As passionate gardeners, you already have enough work to do to keep your flowers, plants and vegetables hardy, healthy and beautiful. Here is a compilation of some simple, clever tricks and ideas to make your life a little bit easier, and to keep your vegetation, gardens and yards the absolute best they can be.
* Placing grapefruit rinds in your garden beds keep destructive slugs away. Or place cornmeal in a jar on its side near the plants slugs are eating. Slugs love cornmeal even though it kills them.
* To keep animals from digging around your plants or small trees, place a bunch of pine cones all around it, and then surround the pine cones with decorative rocks. Effective and pretty!
* Keep garden twine handy and easy to get to by placing in oil or kitchen funnels attached to a shed or garage wall. Just pull the twine thru the funnel’s thin end and twine is ready to measure out and cut.
* Cooking spray, such as Pam, cleans garden tools. Simply spray on rust, wait a few minutes and then wipe.
* Wooden clothespins make terrific potted plant markers. All you need is a Sharpie! Along the same lines, wooden spoons make excellent vegetable garden markers. Just write the veggie’s name on the spoon end, and then stick the handle in the soil. If you are the creative type, find some smooth medium-sized stones and paint the vegetable’s name and picture on them. Looks so cool laying in the garden!
* To boost the growth of acidic plants such as blueberries and cranberries, occasionally water them with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of White Vinegar to one quart of water. And to grow a lush, greener lawn — add 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt to a gallon of water. Epsom is loaded with magnesium, which helps grass thrive, and deter pests.
* To create evenly spaced rows for vegetables, attach some tubing, or pieces of an old garden hose to the evenly counted out prongs of a rake and drag through the soil.
* To hold up protective netting covering plants, place a clean baby food jar on top of the stake, which prevents it from going through the net.
* To speed the time of seed germination, soak seeds before planting them.
* For large potted plants, instead of using all potting soil, fill the bottom half of planter with foam packing peanuts. They not only help with drainage, but they lighten the pots weight as well.
Happy gardening friends!
Photo Credit: Thinksock