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5 Gal Bucket – The Top Available Today for Urban Gardening

5 gal bucket

From tending raised bed gardens on rooftops to growing select vegetables in a 5-gallon bucket (more commonly known as a 5 gal bucket) in backyards and balconies, urban gardening is increasing worldwide. As the population of the world moves more and more towards urban settings, the practice of gardening transforms to fit the diverse environment of cities.

As crazy as it may sound, traditional gardens are pretty much a thing of the past. Investing in containers for urban gardening such as 5-gallon buckets is the new norm. If you slow down and pay attention, you will probably notice a few 5-gallon bucket garden containers in a backyard or on an apartment balcony near you.

There is an unlimited number of ways to modify your "5 gal bucket" into a great garden container. Knowing what you will do with one is essential if you want to purchase the best bucket for your particular urban gardening needs.

Urban Gardening

Urban Gardening

Urban gardening is a mixture of techniques and strategies employed to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs and other plants in urban areas such as large cities. Due to the nature of the thing, each urban garden is unique. 5-gallon buckets are commonly placed on porches, balconies, patios, and in yards.

Depending on the purpose of the garden, anywhere from one or two buckets, up to several dozens of buckets may be necessary. A single 5-gallon bucket dedicated to growing vegetables is enough for one of two people to enjoy a steady supply of plants each year, while several buckets growing vegetables and herbs can significantly reduce the amount of money spent on veggies and spices for an entire family each year.

Typical plants found in bucket gardens

Typical plants found in bucket gardens

There is a healthy amount of plants commonly found growing in buckets. Tomatoes are perhaps the most popular plant produced in a 5-gallon bucket. There are a couple of dozen buckets in my garden just for that purpose. Peppers, onions, carrots, beans, squash, spinach, cucumbers, radishes, melons, beets, broccoli, potatoes, lettuce, various berries and other different fruits, vegetables, and herbs. All of these are perfect for growing in buckets.

The average 5-gallon bucket is capable of producing a single tomato plant, pepper plant, melon, herb, eggplant or squash. Three to four beets, heads of lettuce, and onions fit into a single 5-gallon bucket as well. If you decide to go in a different direction, there is room for 10 to 12 carrots, radishes, and small onions.

Getting Started with 5 Gal Buckets

bucket garden

Start by purchasing or otherwise acquiring the right number of food grade 5-gallon buckets for your project. Most home improvement stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot carry a wide variety of buckets. You can also find them online.

The first thing you’ll want to do with your bucket is to create proper drainage holes in the bottom. Do this with either a drill or a hammer and nails. One hole every couple of inches or so will give your bucket an excellent drain.

If you’re worried about the appearance of your bucket, you can purchase a colorful bucket, paint it, or disguise it by placing it inside a larger decorative container. You can also cover the bucket with some aesthetically pleasing fabric.

Next, place a few handfuls of rocks and gravel into the bottom of the bucket. Make sure you fill the bottom of the bucket with at least two or three inches of gravel and rocks to ensure proper drainage. Add a mixture of half potting soil and half peat moss, and you’re ready to plant.

Select the seeds or plants you want to grow in your bucket garden, accurately place them, add water, and watch them grow. For the best results possible, water your plants regularly and add fertilizer to your soil every so often as well.

FAQs About Urban Gardening

Before moving on to the top ten 5-gallon buckets, let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about urban gardening.

What are the benefits of urban gardening?

What are the most common techniques for urban gardening?

How much sun does my urban garden need?

Are urban gardens legal in the United States?

What do I need to get started with 5 gal bucket gardening?

How Much Does a 5 Gal Bucket for Urban Gardening Cost?

You can purchase the best 5-gallon buckets online through Amazon and eBay, or at local department stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s. Most 5-gallon buckets fall into a general price range of $5 to $30. However, buying in bulk can lower the price down to less than $3 per bucket. There are also high-end buckets that cost well over $50 a piece.

How We Reviewed

To deliver the best selection of 5-gallon buckets to our readers, we delved into some serious research. We looked at urban gardening forums, review sites, informational videos and more. Then, we sorted through numerous product descriptions from retailers and manufacturers, as well as customer reviews and ratings. What we collected was a massive amount of up-to-date information about 5-gallon buckets for gardening, which allowed us to put together the following list.

The Top 5-Gallon Buckets for Urban Gardening

Here’s our list of the top 5-gallon buckets for urban gardening to purchase in 2018. We’ve also included a few alternatives to simple standard 5-gallon buckets as a bonus. You’ll find a summary for each product including features, prices, ratings and warranty options for each item. The list is in no particular order.


This premium bucket from Hudson Exchange is available individually or in packs of 6 and 12. It comes in various colors including black, yellow, green, blue, red, white and grey. The bucket is taller than most, as well as having a tapered stackable design.


This blue 5-gallon bucket is available on Amazon. It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars due to Amazon customer reviews. The price range is $10 to $20.


Sale
Encore Plastics 50640 Industrial Plastic 70-Mil with Handle, 5-Gallon,...
  • This item is a Encore Plastics 50640 Industrial Plastic 70-Mil with Handle, 5-Gallon, Pail White
  • Purpose of use for Painting Supplies, wallpaper-hand-tools
  • This product is manufactured in United States

This All-American bucket consists of high-grade 70 Mil plastic. It is pale white, comes with a handle, and is stackable. Used by contractors and homeowners for everything from gardening to painting supplies. The Encore Plastics bucket is available in 3.5-gallon size as well.


The Encore Plastics 5-gallon bucket is on Amazon where it has a 4.4 out of 5 stars rating by customer reviews. This items price range is $15 to $25.


Bucket Kit, Five Colored 5 Gallon Buckets with Matching Gamma Seal...
  • Five Multi-colored bucket kit and a matching* Gamma Seal lid for the bucket
  • Plastic resin USA sourced!
  • All buckets are BPA free Food-grade Plastic.

This seven-piece food grade white bucket kit comes with assorted color gamma seal lids. Made of plastic resin, the buckets are manufactured in the United States and the materials are also from the United States (if buying American is important to you). Free shipping comes with the purchase of this seven pack.


You can pick up this 5-gallon bucket kit online via Amazon. It has a 5 out of 5 stars rating and a price range of $135 to $145.


The Homer Bucket is another favorite 5-gallon bucket for gardening. It’s available from Home Depot and Amazon and has one of the lowest prices currently on the market. This bucket is a standard all-purpose 5-gallon bucket painted in orange with the Home Depot logo. They don’t get much more basic than this.


Hudson Exchange Premium 5 Gallon Bucket with White Lid, HDPE,...
  • Taller height reduces spillage during filling and capping
  • Polished surface provides attractive appearance
  • Reinforcing ribs maintain container shape

This three pack of 5-gallon buckets from Hudson Exchange is available on Amazon. The product has a 5 out of 5 stars rating by Amazon customer reviews. The buckets have a price range of $35 to $45.


