t have to bend over and strain your back. Simply clear the area of loose combustible materials, sweep the flame over the roots of the weeds, then sweep away the extinguished remnants from the area.  Remember, never burn poison ivy or other poisonous plants. The smoke can cause serious allergic reactions. Use safety precautions and make sure the weed is wilted at a minimum before you torch.

Put down landscaping fabric

If you want to prevent weeds before they even sprout, try landscaping fabric. Not only will it protect your garden from weeds, but it will also keep the roots of your plants warm when the spring weather is still cool. Start by laying out the fabric on a fire-safe surface, then use a torch, either a handheld torch or a lawn and garden torch, to burn holes for planting. Burning holes helps the fabric last longer and prevents it from fraying. It’s important to follow safety instructions, work over a fire-safe surface and keep flammable materials out of the burn zone.

Make your own compost

Why spend money on something that’s so easy to make yourself? Making your own garden compost takes very little time or effort. You can use dead and rotting leaves, eggshells, unused tomatoes, cucumbers or any other organic products you find in your kitchen to make the compost. Put it all together in a container and give them some time to disintegrate. Then, combine your mixture with soil and you have your own, virtually free compost to give your plants the nutrients they need.

Let these tips help you grow your best garden yet. For more information on Bernzomatic products, visit

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