10 TikTok Gardening Hacks That Actually Work
In the world of TikTok gardening hacks, it can be hard to sort fact from fiction. But there are a few hacks out there worth a try in your own backyard. Gardening expert Madison Moulton looks at 11 TikTok gardening hacks that actually work and why.
TikTok gardening hacks dominate the internet, pushing new gardeners to try crazy tasks like planting crops inside potatoes or grafting strange species together.
Despite their millions and billions of views, a lot of these hacks don’t provide the results they claim to or are faked and don’t actually work at all. But that doesn’t mean all gardening hacks are worth ignoring.
Whether you want to regrow from scraps, garden on a budget, or recycle and garden in a more environmentally-friendly way, we validated these 11 TikTok gardening hacks to try in your garden.
Regrowing Green Onions From Scraps
This is one hack almost everyone has seen. It was around long before it spread to TikTok. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the most widespread gardening hacks on the internet. The captivating time-lapses of new growth are probably one reason it’s gained such popularity. Another important reason is that it actually works.
As long as your store-bought green onions still have roots attached at the bottom – which they often do – you can pop the bottoms into a glass of water, and the green onions will regrow.
There are many iterations of this, from shallow glasses to plastic bottles, but as long as you can get the roots submerged in either water or soil, you’ll have a consistent supply of green onions to harvest.
They also grow back quite quickly indoors, as long as you have a sunny spot to place them in. Keep topping up the water so the roots are always submerged, and new green growth will appear whenever you harvest.
I love topping breakfast dishes with green onions, but they are so versatile that they can be used almost anywhere. The strong oniony flavor also means you don’t need to use too much at once to benefit from the wonderful taste.
If you’re an avid pesto lover, you’re probably tired of buying loads and loads of store-bought basil. Luckily, @madelinetriesherbest has a budget-friendly hack to grow endless amounts of basil to use in your kitchen without growing from seed.
This hack starts with a full basil plant from a grocery store. These basil plants are packed with seedlings to make the plant look fuller in the container, designed for instant harvesting. But if you want to grow this basil long term, each seedling needs much more space to expand.
You could un-pot the plant and separate each seedling. But @madelinetriesherbest turns the single pot into even more basil by cutting it down at the base and propagating the cuttings. Simply remove the bottom sets of leaves, keeping one or two at the top. Then, pop the cuttings into a glass of water to root.
Once the roots have developed, you can transplant your cuttings into individual containers. In this video, one $4 basil from the grocery store turned into eight lush plants. And the best part is you can continue the cycle infinitely once the basil has developed, growing your basil stock exponentially.
Filling Raised Beds On A Budget
Raised bed gardening has always been widespread, but it has exploded in popularity recently. Almost every gardener is jumping in on the trend for its wonderful benefits for your garden (and, let’s be honest, your back). Unfortunately, filling these beds with high-quality potting soil and compost can be expensive, especially if your beds are quite tall.
Luckily, in another budget-friendly TikTok gardening hack, @madelinetriesherbest describes a method for filling raised beds that saves money and helps your plants at the same time. The process resembles the lasagna method of layering beds, packing the space with garden waste and organic matter.
Starting with a frame of wooden planks, @madelinetriesherbest layers cardboard to smother the grass beneath and stop it from regrowing. Next is a layer of branches to reuse garden waste and occupy plenty of space in the bottom of the container. This is followed by straw and leaves, homemade compost, and around five inches of high-quality planting mix.
The bottom layers will break down over time, reducing the volume and requiring a top-up of compost or other organic mulch. But if you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on soil, this layering hack is the way to go.
There are many houseplant hacks on TikTok, often producing mixed results or actually harming plants rather than helping them. However, one hack you should try is bottom watering.
I experimented with this method to test whether it was worth the hype when the recommendation first went viral. To start, I bought two identical Anthuriums that desperately needed water and appeared to be dry for some time.
I watered one from the top as long as I would typically water it and even aerated the soil with a skewer first to help the moisture penetrate the lower levels of soil better. I placed the other in a bucket of water and waited around 30 minutes for the soil to draw moisture up through the drainage holes.
Afterward, I unpotted both plants and pulled the soil apart. While there will still dry patches of soil around the roots in the first pot, the second pot was completely saturated up to just below the top layer of soil.
Watering from the top helps flush the soil if there is a mineral build-up or if you have accidentally over-fertilized. But if your houseplants are dry and the moisture is running off the top and out the sides of the container, bottom watering is a far better method.
Combine this method with a pebble tray for houseplants prone to root rot.
Sustainability has become a central concern for many gardeners who want to be more conscious of their environmental impact. Collecting rainwater is one eco-friendly strategy that also cuts costs from your water bill, especially if you have a large garden.
For those with a small rainwater tank that frequently runs dry, @bethsabode has a hack to help you. In dry months without regular rainfall, empty your tanks into large plastic bottles after heavy rain. You can use any vessel for collecting the water, like buckets or watering cans. Of course, this concept existed far before TikTok gardening hacks, but content creators are full of creative spins and upcycled material recommendations.
