Turn a long-handled tool into a measuring stick. Lay a long-handled garden tool on the ground and next to it, place a tape measure. Using a permanent marker, write inch and foot marks on the handle. When you need to space plants a certain distance apart (from just an inch to several feet) you'll already have a measuring device in your hand.
To make shoveling a breeze, spray your favorite garden shovel with a silicone or Teflon lubricant. A good coating of this spray will make any type of soil slip right off the shovel without a mess.
Use car wax to lube uncooperative tools like gardening shears.
Before your next plant buying trip, line the back of your car with a plastic tarp and place a small step ladder on top of the tarp. The slots between the rungs of the ladder serve as perfect compartments to protect your fragile plants during the drive home. You will no longer have to worry about spilled plants or a messy car!
Spruce up your rain gauge by adding a few drops of food coloring to the bottom. During the next rainfall, the water will combine with the dye and the water level will be bright and easy to read.
To create natural plant 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.
Save leftover tea and coffee grounds to acidify the soil of acid-loving plants. A light sprinkling of about one-quarter of an inch applied once a month will keep the pH of the soil on the acidic side.
Harvest your vegetable plants often. The more you pick tomatoes, cucumbers and squash, the more they’ll grow.
Transplant seedlings to larger containers after they have grown 2 pairs of true leaves.
The handy way to dry herbs is to lay a sheet of newspaper on the seat of your car; arrange the herbs in a single layer, then roll up the windows and close the doors. Your herbs will be quickly dried to perfection. What's more, your car will smell great.
Make a pair of gardening pants out of an old pair of jeans. Sew the pockets from a pair of old pants on the knees of a pair of jeans. Then stuff the pockets with some foam rubber. These built in knee pads really save your knees. Just remove the foam rubber when you wash the pants.
Position garden stakes so the wind blows plants toward the supports, not away from them.
Create a garden journal scrapbook using a photo album. Add your plant tags and sticks and to it each season. Then, make it as detailed as you'd like by adding information as to where the plants were purchased and where the plant was located in your garden.
To have garden twine handy when you need it, just 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 in the garden. Do that and you'll never go looking for twine again.
To turn a clay pot into a hose guide, just 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.
Little clay pots make great cloches for protecting young plants from sudden, overnight frosts and freezes.
Animal pests don’t like strong-smelling plants. Surround your garden with marigolds, zinnias, or wormwood. Sneaky yet easy: To keep small animals out of your garden, cut an old hose in three-foot lengths. Place the pieces around your garden. These fake snakes will scare away small animals.
Plant dill near tomato plants to prevent tomato worms. It works.
Control powdery mildew with milk. Dilute 1 part milk in 9 parts water and spray on the plants.
Diatomaceous earth makes an excellent organic insecticide – it is an abrasive white powder used to damage the cuticle, skin and joints of insects. It also makes an excellent slug barrier.
Botanical insecticides are plant derivatives, and can be more toxic than some synthetics. They are, however, better in the long run because they break down rapidly and do not accumulate in the food chain as synthetics do.
When watering, try to water deeply and thoroughly. Frequent, shallow waterings train your plants to keep their roots near the surface, making them less hardy and more likely to suffer when deprived of water.
Take the time to sit and observe the abundance in your garden and all around you.
T h i s P a g e i s U n d e r C o n s t r u c t i o n.
Multiflora Garden Club
SERVING NORTH SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY GARDENERS SINCE 1971
Copyright. Multiflora Garden Club. All Rights Reserved.