5 Gallon Green Buckets Six (6) Pack | Plastic
  • Material: High-density polyethylene Plastic 90 Mils
  • Dimensions: 12"w x 15"h (+-) .10"
  • Weight: 2 Lbs ea Bucket

These six buckets consist of food safe polyethylene that meets all USDA, UFC, NMFC, and FDA regulations. They’re a heavy duty 90 Mils thick. The buckets weigh two pounds each and are 12 inches wide and 15 inches high. These buckets are safe for storing food as well as for growing just about anything.


You can purchase this six-pack of 5-gallon buckets from Amazon. They have a rating of 5 out of 5 stars based on Amazon customer reviews and a price range of $55 to $65.


Hudson Exchange Premium 5 Gallon Bucket, HDPE, Green
  • Taller height reduces spillage during filling and capping
  • Polished surface provides attractive appearance
  • Reinforcing ribs maintain container shape

Another primary 5-gallon bucket which is great for urban gardening is this premium green bucket from Hudson Exchange. It is ribbed, stackable, and taller than most 5-gallon buckets. It can hold fluids of up to 190 degrees hot although that would be extremely unhealthy for your plants. Fair warning. This bucket is perfect for an urban garden with a green theme.


This green 5-gallon bucket is available through Amazon. It has a 4.6 out of 5 stars rating and a price range of $10 to $20.


Berkley Rope Handle 5 Gallon Bucket
  • Perfect for transporting your gear
  • Great for ice, surf, dock or pier, Bank and saltwater fishing
  • UV and corrosion resistant rope handle

The Berkley bucket with handle is for transporting gear for fishing, but it works great as a modified garden container as well. This is a very basic bucket with the addition of a high-quality UV and corrosion proof rope handle. Perfect for a portable garden container.


The Berkley 5-gallon bucket with rope handle is on Amazon where it has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. The containers price range is $15 to $25.


5-Gallon Pail
  • Item: 5-Gallon Pail

The FarmTek bucket is another container which is ideal for urban gardening. It’s made of high-impact plastics and is exceptionally durable. It comes with a steel wire handle and a plastic handgrip. There are lids and insulated bucket holders available for these buckets as well.


This bucket is available for purchase on Amazon. The container has a 4 out of 5 stars rating due to Amazon customer reviews. Its price range is $10 to $20.


YETI Coolers 26010000010 5Gal Wht Loadout Bucket
  • Yeti Coolers Branded products and accessories are only available to members who meet certain program requirements

For those who’re in search of something a bit more heavy duty, the YETI may be the one for you. This bad boy is actually an impact resistant fishing utility bucket, so it's practically indestructible. It’s also food safe and comes with an easy to use and comfortable handle.


You can pick up this mighty bucket on Amazon. It has a 4.8 out of 5 stars rating and a price range of $35 to $45.


Quickie 20040-4 5 Gallon Bucket & Cleaning Caddy
  • 5-Gallon (20-quart) capacity bucket is great for large clean-ups
  • Built-in volume indicators make measuring easy
  • Comfortable grip handle

The Quickie Cleaning Caddy is not your ordinary 5-gallon bucket. However, it does measure 20 quarts, it has a square shape rather than round and comes with a comfortable handle. It also doubles as a storage container for odds and ends. Although it is not circular, it is still just as useful as a garden container as any other bucket on the list. In fact, if you have limited space to grow, like a small balcony, a square container might be your best bet to maximize your growing area!


You can pick up one of these 5-gallon bucket cleaning caddies on Amazon. It has a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating based on Amazon customer reviews and a price range of $10 to $20.

Selecting the Best 5 Gal Bucket for Your Urban Garden

When it comes to purchasing the best 5-gallon bucket for your urban gardening needs, there are a few things you’ll want to remember. First, no matter what you're going to put in it, a bucket is just a bucket. That said, a bucket is the same as an artists’ canvas. Meaning, the possibilities of gardening with a 5-gallon bucket are endless. The more imagination you have, the more productive each bucket you invest in will become.

The Hudson Exchange Premium 5 Gal Bucket is the best all around 5-gallon bucket for urban gardens. These buckets are taller than most, have a colorful and aesthetically pleasing stackable design, and all at a fair price. They’re available individually as well as in half dozen and one dozen packs.

The Homer Bucket from Home Depot is another excellent choice for urban garden projects which require a more significant number of individual buckets. With a more than reasonable MSRP of $ 2 to $3.25, these buckets drop to the ridiculously low price ranging from $2 to $2.50 per bucket when you buy several dozens at once time.

Do you know about a 5-gallon bucket for urban gardening that should have appeared on our list? We’d love for you to share with our readers in the comments box below!

Enjoy your gardening!

Where to Buy Ladybugs to Help Control Garden Pests

where to buy lady bugs

You may have heard that you can buy ladybugs as a natural way to remove garden pests without the use of harmful pesticides. You can find them on several gardening sites around the country, as well as brick and mortar hardware stores and big box home centers. Many organic gardeners find ways to attract these helpful insects to destroy those that damage food crops.

If you want to buy ladybugs, also known in some parts of the country as ladybirds, lady beetles, and even ladybird beetles, you need to look no further than your computer. Some online sites specialize in selling nothing but ladybugs for gardeners and farmers. This is because ladybugs, in both the adult and larval stages, devour garden pests such as aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs. Ladybugs will eat thousands of these pests in their lifetime. However, before we buy them, let us first learn a few relevant facts about ladybugs to understand them better.

Recognizing Ladybugs

Ladybug

Most people are familiar with the appearance of the adult Coccinellidae, commonly known as the ladybug. They are round and measure approximately 3/8 of an inch in length when fully grown. The females are usually a bit larger than the males. Although they are most commonly red with black spots, there are also orange and black varieties with and without spots.

Ladybug eggs appear white or pale yellow and have an oval shape. You'll find them on plant leaves in orange clusters. The larvae look a bit like blue or black alligators with tiny spiked projections and orange stripes.

Ladybug habitats

Ladybug

Ladybugs range throughout the continental United States. One species, called the Asian lady beetle, recently located to the US. Like most living things, ladybugs establish and thrive where their food supply is plentiful. This means they are prolific in farm fields, parks, green spaces, and gardens.

As winter approaches, they congregate in places where they become dormant for the winter. They will take up residence in rotting trees, under rocks and leaves, or almost anywhere where they will be safe from the harsh winter weather. Including in your house, light fixtures, window sills, and beneath your siding.

