Gardening is a fun and leisurely activity, but having tips and tricks can make it a even more stress-free pastime. Here is a list of 14 tips and tricks as presented from HGTV.
- Salt Deposits – Combine equal parts of white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to clay pots and scrub with a plastic brush to remove salt deposits. Let the pot fry before you plant anything in it.
- Dirty Fingernails – The worst part of gardening is the dirty fingernails, sure you can wear gloves- but it gets hot during the summer to wear thick garden gloves. Next time try dragging your nails across a bar of soap to create a barrier. After you are finished, use a nail brush to remove the soap from under your nails and voila! Clean nails!
- Jammed Trimmer – To prevent the line on a string trimmer from jamming up or breaking, treat it with vegetable oil before installing it in the trimmer. This creates a slippery surface that wont cause friction to happen, which causes the jam or breakage.
- Measuring Stick – Instead of carrying around an extra measuring stick with you when gardening, put markings on your tools! Write inch and foot marks on the handles of tools so next time you need to plant a specific distance away, you have a measuring tool in your hand!
- Handy Twine – To have handy twine always available in the garden use a clay pot! Stick a ball of twine in a small clay pot, pull the end of the twine through the drainage hole and set the pot upside down. Secure the end of the twine so it doesn’t fall back through.
- Protect the Babies! – Small clay pots also make a great cloche for protecting young plants and seedlings from any sudden overnight frost or freezes.
- Hose Guide – Clay pots are so handy! Stab a roughly one-foot length of steel reinforcing bar into the ground at the corner of a bed and slip two clay pots over it: one facing down, the other facing up. The guides will prevent damage to your plants as you drag the hose along the bed.
- Plant Markers – To create perfectly natural markers, write the names of plants (using a permanent marker) on the flat faces of stones of various sizes and place them at or near the base of your plants.
- Pest Control! – By using a strong blast of water from the hose or using insecticidal soap, you can knock Aphids off the leaves of your plants. Another innovative way, would be to use tape. Wrap a strip of tape around your hand, and pat the underside of the leaves to capture Aphids in a sticky trap.
- Veggie Soup – The next time you steam or boil vegetables do not get rid of the water. Pour the cooled “vegetable soup” onto potted patio plants and see how well the plants respond.
- Morning Joe – If you have plants that thrive in acidic-soil, add one-quarter inch sprinkling of leftover tea and coffee grounds to the soil. This will change the pH to a slightly acidic number. Some plants that thrive in this condition are Azaleas, Gardenias and even blueberries.
- Fungus – Chamomile tea can be used to control damping-off fungus, which attacks young seedlings. Once a week add a bit of tea to the base of seedlings, or use as a foliar spray to combat fungus.
- Makeshift Table – If you need an instant table for tea service, look no farther than your collection of clay pots and saucers. Just flip a good-sized pot over, and top it off with a large saucer. And when you’ve had your share of tea, fill the saucer with water, and your “table” is now a birdbath.
- Dry Herbs – The quickest way to dry herbs during the summer, is by using your car! Lay a sheet of newspaper on the seat of your car and arrange herbs in a single layer. Roll up all the windows and close the doors, the herbs will quickly dry and your car will also smell fantastic!
Thank you to Paul James and HGTV for the original information. You can read more here.