Gardening Basics

Quick Gardening Tips

Indoor Container Garden

Here are some effective gardening tips for all plant growers who wish to make their plants thrive:

To prevent the line of your string trimmer from breaking of jamming, treat it with a spray vegetable oil before you install it in the trimmer.

To effectively remove salt deposits from clay pots, use a mixture of equal part of rubbing alcohol, white vinegar and water. Put it in a spray bottle and apply the mixture to the pot. Scrub with a plastic brush. Let the pot dry completely before you plant something in it.

To prevent dirt from accumulating under your fingernails while you work in the garden, draw your fingernails across a bar of soap. After you’ve finished in the garden, simply use a nailbrush to remove the soap.

You can get a useful measuring stick from a long-handled tool. Simply lay a long-handled garden tool in the ground and place a tape measure next to it. Use a permanent marker to write inch and foot marks on the handle. It is very useful when you need to space plants at a certain distance apart so you won’t have to bring a separate measuring device.

Small clay pots are excellent for protecting your plants from sudden overnight frosts and freezes.

Indoor Container Garden

If you want to turn a clay pot into a hose guide, stab a roughly one-foot length of steel reinforcing bar into the ground at the corner of a bed. Slip two clay pots over it, one facing down, the other facing up. These guides will effectively prevent damage to your plants when you drag the hose along the bed.

Stick a ball of twine in a small clay pot and put the end of the twine through the drainage hole. Set the pot upside down in your garden. This way, you will always have the twine ready when you need it.

It’s easy to create natural markers using flat faces of stones of various sizes. Use a permanent marker and place the stones at or near the base of your plants.

When you boil or steam vegetables the next time, don’t pour the water down the drain. You can use it to water your patio plants. They will respond to this “vegetable soup” in a great way.

Use leftover coffee and tea grounds to acidify the soil for acid-loving plants, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, gardenias, even blueberries. It’s best to sprinkle about one-quarter of an inch once a month. This will keep the pH of the soil acidic.

If you have aphids you can control them with a strong blast of water with the hose. Alternatively, you may use insectidical soap. Also, you may use some tape to protect your plants. Wrap a wide strip of tape around your hand, sticky side out. Pat the leaves of plants infected with aphids. Focus on the undersides of leaves, because this is where aphids tend to hide.

You may use your clay pots and saucers as instant tables for tea service. Flip a large pot over and top it with a large saucer. After the use, you can simply fill the saucer with water and make it into a birdbath.

A quick way to dry herbs: lay a sheet of newspaper on the seat of your car. Arrange the herbs in a single layer and roll up the windows. Close the doors of the car. The herbs will be quickly dried and your car will smell great.

You may use chamomile tea to control damping-off fungus. It often attacks young seedlings. Simply add a spot of tea to your soil around the base of the seedlings. Repeat once per week or use it as a foliar spray.

Photo credit: Kim Woodbridge via photopin cc