Why Ladybugs Are Beneficial

Ladybug

Because of their preferred diet, ladybugs are considered beneficial to humans. They eat pest insects that cause damage to food crops, flowers, and other plants humans find useful or attractive. Not only are the adult ladybugs beneficial, but they lay their eggs where there are aphids and other insect eggs. While ladybugs themselves don't eat that many pest insects, their larvae are voracious. After gestating for approximately five to eight days, the newly hatched ladybug larvae immediately go to work devouring these pests. After about 15 days, they mature into adults and will live for around a year.

Ladybugs are considered very beneficial to farmers and gardeners alike due to their voracious appetites for pest species of insects. While they prefer aphids and will devour over 5,000 during a lifespan, they are also partial to other insects that are considered pests. Scales, tomato hornworm, bollworm, whitefly, cabbage moth, broccoli worm, as well as mites and mealybugs, are all on the ladybug menu. As if that wasn’t enough to classify them as beneficial, some species also eat mildew.

Natural defenses

Diapause

Buying Ladybugs for Your Garden

Ladybug

Now that we know a bit more about these fascinating and beneficial insects, we've identified several places to buy ladybugs online and from brick and mortar stores.

How we reviewed

Because the actual ladybugs should not vary too much from supplier to supplier, this list was determined mostly by the reviews and opinions of their customers. Consideration for inclusion was also made based on the price, packaging, speed of shipment, and condition of the ladybugs upon arrival. The addition of extras and the ability to follow-up with the supplier if there were problems or questions were also determining factors. Also, unless noted, these prices do not include shipping, which can vary based on your location.


Hirt’s Gardens

Founded in 1915, Hirt’s Gardens has a stellar reputation for growing healthy plants and insects and shipping them damage free. One of Ohio’s oldest horticultural centers, they offer packages to buy ladybugs in several price ranges. They currently offer three ways to buy ladybugs, with all population numbers approximated.

  • 750 live ladybugs plus Hirt’s “Natural Nectar” with a guarantee of live delivery
  • 1,500 live ladybugs plus Hirt’s “Natural Nectar” with a guarantee of live delivery
  • 4,500 live ladybugs plus Hirt’s “Natural Nectar” with a guarantee of live delivery

Hirt’s Nature Nectar is a specially formulized nutritional food supplement. To quote their website: “This nutrient-rich food successfully substitutes for many of the nutrients found in natural nectars, pollen, and honeydew (aphid waste).” This supplement will sustain your newly acquired ladybug population after their long trip until they can locate a proper food supply. You can also purchase the Natural Nectar separately.

Besides being a wealth of information concerning the care and maintenance of your ladybug "herd," they are also available to answer any of your gardening and horticultural questions. When you are ready to buy ladybugs, Hirt's is a good option.


Planet Natural

Planet Natural has an excellent reputation and offers Ladybugs in packages based on the amount of area that needs coverage. They're another excellent place to buy ladybugs.

They offer packages ranging from 2,000 that will cover up to 1,000 square feet to 72,000 to patrol an entire acre. Packages range from $2,000, up to 72,000, priced between $25 and $150. Their pricing includes shipping in the continental US. Their ladybug shipping occurs from Monday through Wednesday. Orders received after 8 a.m. (EST) Wednesday will be shipped the following week.


Buglogical

Since 1966, Don and Leah have been providing many eco-friendly alternatives to dangerous pesticides for pest control. These many alternatives also include Ladybugs. They enjoy a first-rate reputation among their customers for being fair, honest and helpful. Buglogical also warrants high praise for being genuinely committed to what they do to protect the environment and your children.

They offer packages of 1,500 or 3,000 live, fresh, healthy ladybugs, priced between $15 and $25. You can place your order through Buglogical.com to buy ladybugs.


Gurney's

Another old and established company, Gurney's began operations in 1866. Their seed catalog is a staple of farmers throughout the country. Gurney’s remains a trusted name and leading seed and nursery company, and they have been for over 130 years.

They offer the “Sta-Home” lady beetle only in the fall and spring to assure top quality stock and peak health of their ladybugs. You can subscribe to their email list to receive notifications of availability. And their customers comment that these ladybugs do tend to stay in the area where they are released. Gurney's sells in packages that contain enough ladybugs to cover 1,000 square feet for about $15.


High Sierra Ladybugs

High Sierra is a small family business that offers several Ladybug packages and accepts PayPal for its customer's convenience. Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains, unlike most drop-ship distributors, they harvest their ladybugs twice a week from their own property. This ensures that they can control the quality and guarantee the viability of their entire stock.

Some of their larger packages include 5,000 or 10,000 ladybugs priced between $50 to $75. They also offer smaller batches for home gardeners containing 200 or 1,500 ladybugs priced between $8 and $14. All their ladybugs are shipped free in re-usable plastic containers.

Ladybugs Available through Amazon

Along with the excellent retailers mentioned above, we've identified other companies that sell ladybugs on Amazon. While we consider them to be the best of the best, it would be remiss of us not also to list those that are exclusive to that site. In fact, in some cases, there was no other site available. Here are some of the more popular among them.


Amazon Bug Sales

Bug Sales is a brand available through Amazon.com that offers many options to buy ladybugs. They have a very good customer reputation and broad customer base.

Bug Sales offers packages for as many as 9,000 insects to as few as 150, with prices that range from about $8 to $40. The company guarantees live delivery, and the shipping cost for large bundles is reasonable. Bug sales also offers worm castings and other beneficial insects for organic gardeners.

Ladybugs 4 You


Ladybugs 4 You

Ladybugs 4 U offers 1,500 live Ladybugs for about $15. The company has a high rating and positive customer reviews that average 3.8 out of 5 stars.


Nature's Good Guys

Nature's Good Guys include a list of release tips, a ladybug fun facts sheet, and an FAQ list with every order. They offer packages of 1,500 or 3,000 ladybugs priced between $11 and $22. Their ladybugs come packaged in mesh bags containing 1,500 ladybugs each. This company enjoys good ratings from Amazon customers, averaging 4.4 out of 5 stars, based on over 2,700 reviews.


Organic Control

Ocron offers 1,500 live ladybugs for about $22, as well as other beneficial garden insects. They usually ship within three to four days, and you'll receive your ladybugs in a plastic container with a perforated lid.

Tips for Releasing After You Buy Ladybugs

While doing our research, we noticed that many customers had trouble convincing their ladybugs to stay put and eat the aphids provided. While there is no way to guarantee your ladybugs will remain once you release them, we've gathered some tips to help improve your chances of success.

