TikTok's Genius Wire Shelving Hack Makes Potting Plants Easier Than Ever

If you're an avid container gardener, or you pot a lot of plants either as seedlings or full-bodied transfers into larger environs, chances are you work with a lot of potting soil mixes. And whether you purchase those mixes pre-made or you create them yourself in your own gardening space, you don't want to spill any of it unnecessarily as you pot or repot your plants. Here's where a large trash can and some wire closet shelving will come to your rescue, storing your perfectly blended potting soil mix and allowing you to transfer that soil into pots of all shapes and sizes with no spillage or loss. That's a garden hack worth trying for all the time and money it saves. 

Potted plants are a lot easier to protect and move when necessary compared to garden plants, and they are much less susceptible to pest infestations. There are many other benefits of growing a container garden, and the process just got a lot easier thanks to this TikTok-approved hack.

Start by preparing your potting soil

Before you begin this hack, it's important to perfect your potting soil. The ideal potting soil is a blend of dirt, minerals, nutrients, and organic matter, and while there are several excellent options on the market, making your own is more environmentally and budget friendly. Use some of your own backyard soil as a base, especially if you have any desire to transplant some of your blooms into the ground at some point. Add homemade compost, some decomposing leaves and mulch, and perhaps some sand or other high-absorbing substance to assist with drainage. Mix everything together and let it sit together to further commingle.

Another option is to cobble together a mix from a variety of different commercial products, plus some natural additions from your own kitchen. TikToker @shakema1mom offers this easy ingredient list she uses for the hack, composed of Expert Gardener Potting Mix, Premier Horticulture Peat Moss, Expert All-Purpose Plant Food, and some compostable scraps from her kitchen. To combine the products, she uses lawn claws, which are like giant wearable salad tongs or hand rakes, and her gardening gloves have plastic talons on the ends to assist in weeding.

Keeping your potting soil to yourself

Once you have your potting soil exactly as you like it, whether you've bought it in a store, mixed it yourself, or made it out of a combination of retail products and homemade additions, you don't want to lose a single ounce of it when actually putting it to use. The best way to go about this (per @shakema1mom's hack) is to keep your preferred soil in a large, at least 30-gallon trash can, like this Rubbermaid option from CleanItSupply.com, which retails for $112.87 at the time of writing. Be sure to get one with a lid to keep rain, debris, and pests from getting in.

When you're ready to pot your plants, open the lid to your potting soil barrel and place a wire shelf across the opening. This can be any kind of wire shelf, as long as it's long enough to span the diameter of the soil bin, but it's crucial that it's a wire shelf so any soil that spills out of the pot falls through the wiring and right back into the bin.  This ensures your carefully calibrated potting soil will be used in its entirety, without a crumb wasted or lost. You can pick up wire shelves from Shelving.com from $9.96. For an added bit of drainage assistance, or just to take up space and save your potting soil, line the bottom of your larger pots with pinecones. If you don't have pinecones, try a nifty pool noodle hack, then enjoy your plants as they bloom and grow.