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Dollar Store Garden Hacks


Today I want to share with all my gardening buddies things I’ve found at the Dollar Tree that are inexpensive things that every gardener can use or gift to a gardening friend. I use these things in my vegetable garden and in the fruit orchard.

Dollar Store Garden Hacks | Craft Sticks as Garden Markers


First: Craft sticks are the perfect plant marker. I use a permanent marker to write on them and when the seasons over I toss the into the compost bin to recycle them. 50 for a $1 are a great buy.

Dollar Store Garden Hacks


Second: Cloches from wire trash baskets. I love me a beautiful garden cloche but the cost just doesn’t fit my budget so these work and at $1 each I can buy as many as I need. The pretty glass cloches are anywhere from $25 on up so I get a whole lot more for my money when shopping the dollar store. The nice thing about these is they keep the bunnies and deer from eating my plants and the bees can also get through the wire mesh to pollinate. It’s a win in my book! I also like the fact that they can be stacked for storage when not in use. The fancy glass type can’t which means they take up storage space. When I place them over a plant I give them a little twist to seat them down into the soil and I’ve never had a problem with them tipping over even in high winds.


Dollar Store Garden Hacks | Pool Noodles as Pot Drainage


Third: When I have a container I want to plant but don’t want to drill a hole in the bottom for drainage I cut up pool noodles and place them in the bottom of the pot. It works perfectly for drainage space and doesn’t add any weight to the pot. It also takes less potting soil to fill the planter. Many of my pots are galvanized buckets that I like to keep in tact and use in other ways so pool noodles do the job every time.

Dollar Store Garden Hacks


Fourth: Soap, yes Irish Spring soap to be exact. Deer and rabbits don’t like the smell so to help keep them out of the garden I shred the soap and scatter it around the perimeter of my garden. I try and shred it about 6 weeks before I need it and let it harden in a paper bag. By doing this the soap won’t dissolve as quickly, even during a rain.

To keep the deer from eating the fruit and fruit trees I cut a bar in half, drop it into a knee high pantyhose, and hang it from a branch on each tree. It keeps forever and I only have to replace it once a year. It keeps the deer away from the trees all year long. It’s such a cheap investment and takes only a few minutes to complete the task.


Dollar Store Garden Hacks

Tell me if you have any other dollar store items you use in your garden. I’d love to add more to my list!


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  1. Thanks for the inspiration, especially the pool noodle idea! I frequent our $1 Tree or $1 Store almost weekly, but “lightbulb moments” like yours never seem to reveal themselves, lol.

    1. Lisa I bet if you look around you’ll find some great ideas you haven’t thought of before.

    1. Carol, it’s the perfect cheap filler and makes the pots light weight which is good if you have to move them around.

  2. Great ideas! Will get some wastebaskets to cover the tender squash plants!

    1. They work perfectly and look good as garden art too!

  3. These items are great!…I do buy my Irish Spring there…I used to place it at the top of my front porch columns to deter birds from making a nest there…learned my lesson as one nest caused the column to turn black from the birds’ droppings and had to have it cleaned and repainted…:( … Love the wire mesh idea too!….I do love to scour the garden section when I am there..thanks Dawn!…Have a great day!!

    1. Shirley, Brilliant for keeping the birds away. Right now I have one nesting on the front porch and I can’t use it. I sure wish those babies would fly the coop so I could spend a little time out there.

  4. Dawn you are amazing. I just love your ideas and your hacks on everyday life challenges. Thanks for this blog!

  5. Barry Roberts says:

    Dawn, that is a brilliant idea with those waste baskets over the Tomatoes, i ll have to keep an eye out now and maybe some different colours as well to brighten the garden up a bit.


    Barry (ENG)

    1. Barry, In my neck of the woods they only come in black and white but bright colors would look fantastic. They worked like a charm this year. It gave all my plants time to get mature without the critters eating them first.

      1. ALMA COOKSEY says:

        use a little spray paint on baskets for color

    2. Sherry Edwards says:

      Don’t your tomato plants get too tall for the baskets?

    3. Barry, if you can’t find different colors, spray paint the white ones in the colors you like. Using a large box laying on it’s side, put the basket inside of the box and spray side to side rotating from top to bottom. Let dry completely; repeat, if needed.

  6. My dollar tree has hanging baskets, potting mix and seeds etc.

    1. Carol, you must have a good dollar store in your area.

  7. You can use the small plastic cups up to the Red Solo cups to start your seeds in and grow to good starts. I usually drill some small drainage holes in the bottom. You can also use the plastic totes with lids as a make shift greenhouse. I usually check on them to see if they need some water. You can also use the totes with grow lights.

    1. Burney, I just started seeds today in egg shells. I used to use grow lights many moons ago but I don’t have them anymore. Hopefully they’ll grow without them, not much sun her in Michigan this time of year

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I love the idea of waste baskets in the garden❣️ Your presentation was quite lovely and informative.

  9. I have a hugh beautiful pot and will put an empty gal jug in first then some water bottles around plus a piece of discard carped to keep the soil from filtering down when I add that. (you could also use alum cans you haven’t flattened yet) Only top 6-8 inches of plants will actually be rooted. Potting soil is expensive. If you have a pot that is tall you can fill the bottles with water to offset the weight of the gardening soil when wet. Also when you say Dollar Store are you talking about $ Tree or General Dollar Store?


    1. Anne, Brilliant idea of using the carpet to retain the water! Thanks for the tip!

  10. Great ideas ty so much

    1. Linda, You are welcome. Have a wonderful week!

  11. your site is so full of adds & pop up adds i can barely read what i came here to see!? thanks for the tips. 🤨

    1. Nicole, I’m sorry you had a hard time. This is how I earn an income, I’ll see if some can be moved around to make it an easier read.

  12. Patt Pilgrim says:

    I buy mops and brooms at Dollar Tree. The mops don’t last too long but that’s fine because I like a clean mop. Also Iuse the handles for stakes in my garden.

  13. I discovered the wire trash can hack about 5 years ago after fighting birds & squirrels for years! I will try the pool noodles, great idea!

  14. Hello. I have been gardening for years and have not come up with a solution for my plants to be protected from deer eating them when they have grown to their full potential. I have used Irish Spring and it does work, however, the deer in my neck of the woods are pretty “pushy” and somehow continue to eat the blossoms and new buds on my miniature Maple Tree. And, to top it off, the plants I have, are considered “deer resistant.” I have wrapped the tall plants in the gardening netting, but it gets tangled in the plant as it grows new blossoms. Please help. If you can think of anything that I can use to cover my tall plants so that I can still see them and enjoy their beauty, I would appreciate it. I am at an idea loss!

  15. Oh, and I cannot use a fence of any kind because the garden is on the side of a hill. Thank you for brainstorming…

    1. Kelly, Have you tried using a “RentACoop” Fence? you can use it in any terrain and the hill shouldn’t matter. Its supper easy to put up, move, and take down? Im currently using it to keep the deer, ducks, and rabbits out of my garden.

  16. Make a trellis out of paint stirrers from dollar tree!

  17. I just bought a couple of these baskets today from the Dollar Tree. The critters have eaten my cucumber plants so I put the baskets over them for protection

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