  1. If you don't have the types of insects that ladybugs enjoy, they probably won't stick around. While ladybugs are fun to release -- some people purchase them to release at children's parties -- they may decide to go elsewhere.
  2. Keep your ladybugs in the refrigerator until you're ready to release them. This helps them live longer once out of hibernation.
  3. Release ladybugs in the evening. Remaining overnight will increase the chance that they'll homestead for a longer period.
  4. Place the ladybug container near any plants infested with aphids.
  5. Mist down your garden thoroughly before release. Ladybugs are more likely to set up shop in damp conditions. Hibernation and transport can dehydrate your ladybugs, so provide a well-watered garden with leaves covered in moisture.
  6. A drop of honey on a piece of cardboard by the container will convince them to stick around. It provides a bit of fuel, so they're less likely to fly off in search of the next meal.
  7. Most of all, never release ladybugs on plants that you have sprayed with chemical pesticides.

Experts have discovered that even under the best conditions, most purchased ladybugs migrate elsewhere. They've found that 95 percent move on within 48 hours, and the rest fly away within a week.

So, along with purchasing ladybugs, make your garden someplace they're likely to enjoy to attract those that are native to your area. Besides other insects, ladybugs also enjoy nectar and pollen from plants. They're partial to coneflowers, sunflowers, and yarrow. They also like cilantro, carrots, chives, and dill plants.

You can also add a feeder and mix up a batch of "Wheast," a combination of sugar and yeast that professionals use to feed their insects. Hirt's ladybug nectar may also help attractive native species.

The Last Word in Ladybugs

There are, of course, several local gardening centers and arborists near you where you can buy ladybugs, but we obviously cannot list them all here. This list contains the more reputable, established, or most convenient online outlets where you can buy ladybugs.

As a rule, you may find with a local horticulturist or arborist much more knowledgeable than a national big-box chain store employee. They also may have access to ladybug species native to your region. And they will be, by necessity, experts concerning the care and maintenance of ladybugs and plants under local conditions. However, we have endeavored to include those retailers with a reputation for helpfulness and knowledge as reported by their satisfied customers.

Best Shade Plants: Groundcover, Grasses, and Flowers

shade plants

You'll find the best shade plants growing wild. Nature has a way of picking the perfect spot. Like the blackberries that someone planted long ago, which had run rampant on the side of the hill in front of our house. Even though they aren't supposed to thrive in the shade, blackberries only need a few hours of direct sunlight a day, and they're growing like weeds.

I knew there had to be other plants that would flourish in that location, so I decided I'd had enough and took those thorny berries down. It was a fight to the end. The bushes were stubborn and hard to remove. When you're getting rid of blackberry bushes, you first have to cut them back, then dig them out by the roots. It was worth it for me in the long run, though, because I found the best shade plants for that spot and the garden was stunning.

The Best Shade Plants

The Best Shade Plants

The best shade plants for your garden depends on the quality of the shade. An area in your yard may get partial shade due to trees, buildings, or other structures that block the sun for a portion of the day. Or, perhaps it's dappled sunlight that passes through the leaves, providing shade for your garden bed. Take note. Ask yourself some questions. Does the spot get direct sunlight at any point? If so, when? Or, is the garden bed on the north side of the house, where it will likely never get sunlight?

Plants that typically wouldn't grow in a shady area in some parts of the country will love a partially shady spot in other places. Partial shade may make it cool enough for plants that otherwise couldn't take the heat.

What Are Planting Zones?

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Winter weather can damage a shade garden as quick as hot weather. Furthermore, perennials must be hardy enough to brave conditions throughout all four seasons. Therefore, understanding the climate in your area will ultimately help you pick the best shade plants for your garden.

For some additional guidance, the United States Department of Agriculture developed a map that defines planting zones or cold hardiness zones. To create the planting zone map, the USDA took the minimum winter temperature throughout the country and grouped those averages into zones. Each zone represents a variance of 10 degrees and is numbered as well as color coded.

Another thing to remember is that the shade in your garden creates its' own micro-climate. What this means is that although you may live in a hotter zone, your shade garden could be a perfect home for plants that wouldn't do well, otherwise, in that part of the country.

Top Five Best Plants for Partial Shade

You don't have to lose out on flowers either, just because you have a garden in the shade. The best shade plants come in a variety of colors and textures.

Veronica, Georgia blue


Veronica, Georgia blue

One of my favorite shade plants is a perennial called Veronica, otherwise known as peduncularis or umbrosa. This low-growing groundcover is six to eight inches high at maturity. It's great for hot climates and can tolerate living by the ocean. Veronica grows best in normal, clay, or sandy soil. Make sure the soil drains well in the winter, thin the plants out every three years, and prune them in late autumn.


True to its name, Georgia blue produces tiny vibrant blue flowers with little white centers that blossom in the spring, amidst glossy deep green foliage. Butterflies and hummingbirds love Veronica, but rabbits and deer will leave them alone. This lovely ground cover also has purple, pink, and white variations.

Coral Bells


Coral Bells

Heuchera, or Coral Bells, comes in dozens of varieties, making this one of the best shade plants for your garden. With names like Braisen Raisen, Cherry Truffle, and Carmel, you may think you can eat these plants. Think again, the names almost always refer to the color of their foliage, which can be pink, copper, purple, yellow, and more. A distinct feature of their leaves are the veins that will be silver or a darker variation of the leaf's color. To top it off, they bloom with flowers or berries, and butterflies love them.


Coral Bells grow in zones four to eight and hybrids are available depending on where you live. They reach heights from six to 14 inches tall, growing as wide as 34 inches. The plants like well-aerated soil that has good drainage. A raised bed works best because you have more control of the micro-climate. The shade they require depends on their planting zone; however, they are usually perfect for a woodland garden as long as the soil gets good drainage. Coral Bells like their soil without a lot of fertilizer.

Foamflower


Foamflower

Tiarella Cordifolia thrives in zones four through nine. Foamflower provides a good, natural low ground cover and spreads rapidly. Deer and rabbits will leave it alone. It grows easily in average to medium, well-drained soil which should not be allowed to dry out. The foliage is semi-evergreen, depending on how severe the winter gets in your zone.


Foamflower's leaves are semi-glossy, heart-shaped, and can span four inches across. They grow in clumps, with long white stamen that gives the plant its' foamy appearance. The flower buds, however, are light pink. They bloom sometime in May and should be deadheaded to keep the foliage looking nice all winter long.

Fuchsia, Pink Fizz


Fuchsia, Pink Fizz

My grandma always had fuchsias in hanging baskets on her patio. I was so excited to find that you can grow these climbers in your shady garden. In fact, they grow up to five feet in a season. The Pink Fizz is a hybrid. Its vines are loaded with teardrop shaped flowers that bloom from late May through late September, and they get bigger and heartier each year.


Initially, you should start them in pots and transfer them to your garden bed after the threat of frost has passed. To really show them off, let them climb a trellis, fence, or tree. Make sure to use twine to secure them to the support. You can keep Pink Fizz blooming all season by deadheading the blossoms as they wilt.

Use mulch to keep them warm over winter in colder climates, and you can grow your fuschia in zones from three through nine.