This leaves space in the tank to collect more water if it does rain in the coming days. By emptying the tank, you effectively double your rainwater supply, providing plenty to water your plants without relying on your tap.
When transplanting seedlings from trays into larger pots or out in the garden, removing seedlings without damaging them can be a struggle. You can pull them by the vulnerable stem, but getting your hands into the mix is often tricky without damaging the shoots or roots.
To resolve this issue, @urbanfarmstead has a handy hack – using a fork. Simply stick a regular kitchen fork (in other words, not a gardening fork) into the tray to lift out the seedling and pop it into a pre-prepared hole to continue growing. Rather than struggling with finicky seedlings for hours, you can transplant masses of seedlings in minutes.
This TikTok gardening hack has inspired many gardeners to add forks to their regular gardening tools. For simple transplanting, you can also try the Epic Seed Starting Trays. Whether you need a 4-cell or 6-cell, all you need to do is stick your finger through the bottom hole to pop out your seedlings without any damage instantly. Alternatively, give the fork method a try.
Planting Tomatoes From Slices
This edible gardening hack to regrow tomato plants from tomato slices has also done the rounds a few times. You can find examples on almost every platform, including TikTok, in this video from @simonakeroydgardener. You only need a store-bought tomato and some compost or potting soil to start.
First, slice your tomato into thin sections. Next, lay the slices on top of a moist potting mix (or compost, as seen in Simon’s video). Finally, top with more soil and water well. That’s all there is to it. The seeds in the slices will start germinating, giving you masses of seedlings to replant.
There are a few caveats to consider when trying this hack, the first of which is spacing. Because there are so many seeds in each slice, you need to gently separate the seedlings and replant them once they have sprouted to prevent overcrowding. It’s often easier to plant seeds with the right spacing at the start, especially if you want to grow a particular tomato variety.
And speaking of varieties, there is another issue to consider – the tomatoes you receive from your new plant may not be the same as what was originally planted. Store-bought hybrid tomatoes won’t produce true-to-type seeds, so there is no way of knowing what kind of tomato plant you’ll get or whether it will grow well.
This is a fun experiment to try if you have a few overripe tomatoes you don’t plan on using, and it works. But if you want more concrete results, it’s best to plant from reliable seeds, like the Botanical Interests tomato seeds.
Growing Vertical Using Plastic Bottles
Urban gardeners are always looking for ways to maximize space in a small area, leading to a few handy hacks to try. One of those is making the most of vertical space with a hanging garden. But there’s no need to buy a full hanging garden kit. Using this TikTok gardening hack from @spicymoustache, grow a thriving hanging garden by recycling plastic bottles.
Although you can grow in smaller bottles, a large container (like a 5l plastic water bottle) provides ample space for root growth. Cut a hole in the bottom of one container and connect another upside down. Then, cut a hole in the side of the plastic container and poke holes in the lid for drainage. Finally, fill the bottom with soil and plant whatever edibles you want to grow.
Strawberries are great for growing this way, but you can pick any plants that grow well over the sides of hanging baskets. Although there is limited height, trailing plants will be happy to grow out of the hole in the side, maximizing your growing space.
Ripen Green Tomatoes
Towards the end of summer, you’ll likely end up with a few stubborn green tomatoes you know won’t ripen before temperatures dip. But there’s no need to waste this produce. Green tomatoes are still edible (and make a wonderful tangy burger sauce), but you can also encourage your tomatoes to ripen indoors. This one is the most practical for non-gardeners of all the TikTok gardening hacks.
This video by @sabrina.sustainable.life explains the process. Wrapping the green tomatoes in paper and placing them on your kitchen counter or in a dedicated, open-topped container will encourage them to ripen over a few days or weeks, depending on when they were picked.
Individually wrapping the tomatoes helps trap some ethylene – the gas fruits produce when they ripen. Increasing the ethylene around the fruits encourages the tomatoes to ripen quicker than if you just left them out. You can also pop a ripe apple or banana in a brown bag with your tomatoes to boost ethylene, increasing the ripening speed.
Fill Tall Planters Without Soil
Tall decorative pots add a wonderful sense of drama to the garden. Unfortunately, they are also quite tough to fill and become incredibly heavy when packed with soil. The height of these pots is more of an aesthetic benefit than a gardening one, so filling the base with something other than soil won’t compromise growth.
One way to fill the bottom involves placing a smaller container inside the larger one. This unique TikTok gardening hack from @blushinglybeautiful uses a pool noodle to fill the extra space. Wrap it around the inside of the tall planter to hold a smaller container in place. This keeps the plant looking full while remaining incredibly lightweight – especially helpful if the planter is made from a heavy material.
In my garden, I like to fill the base with old recycled plastic bottles with the lid on. This takes up space without compromising drainage and makes pots much easier to move around. Just ensure you have plenty of soil in there, as your plants can’t live on plastic bottles or pool noodles alone!
Most TikTok gardening hacks are not worth the effort or don’t provide the results they claim to. These 11 hacks, on the other hand, are definitely worth experimenting with in your garden, no matter how big or small.