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More Garden Related Tips

If gardening is your thing here are some very useful hints and tips to save you time and/or money

garden trowel and flowers

A good way to get rid of aphids/greenfly is to soak crushed garlic in warm water.  Leave for about six hours or more then strain.

Put the strained liquid into a spray bottle and use to spray affected plants.



To tie back large plants without damaging them, thread the string through a piece of old garden hose so that the hose is against the plant and not the string.

Jan Miller




Bamboo canes used for staking tomato plants etc., are sometimes prone to splitting at the ends and don't always last that long.

Take a trip to your local snooker/pool hall, social club etc., and ask them  if they have any disused cues. With a bit of luck you'll get them for free and you will find them stronger (they are solid) and are also coated with a varnish which prevents them from absorbing water. 

I've been using a set of 15 for a few years now they are still in good condition. 

Eric Gough

One year I ran out of plant labels, but I had an old venetian blind, and I cut the strips up into the sizes I wanted and took the scissors to make a point so it would stick in the ground.

Sent in by Shirley Seale

When taking cuttings use one of the cheap plastic beakers which you can buy 25 at a time in whatever size you want.  Fill it with vermiculite, dip cuttings in rooting powder and put several in the beaker.  Water in but only until the water reaches halfway and leave in a warm place.  This method enables you to see if cuttings have rooted and you do not need to tug them to check.

Contributed by Beryl Patterson

If you start your own seeds put them between some wet coffee filters to check the germination rate.

Then when planting in pots, put a wet coffee filter in the bottom of the pot, this will hold in the dirt yet let the water seep out gently.

Courtesy of Pat Stribling

  Clear plastic soup and pasta sauce containers are ideal for putting over new cuttings to keep the moisture in. The writing is on stick on labels which simply pull off and then you will find that the container is an excellent fit over the plant pot.

Bob Thurman 

A small length of hosepipe wound between plants helps keep off cats and birds as they don't like snakes.
Protect tender plants during winter by lining hanging baskets with straw then turn over and place over plant.
A piece of wood placed upright in a plastic water barrel will prevent the barrel splitting when it freezes.
An old plastic sweet jar (available from most sweetshops) makes an ideal propagator.  Lay sweet jar horizontally and place plant tray inside.  Replace lid.
To "age" new garden statues, smear with natural yoghurt.  Algae will quickly cover the item making it look older.
If you don't have a spreader for dry fertilizer etc., use an old coffee jar.  Drill holes into the plastic lid, fill with fertiliser which can then be shaken as and when required.
Use old blankets to line hanging baskets, these can be purchased for a few pence at car boot/jumble sales.

Sent in by Trevor Sanderson

To water hanging baskets slowly and gently.  Place a handful of ice cubes in the centre of the basket overnight.  The cubes will thaw slowly and water the plants.
If you have problems with moles in the garden, find the run and place a small piece of gorse in the bottom.   The prickles on the gorse will stop them returning.
Alternatively, a child's "windmill" (the sort you get at the seaside) poked into the ground above the run causes vibrations which deters moles.
Cut top and bottom off large plastic bottles to use as sleeve and arm protectors when pruning or hedging.
Banana skins placed around rose bushes will rot down and provide nutrients.
Line flower pots with damp paper when planting as this will help preserve moisture.
A natural way of removing flying insects/eggs etc. in greenhouses is by using a vacuum cleaner.
To prevent ladders sinking into foliage when hedging, get a piece of timber approximate 4ft in length and nail two short lengths of drainpipe the same width as your ladder, at right angles. (making a sort of ---H---  shape).  Place the top edge of your ladder into the drainpipes.   The plank spreads the weight across the hedge.
Wipe tools with an oily rag before putting them away to keep them in good order for next time.
Plant bulbs in a buried flower pot which can then be lifted when bulbs have finished flowering.
To combat blackfly on runner beans, use cold washing up water in an empty washing up liquid bottle and that way you can reach the topmost part of the plant.

Jill Jones

Making your own liquid feed for tomatoes, peppers, aubergines:

Collect some stinging nettle and comfrey leaves.

Put them in water and leave them to rot for a week. You will get a smelly green liquid.

Dilute this until the feed is a light green in colour and feed the plants with it.

Please note it does work very well on the plants growing in the soil, outside or in the greenhouse border.  




 More useful tips for the gardener.

Home Made Garden Fertiliser and Mulch and other useful gardening tips.




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