Astilbe, or Fanal


Astilbe, or Fanal

Astilbe shows off with deep green foliage complemented by bright red fluffy plumes. It's unquestionably one of the best shade plants because of its gorgeous floret that stands tall in your garden. The blooms are splendid in a flower arrangement, too. Astilbe tolerates heat and does best in partial shade with three to four hours of direct sunlight at most. The blooms are long-lasting but will dry out quickly if they get too hot. It's important to make sure the ground is evenly wet, with well-drained soil.


Blooms vary by variety, starting in mid-June and lasting through August. They grow well in zones four through eight and can even go as high as nine, as long as they have ample shade and water. Astilbe reaches heights of 24 to 30 inches.

Best Full Shade Plants

Surprisingly, there are lots of plants that appreciate full shade. From flowers to grasses, you have tons of options. Here are five ideas to get you started with the best shade plants for your garden.

Leopard plant


Leopard plant

There are more than 150 species in the genus, Ligularia. The Leopard plant is part of this family. It has serrated heart-shaped leaves that become smaller and fewer toward the top of the stem. Their daisy-like yellow to orange flowers are held on long narrow cone-shaped spikes, with foliage that forms light green clumps.


The Leopard plant is a herbaceous perennial, meaning that it dies down annually, but its' roots survive to grow back the following season. This plant grows best in zones four to eight and needs a medium to wet soil. They rise to as high as five feet tall and spread out to around four feet. Lemon-yellow blooms add a spark of color to the shade. Be careful though in summer as the Leopard plant will require a lot of water during the height of the season, otherwise the leaves will wilt.

Hosta


Hosta

This prolific perennial comes in dozens of varieties, with names like American Halo, August Moon, Blue Angel, and Dream Queen. They're so easy to grow, it's no wonder they are one of the best shade plants you can find for any garden. Hummingbirds and butterflies love them as much as we do! The American Halo blooms with white flowers in early summer, and their foliage is gorgeous with corrugated blue-green leaves that are outlined with a soft light green edge.


Hosta is drought tolerant but needs rich, moist soil to achieve optimum growth. Speaking of growth, they get up to 28 inches tall and 73 inches wide. These prolific plants do well in zones from three all the way to nine.

Bleeding heart


Bleeding heart

Your Dicentra or bleeding heart won't get eaten by deer or rabbits. In the spring you'll see these captivating plants bloom with pink heart-shaped flowers and low growing foliage. They're perfect to combine with Hosta so that when they die down and go dormant in summer, Hosta will extend the beauty of your garden throughout the season. Once spring comes again, your bleeding hearts will return.


These plants are easy to grow and like moist, well-drained soil. You can grow them in zones two through nine as long as you keep them shaded, especially in the hotter zones.

Grasses


Grasses

There are a variety of ornamental grasses that grow beautifully in full shade. The fall-blooming reed grass Calamagrostis arundinacea gets up to four feet tall, grow in clumps, and has plumes that bloom in late summer or early fall. The soft green foliage of the Greater Wood Rush, or Lazula sylvatica, flourishes in the shade. They bloom yellow-green throughout April and May, maturing to a chestnut brown. Lazula grows 12 to 15 inches high. Another winner in the grass category for best shade plants is Sweet Flag, or Acorus gramineus. It's a fragrant grass that prospers in wet soil and shade, growing up to 12 inches high and 12 inches wide.

Ferns


Ferns

No shade garden is truly complete without ferns. Two of the best shade plants are the Lady fern, and the Japenese painted fern, the latter of which is smaller with grey-green fronds that have silver highlights and a burgundy hue. Ferns grow well in zones three to eight and are deer and rabbit resistant.


The Japanese painted fern grows up to 18 inches tall and needs moist soil. They are delightful in a woodsy garden, under a tree, and paired with Hosta.

Price Range

The price range for the plants on our list run from $2 to $18 depending on maturity. You can also save money by buying in bulk at your local nursery.

Can I Grow Fruits and Vegetables?

A variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs grow great in partial shade. Lettuces, in particular, like the cool comfort of shade during the heat of the day. Give arugula a try. Depending on your planting zone, you can grow carrots, cauliflower, Swiss chard, celery, and Brussel sprouts. Root vegetables, in general, like cooler temperatures and do well in partial shade. Consider growing vegetables in a partially shaded area of your garden to extend your farming area. We already know blackberries don't have any problems growing in partial shade. Depending on where you live you can also grow cherries, rhubarb, currants, and plums, as well as other fruits.

It's not as difficult as you might think to have a beautiful garden that is full of colorful foliage and flowers. You can even grow food in the shade. Why not experiment in a spot under a shade tree and branch out from there?

Garden Hand Tools: Our Favorite and Functional Tools

garden hand tools

Do you get overwhelmed when looking at the many garden hand tools in the gardening aisle of your home improvement store? Do you have trouble differentiating a shovel from a trowel? If so, then it is time to learn the necessary tools that every gardener needs to succeed.

From pruners and loppers to axes and hatchets, every tool that you buy can do its part to turn your garden from a slab of dirt into a plentiful oasis. To guide you on your journey, we would like to introduce our favorite garden hand tools.

What to Look for in Garden Hand Tools

Garden Tools

It is true that not all garden hand tools are created equal. In fact, there is such a variety of each type of device because everyone handles them differently, and the same tool is capable of working for a variety of uses. To be the best gardener you can be, you want to pick the proper garden hand tools for your needs.

How it feels in your hands

Construction

General use

Different Types of Hand Tools

There are many different garden hand tools out on the market, and they each have their individual uses. The more tasks you plan to complete in your garden, the more tools you will likely own. Each type of tool performs an important function in our gardens.


Sale
gonicc 8" Professional Sharp Bypass Pruning Shears (GPPS-1002), Tree...
  • Drop forged body and handles.
  • Quality blade made of high carbon steel with Ultra-fine Polishing Technology.
  • Ergonomically designed non-slip handles are strong,lightweight,and comfortable.

Hand pruners are garden hand tools for trimming and shaping plants, pruning out dead foliage, and cutting perennials, among many other tasks.


There are several types of hand pruners with the most common being bypass, anvil, and ratchet pruners. The most popular type are bypass pruners which have two blades that bypass each other for a nice, clean cut. The good thing about bypass pruners is that they are perfect for heavy duty jobs including cutting thick branches.


Anvil pruners have straight blades that complete a slicing cut similar to a knife. They are best suited to cut dead wood. They are a bit bulkier and designed for more substantial work. In contrast, ratchet pruners are similar to anvil pruners, but they are intended for those with smaller or weaker hands. If you plan on using pruners as your primary tool, then the ratchet variety might save you potential hand pain.


