By Joey and Holly Baird Special to Published Jun 09, 2015 at 5:06 PM

Many of us could use a little simplicity in the garden. Here are five ways to make things a little easier for you. 

Make your own olla  

An olla is a clay, urn fired at a low temperature which allows the pot to remain porous. You then bury the olla in the ground, so the neck is level with the soil. You then pour water into the neck, and because it is porous, it allows water to seep slowly into the soil at the root of the plants.

You can easily make your own with a soda or juice bottle. Simply poke tiny holes all over the bottle, and bury it neck deep in your soil. You can do this every 16 square feet. This is a good option if you may not be able to water your plants everyday, or if you have a problem with consistent watering.

Used soda/juice bottles as protection for new transplanted seedlings

When you transplant new seedlings, they can become susceptible to wind and even small critters. You can protect them for about a week from these things with soda or juice bottles. They will not retain much heat, especially without the lid on, but they will keep them safe. If you feel your daytime temps will get too warm, you definitely want to leave the lids off. 

Cat litter jugs to store extra water

Any two-to-three-gallon jug will help you store rain water, but cat litter ones seem to be the most common. You can collect water with a rain barrel, then fill the jugs from that, making room for more rainwater. You can also water from these jugs if you poke holes in the top.

Old baby cribs for a trellis

If you have an old baby crib, or someone is getting rid of one, they make great trellises. You can use the sides or bottom, if it’s a spring bottom. Just use some long stakes or fence stakes and put it on its side, making a great climbing option for vine crops.

Cuttings from tomatoes for more tomato plants

Tomatoes have the ability to be propagated. This simply means you can take a cutting from a tomato plant and replant that to have another tomato plant grow. There can be a bit of trial and error with this, but it can be done. If you are concerned about it not propagating correctly, you can always propagate more than one stem. Just make sure you are not trimming too much off of one plant. This is also a good option when it comes to suckers. A sucker is the offshoot of an extra stem from the crotch of one stem and the main stalk. 

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