seasonal fruit picked in the gardenThe weather is turning colder, the leaves are falling and the gardening season is coming to a close. This means you’ll have to pack away your gardening shears and choose which plants to bring inside. Here are a few life hacks to make the transition a little smoother.

  • Savor the last hydrangea clippings
    If you’re lucky, you still have some blooms lingering on your hydrangea bushes. The problem with hydrangea clippings is that they wilt so quickly after being cut. Here’s a trick: after you clip, dip the ends of the stems into alum (you can get it at the grocery store in the seasonings aisle). This will prevent the sticky substance that usually forms on cut hydrangea stems from appearing and you’ll get to enjoy your flowers for a little longer.
  • Save your herbs
    Summer usually produces an overabundance of herbs. If you just don’t have time to use them in dishes but don’t want them to go bad, take your clippings and place them into ice cube trays. A little spearmint ice cube will add a refreshing twist to any drink. Or, place some fragrant herbs like basil, oregano & thyme into a bottle of olive oil to zest up your future meals.
  • Prep your tools
    After trimming plants all summer, garden shears and clippers can get sticky. To keep them working well, use car wax to lube their blades and save them from sealing shut while laying dormant.
  • Store your hand tools
    Keeping metal hand tools out in the open air will cause them to rust. To avoid this, fill a bucket with builders sand. Then take your shovels, clippers, trimmers and tillers and place the metal parts into the sand. They’ll be protected from the ambient air and ready for you in one place at the first hint of spring next year.
  • Don’t give up on indoor gardening
    Just because you have to wrap up spending time outside in your garden doesn’t mean you can’t garden. Start an herb garden on a sunny inside windowsill. To keep the soil from draining out of the pots, line the bottom of them with coffee filters!

Do you have any end of year gardening Life Hacks? Share them with us here!