Sale
Fiskars 91466935J 28 Inch Bypass Lopper
  • Ideal for cutting green, living growth like tree branches
  • Fully hardened, precision-ground blade stays sharp through heavy use
  • Rust-resistant, low-friction coating helps the blade glide through wood and prevents it from gumming up with sap and...

A lopper is basically a version of a hand pruner but on a grander scale. Loppers are similar to pruners as they come with either bypass or anvil blades. The primary difference is that they come with long handles. These handles create better leverage, and so they are easy to use over long periods of time.


Opting for a bypass lopper will give you a smooth cut as you chomp through plants and sticks. This smooth cut allows for the plants to heal more efficiently. Anvil bladed loppers feature one straight blade and a curved blade. Because of the blades, these loppers are best suited for dead wood or clearing away debris before coming in to make your clean cuts with the bypass lopper.


Sale
Nisaku NJP650 7.25" Blade Hori-Hori Stainless Steel Tomita Weeding...
  • Made in Japan with the finest stainless steel, the Nisaku stainless steel weeding knife features both serrated and...
  • Hangs neatly on your peg rack for a tidy shed or work bench
  • Inch markings on the Japanese stainless steel blade will ensure your plants and bulbs are planted at just the right...

Weeding knives are ideal for getting rid of weeds in smaller gardens and flowerbeds. These knives are great because they give you more control in smaller areas, so you don’t accidentally uproot your plants. The knives also have strong blades and more manageable handles for long-form work.


There are slightly different variations of these gardening knives. A typical digging knife will usually come with a blade with a straight and serrated edge. Heavy duty digging knives can cut through the roots of more stubborn weeds and aid in weeding between pavers.


Another version is the fishtail weeder which is perfect for prying up weeds like dandelions out of the ground. The fishtail weeder usually has a long handle and a V-shaped blade perfect for getting around the root of weeds.

Shovels and garden trowels


Because any garden requires a certain amount of digging, shovels and trowels are must have garden hand tools.

UnionTools Poly D-Grip Round Point Shovel - 43106
  • #2 carbon steel blade
  • Forward turned-step for secure foot placement
  • Strong Poly D-grip accomidates a gloves hand

When it comes to shovels, there are many varieties from which to choose. With shovels, the difference is in the blade. Two of the most common gardening shovels are the round point and square point varieties. The rounded point shovel has a durable blade that comes to a point, which makes it great for digging in the hardest soil and making a clean break through tough roots.


A square point shovel doesn’t really come to a point at all. Instead, it's a square blade that is great for lifting and transporting soil and plants. The long handle is great because it allows you to pick up a lot without hurting your back. A square shovel is also ideal for gardeners who live in dry areas as it can better penetrate compact grounds.


Edward Tools Bend-proof Garden Trowel - Heavy duty polished stainless...
  • Most heavy duty garden hand trowel tool on the market
  • One piece stainless steel is bend proof making it the best hand shovel for working rocky or heavy clay soils
  • Oversize trowel head makes for quicker work as soil can be moved in greater volume

If you are digging and planting on a smaller scale, then a trowel is one of your ideal garden hand tools. There are many different types of garden trowels with the difference being the blade. Use trowels for a variety of tasks from potting and planting to weeding and transplanting plants.


If you are new to gardening, it is best to go with a standard towel. It is a multipurpose tool for transplanting bulbs and seeds, dig out shallow-rooted weeds, and mix in fertilizer.


Prohoe Field Hoes - 7" wide blade - cotton hoe
  • Rogue Hoe line are professional quality tools built from recycled agricultural disc blades
  • Designed extremely durable with long lasting sharp edges
  • 7 inch wide cutting blade edge breaks up sod, cultivates, and clears waste trees up to 1 inch diameter

One of the most utilized garden hand tools is the hoe. The most recognizable tool in this category is the paddle hoe. This hoe has a long handle attached to a small rectangle blade and is an excellent tool for dislodging weeds and shaping soil.


For stubborn weeds, try a stirrup hoe. This hoe has an attachment that looks like a stirrup on a saddle and is ideal for loosening stubborn weeds. When used, the saddle moves in a back and forth motion, loosening the soil without making a mess. Finally, the collinear hoe has a short and narrow blade and is great when dealing with rocky ground.


TABOR TOOLS J205 Level Head Rake With Strong Long 54" Fiberglass...
  • GARDEN RAKE: A must-have garden tool for raking up clippings, leaves, and other light lawn and garden debris. Use to...
  • RED FIBERGLASS HANDLE: The lightweight fiberglass handle with anti-slip vinyl sleeve grip is comfortable to use. The...
  • WELDED 14-TINE HEAD: The wide tines remove debris without damaging plant feeder roots. The steel head and teeth are...

Rakes aren’t only used to gather leaves, they have multiple other uses, making them one of the premier garden hand tools.


One option is a bow rake. This is the heavier duty rake with a long handle paired with short and thick metal tines. This rake is excellent for leveling dirt and moving mulch. If your garden is close to a fence or other plants, then a shrub rake may be your best option. The shrub rake is built like a smaller and thinner leaf rake. It is a good tool for getting around tighter areas.


If you are working in a smaller garden such as a flower garden, a hand rake may suit you. The short handle gives you better control in tight spaces and is a perfect tool for planting.


Sale
Fiskars x27 Super Splitting Axe 36 Inch, 378841-1002
  • Ideal for taller users splitting medium- to large-sized logs
  • Designed for maximum efficiency to give you more one-strike splits
  • Perfected balance and power-to-weight ratio increases swing speed to multiply power, much like an aluminum baseball bat

Sale
Fiskars X7 Hatchet 14 Inch, 378501-1002
  • Ideal for chopping kindling and small- to medium-sized logs
  • Chops deeper with each swing to get more done faster
  • Perfected balance and power-to-weight ratio increases swing speed to multiply power, much like an aluminum baseball bat

Heavy Duty Pruning Saw (RAZOR SHARP 14" CURVED BLADE) Comfort Handle...
  • RAZOR TOOTH 7TPI CURVED BLADE - Curve Styling Makes Cutting & Trimming Effortless!
  • CUTS BRANCHES UP TO 8 INCHES THICK - Incredibly Strong & Versatile, Can easily cut through branches/limbs up to 8 Inches...
  • ERGONOMICAL CUSHIONED HANDLE - Pistol Style Grip Gives You a Comfortable Sturdy Feel While Cutting/Sawing. Convenient...

For larger scale gardening projects, you may need to use axes, hatchets and hand saws to get the job done. These garden hand tools can chop and slash away debris and help you beautify your home planting project.


Axes and hatches differ only by their size, with the hatchet being about half the size. Axes use two hands, a hatchet with one. Use both tools to chop up smaller pieces of wood. A hatchet can clear away bigger pieces of debris and make room for you to plant.


Small hand saws are for similar applications. Many plants can be in danger when crowded, so a hand saw can clear away shrubs and other plants to prevent overcrowding. You can also use saws to cut off pieces of a plant that you don’t want growing there. Many saws are angled so you can fit in tight spaces and get rid of what you don’t want and keep what you do.


There are several other types of pruning saws. A pole pruning saw has a long handle attached to a blade and is suitable for getting to higher branches. The straight blade pruning saw is ideal for thinner branches while a curved blade saw is perfect for thicker branches.


Supersks 3-in-1 Soil Tester Meter Test Kit for Light, Moisture and PH...
  • Size: 26*6cm(We offer 1 year warranty, unconditional refund or resend any quality issues);Material: plastic,...
  • Accurate Reading: pH Range: 3.5-8ph (3.5-6.5 Acid, 7-8 Alkaline), Moisture Range: 1-10 (1-3 Dry, 4-7 Nor, 8-10 Wet),...
  • When measuring the pH value and humidity of the soil, first insert the probe into the soil as deep as possible, the...

For your plants to thrive, you have to be sure that your soil is fertile and rich in nutrients. To do so, get a soil testing device because all the garden hand tools in the world won’t help if the soil is unhealthy.


Professional soil testing kits often include all the tools you need to collect soil samples including the required chemicals for testing, and are ideal for a variety of applications.


If gardeners don’t want to use chemicals, a dual probe soil tester is a quick and easy way to test soil. With this device, you simply stick it in the ground, and a digital or analog gauge will give you the results right there and then. Many of these gauges don’t even need batteries. There are many different soil testers out on the market, so research before buying.

Where to Buy Garden Hand Tools

Since gardening is such a such a popular business, these and many other garden hand tools are available at just about every home improvement store. If you know exactly what you want, then you can buy garden hand tools on sites like Amazon or other online retailers. However, if you want to get the feel of a piece of garden equipment before you buy, it is best to go into a brick and mortar store for your purchase.

In general, these common garden hand tools will cost in the range of $5 to $100. In many cases, you can find many of the tools you need as part of a kit at very affordable prices. Few tools will break the bank so take extra care to choose the tool that will suit you for years to come.

So Many Garden Hand Tools, So Little Time

Gardening has been one of the most fun and rewarding hobbies since the beginning of time. There is really nothing like starting from a flat patch of land and seeing it involve into a vibrant garden. When you select the proper garden hand tools, you increase your odds of success tenfold. Many of these devices have been around for centuries, so have them in your arsenal, and your garden will thank you for it.

Of course, this list of garden tools is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other garden hand tools out on the market that can help with an unlimited list of applications. Is there any tool missing from this list that you simply cannot live without in your garden? Tell us about in the comments!

Our Favorite DIY Garden Ideas That You Need to Try

diy garden ideas

Along with saving money and reducing the impact on the environment, DIY garden ideas give you an opportunity to put your own creative twist into your landscape. While there are many manufacturers of outdoor products and furnishings, creating your own garden goods is a chance for you and your family to introduce your spirit and personalities into your yard space.

DIY garden ideas also give you a chance to involve everyone in the family and teach them about growing food, nurturing flowers, and the wildlife your plants attract. This can help provide children with a feeling of responsibility to the environment and a sense of stewardship for the land and all the living things that populate our world. And that’s not such a bad thing.

Getting Started with DIY Garden Ideas

chair and garden

If you’re not naturally crafty or working with children, you may want to start with a few simple decorative projects. You’ll need to balance the size of your garden ambitions with the skills and materials available. It’s very easy to become completely overwhelmed when you’ve set yourself the task of starting hundreds of square feet of vegetable beds, plus a butterfly garden, plus a tropical retreat in the front yard.

Especially when working with small children, it's important to end the project on a high note. Keep the pressure low-key when working with children, and you’ll be sure to have more fun. And make sure you follow up with the project so everyone involved can see it in action once it becomes part of the garden.

Money Saving DIY Garden Ideas

One of our favorite ways of reducing waste ending up in the local landfill and recycling biodegradable trash involves creating our own seed starters. We’ve also found ways to reuse old plastic bottles, plastic trays from the supermarket, and some other extras and leftovers we’ve discovered around the house. Re-using things that would otherwise end up in the trash can save money, too. And wouldn’t you rather have extra cash for more seeds and plants?

Cardboard tube seed starters


To make these, save as many empty tubes as you’ll need. You can also use paper towel tubes, after cutting them in half. Cut four or five slits, from one end, about halfway up the tube. Then fold each section over to make a “bottom” for your seed starter.


Fill each tube nearly to the top with light potting soil or seed starter mix and them into a cleaned plastic tray from the grocery store. Then plant your seeds to the depth listed on the seed packet. Water the tubes thoroughly and place in a warm area with low light. You can cover them with plastic until they germinate, or mist regularly to maintain moisture.


Once your seedlings are set and have their first true leaves, you can plant the whole seedling, tube and all, into your garden or a container. You can also remove the tube before planting. We’ve used this method for tomatoes, eggplants, and passion flower vines. Wash and save the plastic meat trays for your next batch of seeds or use it to take cuttings.

Invisible fishing line trellis


After planting dozens of morning glories and moonflowers this spring, we found they had some trouble climbing up the fence. Instead, they were grasping onto to other flowering plants. The small trellis we provided was plenty of room for the new jasmine, which are slow-growing bushes, but it certainly wasn’t enough room for a 15-foot moonflower vine.


Rather than buying more trellises, we used fishing line to help our flowers climb the fence. We had plenty left over from a family member’s brief flirtation with fishing. So, we simply strung it up between thumbtacks or nails stuck into the fence, crisscrossing the line to provide purchase for the vines. This isn’t sturdy enough for vegetable vines, and we wouldn't expect it to last more than one season, but neither will the flowers.

DIY fabric pots


Recently, fabric grow bags have blossomed in the home gardening market. Over the last 30 years, gardeners have discovered that fabric pots promote better root development. Instead of “circling,” as they do in most containers, the roots would air prune themselves. Fabric provides more oxygen and better drainage for the roots. You can find these fabric containers sold online for anywhere from $3 to $50 each, depending on the size and manufacturer.


Most of these grow bags are made from the non-woven polyester fabric used for weed-blocking landscape fabric. After glancing at the two rolls we had left over from summer, we pulled out the sewing machine and got to work. Grow bags are perfect for container-grown vegetables, and so much less expensive than purchasing either planters or fabric pots.

DIY Garden Ideas for Expanding Your Growing Space

If you find yourself running out of space, but still want to add to your garden, we found a couple of tricks to make room for new plants. Creating your own planters with cheap or leftover materials is a great way to broaden the selection of plants you can grow. Not all flower or vegetable plants do well planted directly in the ground. And many times, adding a garden bed can mean back-breaking labor to clear weeds, aerate the soil, and add amendments. That’s if you can find a sunny spot where your plants will get six to eight hours of bright sunshine per day. Instead, consider adding vertical garden spaces or container plants where you already know your plants will thrive.

Cinder block garden


We once found ourselves the inadvertent owners of dozens of cinder blocks. Along with building a firepit, we found they were great additions to our garden for elevating containers and even for growing small plants directly inside them.


Now, the term “cinder block” doesn’t exactly scream style, but they do generally have clean, unfussy lines. And many gardeners find they can paint them for a bit of flair. Best of all, they’re incredibly cheap. Although prices vary throughout the country, we found full-size cinder block for less than $1.30 a piece at the local home improvement store.


This short video will show you how to create a sturdy garden wall with inexpensive concrete blocks.

Pallet planter


Got an old shipping pallet taking up space? These make perfect planters for strawberries and herbs. Imagine a selection of fresh herbs within steps of your kitchen to add enticing new flavors to every meal. It's easy when you build a pallet planter and set it vertically against a sunny wall by your back door.


All you’ll need is an old pallet, a drill, nails, landscape fabric, a heavy-duty stapler, potting soil, and your favorite herb seedlings.

Herb tower


No handy shipping pallets laying around, but you love the idea of a vertical herb garden? You can make your own herb tower out of terra cotta pots.


You’ll need five pots in total, with three sequentially smaller pots for each level. You’ll also need two pots for supporting the top two tiers. In fact, you don’t really even need to use terra cotta. In arid regions, terra cotta can cause problems with water retention. You can also use resin or plastic.


Your supporting pots can also be old tin cans with drainage holes in the bottom. You’ll also need potting soil and herb seedlings. These towers also work well for growing strawberries.

DIY Garden Ideas for Adding Charm to Your Yard

Along with practical DIY garden ideas, we’ve also added a few projects for adding a bit of flair to your outdoor living space. Not that you can’t combine both concepts.

Wine bottle tiki torches


Need to add lighting to your outdoor space while repelling mosquitoes? These wine bottle tiki torches are both useful and attractive, not to mention quite dramatic for outdoor entertaining.


Start with a glass bottle. Wine bottles are perfect because they’re usually pretty thick. You’ll also need replacement torch wicks, marbles or sand, citronella fuel, 1/2-inch nylon Teflon tape, and a bronze flange that fits your bottle. You’ll find it pretty easy to put together, and don’t forget that you can decorate the bottle to suit your style. And if your style is a bit more casual, you can also use beer bottles.

Teacup bird feeder


These make a lovely gift and a fun craft for kids as well. Now, normally we wouldn’t suggest that you use valuable china as garden décor. However, you’ll find plenty of not-so-valuable china cups and saucers at your local thrift store. Often, they’re just as decorative as fine china.


You’ll need a decorative chain, jewelry bails, Gorilla glue, and a china cup and saucer set.

Stained glass fence


Well, it's not exactly stained glass, but you can create dazzling spots of colored sunshine in any wood panel fence for a unique decorative touch to your garden.


All you’ll need is a drill with the right size bits for boring the holes in your fence, and of course, some marbles. It’s easier to use new marbles since they’ll be uniform in size and you won’t have to change bits. But don’t let the idea of using old ones intimidate you if you want a variety of sizes in your fence.


Some people drill holes slightly smaller than their marbles and then tap the marbles into the holes with a mallet until they fit snugly. Others use flat-backed marbles, which you can get from the craft or dollar store. Then, they drill holes and use clear-drying silicone caulk to attach the marbles to the fence boards.

Cinder block bench


Another one of those great DIY garden ideas using cinder blocks – this project is super easy and pretty cheap. In the end, you’ll have a durable outdoor seat with a flower planter built right in. You’ll need full-size cinder blocks, outdoor spray paint, construction adhesive, outdoor wood stain, and some 4-by-4s.


Final touches you may want to add are outdoor pillows or cushions as well as some flowers for your bench planters.

DIY Garden Ideas for Kids

Many of your child’s favorite arts and crafts translate to DIY garden ideas for projects that are both fun and useful. Kids love to create things, and when you can reinforce their creativity with a place of pride in the garden, they’ll just blossom.

Painted rocks


How many times have you lost track of what you’ve planted where? You and your child and work together to paint a rock collection that adds color and helps you stay organized by marking your garden plants.


As well as adding wit and character, your painted rocks can help you identify your seedlings as they grow. You’ll need permanent acrylic paint, inexpensive craft paint brushes, a Sharpie market, and sealing spray.

Mosaic stepping stones


Give your kids a chance to leave their mark on the garden with these custom stepping stones. They can personalize each one with a unique design. Or, you can work together to make a path through an entire section of the yard. Your stepping stones can be sentimental and straightforward or intricate works of art. It all depends on the level of skill and patience of those making them.


You can make your stepping stones with plaster of Paris or cement, depending on how long you’d like them to last. Use glass gems, marbles, or even broken tiles to make your design and then mold it in an old cake pan.

Butterfly feeder


Bees and butterflies help pollinate your garden, from your herbs to your cucumbers to your tomatoes. You can attract more of these helpful insects by setting out extra food to entice them to visit your garden more often. Most of all, this is one of those DIY garden ideas that are easy enough for even small kids to manage with help.


The easiest butterfly feeders to make use a shallow and colorful bowl or plate. You can suspend the plate from a hanger or place it out on a stand. Some craft ribbon or yarn and a colorful paper plate are all your child needs to make a quick butterfly feeder. Offer overripe fruit that tempts both bees and butterflies with the sweet aroma.


For a more permanent butterfly feeder, use a brightly colored acrylic plate. You can purchase one at your local dollar store, along with a plate hanger that fits. Attach the hanger to the plate, then string twine from the hanger to attach to a tree or garden shepherd's hook.


To feed the butterflies, use overripe fruit. Alternatively, you can create food by mixing 1 part sugar to 10 parts water and cooking it to make a simple syrup. Let it cool, then serve in a clean sponge placed in the middle of the plate. You can find complete instructions here.

Remember to Have Fun with Your DIY Garden Ideas

DIY garden projects can be fun and inexpensive ways to spend time with your family in the garden. Others are permanent upgrades to your outdoor living space that you need to plan carefully. Either way, as well as saving money by doing it yourself, you’ll also be able to put your own unique stamp on every project. And that's where the fun comes in -- creating a garden unique to you and your family.

Some of these DIY garden ideas are ones we’ve tried out and felt worth recommending. Others are on our to-do list to incorporate into the garden. We hope you find them as useful as we do. And let us know what DIY garden ideas you’ve used in the past to save work, save money, or just add to your garden décor. Let us know in the comments, so our readers can learn from your tips, as well.

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